There are many ways you can go about generating new business leads or finding consulting clients. I’ll cover some of these in a moment. What separates the most successful consultants from those living pay check to pay check is often one thing – a consistent and continual approach to marketing.
You see, there’s no question that doing the wrong marketing will produce little results and doing the right marketing will deliver results. But if you’re not working to continually get your message out there with the goal of always improving its effectiveness you’re pretty much shooting yourself in the foot.
Marketing and lead generation are not a business of one hit wonders. Sure, we can all find examples to prove this ‘wrong.’ The fact is, marketing takes a lot of work. It doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Research, more research, testing and more testing are all part of the ultimately successful marketing campaign.
This approach of continual improvement can apply to every marketing tactic or strategy under the sun.
Here are a few for you to consider:
Attend networking events at local business groups or professional associations. Show up armed with plenty of business cards and prepare to ‘get in the mix’ and meet people.
What to test? The way you introduce yourself, what it is you do, your services, and so on. Watch closely the reaction of the people you meet and gauge which approach is working best. Then you’ll have a winner.
Be an educator. One of the easiest and best ways to find new business or get more from existing clients is by educating them. Be a voracious reader of online news sites, local business papers, magazines and other newspapers. Anytime you find something of value that someone you know would enjoy reading, cut it out or scan it and send them a copy. Not only will they appreciate you thinking of them, they’ll also think of you as an authority and someone they can come to – since you yourself are ‘so educated’.
What to test? You never want to push your sales message hard when you send this information to people. But you can definitely include your business card or a little note about a promotion or what you’ve been doing lately. Keep it light though. Again, test different messages here and see which gets you more replies, more ‘thank-you’s and more calls for new business.
PPC advertising. PPC stands for pay-per-click and it is a great way to promote your products or services online. You register an account with Google, Yahoo, MSN or other ad network, and then create a text or display based advertisement. You then select which keywords you want your ad to appear for – so when someone types in “dog groomer Chicago” if those are the keywords you selected your ad will appear.
Next you need to decide how much to bid on each keyword – the amount you pay, how much competition the market has and other factors lead to which position your ad will be displayed on the page and how often.
I won’t go into PPC in detail here and will save that for another post. But I will tell you this. A PPC ad campaign can be a very effective way to generate new leads for your business. But before you go ahead and set up your campaign I urge you to study the basics first. The right PPC campaign can make you piles of cash but done wrong it can break your bank in short order.
What to test? The great thing about PPC advertising is that you can easily test almost every aspect – from your headline and body copy, to your URL, keywords and landing pages.
Make yourself heard – speak. That’s right, speaking is a very effective way to meet potential new clients. You can go about this in several ways. Contact a local association or community center and tell them you’d like to put on a free seminar or presentation for their members.
You can also make a list of your top 50 or 100 clients and send them an invitation to attend your free seminar. Will they all attend? Unlikely but anyone that shows up for these presentations is going to be a prospective customer. And what better way to meet these people than by demonstrating your knowledge and experience first hand.
What to test? The contents of your presentation, the offer you make at the end for a free consultation and the invitation or materials you send or hand out.
These are just 4 examples of how you can go about finding new clients. There are many, many more. Which ever you choose, be sure to stick with it. Always have a keen eye to figure out how you can improve your marketing. With determination and a step by step improvement plan in place you’ll be well on your way to a flood of new client business.
So where does your marketing stand? Have you faced any roadblocks holding you back from improving your marketing efforts and bringing in new business?