Branding and Marketing


Branding and marketing is often the first thing people think about when they “go independent,” perhaps because it seems like the easiest part of being self-employed. In some ways it is, but don’t underestimate the task. How you go to market is critical and can take years to master. Simply updating your LinkedIn profile to say “Independent Consultant” is not enough.

PICA is here to help. Our Founder & Chief Advocate has been helping independent consultants with this for years, and has coached hundreds of professionals on how to be their best.

PICA members have access to members-only content in this section, as well as web workshops, virtual roundtables, and PICA Office Hours. Non-members and members alike can access free content below, and submit questions on PICA's Facebook page.


Foundational Concepts for Every Independent Professional

To earn more and keep more of what you bill, you need to be a business and present yourself like one. This will affect how prospective clients perceive you, and by extension, how much they may be willing to pay. Regardless of how long you’ve been independent, make sure you fully understand the following foundational concepts.

Lifecycle Stage Title Description
What/Who is a Professional Independent Consultant? As we go to market or talk about ourselves, we need to convey three key elements. This article explains what they are and offers suggestions to help you walk the talk.
Temporary Employee vs. Independent Contractor Whether you call yourself a consultant, contractor, or freelancer, the only status that matters is how you are classified and paid. Be sure you understand the various labels and terms so you know how to position yourself for success.
Consultant, Contractor, Freelancer: Labels Matter! The terms you use impact how potential clients perceive you, how they pay you, and even how much they're willing to pay.
One Easy Step to a Professional Image Every self-employed consultant should follow this advice from PICA's chief advocate, yet many established consultants don't. If you want to be taken seriously as a consultant, read this!
As we go to market or talk about ourselves, we need to convey three key elements. This article explains what they are and offers suggestions to help you "walk the talk."
Whether you call yourself a consultant, contractor, or freelancer, the only status that matters is how you are classified and paid. Be sure you understand the various labels and terms so you know how to position yourself for success.
The terms you use impact how potential clients perceive you, how they pay you, and even how much they're willing to pay.
Every self-employed consultant should follow this advice from PICA's chief advocate, yet many established consultants don't. If you want to be taken seriously as a consultant, read this!

Resources on Branding and Marketing

At PICA we regularly add new content and virtual events to help you go deeper on these topics. Below are resources to help you define and refine your go-to-market strategy, arranged by the lifecycle stages of exploring, emerging or firmly established as an independent consultant.

Lifecycle Stage Title Description
To Be or Not to Be an Independent Consultant If you're thinking about "making the leap" this article by PICA's Chief Advocate will help you think through the pros and cons.
Registering Your DBA (Doing Business As) Once you've selected a name for your business, find out if you need a DBA and if so, how to get one.              
Website Tips and Advice Do you really need a website? Here are the reasons you do, and more importantly, the steps to easily create one.
Know Your Niche Don't make the mistake of marketing yourself as a "jack of all trades." PICA's Chief Advocate explains why knowing your niche is critical, and offers tips for figuring it out.
Why Personal Branding is Vital and How to Do It Consciously create your brand so you become known for something. This helps clients think of you and their colleagues refer you.
Creating Your Consulting Résumé Even if you have a website and an all-star LinkedIn profile, you should still have a resume. Know how a consulting resume is different than a traditional one, and get tips for creating a strong one.
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Independent Consulting Your LinkedIn profile is your #1 marketing tool since 95% of your potential clients will view it. Learn how to make the most of it!
Use Work Samples to Seal the Deal PICA's Chief Advocate explains how to use samples to demystify what you do to help you win the work.
Quote Your Billing Rate with Confidence No matter how you price your services and expertise, confidence is key. PICA's Chief Advocate offers tips and advice.
If you're thinking about "making the leap" this article by PICA's Chief Advocate will help you think through the pros and cons.
PICA's Chief Advocate offers tips on two interrelated topics: what to keep track of so you pay less tax, and how to set up your business for success.
Do you really need a website? Here are the reasons why you do, and more importantly, the steps to easily create one.
Don't make the mistake of marketing yourself as a "jack of all trades." PICA's Chief Advocate explains why knowing your niche is critical, and offers tips for figuring it out.
Consciously create your brand so you become known for something. This helps clients think of you and their colleagues refer you.
Even if you have a website and an all-star LinkedIn profile, you should still have a resume. Know how a consulting resume is different than a traditional one, and get tips for creating a strong one.
Your LinkedIn profile is your #1 marketing tool since 95% of your potential clients will view it. Learn how to make the most of it!
PICA's Chief Advocate explains how to use samples to demystify what you do to help you win the work.
No matter how you price your services and expertise, confidence is key. PICA's Chief Advocate offers tips and advice.