Hi. It’s Michael Zipursky from Consultingsuccess.com. Welcome to the Consulting Corner, where consultants learn how to consistently attract their ideal clients and significantly increase their fees.
Now more than ever, and in the day and age that we are in, there’s a greater need for consultants to differentiate themselves. How are you doing at that right now? Do you feel as if you are differentiating yourself and your business well enough?
It’s kind of like that book Where’s Waldo, the classic page filled with all different types of people and animals and items – whatever it might be. And in the middle of it all is Waldo, the guy with the striped red and white shirt.
Maybe you know what I’m talking about. But even if you don’t, I hope that you recognize the need to differentiate your business from that of your competitors. There are three specific ways that I’d like to offer you today that can help you move towards differentiating your business in a more powerful way.
If you don’t have a website, if you don’t have an online profile, then they’re not even going to find you.
Image is everything
The first way to set yourself apart is through your brand and design. A recent study by Hinge found that over 80% of buyers of consulting services are going online to find consultants and experts. Now, just think about that. When a buyer is searching online for an expert – for a consultant such as yourself, what is the first thing that they’re going to potentially see? They’re going to see your website. If you don’t have a website, if you don’t have an online profile, then they’re not even going to find you.
Having an impressive, professional and powerful website or online presence that really conveys and positions you and your brand as an authority and an expert is critical.
Yet far too many consultants do a poor job of this.
Maybe their website design is poor, or they lack an online presence. This is a great place for you to start differentiating yourself through the images on your website, your colors, your value proposition and messaging, content, case studies, blog articles – all these things that you can have on your website are a great way to differentiate yourself.
Make them an offer they can’t refuse
The second suggestion is to really differentiate a guarantee or offer. Can you be bold enough to provide the marketplace or your ideal clients with a service, with an offer or guarantee that that no one else in your market is willing to do, or that your competitors won’t even touch? Can you offer a money back guarantee? Can you offer some sort of a service guarantee?
Look at your marketplace and figure out what you can do that others aren’t yet doing, or think about what others are doing that you can do better.
Maybe you’re going to show up at your client’s site within one day. Or you’re going to achieve a specific level of results or your clients don’t pay, or you’ll continue working with them until you achieve those results without them having to invest more with you. There are many different ways that you can create a guarantee, but look at your marketplace and figure out what are others not doing with their service offerings, and then find outwhat you can do that will set you apart from the competition.
The third idea that I’d like you to consider is to look at your content as a source of differentiation. If you make the time and take the opportunity to create or provide better, more valuable educational and compelling content than the rest of the marketplace, then you will stand out head and shoulders above your competitors, and you will differentiate yourself.
If you clients see that you are the person that they can turn to for more or better content, then that will position you as a greater authority and expert. You could be posting blog articles; case studies, Slideshares…or making videos, podcasts, interviews, white papers, and the list goes on and on. If others in your marketplace are already doing these things and you’re not, then it is they who have the upper hand.
Look at your marketplace and figure out what you can do that others aren’t yet doing, or think about what others are doing that you can do better. Yes, it will require some work and it will require some time, but differentiation isn’t always easy. Most of the things that are worthwhile to achieve do take time and hard work.
I would encourage you to start now rather than wait. Start now because then you’ll be able to see the results sooner. Each of these three recommendations that I’ve provided you, each of these three ideas – can actually be a great source of differentiation, or you can go after all of them and take your business to a much higher level.