Marketing for Consultants Survey 2015: Results Are In

We asked over 20,000 consultants how they are marketing their services and growing their business. The responses came flooding in. Below you’ll find an infographic with the results from the survey as well as a breakdown with some key insights.

MarketingforConsultantsSurvey2015

- On average consultants spend almost 40% of their time networking. Followed by 12% of their time speaking and giving presentations.

- The majority of consultants income comes from networking (30%) followed by referrals (28%).

- 80% of consultants spend less than $5000 each year marketing their business.

- 31% of consultants make less than $30,000 a year from consulting. About 23% make more than that but less than $100,000. 31% or so make between $100,000 and $500,000. About 4% make over $500,000

- Consultants making over $100,000 a year noted that Writing articles and creating reports generated significant revenue for them. Even more than speaking and presentations which many of these consultants said they spent time on.

- A higher percentage of consultants making over $100,000 a year are women compared to consultants making less than $100k each year. There was also a higher percentage of men that took part in this survey.

- Consultants making over $100,000 a year spend more on their marketing than consultants who earn less.

- The survey was taken by consultants of all different levels of experience. Over 20% of consultants have more than 10 years of experience as consultants.

- The #1 reason people became consultants was to “By my own boss” at 40% of respondents. Followed by “Flexible schedule” coming in at 22%.

- Over 50% of consultants work with 6 clients or less per year. 36% work with between 7 and 20 clients each year.

- Project fee is the most common way consultants are paid at 40%. Unfortunately over 21% of consultants are still using an hourly fee and just 3.4% know how to use an ROI based fee model.

- About 45% of consultants report that their average client project is valued at $5000 or less. 19.7% of consultants have projects valued at $10,000 to $25,000. Only 5% of consultants have client projects valued at $100,000 or more.

- Over 76% of consultants are solo independent consultants. About 20% of consultants have less than 5 employees.

Want help to improve your marketing and consistently attract your ideal clients? Get in touch here

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The ONLY 3 Activities Consultants Should Focus On

Consulting-Activities

There are three things and really only three that you should be spending your time on each day.

You may find that extremely exciting. No longer do you have to try and tackle a long and growing to-do list.

Proactively follow up with leads, set meetings and calls. Enter meaningful sales conversations. Done right this focus will grow your revenues like no other activity.

Or you may find that idea scary because it requires you to become even more focused and to remove all the distractions around you.

Whichever side you’re on it doesn’t change the importance of these three things.

And if growing your consulting business is a priority don’t underestimate the power of what I’m about to share with you.

Priority #1: Serve Paying Clients

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Your first priority should always be to serve your paying clients.

They deserve the most from you.

When you start your day always begin with your clients in mind.

Have a clear plan of what you need to do that day to serve them in the best possible way and provide them with exceptional value.

You’ll want to spend 30-50% of your time on this priority. Continue Reading

How I Doubled My Consulting Business In Less Than 12 Weeks: Case Study with Sonaya Williams

Sonaya-Williams-Double-Consulting-Business

The Sonaya Williams Group helps small businesses streamline their teams, so the owners have more time to make money and enjoy their lives. Sonaya Williams, President of the Sonaya Williams Group, works with entrepreneurs who have been in business for over three years and are making over $350,000 a year, but have come to a point where the ideas they’re throwing at the wall just aren’t sticking. These entrepreneurs want to do more—launch a new revenue stream or create a new program, for example—but realize they need better teams and better infrastructure in order to do so.

Challenge

All the coaching programs Sonaya had previously tried were better suited for different businesses and business models, whereas she needed specific coaching aimed at her consulting business. She was trying to find a better way to get new clients and work with existing clients, but was never able to get a lot out of the coaching programs or grow with the coaches she previously had around her. In several cases, the coaches she worked with would try to force her into using a business model that didn’t work with her consulting business.

She went to her ideal clients and interviewed them, an exercise she learned through the coaching program, and was able to pull in more clients based on the information gathered during the interview process.

When Sonaya came across Michael Zipursky’s coaching program at ConsultingSuccess.com, she saw it as an opportunity to finally work with someone dedicated to consultants. The main challenge for Sonaya was figuring out how to create consistent income, as her income was always fluctuating, leaving her in a constant state of uncertainty. The root cause of her problems was that she wasn’t clear on who her ideal client was, and wasn’t speaking the language that current or prospective clients wanted to hear.

Actions

Working with Michael has allowed Sonaya to really get clear about who her ideal clients are. She went to her ideal clients and interviewed them, an exercise she learned through the coaching program, and was able to pull in more clients based on the information gathered during the interview process.

Sonaya even gave the profile of her ideal client a name: Kayla. Whenever the Sonaya Williams Group writes articles, they do so with Kayla in mind. Whenever the company is looking at attending events, they make sure to see if Kayla will be there. Sonaya knows who Kayla is, what Kayla’s thinking, what Kayla says, and what Kayla wants in life.

Results

“I’ve doubled my business in less than 12 weeks. Michael helped me to re-package my offerings and improve my pricing structures which lead to a 40% increase in my fees and I’ve already landed 2 new projects at my new rate and I’m confident many more to come.”
– Sonaya Williams, President
Sonaya Williams Group

The targeting is specific to the point where Sonaya now gets on sales calls with people, and if they’re not “Kayla”, then Sonaya refers them to a different company, or redirects them to someone else internally. Prior to working with Michael, Sonaya would take on any client. Sonaya now says “yes” to the right clients, and “no” to the wrong ones.

The precise targeting and working with the right people has made Sonaya feel confident in increasing her prices, and confident in knowing how to increase fees with existing clients as well—knowing how to communicate the true value of her services so clients agree to the price changes.

In the past, Sonaya would throw marketing initiatives out there and see what would work. She had a profile on every social network, and spent a lot of time being active across all these networks—even though prospective clients may not have been using any of these networks to begin with. Now, she’s being more targeted, taking the time to focus her efforts, review the results, and make changes accordingly. And it’s working. She’s doubled her revenue and no longer spends time or money on marketing campaigns that don’t serve a purpose or produce results.

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How I Made Over $596,539 in 12 Months

Growing-a-Consulting-Business-Half-Million

In 2014 one of my businesses generated over $596,536. The actual amount is significantly higher as this figure doesn’t include speaking fees and other client payments received by bank transfer.

What’s important to remember is that a higher priced offer must provide exceptional value. If it doesn’t, the success of it won’t last long.

This was a significant increase from the previous year and the result of some specific actions that I’d like to share with you today.

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(Screenshot from our Stripe processing account)
 

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Screenshot from the Consulting Success Paypal account)
 

Higher Valued Offers

We introduced 2 new higher valued offers. Every time we sign a deal for one of these offers we generate between $5000 and $25000.

What’s important to remember is that a higher priced offer must provide exceptional value. If it doesn’t, the success of it won’t last long.

Finding a Mentor

I’ve worked with my own coaches and mentors for years. 2014 was no different. I worked with several mentors and coaches to help me get the most out of the business and ramp up growth for our company quickly.

Without the right systems in place you’ll drift wherever the wind takes you.

Sure, my team and I could have tried to figure out the right systems and processes ourselves and I’m sure we would have. But I rather invest in my business by learning from the best so that we can see results quickly. Our investment became a positive ROI in the first month.

Whatever area you’re looking to improve on in your life I’d encourage you to find a coach or mentor that can help you get there faster and with fewer mistakes than you would by yourself. Continue Reading

The Optimal Landing Page for Consultants

Inside-Consulting-Landing-Pages

I was recently asked “what does an ideal landing page look like for someone offering consulting services?” It’s a great question.  For over 15 years I’ve been a consultant and built successful consulting companies. I’ve also co-founded several online businesses. So this is a topic I’m familiar with and passionate about. Let’s get right into it. Here’s what you need to know about creating a landing page if you’re a consultant marketing your services.

The relationship the buyer and consultant will create and have is critical. For that reason, the buyer of consulting services will look to quickly gain a sense of what it will be like to work with you as soon as they land on your page.

You Are the Product

As marketers when we create a landing page to drive leads or promote our product we work hard to position it in a way that it grabs the attention and interest of the buyer. That makes sense because the buyer (user) is most interested in whether or not the product will help them overcome the challenge they’re facing? Will it help them get closer to the result they are after? And are the benefits of using the product clear and believable?

When you’re offering consulting services, YOU are the product. The user, in this case the buyer of consulting services, asks slightly different questions. Questions your landing page must answer in order for it to be successful.

These questions include:

  • Who is the person or company offering these services?
  • Do they have the expertise to help me solve my problem or reach the result I’m after?
  • Put another way; are they a specialist and expert?
  • Do they have a track-record of success and results?
  • What makes them better than any other person or company in this industry?

These questions are driven by the nature of the buying process in consulting. Consulting services involve human interaction. They are unlike signing up for an online service or buying herbal supplements. When a buyer hires a consultant they know they’ll be interacting with them on a regular basis.

The relationship the buyer and consultant will create and have is critical. For that reason, the buyer of consulting services will look to quickly gain a sense of what it will be like to work with you as soon as they land on your page.

In just a few moments I’ll share with you the specific elements to include on your landing page to achieve optimal results. First, let’s talk about your personality. Continue Reading

5 Proven Follow Up Strategies for Consultants

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Did you know that 80% of sales are made between the fifth and the twelfth contact with your ideal buyer?

What does that mean if you’re like the majority of consultants, professionals and even salespeople? It means you’re losing sales every month due to weak follow up.

The idea is that you shouldn’t try to answer something you don’t know. Because this provides a great opportunity for you to follow up.

This is true with both emails and phone calls. According to TeleNet and Ovation Sales Group in 2007 it took an average of 3.68 cold calls to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8!

Which is a scary reality because the average sales person only makes 2 attempts to reach a prospect (source: Sirius Decisions).

Here’s how the numbers really break down according to Followupsuccess.com

  • 2% of sales are made on the first contact
  • 3% of sales are made on the second contact
  • 5% of sales are made on the third contact
  • 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
  • 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact

If you want to close more sales you need to follow up. You must be in it for the long-term and not give up if things don’t come together for you right away.

In just a few minutes I’ll share with you proven strategies for your follow up that works well for consultants.

But there is another benefit of follow up…

That other benefit is that buyers that you consistently follow up with buy more from you. These ‘nurtured leads’ make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads says the Annuitas Group.

Follow up isn’t simply for phone calls and emails. Once you meet with a buyer follow up is critical. On average people only do one follow up after a meeting. The Marketing Donut reports that 80% of sales require 5 follow-up to make the sale.

Isn’t it interesting that all of these sources point to 5-12 interactions to make a sale to a buyer?

How many are you doing in your business right now?

Is there room for improvement?

We’ve established the importance of follow up. Now let’s look at 5 strategies you can use improve your follow up and make more consulting sales:

1. Focus on Value

If your follow up sounds like this you’re going to want to make some changes…”Hi Name, hope you are doing well. Just wanted to follow up and check in to see how things are going? Would be great to catch up….blah blah.”

Why doesn’t this work? It’s too general. There’s no REASON for the buyer to engage with you. if they weren’t interested before WHY should they be interested now? You need to focus on the value that your service/product will produce for the buyer. How will it solve their problem or help them to achieve a result they are after? Continue Reading

How to Make More Consulting Sales: Lesson from a $3.4B Company

Making-Consulting-Sales

I recently spoke with a family member that works at a $3.4B company. That’s not market cap. $3.4 Billion in annual sales.

Can you guess what our conversation was about?

Consultants too often focus on perfection. They want all the stars to line up before taking action.

They told me all about how poor the systems and processes the company had in place were.

How their IT was slow and their department was filled with unskilled people lacking motivation.

There’s no denying that these are all problems, right?

Clearly this company can improve.

It Gets Interesting

BUT, here’s the most interesting part…the idea and lesson I’m excited to share with you today…

This company is still doing $3.4B in sales per year!

Even though it has plenty of room to improve it is still a very successful company.

Even though it isn’t perfect, it’s still employing and supporting thousands of people around the world.

Consultants too often focus on perfection.

They want all the stars to line up before taking action. Continue Reading

Create Your Consulting Client Magnet

Client-Consulting-Magnet

The pool was cold today. At first that’s all I could think about.

Then I began to swim lap after lap and as always my mind began to go into deep focus.

Your marketing’s purpose isn’t only to attract your ideal clients. It’s also meant to repel clients that aren’t ideal.

By the time I finished my swim I decided to write this article for you. Yes YOU!

What I’m about to share with you is a story. A true story…

It’s one I’ve seen play out time and again.

It reminded me of how a magnet functions and it has everything to do with growing your business and attracting more clients.

Time to Dive In

Here we go…

The other day I received emails from readers of my consulting newsletter. Several of them wrote in with comments like “Michael, why do you send so many emails!” or “Too many emails!!”

That same day I got another bunch of emails with comments like “Thank you so much for these tips” and “I really found this helpful!”

What would you do in a situation like this?

I did what I’ve always done – continue doing what I always do. Continue Reading

3 Reasons Consultants Should Start Blogging Today

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Message from Michael Zipursky: I’m excited to have Sam Zipursky, my cousin and business partner share this article with you today. Sam plays an important role at Consulting Success. While much of his work has been ‘behind the scenes’ today that changes. Sam specializes in branding and design. It’s his work you’ve seen come to life through the ConsultingSuccess.com website and all our design and branding materials. Going forward Sam will be sharing tips, strategies and ideas for you on this blog to help increase creativity and maximize your online brand and presence.

It’s kind of like doing exercise, eating right, spending more time with our loved ones, and waking up early in the morning. We all know we should be doing these things and that they are good for our body, relationships, business, lifestyle, and health but getting into a habit and doing them consistently seems to be the tough part.

Learning is a great benefit that comes from blogging and it’s something most of us want to be doing everyday anyway so hey why not use blogging as one of your ways of learning and growing your knowledge.

For consultants getting into a routine of blogging isn’t any different – it’s great for business if you do it, but it needs to become a habit and it needs to get done!

Now if you’re reading this and already blogging on a regular basis, that’s amazing, you probably know the value and benefits of putting out quality content online and what it can do for your personal brand, your consulting business, your professional network, just to mention a few.

If you’re not blogging regularly about your consulting or business expertise now is a great time to begin and here are 3 great reasons you should pull up a chair, brew up some coffee and start blogging today:

Personal Branding & Getting Your Name Out to the World

By blogging about what you specialize in on a regular basis you become a known expert in that area. Take Michael for example (my cousin and business partner here at ConsultingSuccess.com). Mike’s been blogging on this site (and many other blogs) for several years now about his knowledge and experiences in the consulting trenches. He talks about marketing, dealing with clients, increasing fees, landing ideal clients, and so much more.

As a result of him making blogging a habit and constantly producing valuable content his expertise and name has really gotten out there. Many more opportunities have opened up, from international speaking engagements to podcast interviews to working with amazing high level clients in his coaching program. Many of these people found out about Michael through his blog posts and then got in touch with him that way.

The more quality and keyword rich content you put out there the more free traffic the search engines like Google will send your way.

You Get to Constantly Learn and Grow

Another great reason to blog consistently is you have to stay on top of your industry so you can keep dishing out relevant content that your readers will want to get into. You’ll need to read other industry blogs, read top business books, learn for other experts to see what they’re doing right and also perform research when writing some of your posts. Learning is a great benefit that comes from blogging and it’s something most of us want to be doing everyday anyway so hey why not use blogging as one of your ways of learning and growing your knowledge. Continue Reading