Consulting is a unique field. No matter what your speciality, the true measure of success is your ability to help clients solve difficult problems. You possess an exceptional ability to think, create and communicate; a talent that is highly sought-after by executives. The pitfall of your profession is if your consulting business has no clients, then you have no consulting business.
We know that the best method of marketing your consulting services is recommendations, referrals and word of mouth. However, if you’re in the early years of your consulting career or a dry spell, the chances are this isn’t happening as often as you’d like. More likely, you’re struggling with:
- Not having enough clients
- Attracting the wrong kind of clients
- Trying to convert leads that are expensive and time-consuming
You’re probably also having to market yourself to prospects that may not even be aware that they need your services, which significantly lengthens the sales cycle.
Many consultants still heavily rely on referrals, but this is dependent on the size and quality of your network, is labour intensive and inconsistent. Combine this with the ease that buyers can search online and locate hundreds of qualified consultants in the same state, you’re facing tough competition to stand out.
So, what type of marketing can generate the highest quality consulting leads and opportunities?
This is the conventional advice given: grogan
- Public speaking at events, such as conferences, trade shows and meetups – How many events in your niche are there per year? And how do you tackle falling attendance?
- Outbound sales calls – Cold calling is a tough slog warm calling, but that’s exactly what you’ll be stuck doing unless you can generate warm leads to follow up.
- Writing a book – Is an excellent prospecting tool, but it takes a long time to write 90,000 words, publish, print, promote and is costly.
These above definitely have their merit and place, but I want to explore how adding digital elements can have an enormous impact on the quantity and quality of leads generated, and amplify your exposure and branding.
What Makes You Unique?
Before we start on lead generation strategies, let’s review your personal branding. This goes beyond what you say about yourself, your experience and your services. Even if you think you’ve already nailed this, it’s worth reviewing with a fresh perspective. Consultants sometimes struggle to explain their uniqueness and how their expertise can benefit a business, so they default to talking about themselves, copy what others say, or worse, use complicated language stuffed with buzz words.