Consultants don’t have it easy. No matter your specialty–a consultant’s work is never done. If you’re not actively working on a project–you’re most likely on the grind looking for your next gig. So why not take some of the burden off of your shoulders and let some of the work come to you?
Sounds great, but how exactly do we propose you do that?
A well thought out marketing strategy can do wonders for generating business for your consultancy. Here’s how to create an effective consultancy marketing strategy:
What Can a Marketing Strategy Do for My Consultancy?
For starters, a marketing strategy will force you to think about and decide on tangible goals for your business. Having clear objectives will help you better determine the steps you need to take to see growth. And a marketing strategy will also help you know when it’s time to pull the plug on some old ideas and pivot to new ones. This will maximize your time in the long run.
Essentially, having a plan in place will keep you accountable. This can be very useful when you are working as a solo consultant or within a small consultancy team. There really is very little room for error when you are generating leads and producing projects simultaneously, so it’s important to make the most of your time with the help of a marketing strategy.
How to Create a Consulting Marketing Strategy: 5 Steps
Any consultancy can benefit from having a mindful marketing plan. And while it does take some time up front, it doesn’t have to be a laborious, long-running process. In fact, it can be as easy as one, two, three–four and five:
1. Analyze Your Company and Your Market
Before drawing up an entire plan it’s good to first look inward. You can do this by conducting a SWOT analysis of your business. SWOT stands for: Strength, weakness, opportunity and threats. Defining what you determine as strengths and weaknesses for your company can help inform your goal setting. And analyzing your opportunities and threats to success can help inform your tactical marketing initiatives that will come out of the overall strategy. Looking at your threats will also prompt you to conduct a competitive and market analysis and the findings will give you a better advantage in addressing those potential hurdles.
2. Define Your Target Market
Now that you understand who you are as a consultant within your industry, it’s time for you to get to know your target consumer too. What kinds of clients do you want to attract? What challenges do they face? Where do they spend their time? Digging into your potential customer’s markets will help you better understand how to both reach and appeal to them.
3. Determine Your Company Goals
Once you have conducted your analysis of your own consultancy, your competitors and your potential clients, you can set clear goals for your business. Think about breaking up your goals by using a timeline. Ask yourself: What will you want your consultancy to achieve within the next quarter, six months and full year? From there, you can think of realistic activations that will support those goals. And as you move closer to the end period for a specific goal, be sure to record benchmark data points along the way. Even objectives that are missed can be used as learnings for future goal setting.
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4. Build a Marketing Plan
Now that your goals are set it’s time for you to plan the fun stuff. Fun stuff being marketing campaigns and initiatives. Do this by coming up with a handful of actions you can take to achieve your objectives. You can do this by using your learnings from your analysis to help direct where you plan to market your business. You’ll want to use a variety of levers including paid media, organic social, direct mail–just consider where your ideal client would most likely see value.
Does your target demographic spend time on TikTok? Perhaps plan to post daily for one quarter to generate followers on the platform. For a longer term goal, think about using the social platform to form a partnership with a non-competitive brand or consultancy that can expose your business to a new audience. Generate similar action items per goal and be sure to attach them to a timeline.
You’ll also want to look into certain tools that will help you manage all of the moving parts–Asana is a great project management program many consultants use for their own business purposes as well as to communicate with clients.
5. Amplify and Network
A marketing strategy won’t be complete without a networking component. To get started networking, you can look up local events in your area that relate to your industry or market. You can also sign up for webinars and look for opportunities to become a panelist in your niche or specialty. Don’t shy away from opportunities that can help people become comfortable with you as a person and an expert in your field. When the time comes when they need a consultant, your name may be the first that comes to mind.
And of course, do not be afraid to refine your strategy if you notice you’re consistently missing goals. Conduct regular reporting and audits to ensure that the plan that you have in place will do the most that it can for your business.
At Embroker we want to make sure that your consultancy is set up for success–and that includes making sure you are taken care of on a personal level too. Check out another helpful read about health insurance options for consultants, so that you can have peace of mind while you’re forging your own path.