Every consultant’s No.1 challenge is landing more clients and bringing in more business, especially in times of crisis.
You and your team might be experts, but your potential clients don’t know that – it’s up to you to showcase your skills and expertise through your promotional activities.
The size of the global consulting industry is estimated at almost $300 billion, so it’s clear that we’re talking about a very competitive market. That’s the reason why reaching your audience and getting your message across should be planned and executed properly in order to distinguish yourself from other consulting firms.
But make no mistake – not all clients are alike. Therefore, it’s important to identify and close the right clients – those that have the potential to become loyal and stay with your firm in the long term.
1. Build a Website
This is the first and the most important step of your entire digital marketing process.
In general, your website is the place where you are going to push all the traffic to from all your other activities. We’re talking about visitors and prospects who come to your dedicated landing pages from your social media channels, search engines, ads, and other sources.
Your potential clients need all the information about your consultancy in order to decide whether they want to do business with you, and a properly structured website can help with that.
With a regularly updated website packed with relevant and helpful content, you increase the odds of keeping all these prospects coming back. Apart from serving as an informative and educational hub for your potential clients, your website can also help you find out what channel brings you the most traffic, thus allowing you to zero in on the best-performing ones.
A website of a consultancy firm should exude trust and credibility, meaning that it has to look professionally designed and visually appealing. First impressions will decide whether your visitors will continue exploring or churn right after landing on your website. That’s why it’s good to know that first impressions are 94% design-related.
Navigation and usability also play an important role. Make it as easy as possible for your potential clients to navigate your website and find what they’re looking for quickly and without too much clicking back and forth.
Finally, publishing superb content that addresses your target audience’s pain points, interests, and needs is another essential aspect of your website. Try to write pieces that your potential clients can use to solve some of their issues and offer them your services. High-quality blog posts, guides, videos, industry reports that add value to your potential clients will bring you organic traffic.
However, no matter how good and helpful your content is, your prospects won’t be able to find it among millions of other resources on the internet. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into the picture to help your content cut through the noise and improve your rankings – if you are doing this on your own SEO coaching can give you a head start. In other words, when your potential clients browse the internet searching for information about consultancy services, your website will be more likely to pop up among the top results and capture their attention.
2. Take Advantage of Email
Email as a marketing channel is very much alive and kicking although it has been declared dead many times. The trick is to plan and execute your campaigns properly.
You can use it for different purposes, such as generating new leads, expanding your contact list, and nurturing your prospects – both before and after converting your clients.
Cold outreach is a tactic that can help you spread the word about your consultancy by targeting your potential clients. This practice, though much-maligned because of its resemblance to spam, can be very effective. But it’s crucial to comply with the protection of personal data and privacy regulations by adhering to GDPR and similar laws.
It refers to reaching out to potential clients with whom you have never contacted before. In order to avoid being marked as a spammer, your cold outreach emails have to be personalized and tailored to different segments of your audience. Coming up with a compelling subject line will help you stand out among other emails in your recipients’ crowded inboxes. The email message itself should be short and to the point – don’t waste your prospects’ time and beat around the bush. Address their pain points and tell them how your consultancy can help.
Don’t forget to add a call to action in every email and take your recipients to a dedicated landing page. Without this element, your email message doesn’t have a purpose.
It’s also worth mentioning that you should be persistent – sometimes it takes more than 5 attempts to get your prospects to respond to you, so build a logical follow-up sequence and schedule it in advance.
After you get a positive response, it’s important to continue communicating with your recipients. Get them to subscribe to your newsletter and send them regular updates and useful resources.
3. Run Webinars
As a consultant, you should make a name for yourself and establish yourself as an authority figure in your industry.
Webinars are an excellent strategy for achieving this.
Your potential clients will be more likely to opt for a consultant they have heard about and who’s been sharing their knowledge and helping others with useful tips and advice. It’s a great way to become a familiar face and build brand awareness.
This tactic is also great for generating new leads, as according to stats, a single webinar can bring you over 1,000 new leads.
Live webinars are particularly effective because they can increase engagement between you and your audience through direct interaction and Q&A sessions.
But in order to help you promote your consulting services and present your firm in a reputable light, you need to really add value to your webinar participants. You can tackle your audience’s main pain points, offer actionable tips, invite other experts, answer your audience’s questions, share useful information, and build connections with potential clients.
4. Leverage Referrals and Social Proof
These two are traditional but very effective methods of promotion.
When happy clients put in a good word for you, it creates a sense of trust with others who consider hiring you.
As for referrals, they can result in generating high-quality leads because your happy clients recommend your services to their friends and family and in a way vouch for you. This channel is powerful because people trust the opinions of those they have close relationships with and they are more willing to take their advice when opting for products and services.
As a matter of fact, this form of advertising is still the most successful because 93% of people perceive their friends and family as the most trusted source of brand information.
Don’t hesitate to ask your satisfied clients for referrals as they will be more than happy to oblige. It’s a good idea to create an email template that they will only have to sign and share with their network. This way, the entire process will be streamlined and simplified as they won’t have to think about coming up with the right message.
The popularity of social proof comes from a similar place – people trust the opinions of others they know more than they trust brand messages. Your existing clients’ testimonials and reviews can significantly amplify your promotional efforts and convince those who need a consultant to choose your firm.
5. Networking and Public Speaking
Although it’s currently impossible to attend physical events, online ones such as conferences, webinars that other people host and podcasts can be a great way to get in touch and connect with people from the industry and potential clients.
You can start by optimizing your social media presence and joining different LinkedIn and Facebook groups for consultants and contributing to discussions. Share your opinion, offer advice, and connect with other members.
Quora is another excellent way of expanding your network. Find relevant questions that you can directly answer, but don’t openly promote your consultancy. It’s enough to optimize your profile and add your credentials. As many people use this platform to find answers, you can generate a lot of traffic for your website by being active and helpful.
Public speaking is another excellent way to open new avenues for networking, showing off your craft, and capitalizing on your expertise. Besides these two important goals, public speaking will also help you humanize your brand. Potential clients want to be able to put a face to a name and see the person behind the brand.
Just make sure not to turn your speech into a sales presentation – focus on what the audience can benefit from and start from there.
Although frequently neglected, this channel is very effective for the purpose of marketing your consulting services.
Besides raising brand awareness and spreading the word about your consultancy, you’ll also do something for the greater good. Many clients will take it as a positive sign and decide to do business with you.
That’s why you need to choose a cause that will reflect your values and beliefs and that you want to be associated with.
Generating media exposure is another important thing you can achieve through sponsoring an event. This can significantly improve your visibility, especially in your local community and capture eyeballs of your potential clients, which is why this investment can be particularly worthwhile.
The best approach for marketing your consulting services is leveraging a mix of different channels through which you can reach your target audience, present yourself as a thought leader, and raise brand awareness. Keep track of your marketing KPIs to identify the ones that work best and focus on them.