By Deborah Rothberg  |  Posted 2006-09-29 Print this article Print

. Comfortable in Marketer Role"> 2. Youve Got to Be Comfortable in the Role of a Marketer On the need to be your own salesperson, marketing team and constant bulletin board of your services, the contract workers were unanimous. "If you dont believe that consulting will put you in a sales role, youre not ready for consulting. There is no way around it: Youre going to have to market what you do," said Moran.
Marketing can be done by traditional ad-placing and word-of-mouth, but the most successful contractors dont limit their self-promoting to these routes.
"If you have personal relationships, leverage those. Through my contacts as a teacher, I meet people at a lot of companies. I also do a lot of writing, things which generate conversations that can lead to assignments," Richard Kesner, Ph.D., Northeastern University lecturer, and president and senior consultant of Boston-based RMK Associates, told eWEEK. One of the easiest traps to fall into is to assume that if there is an influx of work now, it will still exist in six months or even a year. A survey finds more than half of IT professionals are looking for a new job. Click here to read more. "I found that I was like a lot of other consultants in that I was immediately successful," said Demopoulos. "I left my job with live contracts and promises of consulting gigs. I started with a bang. After a few years, and this happens to a lot of people, your clients no longer exist." Nearly every consultant had a horror story about an instance in which they had been caught off-guard by a slowing of workflow. "You believe that if youre working 40 to 50 hours a week on a project that you always will be, and are not [doing any] sales and marketing and touching back with old clients. Suddenly, that contract ends, and you havent done your homework. Sometimes it could be as much as a year or two that your name wasnt out in the marketplace," said Moran. Although many get into contracting because they crave independence, partnerships are essential to a successful business. "Its important to have a partnership strategy," said Kesner. "Im on many virtual teams with people who share my specialty in IT or need it to round out their organizations. To each case, I bring specialization, credentials and seniority in the market. Thats a way of really positioning yourself—Im very busy all year, and I dont do a lot of marketing. Everything comes from these partnerships." Next Page: 3. You must know how to manage the fiscal end of your work.


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