So you consider yourself an expert in your field, but still looking for answers on how to make money as a consultant?
In this article I’m going to share 9+1 tips with you on how to make money as a consultant. But in order to make money, you of course need clients first. So to get the whole picture, please also read my article on How To Get Consulting Clients. Or maybe if you have no clients at all, check my latest article, How To Get Your Very First Consulting Client In 6 Steps.
Please make sure you at least skim through all tips here, as there are some really kicking ways of making money as a consultant, some can even provide you with the sought-after passive income. Also make sure you read my most important warning on how to make money as a consultant at the end of this article to avoid bad clients.
Note: I’m using each one of these income flows presented below as a consultant, except number 1. But I love #4 the most, and I’m making most of my income using this technique.
How To Make Money As A Consultant #1: Charge By The Hour
Of course the easiest and most widely-known way of making money as a consultant is charging by the hour. I wouldn’t say this method is bad, you just shouldn’t concentrate too much of your efforts on this.
The reason is simple. Your most precious and most limited asset is your time. You can make only so much money selling your time. And lets be honest, charging by the hour is not really different from being an employee. And one reason we want to be successful consultants is that we can live a free lifestyle, isn’t it.
Make sure to charge at least 3x your desired income though as an hourly rate. The reason is, you’ll never be able to consult people 100% of your time. You need to allocate time for making clients, paperwork and other business errands – and these take up at least 2/3 of your total time.
How To Make Money As A Consultant #2: Start A Professional Blog
This is something not so many consultants think about, but it’s a great way to build an additional passive income as an expert.
But the concept is simple: so many people are looking for answers in your field online, but only a few of them are actually willing to pay a consultant. So why not target those looking for an answer with a simple solution?
This can than provide you with a nice passive income flow from your blog, but it’s also a great way to get consulting clients as you open up a whole new communications channel to get to your target audience.
How To Make Money As A Consultant #3: Write A Book
…or even better books.
Yes, books are a great way to build trust and credibility as a consultant, but they are also a great income producing asset. You rarely will be rich with only books as a consultant, but you also cannot avoid publishing at least one book if you want to make real money.
Consider self-publishing here, as you can have your book published in a matter of months, and there are great resources out there on how to do it.
How To Make Money As A Consultant #4: Have Your Own Online Courses
This is my favorite, as I myself am making the remarkable part of my income this way.
The concept is easy. You’re providing a ton of value with these courses, there’s no middlemen to cut down your profits, and this provides you with a semi-passive income, as you really only work once with these courses, but then you can sell them hundreds or thousands of time.
How To Make Money As A Consultant #5: Old-fashioned, Personal Courses
Another way of making money as a consultant is simply delivering old-fashioned, personal courses or lectures. You can either partner with someone or some company who is responsible for filling up the audience, or you can market yourself.
This method is not only great for making money directly, but also a great way to make some additional income using this simple trick. After or during each lecture promote your other products with some instant discount, especially online courses, and your audience will be open to order other materials from you in general.
How To Make Money As A Consultant #6: Run Your Own Projects
If it’s working what you teach or recommend as a consultant, it should also work for you. So why don’t you start your own little side-business, putting in practice what you’re recommending to others?
I give you an example here to make this easy to understand. I’m an online marketing consultant and SEO Expert, making most of my money with online courses in the marketing field. But I’m applying these techniques not only in my online marketing business, but also running a few blogs in other niches. These blogs generate me some nice passive income, they are a good field to experiment with new things, and always a good proof that what I’m teaching is actually working.
Please note that this method is not suitable for any type of consultants. But if in any ways your consulting activity is about helping other people making more money, you should definitely apply this technique. Not only because it is a way for you to make money, but it is of the highest proofs if someone is actually applying what they’re preaching.
How To Make Money As A Consultant #7: Affiliate Products
As a consultant, your great chance to make easy passive income is to promote affiliate products or services.
I’m not talking about building your whole business around affiliate income, but sure there are some products that you’re using or offering to your clients, where you should make some commissions.
And this is not difficult at all. Chances are you are already counseling your clients to use those products, why not make some easy income on them? Simply search for affiliate opportunities with the products your advising anyways. Or simply start with one of the biggest affiliate programs on Earth, Amazon Associates, and start making money on recommending books to your clients.
And these doesn’t even have to be big affiliate programs. You can simply partner with other consultants that are not your direct competition, but serving the same target audience.
As an example, I stopped building websites a few years ago, as all these other ways of making money are much lucrative for me. But my clients and people on my list are constantly looking for a reliable website developer. So I partnered with a small company, and whenever I refer them someone, they pay me a commission, adding to my income flows as a consultant, without really doing too much.
One important tip though: make sure you only promote products you’re convinced about. There is nothing worse for a consultant than ruining their credibility for a couple percent commissions.
How To Make Money As A Consultant #8: Bigger Projects
If you want to make real money as a consultant, one option is to participate in big projects. This is basically an old-fashioned way of making money for consultants, so no products or commissions or passive income are involved.
But it’s simply much more lucrative to have a large contract and work with your clients in big projects, as charging by the hour.
Also it is easier to sell this type of consulting. Believe it or not, it takes almost the same effort to sell one hour of consultancy than selling a 6 month consulting project. Why would you waste your resources on small income then?
How To Make Money As A Consultant #9: Monthly Contracts
Another type of monetizing your consultant activity is to make monthly contracts. This is somewhere between big projects and the hourly rate, but it surely is a solid way of securing your long-term income by have your clients committed to your service on a monthly basis.
Your clients have problems and they want solutions. Rarely can you provide them with everything they need in an hour’s session. So commit yourself to the success of your clients, and offer them long-term relationship with monthly contracts.
This way not only can you make more money, but your consulting clients will be more satisfied as they really get your help up until the finish line.
My Most Important Warning On How To Make Money As A Consultant (Tip #10)
Never enter any contract as a consultant, where you’re only payed by commission when the client has reached some target. Sometimes it seems tempting what would-be clients offer you, some big money once they’ve reached the result they want. Also as a consultant, you might think that it is your duty to deliver the results, so why wouldn’t you accept such a good offer?
The problem is, it takes two to tango. As a consultant, you’re not responsible for the execution, that’s your client’s task. And what if they just give up? I find most people looking for only commission-based contract as consulting clients, they don’t really have the commitment and self-confidence to carry through. They expect you to do everything, and if they fail they’ll only blame you. And what’s worse, they won’t even pay you.
Rest assured, if you’re good, people be willing to pay you as a consultant. So don’t commit yourself to anything that’s not 100% secure. Find the best method from all these listed above to make money as a consultant, and don’t be afraid to use more or even all of them.