Marketing a consulting business means that your services are sold to the entire world. If you want to make sure that your brand gets seen, it needs to be everywhere. There are many different ways to market your services, including advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, paid ads, radio, print, etc. All of these methods must work together to ensure that your brand is visible to potential customers.
If you are just starting your marketing engine, then it's better to focus on mind share rather than market share. Here are your eight steps...
Determine who your target audience is
The first step in creating a successful marketing campaign is to determine your target audience. You need to know who you are targeting and what they want before you can create an effective marketing strategy. This will help you understand the type of consulting services that would be most beneficial for them, as well as how you can best reach out to them.
Depending on your customer segment and competitor analysis, explore different channels, strategies, and technologies to optimize your leads and conversion funnel.
Develop Your Personal Brand
When you start out as a consultant, it's important to understand that you're now your brand. You need to be able to clearly articulate who you are and why people should hire you. This means
* Having a clear understanding of your strengths
* Being able to demonstrate how you can add value to the client's business
* Demonstrating that you have the right skills, experience and knowledge to deliver on your promises
You've got to make sure that what you put out into the world represents your brand well. This includes both offline and online activities. In fact, everything you do, whether it's writing blog posts, tweeting, posting photos, etc., affects how others perceive your brand. Successful consultants can rely on their personal brand alone to give them a competitive advantage.
Create a Professional Website
A credible website is the backbone to a successful brand. Your website will likely be one of the first places potential clients look when they are researching your credentials, so you want to make sure it is well-written, current, and professional.
You don't necessarily need a designer to build a great site, but having someone review it for spelling errors and grammatical mistakes will go a long way toward making it shine. If you do hire a pro, ask for candid feedback from trusted business contacts. They'll be able to tell you what works and what doesn't, and how much effort you put into designing your site.
Show that you're a thought leader
The days of being able to rely solely on advertising are long gone. Today, it takes much more than just a well-written ad to make an impression. In fact, according to HubSpot, 70% of consumers trust online reviews over ads. What does that mean for you?
If you want to stand apart from the crowd, you must prove that you are a thought leader. Here are some ways to do just that:
1. Create content that helps others solve problems.
2. Share what you know on social media.
3. Offer free resources.
4. Give talks and presentations.
5. Write articles.
6. Speak at events.
Video is becoming increasingly important in today’s marketing landscape. With over 2 billion people accessing the internet via mobile devices, it is no longer enough to just post photos and text online; you must incorporate video into your strategy.
Including videos that showcase your expertise and experience in your field can go far in establishing yourself as an authority. In addition, incorporating video into your social media posts can increase engagement levels while boosting traffic to your site.
The key is to make sure that you include a call-to-action within each video. This could be anything from asking your viewer to subscribe to your newsletter to promoting a specific product or service.
Make time to network.
The one thing all successful consultants have is a strong network. Many consultants don't realize just how important networking is until they've been working for a while. When we look around us, we see that most people spend their days alone, isolated within their cubicles. But what happens when you're trying to innovate, collaborate, and develop creative solutions? You need to reach out to others, and quickly.
Networking doesn't always mean meeting face to face. In fact, some of the best connections ever made happened over Zoom, Teams, Slack, or email.
However, there are several things that make networking effective.
1. You want to build a diverse network.
Don't limit yourself to just those who work in your industry. Instead, try reaching out to people who have different backgrounds and experiences. This way, you'll learn something new every day.
2. You need to take the time.
If you're constantly running from one thing to another, you won't be able to build relationships.
3. You need to focus on cultivating meaningful connections.
People tend to stick with those who are helpful, supportive, and generous. So, when you find someone who shares similar values, go ahead and ask them about their experience. They might even offer advice -- which could lead to a fantastic opportunity.
Constantly look for New Approaches
Independent consultants often say it takes too long to market themselves. They say it isn’t worth the effort, or doesn’t make sense because there aren’t enough hours in a day. But now there are tools, systems, and strategies that allow anyone to effectively promote their business without spending a fortune.
There are many new, emerging marketing tools and tactics that help businesses build their personal brands. Some of these include:
• Social media profiles – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, etc.
• Online reviews – Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie's List, Google Reviews, etc.
• Blogging – Medium, WordPress, LiveJournal, Tumblr, etc.
• Email marketing – Constant Contact, MailChimp, AWeber, etc.
• Website design – Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, etc.
Have a digital marketing strategy
There are many different ways to do digital marketing but they all fall under three categories.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
2. Social Media
3. Content Marketing
4. Digital advertising (eg.Google, Facebook, Instagram ads)
If you are looking to drive traffic to your website fast, then running online ads is a must for any consulting business. But too many consultants waste unnecessary money with poor ROI. This is because they have not worked out their competitive advantage that makes prospective customer wanting to know more about their services. Purchase decisions becomes easier when there is clear product differentiation.
What is the most effective strategy?
There is no one perfectly effective strategy for consultants. If you want to slowly increase your market share, have a go at each of these strategies, but don't try to do everything at one go yourself. Do one thing at a time if you are new to marketing. Otherwise find affordable talents and link them up in a process flow to create your own marketing team. You never know where your next source of potential customers are.
There is always plenty of work for consultants. According to Business Wire, the compound annual growth rate of the global management consulting industry is expected to be 9.3% between 2020 and 2021 It reached a value equivalent to $895 billion. Western Europe accounted for nearly half of the global market in 2020, with Asia Pacific in second place at 24%.
Michael Gerber, the author and speaker behind the E-Myth books, says that most people start consulting because they want to make money. They see it as a way to generate cash flow. But that’s not what consulting is really about.
If you focus too much on making money, you won’t enjoy it. You’ll end up spending half your life running around like a chicken with its head cut off. In fact, one of the biggest problems facing consultants today is that we’ve lost sight of our true purpose. We’ve forgotten what makes us feel successful.
So every consultant need to find the sweet spot between feeling fulfilled in helping their clients and making the right amount of money to feel valued.
We help your business grow influence, establish authority in your niche and convert leads to loyal customers. Contact us to find how we can 10X your marketing ROI.