Once your practice is established, it is time to begin marketing your services to prospective clients. After all, your consultancy firm needs to attract enough clients to stay in business. However, you must be aware that, marketing your consulting services is very different from selling a tangible asset such as a house or a car. Think of it this way; your job is more difficult because you are selling a service to people who may not even know they need that service.
In this post, however, we will explore seven proven strategies favored by consultants to market their practice:
What sets apart one consultancy company from the next in the eyes of prospective clients?
Differentiation is all about advantageously aligning critical aspects of your consultancy against its positioning, in such a way that it creates something valuable and unique to its ideal clients. If you do not have good differentiator in place, the only alternative left is to compete on charges/prices – and obviously, that is a race to the bottom. Successful consultants have always capitalized on the differentiation strategy since it ultimately drives their repute and pace of growth.
2. Professional-looking website
A good website is the backbone of a successful brand. Your business website will probably be the first place prospective clients land when they want to establish how experienced you are; so ensuring it is up-to-date, well-written, and professional is paramount.
Successful consultants have very appealing websites, and clients highly associate them with quality services. Therefore, if you are venturing into the consulting business, creating an elegant-looking site would be a very prudent idea.
3. Establishing thought leadership
Successful consultants always establish themselves as thought leaders and authorities on specific issues. Done right, thought leadership is one of the most valuable and successful strategies for attracting new clients.
For instance, blogging on your area of expertise via platforms such as LinkedIn or WordPress is an innovative method which allows you to share your knowledge and reach potential clients you may not have connected with via typical marketing techniques.
Public speaking is another creative way to sell your name and services. Reach out to conferences, local media, and professional organizations and offer to share your expertise.
4. Taking advantage of social networks
Social media channels have become a marketing and communication force to be reckoned with. Surely, what a better method to speak directly to people with similar interests and exploit the word-of-mouth referrals to attract new customers than social media? Successful consultancy businesses have very active Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. They ensure their accounts are updated with current content on a daily basis. Most notably, these accounts only contain critical information clients may need.
If you’re new to consulting business, leverage on this cost-effective and convenient strategy. However, to maintain professionalism, never spam your channels with unnecessary content. Work to find a perfect balance between sharing what’s exciting to you and what is related to your practice.
5. Improving customer relations by automating invoicing processes
One of the success contributors for consultancies or advisory firms is timely and accurate billing for services rendered. As you are aware, many consulting businesses bill by the hour. Time and expense tracking ensure that the final invoices are accurate and your clients are paying you for all the hours worked.
An incorrect bill speaks volume to customers about a firm’s professionalism. For one, it implies that the consulting firm is not correctly tracking time spent on the issue or problem at hand. More so, if clients receive an inflated bill, their trust in the consultancy firm is immediately diminished. An online invoice software can go a long way in checking all these concerns. Basically, with it in place, every single bill posted, accurately represents the work done!
Clients will see a business that is 100 percent under control, an efficient and professional experience which will increase your potential for word-of-mouth, a handy marketing resource for all consultancy businesses.
6. Offline networking
Offline networking is one of the greatest secrets of consulting success. Consultants are representatives for their brands; thus, becoming involved in their industry openly by attending relevant local meets ups, promotional events, and conferences is an excellent approach to market their business. In such circumstances, as a consultant wishing to sell your expertise, go armed with your business cards, elevator pitch, and fearless attitude.
7. Personal touch
As mentioned earlier, marketing your consulting business essentially means selling yourself as a trustworthy, skilled, professional, and innovative person. As part of their marketing approach, successful consultants strongly emphasize on what they can do for their clients that no other firm can. They tell them what they are bringing to the table and importantly, why that is what they need.
A service like consulting depends on a positive relationship with customers. They need to be sure of your capabilities. Let’s your marketing strategies relay that message loud and clear.
These are not the only marketing strategies consultants can use. However, if implemented well, the seven above-mentioned tips can take your consultancy business to another level.