How to Market Your Consulting Business For Free

Let’s face it, if you’re like most consultants you are a one-man-band operating on a shoe string budget. You don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on marketing and advertisements. At the same time, the market looks a bit gloomy and you need to keep finding new clients.

This article will show you a step-by-step process to launch or grow your consulting business on a strict budget. In fact, the tips in this article will not cost you a thing!

Let’s face it, sometimes its good to have limited resources. Not having money to waste on marketing efforts that generate no return helps you focus on areas that will create results. To start, let’s get down to the basics of marketing your consulting business.

Step 1: Determine Your Target Market.

I know this sounds elementary, but you must understand the importance of choosing a target market. Many consultants don’t want to focus, for fear of missing out on prospects. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you have an unlimited number of prospects. Focusing on a specific market will show your prospects that you have expertise and concentration in their area. This will make you more valuable and in return, close more deals. Remember to choose this market based off of your previous experience and education.

Step 2: Create a Strong Message and Hook.

Once you have determined your target market, you need a strong message to reach your prospects. You can’t just market that you are the best consultant in their industry. They will not believe you. Instead, you need a solid message that will show your value. This message needs to include:

  • identify the problem they have
  • your solution
  • the benefits of your solution
  • why you are unique
  • proof (examples, testimonials, case studies)

Next, you need a short version of this message called a “hook”. Instead of saying “I’m a marketing consultant.” You could say: “I help local retailers market their stores using the latest technology to increase sales.”

With a strong message and hook, you will be able to attract more interest. Once you have them asking to learn more, you can move onto why you are unique and provide examples of your successful projects.

Step 3: Position Yourself as an Expert. Have you ever known a consultant who has projects come to them? Ever wonder why these consultants got these deals (which always seem to be at a high rate with a blue chip client)? It’s because they were perceived as experts in their field. How did they get there? They got there by doing a few simple tasks.

  1. Speak – Find associations and conferences associated with your target market. These groups are always looking for good, informative speakers. Take time every few months and speak at one of these engagements. You will be perceived as an expert and make a ton of contacts.
  2. Write Articles – Many trade publications accept articles from consultants. Write a few helpful articles (not sales pitches) that address some of the rising concerns in your target market. Yes, you will be providing free information. But that’s ok! This is proving your expertise in the industry. At the end of the article provide your contact information. You’d be surprised at the prospects that will contact you.
  3. Create a Blog or eNewsletter – Another way to build your network is to create a following. With technology you can start doing this in a matter of minutes. To start, post a blog or send an eNewsletter every week or two that has helpful information. These can usually be shorter than your articles and help provide ideas for future publications. If the information you provide is helpful people will begin forwarding your tips on to their colleagues and your network will begin to grow.

Using these steps you will begin to generate a following. Because of this your client list will grow and so will your hourly rate! If you start your marketing plan by focusing on the basics, you will become more successful than you ever imagined!