Design consulting brochures are loaded with similar stock photography. Consulting web sites and blogs are overfilled with standardized rhetoric. Printed and visual media all look the same. As a result, consulting practices struggle to establish their individualism. Due to this generic advertising blitz, clients tend to scrutinize the value of consultants with cynicism. In the wake of the fierce competition, many consultants have resorted to throwing their message out to multiple markets just to see what sticks.
In his book, The Marketing Imagination, Theodore Levitt noted that, “there is no such thing as a commodity. All goods and services can be differentiated and usually are.” The message throughout your marketing plan must always be to separate your proprietary qualities from the standardized marketing media that typifies the industry.
Define the objectives of your marketing plan, with these marketing goals:
- Identify the specific clients you hope to attract
- Identify ideal projects you would pursue
- Detail the steps necessary to improve your consulting abilities
- Commit a time allowance for pro bon services to worthwhile causes
- Make public appearances, speak at events and publish articles for newsletters and industry magazines
- Determine the number of new potential clients to be contacted each month
- Look for opportunities to take industry surveys or polls, keep your web sites current and freshen up the content, encourage internet feedback
- Set financial goals and factor the profits, revenue and growth into the marketing plan
- Establish a reasonable balance between home and work. Do you live to work or do you work to live?
- Carefully consider new markets but do not enter a market to which you cannot commit
These are a few of the components that will add character, sustainability and credibility to your marketing plan. Public relations pay off. Every article you write, every speech you deliver, every pro bono hour you spend must be integrated throughout your marketing platform.
Your marketing and business consultants plan will capitalize on this public relations work as well as on the characteristics that set your consulting practice apart from the volumes of superficial marketing plans the typify the industry. Never worry about or dwell upon the competition. Choose your niche and stick with your marketing plan. Follow your vision, one goal at a time. When those goals start hitting on all cylinders, the clients will know who you are and their doors will be open.