Most consultants don't have thousands to spend on marketing their consulting business. This article will help you find new consulting clients and increase your income without spending a ton on advertising. In fact, these tips will not cost you a thing. If you are looking to start your own consulting business or build your current business, you must follow these steps.
If you’re like most consultants you are a one-man-band
operating on a shoe string budget. You
don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on marketing and advertisements. At the same time, the market looks a bit
gloomy and you need to keep finding new clients.
This article will show you a step-by-step process to launch
or grow your consulting business on a strict budget. In fact, the tips in this article will not
cost you a thing!
Let’s face it, sometimes its good to have limited
resources. Not having money to waste on
marketing efforts that generate no return helps you focus on areas that will create
results. To start, let’s get down to the
basics of marketing your consulting business.
Step 1: Determine Your
Target Market. I know this sounds elementary, but you must understand the importance of
choosing a target market. Many consultants
don’t want to focus, for fear of missing out on prospects. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you have an
unlimited number of prospects. Focusing
on a specific market will show your prospects that you have expertise and
concentration in their area. This will
make you more valuable and in return, close more deals. Remember to choose this market based off of
your previous experience and education.
Step 2: Create a
Strong Message and Hook. Once you have determined your target market, you need a strong message to
reach your prospects. You can’t just
market that you are the best consultant in their industry. They will not believe you. Instead, you need a solid message that will
show your value. This message needs to
the problem they have
benefits of your solution
you are unique
(examples, testimonials, case studies)
Next, you need a short version of this message called a
“hook”. Instead of saying “I’m a
marketing consultant.” You could say: “I
help local retailers market their stores using the latest technology to
With a strong message and hook, you will be able to attract
more interest. Once you have them asking
to learn more, you can move onto why you are unique and provide examples of
your successful projects.
Step 3: Position
Yourself as an Expert. Have you ever known a consultant who has projects come to them? Ever wonder why these consultants got these
deals (which always seem to be at a high rate with a blue chip client)? It’s because they were perceived as experts
in their field. How did they get
there? They got there by doing a few
Speak – Find associations and conferences
associated with your target market.
These groups are always looking for good, informative speakers. Take time every few months and speak at one
of these engagements. You will be
perceived as an expert and make a ton of contacts.
Write Articles – Many trade publications accept
articles from consultants. Write a few
helpful articles (not sales pitches) that address some of the rising concerns
in your target market. Yes, you will be
providing free information. But that’s
ok! This is proving your expertise in
the industry. At the end of the article
provide your contact information. You’d
be surprised at the prospects that will contact you.
Create a Blog or eNewsletter – Another way to build
your network is to create a following.
With technology you can start doing this in a matter of minutes. To start, post a blog or send an eNewsletter
every week or two that has helpful information.
These can usually be shorter than your articles and help provide ideas
for future publications. If the
information you provide is helpful people will begin forwarding your tips on to
their colleagues and your network will begin to grow.
Using these steps you will begin to generate a
following. Because of this your client
list will grow and so will your hourly rate!
If you start your marketing plan by focusing on the basics,
you will become more successful than you ever imagined!
Robert received his BA, Cum Laude, from Western Michigan University,
where he studied computer information systems. He developed a keen way
of determining client needs and implementing them on-time and under
budget. Below are recent examples of consulting projects and business
ventures Robert has had around the globe.
Robert is also an active supporter of young entrepreneurs. He has
traveled around the country and spoken to others on how to get started