Consultant vs Employee
In simple words, an employee works full–time for the company. He gets benefits like monthly salary, vacations, benefits, overtime, promotions, leave encashment, gratuity, PF, Insurance, etc. Consultants are specialized professionals, who are experts in their field, often hired for a specialized task / project.
With that out of the way, let us look at some of the Pros and Cons for each.
1. A Consultant gets paid for the task given whereas employee gets paid for the month, even if a job is not given to him. So, money inflow is fixed for an employee but may unpredictable for a Consultant.
2. Consultant can delegate a job to someone else. An employee can only do that to his team member, if at all.
3. Terms and conditions can be fixed depending on the situation. Employees have to paid as per industry norms and government laws.
4. Having a Consultant means fewer Compliance headaches. Many governments have strict laws for company having more than a certain number of employees.
5. Employees salary gets taxed before being paid. Consultants pay tax at the end of the year.
6. Employees have to manage with the post-tax salary. Especially items like travel, newspapers and books, meetings, etc. All these are deductible by Consultants, who pay tax on income minus expenses.
7. Consultants have a unique set of skills (or expertise), for which they spend their own money, which is deductible as expenses. Employee usually get trained at company expense.
8. Employees have fixed working hours. Not so, for the Consultant, who is usually paid for the outcome.
9. Employee can work only for one company. Consultants can work for many companies, at the same time.
10. Consultants are paid for their expertise and knowledge. Employees are hired to fill in their work force.
11. Consultants can work from their own office, or even from home. Employees usually work from the company’s office.
12. Consultant can be terminated at any time without consideration. Contracts are for short time and can end before decided period or may not be renewed. Employee can be terminated only for good cause and that too after proper notice and procedure is followed.
13. Consultant needs bring all or most of the tools and other assets required to complete the work. Employee is provided with the tools and assets.
Each role has it’s Pros and Cons. What you need to consider is your risk–taking appetite, mental makeup, strengths & weakness and specialized skills, before taking the final decision.
Optimizing portfolio for independent professionals
Your portfolio is often the first point of contact for potential clients. A well–assembled portfolio is a crucial marketing tool for attracting new business. Give thought to
1. Differentiate Your Services & Specialities – Do not try to be all things to all clients. Confused buyers will move away quickly and not return. Articulate what is included and what is not. Never forget to add your credentials. Categorize separately, with a unique description, ensuring that content is well–written, short and concise. Be sure to include latest screenshots and links. Remove content that is not relevant.
2. Portfolio format which fits Audience needs – Your portfolio, should show your technical skills, that will make a difference to the client and the outcome.
3. Different versions of your Portfolio – Depending on the type of client or industry, you may want to highlight different things, especially if you plan to work in more than one industry or verticals.
4. Samples of each Service – This makes the transaction / decision easy.
5. Analytics – Most often, Google Analytics will be enough for this purpose.
6. Relevant & Shareable Content – This could be pdf files, infographics, blog links, etc.
7. Compelling Value – Clients want to see you as an expert. One way is to tell precisely, what you will get for them. Avoid exaggeration – I can help you achieve improvements in all areas of business. Avoid over–promising. Avoid jargons and clichés.
8. Video Testimonials – preferably from those outside the company.
9. Contact Details – These must be highlighted in a fool–proof way in a prominent location. It should include eMail id, phone number, FB and LinkedIn URLs, etc. Add a photo, as people like to see who they are dealing with. This will make them like and trust you more.
10. Strong Call to Action (CTA) – Without this, all efforts may be a waste.
11. Professional Domain Name – will go a long way in helping to remember you.
Conclusion – In freelancing, your portfolio is a critical Asset. You will get queries based on how and what was put into it. For getting top-notch clients, it’s worth investing thought, time and even money into doing it right.