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We all know the saying, but it’s not always who you know that counts. It’s often who you choose to work with that makes the difference.

When you branch out into being a self-employed consultant,the responsibilities and tasks expected of you begin to blur. While every industry will require something slightly different, several key ideas reoccur, regardless of the type of project, size of company and level of experience.

Appearing as professional as a large firm is hard when you're on your own and trying to keep costs down. Luckily, there are small changes you can make that will have a big impact on the way prospective clients perceive you.

There's no hard and fast rulebook to being a consultant, but there are certain personality traits and habits that distinguish the great from the good. Some of these you'll have intrinsically, while others have to be worked on, but either way, both you and your clients will notice the difference.

You don't have to 'go it alone', even as a consultant. Calling on other expert contacts, and asking for outside help when facing a project you're struggling with, is just another resource up your sleeve; not an admission of failure.

Your profession has unlimited possibilities, and an endless source of work, regardless of the niche you specialise in. Businesses will always need a fresh pair of eyes, and someone ready to get the work done - but there’s a lot more to it than that.

Securing your first client is paramount to securing your future as a self-employed consultant. It might take days to find a project, or it might take weeks; but either way, there are some tried and tested methods to help you land that first job and start building up a successful portfolio.

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