Consulting businesses cannot get by without effective marketing. Consultants are always looking for new business. While referrals and word-of-mouth marketing are valuable, there are many other ways in which a consulting business can distinguish itself from the competition.
Robert Taylor, a former public adjuster turned consultant from Sanger, California, delves into how consulting businesses can engage in new marketing techniques and shares suggestions for consultants who want to expand their businesses.
Existing Marketing Methods
A recent study by Consulting Success found that 37 percent of consultants listed referrals as their most common means of generating business. Networking and events came in at 18 percent.
The study found that marketing investments correlate with a higher income. Many consultants relayed that they do not enjoy cold calling, but that cold calling was the best income generator for 7 percent of these companies.
Robert Taylor explains how consultants can reshape their marketing techniques for better results.
Positioning Your Target Market
To properly market to your target audience, you must understand who you are looking for. You should draw up a targeted list of the characteristics you want to see in your clients.
Consultants are highly specialized. For example, a business consultant may want to help companies with under 200 employees enhance their profitability and attract new business. Another consultant may want to work with engineering firms with at least $1 million in annual revenue. No matter what market niche you are reaching for, you should be specific.
Defining Your Brand Identity
To define your brand’s identity, you will need to determine your company’s personality. This personality will depend on the audience you are speaking with, but it also requires intense self-knowledge. After you have defined your brand’s identity, you can use that sense of personality to guide your marketing.
For example, a consultant with 40 years of experience may want to market themselves based on their experience and knowledge. They may want to use classic fonts and neutral colors in their advertising. The language they use should be serious and explain important topics.
A younger consultant may want to position themselves as an innovator who can guide you toward new ideas. They should use modern fonts, energetic colors, and action shots in their marketing. They should position themselves as helpful and non-judgmental.
Building an Effective Website
Creating a good website for a consulting firm can be complicated. If you do not have the budget to have this outsourced, you can try it yourself. The four elements that your site must include are a homepage, an about page, a services page, and a contact page. Ensure that your website speaks directly to the reader, bringing home the point that your consulting firm can help them solve their problems and get ahead.
Every page on your site needs to have a call-to-action inviting visitors to reach out. Some of the tactics that can make customers click on the call to action include signing up for newsletters, providing free e-books, or special discounts.
Content Marketing Strategies
Having a good-looking website isn’t enough. Your website also needs to contain relevant and useful content for your prospective customers.
One great place to start is by imagining your customer’s questions when turning to a search engine for help. If they can find one of the blog posts on your website through this search, so much the better. If they read and can use the advice, they will be more likely to hire you.
One of the most important aspects of content marketing is search engine optimization. SEO can help you create a website that is fully indexed online. It can help you find customers by optimizing your content to fit certain search questions they may want to ask. Finally, SEO can position your site near the top of web searches for your topic so that you will be seen as an authority in your field.
Social Media Marketing
Many consultants may ignore social media, believing that their business contacts won’t be there. All consultants should use LinkedIn, and most should consider Facebook. On Facebook, it is possible to catch your target demographic when they are searching for something else, advertising to their business needs.
Social media should be viewed as a type of networking where it’s unnecessary to hit readers over the head with your message. You can post helpful blog posts, share information, and start conversations by asking questions. In this way, you will position yourself as an authority ready to help with any problems your clients’ businesses may have.
Leveraging Your Email List
Your website’s call to action should always include collecting the visitors’ email addresses. This email list can produce a useful newsletter that can be targeted to different customer segments. Customers, prospects, and special interest groups are the three segments you should start with.
Understanding How Marketing Works
Consultants who have not done much marketing will see that their business suffers. To find new customers in today’s challenging business environment, it may be necessary to shake up your marketing techniques. Former public adjuster, Robert Taylor believes that all consulting firms have the potential to market themselves and experience growth in their business.