One of the challenges of being an independent or in the consultant role – is offering all of the services that your clients want.
You can start working for yourself as soon as you have someone willing to pay for your skills, but what happens when they want something done that’s outside of your area of expertise? Partnering with others has many benefits. Besides being able to tackle larger jobs than you can handle alone, you can offer potential customers a better rounded package of skills.
It’s also useful to have someone to call when you get stuck on a problem (”hey, can you see what’s wrong with this ……..?”) or to just remind you why you gave up the security of corporate life in the first place. But how do you build up a network of people to work with, particularly if your work is entirely virtual?
Here are some ways to find your future virtual team.
1. Work your Social Networks.
Why not; Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and all the rest. If you put out the word that you’re in need of help with xxxxx design or application development or anything else, it’s likely that the network will give you access to the right person eventually.
2. Blog your Way.
Every consultant should have a blog, both for personal branding and for marketing. Thanks to search engines, blogs give you more reach than you might think. When you need something, use that reach. But be careful how you word things, because your clients (current and potential) are reading your blog too – remember to talk in terms of opportunities since you are not facing problems – right ??
3. Seminars and Conferences.
Whether you speak or listen, it’s vital to get out to the conferences, user group meetings, and other get-together Do not underestimate the value of overhearing someone at lunch or in the exhibition hall who turns out to be just the person you were looking for. Its like dating, sometimes you might even find a winner.
4. Be helpful to others.
– Whats goes around, comes around. One of my friends call it “Karma Point” – others just try to be visible and helpful when possible. But people who are seen as helpfull to others, also have the value within themself to be able to ask for assistance.
These were just a few examples – of how we can bring it forward – to gain that extra edge. It does require something from our self (nothing is free) – but investments tends to grow in time, so better spend in advance, than pay when it really counts.