All consulting businesses are different and there are several types of consulting businesses a person can start. The type of consult you choose to become was probably based on your strengths and expertise in a particular area. However, it doesn’t matter how strong your consulting abilities are if nobody knows your services are available.
Although marketing for a consulting business may seem complicated, you can use several tried-and-true methods to develop a comprehensive plan and increase your clientele. This easy-to-read article walks you through three crucial steps to set your consulting business up for success.
Before you market your consulting business, you must clearly understand who you are, your services, and your niche. Here are two factors to consider:
- What are you an expert in?
- What is your niche going to be? For example, are you going to focus on life coaching, fitness, or IT?
Once you have identified your niche and aligned it with your expertise, it is time to figure out how you will structure your consulting business. There are several varying business models, so choose the one that best suits you and your goals. For example, are you a solopreneur, have a partner, or are you part of a firm?
Now that you clearly understand who you are as a consultant, it is time to learn about your audience.
Know your audience
The better you understand your target audience, the more focused and successful your marketing efforts will be.
For example, you will have difficulty reaching your target client if you consider your potential consumers “all men who want to get into better shape.” Narrowing your focus allows you to pinpoint customers you know you will be able to help with your expertise and speak more directly to them. Try something more focused, like “all men aged 30-45 who live in California and have a family.”
Not only can you customize your message with buzzwords that will speak directly to your audience, but it will also help you focus your messaging in places your clientele visits. Try, for example, local gyms, sporting leagues, school functions like “doughnuts with dad,” coffee shops, and local veteran’s affairs groups.
Build it out
Now comes the fun part – spreading the news about your consulting business and building a clientele base. Marketing is constantly evolving, so while it is impossible to follow every trend, it is wise to be aware of the latest marketing techniques and methods and social media apps. Therefore, it is essential to market your consulting business, which can be used to help your newly found clients. This could entail anything from mastering the fundamentals of search engine optimization (SEO) to understanding the most recent technology for customer relationship management (CRM) or learning the latest Tik Tok dance routine.
Also make sure you have a fully functional website with a responsive theme. Even if you have no experience setting up a website, you can have a personalized website set up with minimal financing and effort. Many great “drag and drop” website builders, such as GoDaddy, Wix, Mailchimp, and Weebly, walk you through the entire process.
Build a Strong Social Presence
A strong social media presence can help get your consulting business up and running and in front of potentially millions of people quickly. This should be one of the first steps for virtual consultants since their businesses primarily operate only online. However, traditional consulting businesses need to utilize this medium just as much as virtual consultants.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Twitter all reach millions of people daily, so spend time creating focused content that will reach your targeted audience. For example, if your ideal clients are “all men aged 30-45 who live in California and have a family,” you can post short workout videos of yourself at the gym on Tik Tok, tweet workout advice on Twitter, and post “reels” on Instagram of you making high protein and low-fat desserts.
Reach Out to Your Circle of Influence
Even with social media changing how marketing is done, word-of-mouth referrals are still the most effective method of obtaining clients. Start with your circles of influence. Your circle of influence includes friends, family, former and current colleagues. You can even reach out to past employers. Share what you are doing, show them your website, invite them to follow you across your social media apps. You can also ask them to help spread the word.
Networking is also another great way to advertise your new consulting company. Consider joining your community’s business association and attending local networking events. If there is a professional association for your field, join their events for networking or rent a space at a trade fair, farmers market, or another local event.
It is important to note that while building your website and social media presence, you should include “proof of concept.” If you are promoting yourself as a workout consultant, show proof that you are in good shape and have knowledge about eating healthy and fitness. When possible, include testimonials from people you have previously worked with.
Starting your consulting business may seem daunting, but rest assured that when done systematically, it can not only get off the ground but also soar and be an incredibly rewarding career. Each consultant discovers a unique combination of marketing tactics that works for them. For example, you might spend most of your efforts on social media or ask for referrals.
Alternatively, you may find more success writing a weekly blog or attending networking events.
The marketing that works best depends on you meeting your clients where they are at, so find where they spend their time virtually and in the real world and meet them there!
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