How Much Did Experts Earn in 2022
Experience and qualifications play a significant role in determining an expert network consultant's rate. Generally, the more specialized skills and experience an expert has, the more they will be paid. For example, a C-level executive at a S&P 500 company may charge $1,000 or more per hour, while someone earlier in their career may charge between $100 and $200 per hour. While expert work can be lucrative if judged on an hourly basis, engagements are often short, lasting only an hour. Over the course of a year, most experts make enough for a nice dinner, maybe a vacation, but not enough to replace full-time income. The following graph (Sourced from Reddit) contains annual earnings data from a small number of participants in the r/expertnetworks group.
When thinking about how to set your rate, it's import to recognize that hourly rates generally don't take into account the amount of time you'll spend completing screening surveys prior to the project. As a rule of thumb, only 25% of the opportunities that come your way will actually lead to a paid engagement. Often, engagements will cancel at the last minute without any compensation at all.
Competition is also a factor to consider when determining your rate. If the client is seeking experts with specialized knowledge that is difficult to find, they may be willing to pay a higher rate. On the other hand, if the client is looking for expertise that is widely available, they may not be willing to pay top dollar. It's also important to note that clients usually review multiple candidate profiles before making a decision, so even if you are the perfect fit, you may not be chosen if someone else appears similar (or better) on paper at a lower rate.
The client's budget is another factor that can impact an expert network consultant's rate. While experts can provide valuable insights to clients, every project has a budget that needs to be allocated among multiple resources. If your rate is on the high end, it may not fit within the project budget, and your profile may not be presented to the client. Most expert network associates have profit margin as one of their key performance indicators, so they often try to lower payouts to experts to improve their own performance numbers.
While it's difficult to pinpoint a specific rate that is appropriate for all expert network consultants, these factors can help you determine a rate that is appropriate for your level of experience, qualifications, and the needs of the client. It may also be helpful to ask your expert network associate for guidance, as they want you to land the project and may be able to provide some insight on what rate is appropriate. Ultimately, it's important to strike a balance between pricing yourself too high, which could knock you out of the running for many projects, and pricing yourself too low, which could mean missing out on hundreds of dollars per hour in fees.
Before you come to the conclusion that expert network engagements aren't worth it, consider that most of benefits the benefits or being an expert aren't directly monetary. Expert network engagement allow you hone your personal value proposition through conversations with intelligent analysts and industry leaders. They push you to organize your thoughts and understand your industry in a way you may have thought about intuitively but have never had to put into words. While it's unlikely you'll be able to support yourself full-time as an expert, engagements are generally satisfying and open up unexpected opportunities.