Here’s one of the biggest AHAHs for the new consultants I coach.
Now you’re in business for yourself. Your job is getting new work, not just doing the work. You will spend almost as much time LOOKING for work (marketing) as you will DOING it.
To save yourself time it’s smart to create systems for marketing.
You need marketing systems so you will always have clients.
Marketing well doesn’t happen by magic, it happens by design.
Marketing well doesn’t happen by magic, it happens by design. Here are some elements of that design.
You need to know, have and do a few things.
Marketing systems mean knowing stuff
You need to know who you’re selling to, and for how much.
You’ll have to be pretty clear on those things so that you can have a plan! And accompanying that is the whole “elevator pitch” – can you describe your benefits to your customer succinctly?
You need to make sure that friends, family and former colleagues are familiar with your wares, so they can easily refer you.
Now you’re a consultant you are your own shop window. That means people make judgements about your competence, most unfairly, based on the age, quality and style of your clothing, briefcase, handbag or backpack (and even your stationery). Oh, and your business card. Your personal brand and image (your clothing, what you carry, your stationery, website and all comms) need to align with your business’ image, personality and style. If you consult to start ups that will be different than if you work for investment bankers or lawyers or retirees.
Of course you need to have a website (but it doesn’t have to do everything right up front! Start with a one-pager). That website should be selling to your client needs. Yes, you can showcase your methodologies. And of course you can showcase your talents. But most importantly you need to tell the client what problems you can solve for them.
A written list of fees is essential, even if you never give it out. It’s so you’re confident and clear. And so you can give it out if you need to. Linked to that, you need a proposal template which you can pull out quickly and change to answer a client request.
It’s also important that you keep all of your customers, leads and prospects’ data in one place. When you do you can send a quick message to a segment of your database within a few minutes (ask them a question, give them a link to a new article or an offer they will like). If you have a robot to manage some of that for you, then even better!
Marketing also means you do stuff!
There are things you need to do regularly.
You establish your reputation as a thought leader by what you publish. By publish I mean “put out into the world”. This could be a blog, videos, articles, white papers, tools, templates or newsletters. They may go to just your 5 key clients, or you could publish on Linked in, Quora, Pinterest or Facebook. Whatever suits your client demographic. But you do need something that promotes your services that isn’t just promotion. For bonus points publishing stuff that people actually read and consume is even better!
Marketing is essentially keeping in touch with people. It’s remembering clients you’re not working with right now. It’s keeping up with colleagues you worked with ten years ago. It’s meeting new potential clients and keeping in touch with them.
As a side note, contributing to discussions on your client’s favourite social media platform is best. Contributing in a forum for other trainers, consultants or facilitators is fun and nurturing: it’s not marketing unless you’re actually selling to other trainers, consultants or facilitators!
Marketing: what do you choose?
If you feel overwhelmed, reassure yourself, you don’t need all of these things. But you do need some of them, and you need a plan to consciously CHOOSE to get what you need.
Which do you have already, which will you choose to work on now?
I coach consultants to make this all so much more step-by-step, and to fit in with your client load. Let’s start a conversation!