Becoming an Independent Information Professional: How to Freelance, Consult, and Contract for Fun and Profit

Becoming an Independent Information Professional: How to Freelance, Consult, and Contract for Fun and Profit

by Melissa M. Powell

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Many LIS professionals and LIS students are interested in independent work opportunities, either as a full-time career or on a temporary or part-time basis. This book shares the experiences of successful information professionals who work as contractors or consultants, providing a complete picture of what to expect and a step-by-step plan to start your independent career.

• Helps librarians to determine whether they are suited for the career of being an independent information professional

• Presents practical advice on every aspect of launching a successful career as an independent information professional—from legal and financial necessities to marketing and management strategies

• Offers experience-based insights into the ethics and values of working independently

• Shares candid testimonials from practicing consultants who describe what it's like to be an independent information professional

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440855412
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/27/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 158
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Melissa M. Powell is a librarian currently working as an Outside Sales Consultant for The Library Corporation. She has worked for more than 35 years in libraries as a paraprofessional and degreed professional, in addition to a four-year "retirement" to work in the book selling and publishing industry.

Table of Contents

Foreword Loida Garcia-Febo, International Librarian, Consultant, and Educator ix

Introduction: How to Use This Book to Get Where You Want to Be Melissa M. Powell, BiblioEase xiii

Chapter 1 Is Consulting Work for You? Nancy Bolt Nancy Bolt & Associates Liz Bishoff, The Bishoff Group 1

Why Do Libraries Hire Consultants? 1

Four Basic Types of Consulting 2

Presenting and Teaching 2

Facilitating or Managing a Process 3

Conducting Research or Evaluation 4

Unique Expertise 4

What Kind of Consultanr Are You? 5

Worksheet A: Deciding Your Consulting Role 5

Worksheet B: Aptitudes Important for Consulting 5

Worksheet C: Putting It All Together 8

Using These Worksheets 8

Challenges You Will Face 10

A Balanced Life 10

Distractions 10

Travel 11

Partnerships 12

Maintaining Your Reputation 14

Dealing with Negative Recommendations 14

Delivering on Contracts 15

Summary 15

Chapter 2 Values-Based Consulting Carson Block, Carson Block Consulting, Inc. 17

What Is "Values-Based Consulting?" 17

"I Want to Be a Consultant" 19

The Why of Values-Based Consulting 22

How Docs This Play Out? 23

You Are the Future of Values-Based Consulting 25

Chapter 3 The Map of Your Marketplace Pat Wagner, Pattern Research, Inc. 27

Part 1 The Independent Point of View: It's Different from Being Employed 27

The Ideal Customer versus the Real Customer 28

How Different Are Potential Customers in Different Library Workplaces? 29

What Works to Find and Reach Them, Regardless of Who They Are 30

How Do They Fir into Your Strategic Plan and Business Model? 31

What Do Potential Customers Have in Common? 32

Part 2 The Customer 37

Individual Customers 37

Library Institutions 38

Conferences 44

Library Support and Membership Organizations 45

Applying Your Skills Outside of the Library Community 47

Conclusion 49

Chapter 4 Know the Numbers That Tell Your Story: The Legal and Financial Aspects of Your New Business Denise Shockley, Independent Consultant 51

Developing a Business Plan 52

Choosing a Business Structure 52

Sole Proprietorship 53

Partnership 54

Corporation 56

Subchapter S Corporation 57

Limited Liability Company 58

Taxes 59

Bookkeeping and Accounting 60

Bank Accounts 60

Bookkeeping and Accounting Basics 61

Conclusion 62

Chapter 5 Company Culture Jamie Hollier Tynan Szvetecz, Commerce Kitchen and Anneal, Inc. 65

What Is Culture? (Hint: Not a Ping Pong Table or a Beer Fridge) 65

How You Do One Thing Is How You Do Everything 66

Seeing Yourself 68

Leadership Styles (Both Internal and External) 68

The Authoritative Leader 69

The Neglectful Leader 70

The Permissive Leader 71

The Authoritarian Leader 73

The People: jazz as a Model 74

The Roles 75

Individual Owner or Partnership 75

Hiring (Fit over Skills, Trust, etc.) 76

Vendors and Partners 77

Where You Are Can Affect How You Are 77

Home Offices 77

Coffee Shops 79

Co-Working Space 80

Your Own Office Space 81

Conclusion 82

Chapter 6 Marketing and Branding Crystal Schimpf, Kixal, Inc. 85

Defining Your Brand 86

Designing a Logo 87

Creating a Web Site 87

Marketing with E-mail 94

Utilizing Social Media 95

LinkedIn 96

Facebook 97

Twitter 98

Instagram 98

SlidcShare 98

Other Social Media Channels 99

General Social Media Tips 99

Targeting Marketing to Specific Audiences 100

Engaging in Voluntcertsm and Professional Activities 100

Networking with Other Professionals 101

Conclusion 103

Chapter 7 Pipelines and Charging for Services Melissa Stockton Quipu Group 105

Pipelines 105

How Much in the Pipeline? 105

How to Fill the Pipeline 107

Responding to an RFP/RF1/RPQ 107

Getting the Word Out 110

Repeat Clients 111

Charging for Services 112

Pricing Models to Think About 113

When and How to Say No 116

Conclusion 117

Chapter 8 Getting It Done: Project Management Tips for Library Consultants Emily Gasper, Suffolk Cooperative Library System 119

Project Management Methodologies 119

Project Management Superstar Tactics 121

Setting the Stage 121

Project Scope 124

Scheduling 127

Communication 131

Building Your Toolbox 133

Epilogue: A Few Last Things Before You Begin Your Journey Melissa M. Powell, BiblioEase 137

Appendix A Specific Types of Consulting 147

Appendix B ASCLA Library Consultants Code of Ethics 149

About the Editor and Contributors 151

Index 155

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