The internet provides us what is likely the best way to promote our business consulting services. Regardless what kind of consulting you are in, the web has you covered.
Now, I hesitate to say that the internet is the ‘best’ way to marketing your consulting business because too many business owners simply believe it is the best because it is the cheapest. And through much testing over the years, I can tell you with confidence that this isn’t so.
The best marketing for any industry or profession comes from a mix of marketing tactics. Direct mail, online pay per click advertising, print advertising, speaking, and the list goes on.
But I digress. The only world is a wonderful place to get your message out. Not only is it one of the most inexpensive mediums to advertise on, it more importantly, gives you data as to the success or failure of your marketing efforts as quickly as within 1 day.
Direct mail used to take a week to several weeks. Print advertising up to a month if not more from the time you created your ad and sent it to the publication.
But how to promote your business online?
Here are some of the best methods you should use:
Use Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. Google, MSN and Yahoo all offer such services through their search engines. Here you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and goes to your website or the page you select them to land on. Pricing can vary greatly depending on what keyword you want your ad to appear on. Anywhere from 10cents to $5 for a competitive niche. You bid on the keyword and depending on your bid amount, the relevancy of your website, and the results your ads generate, your ad appears higher up on the page.
Submit and article. You can either submit an article you write to an article directory. Or you can contact an online publisher, like a magazine, and offer your article for free. The result is that you get great press and awareness of your services and you also get a link back to your website which can raise your position in the search engines and send visitors directly to your website.
Set up a blog. A blog is like an online diary or notepad where you can jot down your ideas and thoughts. I guess I don’t need to explain what a blog is – most people these days seem to know, right? But let’s leave this in for those of you that may not be familiar. A blog is a great way to get your content into the search engines. Again you can link back to your main website. And most importantly it allows you a direct way to be in contact with potential customers.
Social media. Social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the others are a great way to engage with millions of people. These platforms provide a free way to get your message out and are worth exploring. There is so much to say about these we’ll have to leave it for future articles – as they deserve a more detailed discussion.
Search engine optimization (SEO). Anyone that has a website only should make a point of understanding the basics of SEO. For more information see our other SEO for Consultants articles. The main issue to remember with SEO is that it takes a lot of time and must be done on an on-going basis. But don’t be put off by this; the rewards can be truly exceptional.
Direct messages. You can have thousands upon thousands of people visiting your consulting website daily, but if you don’t have a way to capture their information so that you can build the relationship – all the traffic in the world is pretty much useless. Offer your website’s visitors a way to opt-in to your newsletter or give them a free ebook or article when they sign up. You can then send them automatic messages using an autoresponder, or broadcast messages when you have a special offer or information your readers will find of value. Having a way to collect your prospective customers’ information is a must.
Add one of these methods to your marketing arsenal and make it a goal to work them all into your marketing plan over the next 6 months or so and watch your business soar.