As a freelance consultant, your success hinges on a combination of technical expertise, interpersonal skills, and business acumen. Not only do consultants in our network possess this trio of skills (hello, our 9-step “special sauce” vetting process), but they are also agile and flexible to meet the demands of this dynamic and ever-changing industry. Here are ttc, we are committed to connecting consultants to their dream work just as much as we are committed to delivering top-notch quality work to each of our clients. While our culture centers around embodying our core values of innovation, quality, integrity, and responsiveness, the skills that are essential for consultants to thrive in our network are not all that different from skills that are important to have a freelancer. Let’s explore the top eight skills needed to thrive as a consultant at ttc, and how they can contribute to your professional growth and client satisfaction (whether you are in the network or not!).
1. Subject Matter Expertise
Deep knowledge and expertise in related fields and industries are the foundation of successful consulting. Not only do our clients come to us for the learning and development expertise of our consultants, but also for the specialized knowledge they have with the industries they are in. To name a few, the top industries we serve are technology, finance, pharma, and engineering. By no means does every consultant have experience in each, but previous experience does lend a hand to possessing specialized skills and industry knowledge to offer the most benefit to our clients.
Innovative tip: Staying updated with the latest L&D trends, best practices, and industry insights. Continuously invest in learning and professional development to enhance your subject matter expertise and deliver valuable insights to your clients. For our favorite done-for-you templates, top tools of the trade, learning leader communities, and more, check out our resources page!
Consultants who are natural problem solvers thrive in our network! The ability to analyze complex situations, identify core issues, and develop effective (and engaging!) solutions is at the heart of consulting. Many times during the life of a project, there are opportunities for our consultants to pivot quickly and act fast to deliver on objectives that can shift on a moment’s notice.
Innovative tip: Strengthen your analytical and critical thinking skills to tackle challenges head-on and provide valuable recommendations. Embrace creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to deliver innovative solutions that surpass client expectations.
3. Communication Skills
With responsiveness as one of our core values, effective and timely communication is paramount for our consultants to thrive! Especially as they are interacting with Fortune 500 clients, colleagues across different time zones, and key stakeholders at various levels. Strong verbal and written communication skills are essential for building relationships, conveying ideas, and presenting your findings.
Innovative tip: Strive for clarity, conciseness, and the ability to articulate complex concepts in a way that is easily understandable to non-technical audiences.
Consulting often entails working on diverse projects with different clients, industries, and challenges. The ability to adapt quickly to new environments, learn rapidly, and navigate unfamiliar territories is crucial — especially at ttcInnovations! Agile consultants who are able to shift and be flexible to serve clients effectively are irreplaceable!
Innovative tip: Embrace change and be flexible in your approach, as this will enable you to excel in a dynamic consulting landscape. Continually seek opportunities to broaden your skill set and embrace new technologies or methodologies.
Consulting projects frequently involve cross-functional teams and require collaboration with diverse stakeholders. Whether you are fulfilling an Innovators on Demand® request (hello, augmenting a team!), or working in a project team capacity, being a team player with fellow Innovators and client representatives while demonstrating excellent interpersonal skills are essential for building rapport, fostering teamwork, and achieving collective goals.
Innovative tip: Actively listen, contribute constructively, and value the diverse perspectives of team members to drive collaboration and maximize outcomes.
6. Client Relationship Management
Building strong and lasting client relationships is fundamental to what we strive for at ttcInnovations. The high-touch relational approach we take in working with our clients is one of the many reasons some of our clients have returned to work with us over the last 20+ years we’ve been in business! Not only does this involve understanding our client’s needs, establishing trust, and delivering exceptional service, but this also includes our consultant embodying the same approach when fulfilling a client request.
Innovative tip: Exceptional relationship management skills will help you cultivate long-term partnerships, generate repeat business, and earn referrals. Maintain open lines of communication, be responsive, and go above and beyond to exceed client expectations.
7. Project Management
Consultants often juggle multiple projects simultaneously, necessitating excellent project management skills. The ability to prioritize tasks, set realistic timelines, manage resources effectively, and deliver high-quality results within deadlines is paramount.
Innovative tip: Embrace proven project management methodologies, leverage tools and technology, and continuously refine your project management skills to ensure project success.
8. Corporate Experience
Many of our clients are Fortune 500 making corporate experience a “skill” we look for during the vetting process consultants go through when coming into our network. Since they will most likely be working within a corporate setting on client projects, it is essential that consultants are familiar with the culture of the corporate world for a seamless fit.
Innovative tip: Cultivate a holistic view of large corporations, align your recommendations with their business goals, and demonstrate your ability to contribute to their overall success. To provide valuable insights and recommendations, you must possess a solid understanding of the business environment. Stay updated on market dynamics and foster strategic thinking.
While these eight skills are crucial to thrive (and succeed!) as a consultant at ttc, remember that they can be developed and honed over time. Embrace a growth mindset, engage in continuous learning, seek feedback, and gain practical experience to become a well-rounded consultant. We are always working to provide our network with growth opportunities as much as we work to align our L&D talent to opportunities they are qualified for. Combining technical expertise, interpersonal skills, and business acumen, you’ll position yourself as an invaluable asset to clients and thrive in the consulting field, whether you are in our network or not.
Learn more about how we align you with your dream work by joining our network of L&D talent.