Full disclosure: Our latest guest, Carlos Del Rio of Agillian, is an SEO consultant for us. We work with many consultants at Benchmark, but Carlos had so many great ideas and such presence that we knew we had to have him on the podcast. So, what did we talk about specifically?

Consulting. Becoming one and being one.

In our 25+ minute conversation, Carlos delivered an insider’s look into the life of a successful consultant, from deciding how much to bill to how to get new clients. Here are three things we learned from our interview with Carlos.

1. Word of mouth is everything. Seriously. Everything.

When Carlos decided to go solo, he immediately contacted the companies he had worked for as an in-house consultant and made certain they knew he was a) going freelance, and b) available to jump right into new projects. Right away, Carlos landed a client, but that was just the beginning. That client told another client told another client. In the podcast, Carlos emphasized the power of word of mouth, and that in consulting, that’s the first and sometimes only way to gain new work.

2. Consider going minimalist with your website

Old SEO rules have taught us that having as many pages as possible on your website is the only way to go. Not true, at least if you’re a consultant. At this moment, Agillian’s site has more than six pages, but in future, Carlos plans to cut the pages down to as little as four. The argument is that your work stands for itself, and if you have examples of successful marketing campaigns, you won’t need 25 pages to explain what you do.

3. Plan your billing for the year

How much should you charge your clients? With Carlos, deciding how much you’ll charge per hour is more than just about a budget, it’s about a lifestyle. Case in point: Carlos currently charges $350 an hour. This calculation was made after carefully considering how much he should work each year and still enjoy spending time with his son. With consulting, Carlos suggests planning out the year. Remember: A lower rate probably means you’ll work more, which could diminish your quality of life. Consider working less for a higher rate rather than working more a lower rate.

As Carlos stated in our interview, a consultant is not paid to use a hammer, but rather to show the client that a hammer is needed. Listen to the podcast and use these tips to build your own successful consulting business.

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