If you have never been involved in sales and marketing, you probably do not have any idea just how critical, and time consuming, the sales of and marketing consulting services can be!
On the other hand, though, if you decide to start a consulting business, you are going to have to learn very quickly, if you want to enjoy success in your new venture!
Here are a few useful marketing tips for your new consulting firm:
Develop a Consultants Marketing Plan
Make notes of marketing ideas you plan to use, look for unique and cost effective methods you can employ to get the word of your new consulting business out there, and speak to other business owners about methods that work for them.
Then, sit down, and work out your marketing plan of action. Work out your budget, figure out what methods you plan to use, and write out your plan. Include specific goals, such as “attend 3 networking meetings per month” or “contact 5 new potential clients per week.”
Having set goals, written down, will help you to stick to your plan!
Spend Money and Time on Branding
Even if you work from a corner of your living room, your consulting business needs to project a professional image.
Spend time, effort, and money on the marketing materials and branded items you plan to distribute. Have logos professionally designed if necessary, print the best quality business cards and brochures you can afford, and engage a copywriter to write text if you are not comfortable doing it yourself.
Your marketing materials, and branding, will follow your business for a long time, so make sure they are up to the task!
Embrace Internet Marketing
The World Wide Web has made marketing your consulting company easier than ever.
You can have a website for less than ever, in terms of cost, there are a host of free advertising options, and you can use internet marketing concepts like submitting articles to article directories, creating a blog, and other concepts, to create a presence for your company.
Even your email can work for you as a marketing tool. Create an email signature that includes your logo and contact details. Every email you send out will be branded, and you never know when you may pick up a lead, or even a client!
Develop Professional Proposals and Contracts
Just like your marketing materials, your proposals and contracts should be professional.
Having properly drawn up legal documentation not only protects you, but also adds to your credibility with clients.
Likewise, proposals should be “slick” and tailored to the client. A template is great, but do not try to use a “one size fits all” approach.
There is an old saying that goes “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” That is still true today, and by building relationships with clients, as well as other professionals, you increase your potential client base exponentially.
Not only is each client and acquaintance a potential future prospect, everyone they know is too!
A great tip I once picked up is this: when you hand out a business card, give the recipient two. One to keep, and one to pass on.
Bottom line is, when you own your own consulting firm, you need to treat every contact as a potential source of business. Every time you leave the house, it is a chance to work on marketing consulting services that you offer. Every person you meet is a potential client.