Don’t shoot the messenger though let me tell you, you can and sometimes should offer your consulting services for free, also known as pro bono.
The singular goal when it comes to your marketing in the early days is to get noticed.
That’s right. It’s not for everyone and should be avoided by most consultants.
Yet there is a time when offering your services for free not only makes sense, it can pay big dividends.
“I’m not offering anything for free” yells the consultant in the back.
I hear you. In fact, I’ve written many times that you shouldn’t do work for free.
However, there is a specific time when it’s a good idea.
And that time is when you’re just getting started.
When you’ve just launched your business, in addition to going after paid projects, you should also consider throwing some pro bono work into the mix.
The reason is simple. The singular goal when it comes to your marketing in the early days is to get noticed.
If your ideal clients don’t know you exist, they can’t hire you.
Think about approaching:
- local non-profits
- chambers of commerce
- business associations
- community groups
- trade and specialist associations
You get the idea right?
Now, offer your services to help these organizations, or to put on a talk or moderate a panel or conduct a workshop.
Reaching the Top
Why do this? Because many of these groups will have boards and members that comprise your ideal clients.
Consider this to be marketing and that’s really what it is.
Sure, you’re offering your services, however, the goal isn’t to get paid directly. It’s a strategic decision that allows you to demonstrate your value and as a result reach your ideal clients and receive introductions and referrals.
If you’re just starting a consulting business this approach can get you up and running fast and often leads to your first client or two (or more)!
And if you’ve been running your consulting business for a few years and want to start attracting more clients consistently, be sure to take a look at the marketing for consultants program.