Running a consulting business is both very rewarding and very lucrative. However, when you're starting out, finding regular clients can appear difficult. The consulting business is fiercely competitive, and that spirit of competition is only expected to grow in the near future.
That means that you'll need to stand out to get regular clients. But it isn't just your consulting skills that you need to utilize to stand out in the consulting business, but also your marketing skills.
Below are a few tips and insights to help you get more clients for your consulting business.
1. Website and Portfolio
Your clients will inevitably search for your consulting business online, so having a good website is necessary. You want to create a good impression in front of prospective clients, and a well-polished, easily navigable website can help you achieve this.
Through your website, you'll be aiming to promote your consulting business in two ways - through your portfolio, as well as by making it easy for your clients to contact you. Consider setting up a newsletter or mailing list that prospective clients can sign up to through your website.
In exchange for basic information like their name, email idea, and the name of their business, they'll receive helpful generalized consulting tips on a monthly basis through your newsletter. If the prospective client likes your advice, they're more likely to hire you for your services.
Your portfolio also has a role to play in getting your consulting business more clients. Gather samples of previous projects that you've worked with, and showcase your advice helped your client succeed. Ask for your clients permission first, and show proof of your prior success as a consultant.
2. Write a Blog
To make your consulting business stand out within your niche, you'll need to establish authority as well as your reputation. One of the best ways you can do this is by writing a regular blog that provides useful information to your clients.
You can blog about ideas that are relevant to your industry, and provide solutions to real-world problems. Take, for example, a case study where you feel your solutions could provide better results. You can create a blog post about that to show your readers that you can provide unique strategies and solutions.
Ensure that you keep your valuable information for your paid clients. But engaging with your readers through your blog will help expand awareness about your consulting business.
Participating and answering questions in online communities such as Quora and Reddit is another way you can grow your reputation as a consultant.
3. Paid Advertising and Social Media
One of the fastest ways you can increase your clients is through paid advertising on platforms like Facebook and Google. Both these platforms allow you to market to your target audience. You can decide who you're marketing to based on their interests, geographical area, and more.
At the same time, you should also develop your social media accounts. Instead of having an account on multiple social media platforms, select only those that'll actually help you grow your business.
For a consulting business, you can think about LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as your business social media profiles. Here, post quality content related to your niche in consulting on a regular basis. Provide backlinks to both your website and your blog, and answer any and every question users bring your way.
4. Cold Calls and Perfect Pitches
Cold calls are generally avoided by businesses, but they can be very useful when they're done right. Isolate potential clients that you think could benefit from your services. Then look for a problem that you can solve.
Once you've determined these, you'll need to provide actionable solutions that the prospective client can implement to grow and expand their business. Formulate your ideas into a winning pitch, and then cold call the client. You shouldn't be cold calling every person who can be your client, but those who you genuinely think you can provide your consulting services to.
5. Negotiating, Referrals and Testimonials
Negotiations go hand in hand with securing new clients. A good negotiator knows how to read the client. They know what the client is looking for, as well as how to show the client that only they can help the client find the success they need.
Ask for referrals from your previous clients, as well as the people in your life. Also ask for testimonials as these are proof of your success in working with clients previously. Adding testimonials to your blog and website can help future clients gain more confidence when it comes to hiring you and your consulting business.
Aim to develop trust in all your client relationships, and you can find regular work from your older clients and their referrals. Work with those clients you think you can establish a good rapport with and provide value to, and avoid work that isn't a good match to your expertise.
As a consulting business owner, you can also consider getting a business insurance. A business insurance for consulting business will be able to provide cover for you if you face potential risks while running the business. Professional liability insurance is a popular insurance to consider.
Consulting business owners can make use of strategies like developing an online reputation, handling better negotiations with clients, and even cold calling certain clients to get more clients for their consulting business. Use these tips to ensure that your consulting business never runs out of work. With these tips, your main focus will remain on growing and building a sustainable consulting business.