How to Consistently Get Consulting Clients...Even if You're Brand New and Just Starting OutJun 24, 2020
One of the biggest questions that keeps both new and seasoned consultants up at night is, "How do I get consulting clients?" The question that I wished that asked instead is "How do I predictably get consulting clients so I never had to ask this question EVER again?"
Forget one-off marketing tactics that give you hit or miss results. Instead building a marketing system that puts your client attraction on autopilot.
The System that Helps you Get Consulting Clients with Predictably and Ease
If you want a steady stream of right-fit consulting clients who are excited to work with you and are more than willing to pay you what you're worth, you can't rely fully on those tactics that require you to go out and FIND clients.
You also can't rely on finding referrals who will introduce you to that perfect client who will magically want to hire you as an advisor and pay you a good sum of money for that advice.
Instead you need a system that ATTRACTS high-paying executive clients to you. You need to shape your future client's thinking long before they meet you of the value that you bring to the table and that you are indeed an expert, not merely an "extra pair of hands."
To achieve type of CLIENT ATTRACTION, you need a system that includes the following parts:
Here's what each part of the marketing system contributes to the success of the whole:
- Ideal client: The person that your business exists to serve – from a demographic standpoint (e.g., age range, gender orientation, title, industry, etc.) and especially a psychographic standpoint (e.g., archetypal energy, wants, needs, aspirations, etc.)
- Context: The problem that your ideal client has that you are motivated to help solve
- Messaging and Positioning: The unique way what you do transforms your ideal client’s problem into something of remarkable value
- Website Design: The way you express your brand promise online through your copy, images and content and invite your clients to begin a relationship with you
- Communication: The content that you create and publish for the purpose of engaging current and potential clients with the understanding that delivering high-quality, relevant information to leads and clients drives profitable consumer actions
- List Building: How you’ll build an audience that trusts you and values your relationship so that when the time is right for working with you – they will naturally engage with you
- Partnership Set Up: What you'll do and say on a free intro call that positions you as the solution and partner your future client has been waiting for
- Offers & Pricing: What products and services your clients will love and be more than willing to pay for (that will deliver on the promised transformation)
The Business Case for a System that Helps You Consistently Get Consulting Clients
There are two massive benefits for shifting your marketing focus from finding clients to ATTRACTING clients through building your marketing system. The first is that this approach ensures that you avoid wasting time and money on false starts and generic tactics that lead to hit or miss results:
And more importantly if you want the credibility and revenue gains that comes from being positioned in the market as a sought-after expert and thought leader, this is the only way to achieve this goal.
How to Make Sure Your System Gets Consulting Clients
Follow these tips and best practices and you'll get your system working to get you consulting clients with ease and integrity.
- Go slow to go fast – make sure all the pieces are in place and aligned with one another
- First who, then what – take an objective and in-depth look at your ideal clients and what they are actually thinking and feeling
- Your best copy and strategies come from the conversation that inside your ideal client’s heads (not yours)
- To stand out in the market, focus on how you uniquely meet an unmet or under-met market need
- While your experience, education and methodology matters, what people buy are your unique strengths and how you personally show up and support them
- Your website is the hub of your marketing system and potentially your 24/7 sales machine – even if you get leads, you shape your clients thinking about who you are and what your consulting and coaching is worth by the quality of your website design, copy and content
- List building is not dead, no matter how many emails you unsubscribe from. Not everybody who visits your website is ready for a free consult, therefore honor the time it might take to build the know, like and trust factor by creating relevant and meaningful content
- The single most important meeting that defines your earning potential and ability to scale is the initial discovery call (aka free coaching call, free consult call, free intro call, etc.)
- A proposal is not a legal document – it’s an invitation for a strategic partnership. When done well, you give your future client a gift of what they need to do to get from where they are today to where they want to be and the value/ROI they get by working with you
To ensure your system works and scales:
- Install metrics for each aspect of the system
- Set up the system, see how the market responds and adapt
- When you don’t have enough clients, instead of every day being “ground hog day” – work the system. Find and plug the leaks through pivoting rather than recreating the wheel or throwing money into a system that you’ll likely lose
The Bottom Line
One of the most agonizing and troubling questions that both new and seasoned consultants ask is "How do I get consulting clients?" The best way of answering this question is to design a strategy to ensure you never have to ask that question again by setting up a system that gets consulting clients for you. And that system isn't networking to find more successful consultants or generous nexus people to act as your unpaid sales force. It's setting up your business in such a way that you are consistently attracting your ideal clients to you and influencing them at every touchpoint that you are the consultant who deeply cares about them and creating relevant solutions that will create the transformation THEY are looking for.
Where You Might Get Stuck
Self-limiting beliefs about marketing and imposter syndrome is what most often stands in the way of consistent client attraction.
Here's the thing - if you were consulting to a company that struggled with not getting enough clients and through your assessment you identified that they avoided marketing and sales like the plague, you'd have some tough love for them. You'd tell them clearly that it's not their customer's job to find them but for them to find their customers and if they want to have a successful business, they got to get smart and strategic about marketing.
This principle holds true for you. You left corporate and started your own business. And as a business owner, you have to achieve mastery around all aspects of your business - including marketing and sales. You can't wish your way around it.
I got lots of ways to help you right now to quickly overcome your marketing mindset and strategy challenges:
1. Read my article on the 4 Reasons Why Consultants Hate Marketing. Your struggle is real and we all have it. Read why.
2. Read my article on How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome. We all struggle with it. You can overcome it. I promise.
3. Join my list using the link at the bottom of this post and get consulting quick wins and training right to your inbox. One of the reasons why you don't know how to get consulting clients is that this is all new to you. It's a brand new skill that you haven't been trained in. So equip yourself with proven frameworks and actual work samples that will show you what to do.
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