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Marketing for Consultants Survey Results 2014

The results are in…

We asked over 15,000 consultants how they market their consulting services as we do each year.

We’ve compiled the results and created an infographic that shows you what type of marketing consultants are finding most effective and what is the most ineffective.

See the full infographic with survey results below:


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<a href=""><img title="Marketing for Consultants Survey 2014" alt="Marketing for Consultants Survey 2014" src=""><br></a> <a href="">Infographic brought to you by Consulting Success</a>


  • Networking and referrals continue to be the most popular ways of marketing consulting services. It’s interesting to note however that while 35% of people said that referrals was responsible for generating the most money for them, only 17% of people actively engage in going after referrals. Big opportunity here for those of you who learn how to use proven referral strategies.
  • In many cases the number of people applying a specific type of marketing (say Speaking) results in that type of marketing being the biggest revenue producer for them. As I’ve long said, it doesn’t matter what type of marketing you do – all channels may produce great results or poor results – what matters is that you get behind the RIGHT type of marketing that will resonate and get the attention of your ideal clients.
  • Consultants spend on marketing between 2013 and 2014 has dropped significantly in the $3000-$6000 range. From 25% last year to only 7% this year. The lower brackets have roughly the same distribution as the previous year while the higher brackets of spend have decreased in percentage.
  • Annual income has remained almost unchanged. Which if we compare to the marketing spend means that consultants are profiting more in 2014 so far compared to 2013.
  • 2014 saw a 3% increase (compared with last year) in consultants choosing this profession because of the flexible schedule they get to enjoy.
  • For some odd and unfortunate reason more consultants using an hourly fee increased 2% over last year. 48% of consultants use project based fees compared to 51% in 2013.
  • The distribution of project size was mostly unchanged compared to last year. The most common project size is $5000 to $15000. Project size of $30000 to $60000 and $60000 to $100000 saw a 1% and 2% increase respectively.
  • 77% of respondents to this survey were men. Since roughly 50% of our customers and clients are women this unproportionate number likely just shows that for some reason men wanted to respond to this survey while most women didn’t.
  • 29% of respondents are 41-50 years of age, while 51-60 and 60+ make up 28% and 18% respectively.


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18 thoughts on “Marketing for Consultants Survey Results 2014

  1. Georgina says:

    Thanks for sharing. Live YOUR Passion!

  2. Sreenatha Reddy K R says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing. You are awesome.

  3. Paul says:

    Excellent information…helps me direct my efforts.

  4. Ed Baulete says:

    great info! Thanks a lot..

  5. Per says:

    Hello Michael,

    Thanks for sharing this great insight.

    The data would indicate that Networking and Referrals provides the best “return on investment”in building/maintain your business – but there is a kind of chicken and egg question here. I agree that referrals from a satisfied client is the best tool in your marketing tool box – so how do you start building your business [initially without any clients and hence no referrals].

    Would there be an initial start-up phase where you need to use other means, tools and marketing approaches to get to the first base – getting your first clients, work with these for a while – and then you might in a position to activate referrals via these satisfied clients.

    Keep up the good work


  6. Raj The Guru says:

    Great. ultimately its net working that works.

    • Raj – these are averages. I don’t suggest simply following what others are doing. What will work best for you depends on several factors.

  7. Joey Sargent says:

    Great data, Michael. I’d love to see a breakdown of marketing activities or spend by income level. It would be interesting to see if high earners use a different mix than those at the lower end of the spectrum.

    • Joey – great question. This was asked last year by Ian Brodie and I forgot to include the updated response for this year. The numbers are very similar to last year’s:

      I ran a quick calculation of the results for ‘which type of marketing is making consultants the most money’ on 2 groups.

      The first, consultants earning between $100,000-$200,000. As with the rest of the groups, this one also found Referrals to be their most effective marketing method. However, Networking was just behind in spot #2.

      For the next group, I expanded the criteria to include people making between $200,000 and $2M. The results were almost identical.

      For fun I broke out another group. This one between $250,000 and $5M. In this group, only a few cited Networking as a money maker for them. Referrals is still important for them. But so too are Presentations/Seminars and Articles/Reports.

      • Joey Sargent says:

        Thanks, that’s very interesting. I would have expected more difference between the groups. Just goes to show the power of a strong network to provide good referrals.

        Sounds like the top earners have that, so they invest less time building (via networking) and more time on culitvating and thought leadership.

  8. Producer2 says:

    The information would be a lot more helpful if a few cross tabulations were done – such as:

    Marketing Activities vs Annual Income

    Annual Income vs Value of new Project

    Annual Income vs Way clients are charged

    Annual income vs years in business

    Annual income vs number of employees

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