Take on the Right Projects to Win Great Business
The very core of freelance work, especially for a highly experienced subject matter expert like yourself, is project selectivity. What kinds of engagements do you take on? What reasoning do you use to accept or reject an opportunity? What do you find appealing about project work? Clear communication, routine updates, and a collaborative spirit can help your partners at Expert ENGINE fold those preferences into our ongoing work with you. To help you get the most out of the work you deliver, we’ve put together a series of tips regarding the type of work you take on.
Tell us in advance.
If you haven’t already, make sure you’ve told our recruiting team and our account executives which types of expert work you do and don’t accept. The sooner our team knows which types of expert work you undertake, the more efficiently we can connect you with the opportunities that fit your specific thought leadership.
Communicate as clearly as possible.
As soon as you share the above information with us, each member of our team lists your preferences and preclusions in the internal section of your profile. That way, the expert team can refer to your druthers before reaching out to you with expert work opportunities as clients share them with us.
Don’t worry: We won’t pigeonhole you into — or out of — certain opportunities unless you tell us explicitly you will or won’t accept them. With that request in mind, we will need to know the following…
Do you undertake litigation work?
Litigation work constitutes a huge chunk of the Expert ENGINE business. As such, we need to know whether you undertake litigation work — and, if so, what types of litigation work you accept. (If you don’t do litigation work, you can skip ahead to the next subtopic.)
Do you only represent the defendant? What about the plaintiff? If you represent both, do you have a history or preference in the form of a percentage breakdown between the two?
Attorneys tend to ask us right off the bat whether you possess litigation experience. Therefore, it’s advantageous to have accrued a storied, significant litigation history — or none at all. Attorneys can be wary of the “middle ground.” During the Daubert standard phase, when each side of the case challenges your expertise, you won’t be impeded if you’ve already undertaken a large amount of litigation work. This phase will be tough, however, if you possess limited or no litigation experience.
Keep your account executive, or our recruiting team, aware of your relationship with the variables above. We always clear conflicts!
So, clear conflicts as quickly as possible.
In litigation work, the prosecution or defense organization often constitutes a conflict for seasoned subject matter experts like you. If you’re aware of conflicts in the industry or area of a particular request, please notify the ENGINE account executive immediately so they can determine whether the engagement is possible for you.
Timing can constitute a conflict, too. We need to understand your schedule when we reach out to you with opportunities. Will you be traveling during part of an engagement timeline? Might you be wildly busy? Tell us in advance — and be as candid and realistic and possible — so we can consider your timing restrictions while we present opportunities to you.
For particularly swamped experts, the suggestion alone of a site visit can preclude your participation in an engagement. If you can’t travel for expert work, please let us know, and we’ll make sure to relay that fact to our team so we can accommodate your needs and limits.
Keep your profile up to date.
Updating your Expert ENGINE bio allows you to communicate consistently and clearly with our team — without having to expend effort routinely! To this end, we advise you to update your Expert ENGINE profile as often as possible in order to keep prospective clients abreast of your “sweet spots” and areas of knowledge. Bearing this topic in mind, you’ll want to focus on:
- Core Expertise Areas: The drop-down keyword menu breaking down your fields of thought leadership.
- Litigation Experience: Outlining, as indicated above, [a] whether you take on litigation work, and [b] if so, a descriptive history — including some numbers! — of that work.
- Work History: Attorneys will look for employment details to indicate pertinent experience, so be sure to exercise thoroughness and accuracy in this section of your profile.
A helpful rule of thumb: Each time you work with us, update your Expert ENGINE bio. That way, you’ll have your most recent litigation experience indicated in your profile. We request these updates because attorneys want to use your bio — quickly — to vet your expertise. Given this fact, attorneys may not even consider you for the engagement if your bio is missing the project area. Given our emphasis on that “sweet spot,” we advise you to tailor your résumé as though you were applying for a job. Think of that “job” as the consulting or litigation work that interests you that you would actually undertake — then highlight your relevant qualifications in your Expert ENGINE bio.
As a final benefit, if you update your Expert ENGINE bio after each opportunity with our panel and team, you’ll be primed to update the additional expert bio areas indicated in the bullets above. To that point, we’ve published and shared an entire expert newsletter solely regarding expert profile updates, which we invite you to explore here.
Now let’s work together!
As with each of our expert newsletters, we’re sharing today’s tips in order to streamline your ongoing work with us. We hope this advice smooths the collaborative process and makes it easier, and more frequent, for you to connect with our team in the form of paid expert work.
So, naturally, we invite your thoughts on this article! What did you like? Not like? What future topics would you like to see covered? Reach out to us with your suggestions!
About the author
Zaq Baker has worked on the Expert ENGINE team from 2015 to present. He writes newsletters for experts like you regarding best practices for paid work. He also furnishes success stories regarding thought leadership achievements and interesting projects via our panel. In addition to regularly brokering consultations between experts like you and leaders within our parent company — ENGINE— Zaq also assists experts with website and enrollment concerns. He’ll be more than happy to field your questions on linking between your site and your Expert ENGINE profile. Feel free to reach out to Zaq on this topic or any others at (952) 853-1579 or Zachary.Baker@EngineGroup.com anytime.