Module 5: Marketing Your Consulting Business
Once you have your backend system set up and ready to go, you can finally start marketing your local consulting business and getting clients. This is the exciting part but can be difficult to get started if you don’t have a plan.
Be aware, that in order to become a high-value consultant that can charge $5,000+ per month per client, you have to provide something of extreme value. This generally does not mean creating a sales funnel or slapping together a marketing video and walking away. It means do something that actually gets results, which usually is getting more leads or sales.
At the end of the day, a business owner doesn’t care about the technical mumbo-jumbo behind the scenes and just wants to see an increase in their profit and decrease in their costs. This means not selling a product like a new website or video or Facebook page, but leads or sales instead. You may use a video to get those new leads, but you are presenting them with the opportunity to get more leads, not buy a video that may or may not work.
Remember, if you are confident in your services and can show that they work, your clients won’t hesitate to pay whatever fee you ask.
To launch your business, do whatever you plan to do for your clients. For example, if you are a social media consultant, use social media to drive traffic to your website. When potential clients find you but are hesitant to sign up, you can prove that the methods work since you got them into your sales funnel.
If you don’t mind talking to people, a great way to find clients is to get out and network with local business owners and managers. Go door to door with a stack of flyers and talk to as many people as you can or attend local networking events for businesses. Check your Chamber of Commerce for meeting times or search online for local meetup groups and then go mingle. You don’t have to forcefully sell at these types of meetings because they will naturally ask what you do and you can easily capture their interest once you start explaining. Always bring some business cards with your contact information and a link to your website so that they have something to refer to later when they go home.
As you are starting to meet business owners, it is a good idea to set up some sort of demo beforehand and bring a laptop to help illustrate what services you can provide. You can then go over your plan in real time and show them exactly what you offer. Sometimes, you can set up part of the system right as they sit there and give it to them for free, which will amaze them and help get them hooked. Of course, later on you can start to charge a monthly fee or upsell them on your bigger services.
Besides going out and talking to people, there are dozens of other ways to get traffic to your local consulting business without needing that face-to-face interaction. Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube are all great ways to interact with potential clients and send them to your sales funnel. Linkedin has become an excellent resource for networking and finding companies without needing to hard sell them. On all of these sites, you should join related local business groups and actively participate in the discussion. You can include a link to your website in your signature and profile, but don’t make every comment about how you are offering services to help them. Give away information for free to be helpful and you’ll naturally attract people that trust you.
Buying paid advertising on Facebook and Google Adwords can be an effective way of generating traffic quickly. The benefits are that you can guarantee a steady stream of targeted visitors, but you have to know what you are doing and be aware that you could potentially lose money if you don’t test correctly. Using cheap, low quality ad buys rarely convert to paying customers, so stay away at all costs.
As you get started, look for affiliates who might be able to help market for you. Maybe you know a neighbor or friend who has some local business contacts and would be willing to talk to them for you. If they help to close a sale, offer to give them a percentage as a commission. You can find affiliates online who will sell you leads or sales for a certain amount or you can simply network with local people and offer a reward. Both methods work well because it reduces your time needing to cold-talk to people and can improve conversion rates.
Finally, use the power of your own clients as you start to get them. Make your first client happy and get them to leave a positive review online and refer a friend. If every client you get refers you one more sale, you wouldn’t have to spend any time or money on marketing!
The next module goes over how to leave a positive impression on your new clients so that they keep coming back and refer you new business.