Tapping the digital opportunity for professional consultants

| October 29, 2014

Are you looking for consultants to support your business? James Baird explains how he has created an online marketplace for professionals and clients to meet and do business in the digital economy. 

Digital presents a huge opportunity in the professional consulting space.

We know that professionals are extremely well networked online, and online professional networks are a powerful marketing tool. You needn’t look further than the breadth and depth of high quality content from business advisors and consultants on LinkedIn know that.

But the reality is they have few opportunities to actually do business in that environment.

What’s been missing is the transaction. Pundit Connect wants to change that.

At Pundit Connect, we’re integrating digital into the way professional consultants do business. By creating a simple, easy to use online marketplace, Pundit Connect is creating opportunities for professionals and clients to meet and do business in the digital economy.

Professionals are grouped into categories that reflect their seniority, expertise and experience; clients post fixed-term projects to the relevant category; and consultants pitch for the work.

A small business could post a job to Pundit’s marketing category looking for a consultant to develop a Marketing Strategy; or a large business could post to Pundit’s mergers and acquisition category for advice on negotiating the best valuation for the business as part of an acquisition.

The Pundit Connect platform makes it easy for users to manage the project brief, competitive bidding, milestones and payments all as part of the engagement process; and it is free for anyone to register.

However, it is not the transaction that is at the core of Pundit Connect.

The temptation is to look at the successful freelance models delivering IT, graphic design and administration services through sites like Freelancer, Elance and 99Designs, and then simply apply the model to professionals.

The problem with this approach is that the real world of consulting is much different. Professionals have a higher price point and clients generally have more complicated needs and higher expectations to match. Consequently trust is a dominant feature of any relationship between a consultant and their client.

Building trust into the Pundit marketplace is our priority.

Every adviser must provide two references with their registration that we check before activating their profile in the marketplace. It is a critical process that provides Pundit Connect customers with confidence in the advisers they engage and helps us build a baseline of trust in the market.

We see Pundit Connect as being at the intersection of traditional professional services procurement and the ever-changing digital economy.

Pundit delivers a new digital channel for professionals, but we actually don’t want users to change the way they do business.

For us, nothing could be truer than the old adage: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” And that’s why the tools we are developing reflect our desire to replicate the real world of consulting rather than seek to change it.

Pundit Connect is now open for registrations for consultants and customers.


Visit www.punditconnect.com to find out more or register.

James Baird is CEO and Founder of Pundit Connect. He is also one of three Partners of communications agency StratHouse where he specialises in government relations, corporate affairs and strategic communications. 

James’ consulting experience ensures Pundit Connect is delivering what consultants and clients want. He believes that with the right approach, the digital economy will revolutionise professional services – as it has for freelance IT and graphic design.  James lives in Geelong with his wife and 2 children. He is a very keen, but average, fisherman.