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10 Proven Marketing Tactics for Consultants and Coaches

By Michael Zipursky

“What type of marketing works best?” It’s a question I’m asked over and over again.

Each year we run our Marketing for Consultants survey which provides insight into this question.

I recently decided to ask some friends (who are consultants, coaches, and solo professionals) what type of marketing is working best for them.

Especially what I wanted to explore was ‘what type of marketing is generating the highest quality leads and opportunities?’

And ‘WHY they believe it works so well for them?’

Below you’ll find answers to these questions from 10 experts. I’ve also provided my thoughts on the responses and a BIG takeaway for you at the end of the post.

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Hugh-Culver-1Hugh Culver

What type of marketing works best for you? I have been using webinars for five years, but only recently added a piece to the marketing formula that has really improved our results. Our new webinar formula is to schedule a full year of webinar dates, one per month. When I connect with someone who also serves the speaker/expert market I invite them to promote one of our dates. Because SOS is a monthly service, we can afford to be more generous with our partners. If I don’t have an affiliate lined up I run the webinar regardless off our list.

Why does it work so well? Each affiliate webinar grows our list and generates income for us and the partner – nothing new there. The trick I’m finding is to have the full year of dates already pre-booked. The set dates motivate the partner to take action and make a decision.

Laura-Ashley-TimmsLaura Ashley-Timms

What type of marketing works best for you? High end Business Development events – i.e. where we pay to attend a select event with guaranteed mutually chosen meetings with around 10-20 of our target corporate level clients (these are often from C-Suite level top FTSE 500 companies or Global equivalent) – held across UK or Europe.

Why does it work so well? It works because we mutually select each other – they get to see our passion and quality – we can follow it up and build on the relationship with other added value sessions

Stefan-DrewStefan Drew

What type of marketing works best for you? Leveraging “Creating Business Growth” the book [I co-authored with several other marketers] is bringing me in high value clients.

Why does it work so well? In a world full of white papers, social media posts and ebooks, a lot of serious business people in my niche still regard a physical book as being something that is only produced by people with expertise and authority.  So I’m emailing key decision makers in the £10-60m turnover section of my niche and telling them I’m sending them a copy of my book.  I also tell them that, unless they object, I’d like to set up a strategy meeting with them once they’ve read the book.  A week or so after sending the book I then phone them and check if they received the book and ask when they would like to meet. I also find most gatekeepers take me far more seriously as they’ve also seen the book.  In most cases they either get the decision maker on the phone for me or set up a date for a meeting with their boss.

Anthony-IannarinoAnthony Iannarino

What type of marketing works best for you? My email newsletter generates the most qualified leads, hands down.

Why does it work so well? I believe this form of content marketing works well because it allows me to nurture relationships consistently. The newsletter allows me to share stories that resonate with my readers and understand what I might be like to work with. Most of the time, when someone needs me, they already know what they are getting, and it makes it easy for both of us to say “yes.”

Chris-BroganChris Brogan

What type of marketing works best for you? The best marketing I’ve been doing lately is content upgrades that earn me new subscribers to my newsletter. 70% of my revenue comes from my newsletters.

Why does it work so well? The reason it works so well is that the “content upgrade” gives people a lot to consider for free, and entices them to think about what ELSE I might be offering, if that’s the quality of what they get for free.

LaRae-Quy-PhotoLaRae Quy

What type of marketing works best for you? My marketing plan focuses primarily on [promoting my articles through] social media, but I do find that not all social media is equal. My most productive leads come from LinkedIn connections.

Why does it work so well? I find that the articles I write generate interest in what I’m doing, and I’ve had several companies contact me about corporate consulting for their management teams.

Peter-SandeenPeter Sandeen

What type of marketing works best? It’s a combination, really. But if I have to pick just one, it’s email marketing.

Why does it work so well? People who have the necessary level of understanding of how marketing creates sales will eventually understand why the way I look at marketing makes sense and creates results. Those who are focused on tactics, tools, and strategies will rarely contact me. But those who see that the tactics etc. are only delivery mechanisms for a marketing message and that the message is what makes people want to buy, are (by definition) extremely well-qualified.

Dov-GordonDov Gordon

What type of marketing works best for you? All kinds of joint venture promotions where another party shares something of value I’ve created with their audience.  And their audience has the opportunity to join my list to get even more.

Why does it work so well? It works so well because partners have the ability to put you in front of large groups of qualified people in a very short time. And because their audience already trusts them, when they endorse me, it so much of their own credibility is passed along to me.  That makes it easier for people to listen and benefit from what I share.  And the more people who benefit, the more my business grows.

Ian-BrodieIan Brodie

What type of marketing works best for you? In the last 18 months Facebook Ads have been my #1 source of qualified leads. These days my business is primarily online so it works well to generate a regular flow of email subscribers who eventually become paying clients.

Why does it work so well? Like most marketing it works well primarily because I put time into it and learnt how to do it well. Like most of the population, many of my target clients are Facebook users – the trick is being able to find them, motivate them to click your ad and then to subscribe to your regular emails, and then having a follow-up system in place to convert subscribers into paying clients. It’s simple in theory, but requires a lot of work on audience research and to master landing pages and email marketing.

Erin-Thoms-MelnickErin Thoms Melnick

What type of marketing works best for you?  Speaking

Why does it work so well? The audience has an experience with us that they either fully connect to, or are fully repelled from. Either way, the polarization is powerful.

So…What type of marketing works best?

The answer is “It depends.”

The marketing tactic that one consultant uses effectively may not be the right fit for another consultant.

One of the biggest mistakes I see consultants and coaches making is trying to market their services by copying what others are doing. Yet just because a marketing tactic is working for one person, doesn’t mean it will be the right tactic for you.

Start by getting clear on who YOUR ideal client is. Once you know who they are, then you can align your marketing messaging and value proposition to them, and ensure that your marketing reaches them where THEY are. And that the tactic you choose is the RIGHT one to reach your ideal client in a way they are most likely to be responsive to your message.

What are your thoughts? What type of marketing have you tried? What has worked for you and what hasn’t? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below. And if you’d like to get some help with your marketing so you can attract more ideal clients get in touch here.

13 thoughts on “10 Proven Marketing Tactics for Consultants and Coaches

  1. Phil says:

    Great post Michael! Most of my online gardening course members come from my email list, but for the marketing consulting I’ve been doing, I don’t have a web presence and I’m trying to find clients who I really love working with, so I’m finding that going out and talking to people is key right now. In the long run I hope to build an online presence so people find me instead, but that takes time of course. It’s nice to see with your post here that we all can find the way that feels best for us rather than having to do it someone else’s way.

    • Glad you found it helpful Phil! There is no right or wrong marketing tactic – rather you want to ensure that the tactic you use is the most effective for your industry, ideal client, and yourself.

  2. Sandra says:

    Great insight. I thought this post was going to be biased toward one or two “tried-and true”, but it’s nice to see a variety of answers.

  3. Hey this is fun – being a part and learning from others. Thanks for doing this Michael.

  4. Michael, that is a great post. I’m pleased to see email marketing still features prominently!

  5. Great post, Michael. Thanks for sharing these experts’ views. I will draw from their experiences and shape a customized marketing approach that could possibly help me grow my language business (EN-FR translation+editing).

  6. Scott Eastin says:

    Great post, I would love to see more of these!

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