9 Ways to Get More Consulting Clients

9-Ways-To-Get-Consulting-Clients

So you want to get more consulting clients?

Okay, let’s explore that together. But before we do it’s important that we get clear on WHO your ideal consulting clients are.

To get more clients you want to get your message in front of them.

Because if you don’t know WHO they are how can you market to them? Makes sense, right?

Who Is Your Ideal Consulting Client

So who is your ideal client? What type of client do you want to attract? At this stage you want to figure out the criteria to identify your ideal client. Once you’ve done this properly you’ll be able to effectively move the marketing process forward.

If you rush this part and don’t go through the steps the right way you’ll lack clarity on whom your ideal client is or you’ll have the wrong ideal client in target. This is so important it’s the first step I take consultants through in my coaching program. I call this process “Ideal Client Discovery.”

All of your marketing – your value proposition and marketing messaging – will be based on this. So it’s critical that you have your REAL ideal client in sight.

The More Focused the Better

To get more clients you want to be focused. In fact, the more focused you are on who your ideal client is, the better.

You’ll be able to identify exactly who your ideal client is, what their title is, their industry, their location, etc. And that allows you to target your messaging and marketing exactly to them.

This can be very hard for many consultants.

They feel that narrowing on a specific ideal client is restrictive. That they’ll lose opportunities because of their focus on a specific ideal client type.

I get it. Yes, this process can be a hard shift to make in your mindset. Yet, it’s a very important one.

The most successful consultants and companies have a very clear focus early on. It’s how they make a name for themselves. It’s how they establish their brand and became known as authorities.

Finding Consulting Clients

Once you’re clear on WHO your ideal client is and you’ve really FOCUSED down to ensure you’re going after the right ideal client it’s time to find them.

Marketing isn’t about choosing a popular tactic. Just because one type of marketing is working for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you.

If the same marketing tactic worked perfectly for everyone, there’d only be one marketing tactic. Right?

Start with Questions

So before you dive into deciding what marketing tactic you’re going to ask yourself, “where are my ideal clients?”

Where can you get in front of them?

To get more clients you want to get your message in front of them.

What events do they attend?

What blogs and websites do they visit?

What publications do they read?

What associations or groups are they part of?

These are just a few of the many questions that can guide you to getting in front of more ideal clients.

9 Tactics to Get Consulting Clients

There are many ways to promote your consulting services. The tactic you choose will depend on who your ideal client is and where you can most effectively and efficiently reach them.

Here are 9 (of many) tactics consultants can use:

1. Webinars
Webinars are a great way to educate and provide valuable information to buyers and ideal clients. Done effectively not only can you demonstrate your authority live on the webinar you can do it in front of many people at one time. Most webinars are a series of presentation slides (think PowerPoint or Keynote) that you take attendees through. It’s a great way to identify the problems prospective clients are having, offer possible solutions, and ultimately make a clear offer. The offer is where you’ll provide an opportunity for the attendee to work with you. Too many people use webinars strictly as a way to present information. The most effective webinars are the ones that engage the attendees making them part of the conversation.

2. Small Events
A great way to win more consulting clients is with small events. You can invite a small number of prospective buyers to an event you’re hosting. You’ll make a short presentation and then shift to facilitating a discussion. Attendees get a lot out of these events and you have a great opportunity to demonstrate and communicate the value you can deliver live. As opposed to webinars you can see buyers face to face, shake their hands, and work side by side. Of course, this does require you to physically organize and put on the event. They aren’t hard to do and the ROI can be massive.

3. Offer a Valuable Resource
Another strategy and tactic is to use a valuable resource to leverage your marketing. Here you’ll get in touch with your ideal client and offer them a free resource. It can be a PDF, video, audio, whitepaper, report – almost anything as long as your ideal client will find it valuable. You can offer it by calling your ideal client on the phone, by email, or even using advertising. The buyer is most often thrilled to receive a free resource of such value is now feeling gratitude and more connected to you. This approach leads to greater contact with your ideal client and is a mainstay for many successful marketers.

When I say profitable I mean investing $800 in ad spend and making $5000 back as an example. We’ve had other campaigns where $600 was invested and it landed $23,000 in revenue.

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4. Newsletters & Emails
If you have a list of subscribers sending out a newsletter is a great tactic. If you don’t already have a database of people that have opted-in to be on your list use a different tactic listed here. If you do have a list this is one of the most effective tactics available. You can send a regular newsletter to your list with everything from case studies, news, stories, tips, and resources. The idea is to provide valuable and educational information to your list on a regular basis. They see you as the authority and will wait in anticipation to receive your next newsletter.

You can send out your newsletter, which can actually look just like an email as often as you feel. We send out our newsletter email twice a week. Some of my friends send theirs out once a month and others every weekday. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in terms of how often to send. As long as you have value to offer and something worthwhile to share you can send newsletter emails as often as you’d like.

I’ve had several clients who had newsletter but were getting almost no leads from them. We made some changes and now they get anywhere from 3-7 qualified leads responding to their newsletter every time they send it out – and this is with a small 600 person list. If you have a newsletter and want some help turning it into a marketing asset let’s chat.

5. Social Media
I love talking about social media in terms of marketing. Most consultants and a lot of coaches have absolutely no clue about how to use social media. Some people will tell you that social media sucks. That it’s not professional. That it won’t generate revenue. Others will say the exact opposite. About how great it’s been for their business. And then there are those in the middle. Who want to ‘get in’ the social media game. Typically their attempt is half-ass and lacks guidance and direction. Ultimately they waste time ‘trying’ to make it work. So here’s the real deal my friend… Social media CAN work exceptionally well to get consulting clients. BUT and I’ll say this again…BUT! it depends on who your ideal clients are. For some Facebook is great, others find their ideal clients on Pinterest. And still others use LinkedIn or Twitter to get consulting clients. And here’s the thing, for some people their ideal clients are NOT on social media. Which means they shouldn’t be either. Go where your clients are!

6. Paid Advertising
The vast majority of the consultants I coach spend little to no money on advertising. Why? Because they don’t need to. The marketing strategies and the approach that I teach works without having to spend extra dollars on paid ads. That being said, if you know how to use paid advertising the right way it can be VERY effective in generating leads and getting clients.

Facebook Ads is a great platform to generate leads for certain markets. LinkedIn Ads is very powerful for other markets. And Google Adwords is still the ad platform of choice for many marketers around the world. Ultimately you want to find out which platform is best to reach your ideal clients. We’ve used all three of these platforms and have made all three profitable.

When I say profitable I mean investing $800 in ad spend and making $5000 back as an example. We’ve had other campaigns where $600 was invested and it landed $23,000 in revenue. But be careful. If you don’t know what you’re doing you can spend a lot of money quickly on ads without really making any impact. It’s important that you setup your campaign the right way from the start so you can quickly turn a profit and then scale your business up from there. If you’re interested in learning how to generate leads to get more consulting clients using advertising get in touch.

7. Speaking
Getting in front of your ideal clients and giving a speech or presentation is one of the most powerful marketing tactics available. You have an opportunity to demonstrate to the buyer live, right then and there, that you’re an expert. They can see it with their own eyes. The fact that you’re on stage and being promoted as a speaker for an event is great positioning to build your brand. The problem that many consultants face however when it comes to speaking is that they aren’t sure how to get speaking gigs, how to make money from them, and even when they get a gig – they leave the event with no leads for new business and clients. When you’re speaking it’s critically important that you take the right action to get your ideal clients to contact you. When you do this right, and it’s all in how you frame it and the wording you use, ideal clients will come up to you right after your talk and tell you they want to hire you. I’ve had this happen so many times after each talk I give that I know how powerful this tactic is and how much revenue it’s added for my company. In fact, after a recent talk I gave I landed a $9500 coaching client – PLUS I was paid over $5000 to give the presentation.

8. Calling
I know what you’re thinking…”Michael, calling…as in cold calling? Are you serious?” Yes, my friend, I am. The phone has been knocked down so hard by so many people that most believe it isn’t a ‘good’ marketing tactic. The people that tell you that however are also the people that have never been successful with it. The phone, in fact is one of, if not the #1 most powerful marketing tactics you can use.

It’s the most direct in allowing you to get in front of your ideal client consistently. When you add your value proposition and the right approach of using the phone you can quickly create opportunities to have conversations with ideal clients that lead to more business. The problem with calling isn’t that it isn’t effective, it certainly CAN be, the problem is 1) the mindset people have around it and 2) the strategy and approach they use.

If you have the right mindset around calling it can work great. Rather than thinking about cold-calling as bothering people and low-class, realize that it’s a great way for you to connect with an ideal client and start building a relationship. Banish the expectations you’ve had around making a sale quickly from calling and instead realize that it’s part of the process and that the only way you can really fail at this is by not doing anything about it.

Your strategy is equally important. A sales conversation shouldn’t be about hype and pressure. Rather, the most effective sales conversations are meaningful conversations where you ask the right questions and are well positioned to communicate your value to the buyer. Where you diagnose the person on the other end of the phone and then, if it’s a good fit, prescribe the right solution/offer to them. In the Consulting Success Coaching Program I teach consultants 15 questions to ask buyers. You can follow those questions step by step to become more confident right away and start landing more projects at much higher fee levels.

9. Emailing/LinkedIn
There is another approach that is just as direct and powerful as calling your ideal clients. And yet it doesn’t require you to pick up the phone – not right away at least. One of my clients, once I helped them re-define their value proposition and clear around their targeting of ideal clients saw a 400% increase in revenues and income using this tactic. You can send emails to your ideal clients to engage them in a conversation that leads to you having a sales conversation with them. There is a specific approach to this and you’ll want to carefully craft the right wording for each interaction. I’ve taught many high-level consultants how to do this effectively in my coaching for consultants program. I have a specific 4 step process that I’ve used successfully for a while and have been teaching my clients for LinkedIn specifically. If your clients are on LinkedIn this process will allow you to find your ideal clients, engage them, and ultimately meet or speak with them and enter a sales conversation. And we both know that the more meetings and calls you have the more sales conversations you can enter. And that leads to more business, right?

These 9 tactics are a few of the most powerful ones to get more consulting clients. They may or may not be the right ones for you. And this is just a part of the marketing process I teach that allows you to consistently attract your ideal clients. It’s important that you don’t jump on a certain marketing tactic just because it’s popular or you’ve ‘heard’ it’s great.

Instead, take the time to figure out which marketing tactic is the right fit for your market and your specific situation. Once you go through the whole process your marketing will be much more focused and effective. If you’d like to get help to improve your marketing so you can land more clients I welcome you to connect with me here.

  • Fantastic article as usual, Michael!

    One question about the WHO: as a marketing consultant transitioning out of a particular niche, how do you best identify great vertical markets (or should you at first) when you’re essentially starting from scratch? I definitely find it a bit scary, but I realize the value of nailing down a vertical to become the go-to person in.

    Thanks as always!

    Tom

    • Hi Tom – you’ve hit on one of the areas consultants have the greatest challenge in. I’m going to be doing a training on this in more detail soon and happy to keep you posted on that if you’re interested. Give thought to what type of client you can provide the greatest value to, where do you have the most experience, where is the need to solve a problem the strongest…this will get you going in the right direction to find that segment of the market that you can serve best and become an expert and authority in.

  • Thanks a lot.