Whether you’re an accountant, a personal trainer or a freelance designer, you know your consulting business needs a steady stream of clients to thrive. To keep bringing in new clients, you need to be proactive about marketing your business and your skills to the world.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. Putting in a few minutes each week can yield real results.
Five ways to market your consulting business in under an hour
By setting aside a little time each day for your focused marketing efforts, you can grow your business without spending too much money or using up your precious billable hours on non-billable work.
- Schedule posts in advance.
- Monitor hashtags and join the conversation.
- Search for speaking opportunities.
- Scan conference guest lists for potential clients
- Connect with micro-influencers.
1. Schedule posts in advance
Being active on social media is a great way to drive brand awareness and attract clients. But if you’re busy trying to earn a living, you probably don’t want to spend too much of your time on Twitter or Facebook during working hours. By using a social media management app, such as Buffer or Hootsuite, you can schedule posts in advance.
In just a few minutes, you can schedule a week’s worth of status updates for all your social media accounts. That means you can stay focused on your work, knowing your content is out in the market working for you. Of course, you’ll need to check for comments and mentions, but you can set aside a few minutes once or twice a day to do so.
2. Monitor hashtags and join the conversation
Keeping your social media accounts active is one way to market your consulting business. But if you want to take things up a notch, you need to engage in conversations with potential clients. By posting informative replies, you can demonstrate your expertise without being pushy or intrusive.
This doesn’t mean spamming people or pestering them to book a consultation with you. It means monitoring relevant hashtags for questions you can answer and conversations where you can thoughtfully contribute. When a user mentions a hashtag you’re following, you can respond quickly and directly.
Each week, spend a few minutes checking your hashtags and replying to conversations. It won’t take you very long, and the engagement you can squeeze out of it can lead to new clients. Still not convinced?
Consider this: Social media is the preferred channel for customer care among its users.
3. Search for speaking opportunities
Speaking opportunities can be an efficient way to simultaneously market your consulting business and share your expertise with a large group of people. When you have 15 minutes to spare, search for conferences and seminars relevant to your industry, and bookmark them.
Then, when you have half an hour to spend, write a motivation to be a speaker and an abstract for your proposed presentation. Send it to the conference organisers along with your profile.
4. Scan conference guest lists for potential clients
Once you’ve found a few local conferences to attend, search their websites for speaker lists and watch the conference hashtag on social media to identify potential clients to reach out to later. While it can be trickier to e-mail these leads if you didn’t attend the conference, you can still use the event to start a conversation.
For example, you can ask how the conference went since you were hoping to go but couldn’t. Then, you can extend a free consultation to them to keep the discussion going.
If you do attend and you are not on the speaker list, take this as an opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs and industry leaders. This will help to spread the news about your business and overall brand.
5. Connect with micro-influencers
Independent endorsements for your consulting services from people who are respected in your industry can attract new clients to your business. Of course, you won’t be hiring an international celebrity if you run a small graphic design firm in Cape Town, but an endorsement from a colleague known in ad agency circles can make a big difference for you.
In professional services it is often beneficial to work with a smaller niche influencer that is highly related to your brand rather than a big influencer with broader appeal.
Spend a few minutes reaching out to micro-influencers in your industry. Once you connect, you can foster a relationship over time and team up for a promotion to help market your consulting business.
Marketing in minutes
You need to market your consulting business if you want it to grow. But you don’t have to spend all your time doing it. Spend some time each week on these relatively quick and painless marketing strategies to help your business thrive.
This article has been adapted from an original piece by Jenni McKinnon.