What are freelance consultants?
A freelance consultant is someone who works with companies on a freelance/ contractual basis, rather than as a full-time employee. Freelance consultants specialize in a wide range of areas, including, but not limited to: marketing, sales, operations, HR, marketing, and IT. Furthermore, there are two main categories of freelance consultants:
This type of freelancers specializes in a particular area of their industry. For example, a marketing consultant can be an expert in SEO, paid ads, social media marketing, email marketing or on even more specific areas, such as Google Ads, Facebook marketing, or Klaviyo email marketing.
Diversified consultants usually have a broad range of skills that allow them to work with multiple industries and on different types of projects. Most often, they cluster different adjacent skills to create a diverse portfolio. For instance, a diversified consultant might offer services such as market research, content creation, and SEO.
Types of services offered by freelance consultants
There are multiple types of services offered by freelance consultants, in different areas of business. Some of the most widespread ones include
Marketing freelance consultants provide services that help businesses communicate their message to the right people, engage them in a relationship with the company's products/ services, and convert them into customers. They typically help build a marketing strategy, design and execute campaigns, create content, manage social media accounts, run SEO activities, develop new products/ services, and ensure their clients have a strong online presence.
Sales consultants are experts in the field of sales and help businesses maximize their revenues. They may provide consulting services such as developing sales strategies, negotiating contracts, creating sales presentations, and training staff on best practices on how to convert potential clients into actual clients.
Operations consultants are experts in running businesses from an operational and/or administrative perspective. Freelance consultants in this area provide services to businesses such as process optimization, cost reduction strategies, and implementation of new technologies.
Sometimes, businesses need a hand in ensuring their management and business strategy are effective. Management consultants in this field help businesses with issues such as team building, leadership development, and organizational strategy and restructuring. Sometimes, they also act as strategy consultants, to help businesses create high-level business plans and select the right growth tactics.
Finance freelance consultants provide services such as creating financial strategies, managing, developing risk management plans, and streamlining operations. They can help businesses streamline their cash flow, achieve a healthier financial position, and better manage their debt.
Human resources consultants provide services such as recruitment and selection, compensation and benefits reviews, employee relations, and compliance with legal regulations. Businesses bring in an HR consultant when they need with such matters as hiring, training, employee relations and engagement, or compliance.
IT and Technology
Digitization, cybersecurity, and the implementation of new technologies are all areas where businesses may need help. IT and technology freelance consultants provide services such as setting up networks, developing apps and websites, providing data analysis and insights, and more.
Top10 skills freelance consultants should have
When looking for a freelance business consultant, make sure they have the following skills:
Your consultant needs to be able to work with different stakeholders and types of business leaders and effectively convey their ideas in a clear and concise manner. They should be able to communicate efficiently, both in writing and in person. Furthermore, if you run a hybrid or remote company, you should make sure your consultant knows how to communicate digitally (and in asynchronous ways too, if that is the case.)
A consultant should be able to interpret data, draw meaningful conclusions from it, and use it to inform their decisions. They should be able to analyze and interpret information quickly, identify patterns and relationships, and develop problem solving strategies.
Freelance consultants must be able to identify and resolve problems quickly, efficiently, and with minimal disruption to your business operations. They should be able to think on their feet and come up with creative solutions to complex problems.
Excellent knowledge of their specialty
Your consultant should have a strong and up-todate understanding of their specialty. They should be able to identify trends, developments, and new methods that could benefit your business.
Your consultant should have an in-depth understanding of your industry and the challenges it faces. This would enable them to provide you with well-researched, market-ready solutions to the problems your business is facing. Thet also need to be on top of the latest business trends in their specific area of expertise, so they can adapt your business to rising challenges.
Good analytical skills are essential for consultants. They should be able to sift through data and information quickly, identify patterns and relationships, analyze data, draw conclusions, and create strategic and tactical plans for your company.
It is essential that your consultant be able to adapt to changing conditions and circumstances quickly and efficiently. They should be able to adjust their strategies and plans quickly, depending on the situation.
Your consultant should have strong leadership qualities that enable them to manage teams, organize projects, and ensure the successful completion of tasks. They should be able to motivate others and foster a working environment where everyone can work together to achieve desired goals.
Your consultant should be able to think independently and offer up creative solutions. They need to have the ability to make decisions are in the best interest of your business, even when under pressure.
Tech stack knowledge
Every industry and area has its own tech stack. Your consultant should be adept at using the best and latest technology in the industry and be able to offer solutions that can help you stay ahead of the competition.
Benefits of hiring a freelance consultant
While hiring consultants may not be right for every business, there are plenty of advantages to doing so:
Consultants are fast. They are usually able to come in and offer solutions quickly, with minimal disruption to your operations. The reason behind this is that it's likely they're already highly familiar with your industry and technology stack.
Good consultants don't come cheap, no matter their area of expertise. However, compared to hiring a full-time employee, consultants will save you money in the long run. They find better, quicker solutions, and they are usually on call on an as-needed basis (as opposed to having to pay a salary for a senior position, every month.) And even though they may not be there for you full-time, consultants are still very dedicated to their freelance clients -- particularly since their activity will be analyzed according to specific key performance indicators.
Staying on top of the latest trends
Consultants are constantly staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in their field. They have to, as their entire business depends on it. This means that you can benefit from their knowledge, giving your business a competitive edge.
Tapping into experience and expertise
Your consultant will come with extensive experience and expertise. They have seen it all and can offer you invaluable advice and insights on how to tackle problems. This experience can be invaluable for businesses in any industry.
How much does a freelance consultant cost?
The cost of hiring a freelance consultant depends on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to their area of expertise, industry, level of experience, and reputation. In general, consultants make an average of $40/ hour -- but this price tag can vary wildly, depending on the aforementioned criteria.
How to hire freelance consultants
There are many ways to hire freelance consultants. Some of the most popular ones include:
Freelance platforms like UpWork, Fiverr, and Guru provide businesses with an array of freelancers in every area, for every budget, and at different levels of experience. However, finding good consultants in the ocean of service providers on these sites can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack -- so if you're pushed for time, these sites may not be for you.
Asking peers for recommendations is one of the best ways to go about finding a consultant. Not only are you more likely to get someone reliable, but it will also save you time. Do keep in mind, however, that this may not always be a great solution, as your peers may not have recommendations at the moment (or their recommendations may not be available for new projects.)
If you want to hire a freelance business consultant with a proven track record of success -- and if you want to do it quickly, contact Mayple. We only work with vetted professionals who can prove their previous success and have hands-on experience in your preferred industry. Let's chat and we'll match you with the best option for your business!