Once you’ve developed your unique selling advantage, and have a tight business consulting plan set up, you must now develop an action plan to generate to new consulting projects. One of the best ways to go about this is to create a list of your primary targets – a prospective list that would be your ideal clients to work with. There may be 10 of these or 100. The number isn’t an issue at this point. Identifying who your primary target is.
All the other companies that don’t lie within your list are then secondary. This doesn’t mean you will turn down business when they approach you, it just means the bulk of your effort won’t be spent on them. Let them fall into you marketing plan’s peripheral vision.
The fastest way to land new projects is through referrals. But for the sake of this discussion let us say that this option is ‘not possible’. Maybe because you’re looking for your first client, or maybe it’s because your client is away on holiday in Mexico and you can’t contact him.
So what is the fastest way to develop a marketing plan to land your next consulting gig? There are three critical areas to consider, they are: your time, your budget and your area of expertise. Your ability to merge these three factors into a fluid strategy will play a large part in determining your success.
- First you must plan out your time. Figure out how much time you have available each day or week to work on getting new clients. Decide when you will pick up that phone and call prospective clients. When you will go to industry events, and when you will send out direct mail – if these are part of your strategy to get new consulting projects. If they are not, substitute them with your weapons of choice.
- Next it’s time to dissect your list of what you can and can’t do based on your budget. At this stage avoid spending money on anything that will build your services awareness but will take longer to reap rewards. When your seeking that next project, allocate the majority of your money on activities that have the best chance of delivering near immediate results.These can include such things as direct mail, attending industry events, making phone calls and doing targeted advertising in an industry publication.Always keep in mind that your budget is critical and will play a big role in determining your overall marketing goals and your consultancy’s success. Be realistic by committing enough money to make the plan work. As your plan kicks into gear, you may expand this budget. However, continue to use the funds you have committed even when the clients are knocking on the door. You cannot have too many prospects and you cannot cut back on your exposure. Re-starting your marketing plan will be more expensive than keeping up consistent efforts.
- And the final component of your plan is to assess your marketing talents and spend time on them. If you are a gifted public speaker, use that talent. Writers should write, orators should orate, designers should design, web technologists should build their sites and create blogs.
Why is this so important? Because you are demonstrating your skills and expertise. Without a showing of what you can accomplish all the marketing messages in the world will fall on deaf ears or lead to little action. And what better away to market yourself than to introduce your skills first hand.
While there are many factors, these 3 serve to guide all the others. Set your time and budget and commit to them both. Then get busy pushing forward with your abilities, strengthening your skills and demonstrating them to your prospective clients. It’s a basic formula and one that works.