Michael Gerber, the author of E-Myth Revisited, advises entrepreneurs to focus “on” their business and not “in” it. You cannot focus solely on delivering to your clients. You should also focus on growing your business, attracting new clients and standing out against the competition. The conventional wisdom says that you should devote 50% of your time to marketing.
You are looking for buyers of your service. Understanding the market and defining clearly how your service can solve a client’s problem or meet their needs is the first step. Marketing includes understanding marketing techniques, as well as pricing. Content marketing, email and social media marketing, referrals and promotions, sponsorships of events and loyalty programs are all examples.
A marketing strategy usually involves four steps.
Raising awareness about
- It is important to identify the type of people you are trying to reach and make them aware of your product.
- You need to attract attention and differentiate yourself from your competitors.
- You are trying to create an emotional connection with the people so that they can see what you offer as a benefit.
Take action now:
- Make it simple for clients to interact with your products and services.
To ensure a steady stream of work, you must have a pipeline that moves prospective clients from introduction to closing. Moreover, Analyze your sales funnel. Analyze the conversion rates of prospects as they move through your sales funnel, so you can tighten your proposals or polish your relationship skills.
While you can launch your consultancy without prior marketing expertise, it is crucial to acquire knowledge of effective marketing techniques to promote your skills and services. Discover valuable insights on acquiring your initial consulting client by exploring further here.
How to Market a Small Business
This quote changed my career as a consultant many years ago. It was so powerful that I included it in my business cards and proposals: “It used to be the case that the large ate the smaller.” “Now, the fast is eating the slow.”
It is easy to make the mistake of assuming that small businesses are your target market because you run a small company (probably only you). This will only limit your income, and you’ll be forever chasing after new clients. You will be more likely to get repeat business when you focus on larger clients, provide excellent service and build good relationships with your customers. In the gig economy, it is often not important what size or geographic location you are. You will stand out from large consulting firms because you can respond quickly to the needs of clients. This becomes a selling point when you write proposals.
Small businesses now have more opportunities than ever before. Small, niche consulting firms are growing faster than large or medium-sized companies. Partly, this is because companies are seeking more specialized offerings and closer client-consultant relations and also because they are dividing their needs into niche areas to find consultants with specific expertise. As the world digitalizes, small and family-owned companies are also turning to independent consultants for help.
It is good news for independent or freelance consultants. They are being viewed and used in a new way.
How To Market Your Business Online
You can do it yourself and create an independent consulting site. It will involve developing a strategy for content, creating social media channels and building a network. Today, the goal is to create a place where people can interact with you and one another. You can do this via YouTube, Facebook groups and LinkedIn, in-person meetings or webinars.
Honest client feedback is an essential component of any marketing strategy. The referrals it generates are also important. Asking for written feedback is an important skill that can help you build your brand.
Content of high quality is a key element in building credibility. It could be a personal blog, a case study, or a collection of your own learnings. Videos and podcasts are becoming more popular. Over the last decade, the percentage of Americans who have listened to podcasts in the last month has tripled.
Video marketing is extremely effective. Wyzowl’s research in December 2020 revealed the following responses by those who have used video marketing to explain or market their products.
- Video is increasing the time visitors spend on websites by 83%
- 94%: It increased user understanding of the product or service
- 84% of video leads were generated by videos
The research revealed that from the perspective of the customer, 69% would prefer to watch a video. This is compared to only 18% who want a text article and 2% who desire a demo or sales call. Video content is also more likely to be shared than other types of content.
In 2020, webinars proved to be the most popular video format. 62% of marketers said they had used them (up from just 46% in the previous year), and 91% of them claimed that they were successful.
Video creation has become more accessible and affordable. There are many “how-to’ sites, editing software, and free technologies that can help. Here are a few basic rules you should remember:
- Explain (or demonstrate) why your service will be beneficial to the client.
- Instead of a long video, create a series that explains different aspects of what you offer.
- Create a professional appearance. Included in this are the correct lighting, backgrounds, high-definition digital cameras, smartphones with crisp images, tripods that eliminate shakiness and software editing tools.
Online Consultancy Marketplace
Freelance consultants no longer have to work alone. Online consulting has changed the landscape of independent consulting. The online consulting marketplace has changed the way that clients view their employees and how they hire. It is now common to have a liquid workforce, which combines full-time and part-time workers with freelancers and remote workers. Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer are some of the most popular platforms, with millions of users.
Smaller organizations such as Consultport also offer platforms for independent consultants to find excellent opportunities with desired clients. Clients can then tap into an international workforce of highly-skilled talent.
This service is a far cry from the traditional employment agency. It matches job seekers with open positions in companies. Focus is placed on matching consultants to projects that best utilize their skills. Clients are simultaneously provided with a shortlist of consultants who have been pre-vetted and are the best fit for their project. This eliminates any uncertainty about what skills each consultant has.
These platforms offer independent consultants a wealth of benefits. You are more likely to “be found” by clients from a sales perspective. Platforms do all the marketing and provide SEO tools, social media channels and professional blog posts. You are listed as a member of a group of experts. The platform will display your past project success and feedback from clients. You can be assured that your sales pipeline will increase.
A platform like Consult Port can also handle all administrative tasks, such as contracting, quality control and payment. Both clients and consultants can then focus on their respective projects.
How to market your consulting business effectively with the new approach
It is conventional wisdom that independent consultants spend at least half of their time on marketing. This includes calling clients, submitting bids and proposals and maintaining an online presence. It can be an intimidating prospect for small-business owners.
Marketing your business is now easier and more efficient. Online platforms have made marketing easier and cheaper. They also make independent consulting, freelance consulting, and small consulting firms more visible and competitive. You can be easily found by clients who want to engage your services. You can focus on your current work rather than looking for new projects, as you have a steady stream of potential clients.
This sounds like a win-win situation.