So you have taken the challenge on and started your own consulting business. You have already found office premises or have decided to work from home. You have bought your computer and ordered your stationery, so you are completely ready to go.m
Your new telephone line is installed and you sit next to your lovely new hands free telephone.
“Ring now. Come on, I’m waiting. Ring damn you. I want some clients and I want them now,” you say to yourself. Your cat looks at you as though you have lost the plot.
You call around all of the people who promised to give you some work as soon as you started your consulting business, but sadly the promises seem to have been empty ones as they have nothing for you ‘At the moment’. You realise that ‘At the moment’ actually means ‘never’!
You call all of the people who you have kindly sent referrals to on the premise that they will do the same for you as soon as you start your consulting business, but they have nothing for you and don’t really know how to find referrals for you.
Don’t be alarmed at this point, most business owners I have met are very happy to take referrals from you and promise the earth in return. Very few of them get off their backsides and actually do anything to fulfil this promise. They might even mean it when they say it, but you cannot always blame them. They are just largely incompetent when it comes to running a business. They have survived in spite of themselves, not because of themselves. Lessons learned, scars earned, move on.
Let me give you some good news at this point. You can still have as much work as you want; you just have to know the right way to market your consulting business and then the rest will happen; in time.
You see marketing a consulting business does need that one precious commodity; time.
Unless you sell a consulting service which someone needs instantly or their business will collapse, selling consulting services is a slow burn.
There are definitely some quick opportunities, and you may well strike lucky, but if you want a consistency of client flow in the future, you need to put in place solid building blocks now to pave the way.
Quick Win Opportunities To Market Your Consulting Business?
Here are some of the best methods for attracting new clients quickly (and also slowly, so they tick both boxes for you);
Get out and about.
Do not keep sitting there waiting for the telephone to ring. Join the best networking group in the UK (in my opinion), //www.4Networking.biz and meet other business owners. Even if they are not your ideal clients, each person in the group has a huge number of contacts who may well be your perfect clients, and more importantly, they all have the experience of running their own business. Most of the people I have met at 4Networking have a major difference over the many other networking groups that I have been to; they seem to be genuinely interested in each other.
I have attended other groups where the members idea of interest in you is to thrust their business card into your hands whilst saying they are too busy to talk to you but that you should contact them as they are brilliant at what they do. Excuse me while I am violently sick, but no thank you. Life is too short for that kind of networking and for those kinds of morons; it really is. So if you have had a bad experience of networking before, try 4Networking and see what you think of that. (I am in no way affiliated to 4Networking but I know that if you are currently stuck in the marketing of your consulting business, this is a good place to start, so start there right now).
Use Google Adwords/PPC
Use Google Adwords (Pay Per Click/PPC) to send people to your website who are looking for your services right now. If you sell marketing consulting services, type in to Google ‘small business marketing consultant‘ followed by your town name and see what happens. How many people appear in the top three advertisement positions or on the right hand side of the screen (all of Google’s Adwords space)? These are the Google Adwords advertisements, so if others are already advertising, it shows demand and that it is probably working for them. Do the same search for your own type of consulting services. Are there advertisements? Can you start an Adwords campaign and send these people to your website?
How good is your current website?
If you are doing what I suggest in point 2 above, is your website very easy to navigate and does every page on it have a very clear call to action? Do not assume that your clients will take the time to go to your contact or enquiry page, or even scroll back up to the top of the page to find your email address or telephone number. They won’t. You have to spell out exactly what their next step should be at the end of every page, or they will leave and choose your competitor instead. On average people look at between 1 to 3 pages on a website, so if you fail to cater for this fact, people will leave your website in droves!
Start your email marketing list now!
Even if you have no one to add to it, start it now! THE most important element of my consulting business is my email list. Without it I would not have a consulting business which should tell you something. So I know that it does not help you instantly, but starting it is a very positive step, and I promise you that as soon as you do this you will soon start to add people to it at breakneck speed. If someone had been kind enough to offer me free advice when I started my marketing consulting business and told me to start an email newsletter, I would be thanking them with boxes of wine right now (that’s a hint by the way when this works for you, as it will). For a video step by step guide showing you how to set up your email marketing newsletter for your consulting business enter your details in the box below and I will send you the link (free of charge). I use Aweber and love it by the way. It works. Try it here »
Add regular content to your website (at least once a week).
If you do just this one step, and each article you add is over 400 words long and answers questions already going on inside your prospects’ minds, you will be successful in time. Google will fall over itself to send you more visitors to your website and they in turn will realise that you really understand your subject matter, and as long as you follow the advice in point three above (and this call to action should include a link to download a free guide for your prospects which adds them to your email marketing database in point 4 above (see I told you this grows quickly once you start it) it will work like a dream. It creates the perfect thing for you; that is marketing your consulting business on autopilot!
Summary – How To Market A Consulting Business
I assure you that if now is not great for your consulting business, if you follow just some of the steps outlined above you really can turn things around, and do so relatively quickly.
You might have to do some consulting jobs which you would prefer to turn down, but follow the advice above and in time you will be able to turn those sorts of jobs down with a big smile on your face, knowing that you have enough of the consulting jobs coming in that you really enjoy.
Look forward to that day because it will come soon enough, and when it does, as it surely will, please remember the box of wine ;).
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