We recently conducted a survey on marketing for consultants where we asked our readers 3 questions:
- What type of marketing do you spend the most time on?
- Which of the above has made your business the most money?
- How much money do you spend on average marketing your business each year?
The responses came flooding in. My spreadsheet filled, I put on my glasses and got down to making sense of all the data.
After crunching the numbers here are the survey results. I’d love to hear what you think about them in the comments below.
We’d like to share these results with as many consultants as possible, so feel free to use the social media buttons to the left to share this on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
What Type of Marketing Do You Spend the Most Time On?
As you can see, it’s quite clear that consultants that took the survey tend to favor working on generating referrals and developing their network. These two marketing methods are known to be effective for any service professional so this doesn’t come as a surprise.
Interesting to note is that few consultants spend time on advertising their consulting business. As a consultant, I can tell you that advertising in a very targeted fashion can generate a strong ROI. Opportunity exists here. Social media and educational marketing through writing and reports also came in at 10% and 9% respectively.
Here are the same results as above but in a bar chart format.
What Type of Marketing Makes Consultants the Most Money?
This is what you’ve been waiting for, right? After going through hundreds of responses below you’ll find the marketing strategies and tactics that are making consultants, the ones that took this survey, the most money.
From these results we can see that referrals and networking generating the highest ROI for consultants. Behind those were presentations and seminars at 9% and cold calling at 8%. Many people have said cold calling is dead. These results clearly show that while it may not be the most ‘comfortable’ marketing method or the most efficient, it does generate consulting revenue.
Here is a bar chart of the same data.
How Much Money Do Consultants Spend Marketing Their Business?
Here we looked at how much money consultants spend each year marketing their business. The numbers are all over the place on this one.
The data suggests that the average consultants spend on an annual basis is $7,462 USD marketing their business. The highest amount was $200,000 and the second highest was $120,000. This was an anonymous survey so I don’t know who these people are. But I would love to do an interview with them (so if you’re reading get in touch).
The lowest anyone spent was $0. And yes, there were several people claiming to spend nothing on marketing. This either means you’re totally new to marketing and have not yet recognized the importance of marketing to build your consulting business. Or, you’re so well established that you don’t need to promote your business at all and the phones are constantly ringing (or your inbox is full, and I’m not talking about spam).
I found this data to be too vague. So I dug into the numbers to create a chart that would be more valuable for you (at least I hope it is).
The above chart clearly shows how much money consultants are spending on marketing their businesses. About 20% of consultants are spending more than $6000 annually. More than 25% spend $2000-$5000 each year. And about 45% of consultants spend less than $1500 a year.
What do you make of this data? This is the first time we’ve conducted a survey like this but I think, based on the response we received, I might want to run this again.
Look forward to your comments, thoughts and questions below and feel free to share this with your colleagues and other consultants.