Consulting is a confidence game.

As a consultant, your livelihood is dependent on you being more confident that the person you’re helping. So what are the keys to develop and maintain a presence buoyed by confidence?

1) Relationship Building

You are giving – you are a giver. You aren’t selling. You aren’t acting shady for seeking out decision makers. You and your firm have something to offer – something that will help. And you want the world to know about it. Seek out and spread the word to as many people as possible.

2) Niche Expertise

There are other experts but none of them are like you. Losing you would be painful for any organization. Make sure they know that.

3) Polish

Consultants are a dime a dozen. But sophisticated experts who produce consistent quality are rare. Don’t follow the easy path. Take the extra time to ensure everything you produce is of value aesthetically and professionally.

4) Visionary Motives

Everyone else is stuck in an endless loop of day-to-day firefighting. Don’t get stuck there. Seek the front line of the future. Your battles are designed to change the world, not just to get through another day.

5) A Personal Brand

Who are you? Your clients should know. Your colleagues should know. People should seek you out because of who you are and what you bring. They should trust your colleagues because they trust you. Your effectiveness is contagious. Allow your influence to spread.

Your role throughout the engagement is to maintain the confidence advantage. If the balance changes – if you expose weakness – you have violated the psychological contract and damaged trust.