Without clients, consulting businesses can’t exist, so marketing is paramount. And in many ways, marketing is different for a consulting business than it is for a business that sells physical products. After all, you’re selling your services to people who many not realise that they need what you have to offer.
Fortunately, the digital age has given consultancies some great tools and resources for effective marketing. The following 8 tips will give you a good start:
1. Focus on Your Website
What do people do today when they’re looking for help or advice? In most cases, they Google. If they come across your website in their research, what impression will they have? If your website hasn’t been updated in several years, they may assume that your business is stagnant and maybe even old-fashioned, whether or not those assumptions are true. On the other hand, if your website doesn’t feature any content, they may assume that your business is just finding its feet, even if it’s been around for 20 years.
Think about the kind of impression you want to make on first-time visitors to your website. If it needs a redesign or some fresh content, do what it takes to ensure your prospective clients get the right impression.
2. Be an Expert
Consultants should be experts. After all, people hire you for your expertise.
Therefore, dedicate some of your marketing budget on establishing yourself as a ‘thought leader’ in your industry. You may achieve this by speaking at local business meetings, publishing in-depth and informative content, and producing downloadable white papers on topics relevant to your prospects.
3. Write a Blog
A thoughtful business blog can also establish you as an expert in your field. If you publish informative, helpful blog posts on a regular basis, your posts can be shared on social media, allowing you to expand your network and reach people you would never have reached otherwise.
Business blogs have another attractive benefit: they improve your SEO and draw more traffic to your website. With each keyword-focussed blog post you publish, your search engine rankings will improve, positioning yourself for more traffic as your potential clients turn to Google for answers to their problems.
4. Write an eBook
Even if you’ve never had aspirations to be an author, you might want to consider writing an eBook. These days, publishing an eBook is easy and relatively inexpensive, and it can put your company’s name and your own on the digital map.
Many businesses offer eBooks on their website in exchange for contact information, so you may then continue to market your services to the prospect via email and other channels.
5. Email Newsletters
Once you’re publishing quality content on a regular basis on your website or blog, people will start looking forward to what you have to say. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to start paying for your consulting services, but you’re on their minds.
Email newsletters help you to stay top of mind. You may like to showcase recent content on your website, promote a featured service, and encourage readers to share the email with their network. Ideally, when someone needs the services you offer, you’ll be the first one they think of.
6. Improve Your Branding
Do you have a simple logo that is easily recognisable to people in your industry? If not, consider hiring a graphic designer to create one for you. Use your logo wisely; placing it on all of your business cards, signs, websites, social media, brochures, and other marketing materials. Adopt a style guide for your social media and keep it professional.
7. Use Social Media
Some businesses avoid social media because they feel that it is unnecessary, or will consume too much of their time. Don’t let this concern keep you from the great benefits that can come from social media marketing.
Discover which platforms your potential clients are most likely to use, and establish an account there. Use a social media post scheduling program like Hootsuite to schedule your posts a week or month at a time.
8. Strive for Regularity
Regularity may be the hardest part of marketing for consulting businesses. Since your workflow comes and goes depending on what’s happening with your clients, it can be difficult to schedule regular times for working on marketing.
Consider creating an editorial schedule for blog posts and newsletters, strive to revisit your website and branding on a yearly basis, and use scheduling tools for your social media posts make the responsibility less daunting.
With careful attention to your marketing, your consulting business will enjoy a steady stream of new clients and the loyalty of existing ones.