The rate of change in business and technology is incredible. If you want to keep up with your rapidly changing clients or expand your skills as your consulting scope increases, these sources will help you stay at the top of your game.
If you are not actively engaged in client work, then it is the time for building your future capacity and capability. Consultants that build their capacity and capabilities during a slowdown are the first to accelerate in the new economy.
If you have a slowdown in client work use your time to,
- Expand your prospect list and engage with them. That does not mean put the hard sell on them.
- Build your brand authority. While the speaking circuits have morphed into online webinars there are even more ways now of touching people, helping them, and getting known.
- Expand your skillset with reskilling and retraining so you can go deeper with greater value into your niche and expand your market worldwide. Expanding to adjacent skillsets also helps you expand your scope of engagement within a client.
Reskilling and Retraining is Inexpensive but Valuable for Consultants
Let’s take a look at how you can inexpensively do major reskilling and retraining.
Do not sit back and coast during a slowdown. You could lose momentum you will never regain. Also, no scientist is forecasting a V-shaped recovery for the United States.
Forecasts in September 2020 from epidemiologists, not politicians or science-deniers, are that we will not have a "new normal" until at least the summer of 2021.
Over the next year if you use your time wisely you will rocket out of any slow down in the economy. You can build a powerful brand, create a highly engaged and loyal prospect list, and significantly increase your skillset and authority.
Why Expand the Depth and Breadth of Your Consulting Skills?
- Gaining deeper skills in a niche so you can market globally
- Earning skills and certifications that increase your authority
- Making connections with others in a narrow niche
If you want to pivot to a new direction or take a broad approach rather dive deeper, then reskilling and retaining can help you by,
- Learning skills adjacent to your core so you can widen a project’s scope
- Gaining skills that open opportunities in adjacent markets
Large corporations, universities, and MOOCs are hosting free and low-cost online courses that can help reskill and retrain your consulting super-powers.
Free Online Professional Courses with LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning has 16,000+ courses ranging from snippets to lengthy, in-depth courses. Here is how you can get access for free or cheap, but often valuable.
Free Courses on a Tight Budget
If your budget is really tight, go into LinkedIn Learning and make a prioritized list of courses you need, then take those within the free 30-day window.
LinkedIn Navigator is an incredible source for finding clients in your niche it also includes free access to LinkedIn Learning.
In the course Starting and Building Your Consulting Business we go into depth on how to find, engage, and convert clients using LinkedIn Navigator.
If you need the certification for the courses you’ve taken on LinkedIn Learning, pay for a month's subscription and complete the certification requirements for the courses you’ve reviewed.
On a Manageable Budget
Your first month of LinkedIn Learning is free. After the first month it is $29.99/month on a month-by-month subscription and less for annual subscription. Given that there are 16,000+ courses and certifications, this is a great deal.
Get a Feast of Courses and Client Prospecting Tools
As a professional consultant who is creating a successful career your best bet is to subscribe to LinkedIn Navigator Pro. That costs $79.99/month on a month-by-month subscription and less for an annual subscription. But it includes LinkedIn Learning which is $29.99/month and Navigator is an incredibly valuable tool for client prospecting.
LinkedIn Navigator is the best deal for consultants dedicated to building a thriving consulting business. You get,
- 30-day free trial
- Access to all LinkedIn Learning courses
- Networking to all LinkedIn members, not just the members in your personal network
- Highly precise member search segmentation
- Ability to save lists of target prospects
- Automated list searches that update as new members matching your search profile
Navigator gives you access to over 600+ million LinkedIn connections along with advanced search and save tools. Imagine how you can finely tune your search into deep niches.
In our course, Starting and Building a Thriving Consulting Business, we go into a detailed plan to get clients quickly. Although we show how to do that with free LinkedIn, the real power tool of choice that we cover in-depth is LinkedIn Navigator. (Navigator Pro is for individuals. There is also a Team version.)
Free LinkedIn Learning Courses for Consultants
LinkedIn Learning has put together collections of free full-length courses to help people on their job search during the slow down. These same courses are helpful to consultants and independent professionals in filling their prospect pipeline and engaging new clients.
This "finding a job collection" has no expiration on its free offer and contains 13 courses and 11 hours of training. Some of the courses that can help consultants are,
- How to Manage Feeling Overwhelmed
- Learning LinkedIn
- Digital Networking
- Digital Body Language
- Building Resilience
- Video Interview Tips
- 10 Ways to Stay Motivated While Job Hunting
Other collections of courses for professionals include,
The 10 Most Popular Courses Every Business Professional Needs to Watch
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