Being a consultant is a difficult job on different levels. Unlike most professional service providers, consultants can’t offer their clients a tangible experience. An interior designer will make your house look better. Your accountant will help you with managing your finances. The consultant will give you professional advice. Even when this advice leads to action, it would still take a long time to see the outcome.
What’s the best way to market yourself as a consultant when your “product” or “service” is actually you and your ideas? Here are several tips that can help you set up a promotion strategy for your consulting business.
Define Your Niche
Consulting comes in many shapes and forms. You need to be able to define to yourself and to your clients what is your field of expertise. As an IT consultant, branding consultant or fitness consultant, your duties and responsibilities should be clear to your client.
Even a broad term like “business consultant” can be explained in a practical and detailed manner. Recognize your strengths and stick to them. Don’t spread out to areas that you’re not really familiar with.
Show Personal Touch
As mentioned, marketing your consulting business actually means marketing yourself as a professional, trustworthy, skilled and innovative person. Your marketing strategy should highlight what YOU can do for your clients that nobody else can. Tell them what you’re bringing to the table and why that is exactly what they need.
A service like consulting relies heavily on a positive relationship with clients. They need to know they can trust you and that you’re there for them. Be sure that your marketing efforts convey that message loud and clear.
People come to you for advice because they believe you know better. How do you make them think that? You need to manifest your expertise. Create a business website/blog for yourself, where you regularly post case studies of clients or short articles about your field. Use social media to comment on topics and events that are relevant to your work. Follow major blogs and news sites that relate to your business and know what’s on the agenda.
Master those Networking Skills
Networking is an important part of a consultant’s work. It’s a terrific way to meet people and talk shop – some might be potential clients and some might get you in touch with potential clients. Conferences are a great spot for networking, as well as co-working spaces (like our very own Wix Lounge NY & Wix Lounge SF!), where people meet and exchange business ideas.
A great smile and a good handshake are important, but to promote your consulting service successfully, you need to be able to impress people online as well as offline. Establishing your online presence starts with making a professional website. Must-have items for your business website are:
- A clear description of your services
- A list of clients’ or a testimonials section
- A Contact page with detailed contact information
Using professional accounts on social networks is also important to promote your business. Make sure you choose the correct social networks for your business. For example, Pinterest would be great for a fashion consultant, but SEO consultants would be better off on Twitter and LinkedIn.