Heard on the street at the New South Digital Marketing Conference in Myrtle Beach, a few colleagues were engaged in conversation that made me realize being in business is a challenge for many.
A woman shared she changed her title from consultant and owner of an army of one to “freelancer.”
She did that so businesses would think she cost less, that her hourly rate was more reasonable, and that they were getting something cheaper for less.
What she did was alter her professional identity to continue to earn a living by being someone she really wasn’t — just a freelancer.
But, let’s define freelancer next to consultant, shall we?
When I think of consultant, I think of the Accentures and pwc. They lure in the big clients with boatloads of money and have massively global teams operating in all corners of the world with big budgets.
A consultant in marketing is considered to be a senior professional with years under their belt who commands high hourly rates and takes on projects with higher budgets.
In general, my view of consultants is oriented to trained professionals who know their stuff, who are experts in their respective fields. They take on strategic assignments often with longer-term work bumping shoulders with drivers of companies.
Does that fit with your definition?
The freelancer is someone not inclined to open his or her own business, firm, agency, or other. They will typically not incorporate a company under S-Corp or LLC status. They will work under their personal social security number and pay 16 percent self-employment tax.
The freelancer is usually available at a lower hourly rate and is considered to be more tactically inclined. They seek project and take direction from other supervisors. Their interest is less in running a business and more in the freedom of choice to pick up interesting gigs that pay the bills with a level of mobility.
Do you agree with those definitions?
At the end of the day, you deliver high-quality work that demands equal compensation. When clients and prospects refuse to honor your expertise, then do you attempt to downplay your competency to continue to make a living?
It’s an interesting dilemma…what would you do?