Consulting has become an important business, with growing prospects. Getting and satisfying your first client is challenging. But if you have done excellent work for your first client, you will be rewarded with new clients quickly. Consulting is attracting many young professionals. If you have the skill required, consulting business is easy to start. You don’t need any legal permission to start a consultancy service. The startup costs involve only procuring a business license and getting your business cards printed.
It is also true that it is a very competitive business. This is because clients can very easily contact a large number of experts in this field online from all over the world who are willing to work at very competitive prices.
The advantage to a startup is that established consultants want to take on a few selected firms that pay very well, leaving the rest of the market share for new players. So here we bring you a comprehensive guide on how to attract more and more clients to your consulting business:
1. Attracting the right clients
The first important step you must take to attract clients to your consulting business is to have a great online presence. Clients who are in need of consultation will be searching online for companies offering such services. If your portfolio is visible on the portal, you sure will attract clients.
2. Creating an impeccable portfolio
Your website need not be fancy, but your portfolio should clearly talk about your field of expertise and your previous achievements. Give details of the projects you have done in the past, the methodology you followed, and try getting a testimonial of the client you worked for.
3. Identify clients best suited for your consultation business
Before entering into business with prospective clients, identify the qualities and characteristics you are looking for in a client. This will help you to strategize your client approach, and you will attract the clients best suited to your business. While building your strategy, keep in mind the following:
- Consider your expertise, what type of client is more suitable (organizations or individuals).
- It is important to consider the size of companies that will be able to afford you, in case you are looking to offer consultation services to businesses.
- Take into consideration the job title of individuals whom you want as clients.
- Identify projects that will be best suited to you.
- The geographical location of your prospective clients.
- What are the problems that your prospective clients want to solve?
4. Identify your area of expertise
You must put out your area of expertise to your prospective clients. This will give you a competitive edge over the other consultants in the market. For example, you have a good rapport with people, and you can organize them into teams that work well together, then you can market this talent to companies. These could be firms looking for a consultant who can organize their employees into cohesive teams. Clarity about your skills allows you to offer it on the table to your prospective client and win them over.
5. Helpful content associated with your niche must be shared
It is prudent to understand the problems that your prospective client is looking a solution for. It is then that you can convince them how you are an authority in that area. You can share with them content that will convince them that they can rely on you totally to find a solution to their problem. This does not mean that you have to disclose the entire content about solving their problem. That knowledge is only to be shared with your paid clients. It only means help a prospective client solve a small issue to build trust and confidence in you. This is a legitimate way of promoting yourself to someone who is ready to take you on as a consultant.
6. Request former clients for referrals
Do not hesitate to request for referral from former clients who have been satisfied with your work. Previous clients who have been happy with your consultation services will be more than happy to recommend you to other people. But this does not happen without effort on your part. You will have to be proactive and ask them tactfully to refer you to other contacts. For example, you could ask them if they know of some other clients that are looking for the services you can offer. Alternatively, you could request them to share your name with their contacts if they have been satisfied with your work.
7. Paid advertising is worth investing in
Investing in paid advertising brings good returns, as it will spread the word about your consultancy business fast. You can target your ads on the Facebook platform at potential clients who may be looking for consultants to solve their specific problems.
8. Networking is important
Go to meets and events connected to the industry you are looking to work in. Be alert about these events when they happen in your city or state. Attending them will bring you in contact with suitable clients and lead you to your ideal prospects.
9. Enter into partnership with consulting firms
If you specialize in a particular field of consultancy, then a good strategy will be to get into partnership with other consultants who specialize in a different set of skills. This way, working as a team, you can offer your clients a bundle of services. Your client base will widen, and you will be lead to more prospective clients and referrals in the future.
10. Always keep in touch with old leads
There will always be clients who, after discussions and meetings, did not get into business with you finally. Don’t get disheartened. Sometimes the client may have other restraints at that point of time that have nothing to do with your talent. Keep in touch with them by sharing the results of working with other happy clients. There are chances they might get back to you for business when they are ready.
To conclude, to be successful in your consultancy business, be present online, pitch well, identify your ideal client, have a proposal ready, address red flags promptly and be of indispensable value to them.
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