Marketing Mondays: The Case for Marketing as a Problem Solver

Marketing doesn't always have to be about something you do externally. It doesn't have to be an ad campaign, direct mail, social media, and so on. A great way to generate more business for your consulting practice is to get more out of your existing client base.

An effective way to do this is to constantly be studying your clients' business.

The more aware you are of what challenges they face, the better prepared you'll be to offer them new approaches and solutions to their problems.
The more aware you are of what challenges they face, the better prepared you'll be to offer them new approaches and solutions to their problems.
Let's say your client has a new workshop coming up. Making you can help them with the setup, registration, marketing, or follow up of it - depending on what your expertise is. Before the holiday season approaches, you can speak to your client about a new idea you have for a special promotion. Some consultants choose not to take this approach. They don't want to work on client work unless it's directly related to their area of expertise. That's fine.
Some consultants choose not to take this approach. They don't want to work on client work unless it's directly related to their area of expertise. That's fine.
But remember, you can also outsource this additional work. Bring in other experts to do the work and you still take a commission or 'finders fee'. Or you can use this to build the skills of your company so you can offer the additional services to other clients. Most independent consultants don't need to have more than 5-10 clients a year. There are plenty of opportunities to help your existing clients do more, and do it better than they could do it without you. Your job is to simply help them find those opportunities and then capitalize on them. Always be on the lookout for new opportunities.

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  • Islam

    Nice Idea

    But I think it will be difficult if you are working on different industries.

    I can apply it if i have a clear defined niche.

    Thanks

    • Islam – the key here is to always be looking for opportunities for your client to succeed. That mindset will allow you to generate ideas and ways for you to land additional projects and work.

  • I am always on the lookout for opportunities to enrich my clients’ businesses. And quite often I uncover issues that are not my expertise. As a trusted advisor for my clients, I connect them to a qualified expert in my referral circle. By doing this, I become an invaluable resource for my client.

    My referral partners do the same thing for me and we find plenty of business for all of us.

    And I never accept a commission or referral fee unless I fully disclose the fee to my client. This ensures that my client trusts I am recommending experts who are perfect for the job and not my best friend who pays me to find business for them.

  • Joseph

    I love this post and agree completely! I put this in practice recently for the first time in my young consulting career and it is working out great…

    My main marketing client needed some major SEO work done, so I referred him to a friend. My marketing client does not have time to keep abreast of what work the SEO company is doing, so I am acting as project manager for him. Along the way, I’m learning basic SEO too. 4 days ago I accepted my first SEO consulting gig for another client. I will do some of it myself and outsource some of it.

    All this by just saying, “Yeah, sure, we can do that!” So many opportunities exist for this type of business – when your clients trust you, as long as you continue to help them improve, you can continually increase the scope and depth of your role.

    • Nice one Joseph! It’s all about providing your clients with value that supports their business.

  • Kieron

    I definetly agree with this, my company created a needs assessment form that has allowed my company to do just that-stay connected with the client and help them in other areas of their company. I remember reviewing a webinar about “The Key to Repeat Business” and this has definetly paid off. Thanks for your Buzzzzzzz

    • Kieron – thanks for the comment and glad to hear it’s working for you as well.

    • Sasha Berson

      Keiron, great idea. Can you share with us the needs assessment form or what makes the form successful.

  • One additional comment for everyone here which I don’t know if I’ve touched on yet or not….

    Even though you can offer additional services to clients (whether you outsource or do it yourself), be sure to always start off an engagement with a new client delivering your core competency. Whatever that is, that’s the first service/produce you need to deliver. That’s your strength. That’s how you’ll set the tone. Deliver great results and develop trust during the early stages of the relationship. As time goes on and you’ve delivered on that, then you can look for new opportunities to support and add value to your clients’ business.

  • Most problem-solving events end when the remedy is established. Don’t fall into this entice though. Once the remedy is determined upon, make a particular plan that hold particular people responsible for execution.