How To Get Started As A Data Consultant Fast

Lillian Pierson, P.E.

Lillian Pierson, P.E.

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Curious to know how to get started as a data consultant? If you’ve been thinking of doing some data consulting work on the side of your full-time job, or even making data consulting your full-time gig – don’t make another move without reading this. 

I’m about to tell you exactly how get started as a data consultant as quickly as possible. I’m going to share with you a scripted pitching template that you can start using today to dramatically increase the effectiveness of your efforts in landing well-paid data consulting contracts.

YouTube URL:​ https://youtu.be/-gISe3BjCjw

If you prefer to read instead of watch then, read on…

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Who am I to tell you anything about data consulting?

I started working as a technical consultant all the way back in 2007. In 2012, I started my own data science consultancy (which was a team of 1 back then), and after serving 10% of Fortune 100 companies from within my own data business, I started coaching other data professionals on how to hit 6-figures in their own businesses FAST. 

My name is Lillian Pierson and I support data professionals to become world-class data leaders and entrepreneurs.

If you’re anything like I was back when I started my data business, then you probably:

  • Have data expertise
  • Only worked in a 9-to-5 job
  • Doesn’t feel like it transfers to open market
  • Don’t want to end up overworked and underpaid coding up predictive applications
  • Know that higher-end advising work is the way to go, but have no idea how to take your skills and experience and convert them into consulting services that you can quickly sell on the open market

Heck in 2010 – I had 3.5 years of technical consulting experience for organizations as big as the US Navy and I didn’t even know the difference between consulting and implementation services – let alone how to package and sell consulting services in my own business.

 

So, let’s start off by looking at what data consulting is and what it isn’t…

Data Consulting: what it is and what it isn’t

see ways on how to get started as a data consultant fastWhat it is

Cambridge Dictionary defines a consultant as someone who is paid to give expert advice or training on a particular subject.

Therefore, it naturally follows that a data consultant is someone who is paid to give expert advice or training on a data subject.

What it is not

Consulting is NOT coding, machine learning or any other type of data implementation services. You can also sell these types of services in your own business, but those are not consulting services.

Another thing we need to define is what I mean by “fast.” When you’re setting up your data business, there are two main approaches – you can either start now or wait for the gold.

So, the approach that I’m about to share with you falls in the start now category which means, if implemented effectively, you should be able to get clients within 30 days or less. 

Before we move on, I would like you to share some of your ideas for your data consulting services in the comments: 

Have you thought about who you’re going to help and how exactly your consulting services will help them?

Define who you help & how you help them

The first thing you need to do to get started as a data consultant fast is, very clearly define who you help and how you help them.

What this is

You need to get very clear on who your customer will be – all the way down to the industry level, what role they’re currently in and the transformation you can render for them.

Let me give you some examples of roles I’ve helped with my consulting business in the past:

  • VP of Analytics – Insurance Company
  • Director of Data – Media Company
  • Head of Risk Management – Banking Industry

How I’ve helped them

I help them get a “quick win” by ensuring their next data project generates revenue for the company.

If you want to see the exact 44 step-by-step processes I lead my customers through, that is available through the Data Strategy Action Plan. Check it out here.

Going back to who you help – that is exactly your ideal client avatar. I’m going to make some mock-up situations for illustrative purposes in this article.

Example:

Who You Help  “Avatar”: E-commerce business owners

How you help them: Evaluate their company’s data as well as various circumstances across their business and build a strategy for improving marketing and sales ROI over the next 90 days

Notice how your client avatar and the transformation you want to get for them are very very specific.

Define what you offer

Define what you offer – anything from strategy, advising, assessments and training. You really have to go and do your own market research to figure out what is going to be the best solution or the best offer for you given your industry, ideal client avatar and your passions and skill sets. 

In terms of what what I’ve offered in the past, those are: 

  • Data strategy plans
  • Data strategy workshops / VIP Days
  • Partnerships with LinkedIn Learning to train their customers
  • Technical plans for engineering projects
  • Strategic plans for engineering projects

Example: 

Who You Help  “Avatar”: E-commerce business owners

How you help them: Offer a Marketing Plan Audit with 2 weeks turnaround time and then build a process that ensures that you only take 10 hours to deliver that work and charge them $3k

If you’re watching this and you’re thinking, “you know Lillian, I am not in all that much of a hurry. I think I would rather take the wait for the gold approach…” then check out this video I did on “How to Sign High-Paying Clients as a Data Entrepreneur.” 

Where to find & pitch

I need to throw in a little caveat about the “wait for the gold versus start now” approach. Start now generally leads to lower-value contracts – yes, you can sign a contract quicker but the dollar amount from the contracts generally tends to be lower.

I always landed my consulting work via the “Wait For The Gold” approach, so I never did the start now method just because I didn’t need to. But that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Let me show you how to get the clients fast if you really want to get them now. 

The first thing you need to think about is your buyer avatar and your offer – what problem does your offer solve and where does your buyer avatar get problems like that solved?

Where does the buyer avatar actively go to find help:

  • Upwork – try to avoid
  • AngelList
  • Facebook Groups

I showed all these in How to Become a Freelance Data Scientist video. Be sure to check it out here.

Going back to our example earlier, if you’re looking to find a client that is hiring for data strategy with respect to sales and marketing, you might want to look over at websites like Hire a Marketer and see what kinds of jobs people are looking to hire for this type of service. You always want to place yourself in a position to be found by your ideal client and you’ll need to have a high-impact portfolio and profile. 

I actually created a different video about creating powerful portfolios and making sure your profile stands out – it’s called “Data science freelancing portfolio.” Check it out here.

Once you get a high-impact portfolio and profile in place, then you need to pitch your potential client. I’ve created a reusable template that you can access through our Facebook group. 

Get The Data Consultant’s Pitch Script by joining us inside our Data Leader and Entrepreneur Community on Facebook here.

Creating the Data Consultant’s Pitch Script

Whenever you’re doing any type of marketing, you always want to follow the AIDA formula – Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. It’s a battle-tested formula for copywriting and it just works.

  • Attention – make sure that things like your headlines or your first sentences are catching the attention of your prospective clients.
  • Interest – make sure that the content you write catches their interest by using statements that proves that you understand their problem and are able to offer them a solution.
  • Desire – make sure that you bring up areas where you are credible and that you’ve been able to achieve results in the past or what-have-yous, like if you have skills that produce “xyz” results – something to make them “desire” you as the solution to their problem.
  • Action – this is where you tell them the exact action they need to take in order to work with you.

When you’re going after jobs or doing anything in your business, always remember that it’s never about you, it’s always about your customers and how you can help them. They don’t really care about you, they only care about getting their needs met and getting a good success rate. So you want to make sure that when you’re creating the bid for your clients, you demonstrate that it’s all about them and the only thing that matters about you is that you can help them get what they’re looking for. This is how you’ll be able to get started as a data consultant as quickly as possible.

For a more detailed walkthrough of the Data Consultant Pitch Script, watch this YouTube video.

I hope you loved this post on how to get started as a data consultant fast – and if you did, I want to invite you to download my FREE Data Entrepreneur’s Toolkit.

It’s an ensemble of all of the very best, most efficient tools in the market I’ve discovered after 9 years of research and development. A side note on this, many of them are free, or at least free to get started, and they have such powerful results in terms of growing your business. These are actually the tools we use in my own business to hit the multiple 6-figure annual revenue mark.

Download the Toolkit for $0 here.

Hey, and if you liked this article about how to get started as a data consultant, I’d really appreciate it if you’d share the love with your peers by sharing it on your favorite social network by clicking on one of the share buttons below! 

 

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