The 10 most-read IT consulting posts in 2012 include tips on choosing your professional email, determining your fees, formulating an RFP response, and more. Thanks to our IT Consultant contributing writers and readers for your contributions this year. Let us know what topics you’d like to see cover here in 2013.

1. Tips for choosing your professional email address

Your professional email address is like a handshake to clients. Chip Camden advises what to do and what not to do when creating that email address.

2. Customizable IT consultant sample contract

Chip Camden presents his standard consulting contract, along with explanations about each section. See if you can modify his contract to fit your needs.

3. How to determine your consulting fees

What ultimately determines how much you can charge (and collect) from your clients is how much value you can provide to them. Chip Camden lists some key components of value.

4. Configure automated backups using SyncToy and Windows 7’s Scheduled Task

Learn how to create a new SyncToy task that automatically schedules backups of the directories clients need regularly backed up to a network share or external hard disk.

5. 10 personality traits of a highly effective independent consultant

Before you commit to being an independent consultant, read Chip Camden’s list of 10 personality traits that he says you should possess in order to be an effective consultant.

6. How to develop and maintain client relationships

Read Kevin Eikenberry’s 10 suggestions for fostering important business relationships with your consulting clients.

7. Guidelines for formulating an RFP response

When a prospect presents you with a Request for Proposal (RFP), there are a number of factors to consider before you respond. IT consultant Chip Camden explains.

8. Only novices daisy chain switches

If you support so many network nodes that multiple switches are required, technology consultant Erik Eckel encourages you to do it right.

9. The difference between contracting and consulting and why it matters

Any businessperson knows that one of the keys to success is good marketing. If you’re a self-employed IT professional, do you call yourself a contractor or a consultant? It may sound like an issue of semantics, but what you call yourself can make a big difference.

10. Steps to becoming an IT consultant

Chip Camden, who has 20+ years of IT consulting experience under his belt, believes there’s really only one requirement for becoming a consultant.