If you are reading this, you’re probably a data scientist of one flavor or another. Or you have some technical chops, you like data, and you want to learn more about how data science skills can make you more marketable.
Whatever your motivation, if you fit either description above, consulting needs you. I realized early on that knowing how to work with data is a very valuable skill and lots of people and businesses are willing to pay others to help them with their data.
Despite the need, breaking into the field can still be a challenge. It isn’t enough to put up a website, let the world know what you can do, and wait. Trust me. I tried. And it didn’t work.
The problem is twofold. On the one hand, it is a lack of trust. As an individual consultant, it is hard for people to trust you when they don’t know you. The fact that most data are sensitive make this trust factor even more potent.
But maybe you knew that already and you do like I did; you start by trying to build trust. You meet with others, you get involved locally, you sell yourself. Herein lies the second problem; understanding. For those who begin to trust you, they may not understand how you can help their business because they don’t understand what you can do for them. More on this below.
What does work then? How can I become a consultant when I don’t even have a client?
For me, it all started with the “sharing economy.”
Quick recap on my situation. Crappy job, low pay, lots of motivation to apply my quantitative skills for other things.
Eager to start generating a clientele, I pitched a website. I even set up some meetings with the local chamber of commerce and a business incubator. These early-stage activities led to a lot of meetings, and a few more meetings after those meetings, with even more meetings to follow those.
Ever heard the saying “Ask for money and you’ll get advice, but ask for advice and you’ll get money” or something like that? That is what those meetings felt like. Everyone meeting with me knew I was looking for clients/work/money and so they gave me a lot of advice instead. Remember what I said above about understanding? Well, I was building trust but the folks I was meeting with didn’t understand me.
What I quickly realized from these meetings was that I wasn’t approaching them with enough of my own experience. Experience I could share and get their advice on rather than trying to peddle my skills like a seedy seller of watches, pulling my overcoat open…
Continue reading: https://towardsdatascience.com/got-skills-need-cash-why-not-try-consulting-6f4ac5d7b8d9?source=rss—-7f60cf5620c9—4