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Have you ever wondered about the role of freelance vs consultant and how they provide services for their clients? Let us explain briefly.

A consultant evaluates clients’ needs and provides expert advice, while a contractor or freelancer performs the work. Yes, there are differences between these terms than that.

If you’re interested in both career paths, it’s important to consider carefully the difference between independent consultants and freelancers. In this article, we’ll explore the definitions of each term before clarifying the key differences.

freelance vs consultant

For example, a freelance marketer is hired for marketing projects, such as creating social media content, designing graphics, or writing blog posts. They typically work independently and focus on completing tasks within a defined scope and timeframe. 

Since freelancers work for themselves, they often perform a broad range of tasks to find clients and work, including:

  • Networking with industry professionals and building a reputation in a specific niche.
  • Creating and distributing marketing materials to promote freelance services
  • Implementing print and digital marketing strategies to attract ideal clients
  • Building personal branding to expand market reach
  • Developing and maintaining a business budget to track expenses, business assets, and financial activities
  • Documenting business and finance activities for tax purposes

See more: Difference Between 1099 and W2: What Should Employers Know?

Duties Of Freelance

Before diving into the difference between consulting and freelancing, you must first understand freelance responsibilities. It includes:

  • Handling project management tasks such as setting timelines, establishing project scopes, and managing deadlines to ensure timely delivery of work.
  • Maintaining clear and professional communication with clients. This process includes discussing project requirements, providing updates on progress, addressing client feedback, and managing expectations.
  • Executing the tasks outlined in their contracts or client agreements, such as writing articles, designing graphics, coding websites, or doing specialized work based on their skills.

However, following U.S. labor laws and payment regulations can be daunting if you want to hire freelancers from other states. No worries. EOR services by ERA ensure full compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws, irrespective of your employees’ location.

For example, a financial consultant is an expert in accounting and financial topics who provides financial advice and guidance. 

But some people may ask what is a freelance consultant? Consultants may work as freelancers, offering short-term consultation services to multiple clients.

See more: What Is A 1099? 5 Facts An Independent Contractor Must Know

Duties Of A Consultant

In general, consultants may often take on the following responsibilities:

  • Helping business clients improve various processes, such as marketing, sales, or financial activities.
  • Advising businesses on strategies for improving operations, generating more sales, and improving productivity.
  • Giving recommendations for specific processes such as cost reduction, resource allocation, and production operations.
  • Developing strategic plans with upper-level management and business executives that support positive results.

3 Key Differences Between Freelance Vs. Consultant

Scope of Work

The major difference between freelancing vs consulting is the scope of work. 

Consultants typically provide strategic advice, analysis, and recommendations to businesses or organizations. They often focus on specific industries or sectors and bring deep expertise and knowledge to their clients. 

On the other hand, freelancers offer various services from various industries (based on their expertise), while some consultants focus on specialized skills, their work is often more project-based and task-oriented than consultants.

what is a freelance consultant

Client Engagement Relationship

Consultants often work with clients long-term, working closely with them to understand their challenges, develop solutions, and implement strategies. They may also provide ongoing support, advice, and guidance throughout the project lifecycle. 

Freelancers, however, typically engage in shorter-term projects or assignments and may work with various clients simultaneously. While freelancers may establish long-term relationships with clients, the nature of their work often involves more transient or project-based interactions.

freelancer vs contractor vs consultant

Business Structure 

Consultants often operate under their consulting firms or as part of consulting agencies, which may have established brands, methodologies, and frameworks. They may market themselves as experts in their field and leverage their firm’s reputation to attract clients.

Conversely, freelancers often operate as sole proprietors or small businesses, managing all aspects of their operations, including marketing, client acquisition, and project management. 

In contrast, freelancers need personal branding to reach out and propose to clients their potential.

The Final Thoughts

So, what is the difference between freelancer vs consultant? The short answer is that a consultant assesses a client’s needs and provides professional advice on what needs to be done. On the other hand, a contractor or freelancer typically executes the work.

For further career information, feel free to contact ERA. Our 15+ years of expertise will freely support to answer your questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Freelance And Consulting The Same?

Freelancers are often self-employed professionals or professionals working as independent contractors, while consultants can be employees of private enterprises and even in the government and nonprofit sectors.

Can A Consultant Be A Freelancer?

Companies hire consultants to improve their business operations or evaluate their financial decisions. If a consultant works freelance, he or she may serve multiple clients simultaneously and offer guidance in various areas of business and management.

Is Freelancing The Same As Contracting?

Contractors and freelancers are two different types of workers. Contractors work full-time for one client, while freelancers work for themselves and have multiple clients.

Can I Just Call Myself A Consultant?

Yes. You can always call yourself a consultant since the definition of a consultant is not that detailed: someone who provides expert advice professionally.

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