Sit back and imagine your consulting firm as pure, rich, creamy scoops of ice cream. Prospects and consulting opportunities are the hot fudge that pours onto your icy practice in a steady, glossy stream of chocolatey richness.
When you put it that way, it’s hard not to like consulting, right?
Except, that you need to keep the fudge sauce hot—at least 165°F or the topping hits your firm in large, unpredictable lumps and clumps. If it cools down too much, the flow may stop entirely.
Lumps and clumps. That sums up most consulting firms’ revenue flow.
What’s the heat source that keeps your tasty pipeline of prospects hot? Marketing.
While marketing your consulting firm can seem daunting, it’s really quite simple.
5 Keys to Great, Consulting Firm Marketing
Have a Point of View
You should have a well-considered, Success Thesis: a rational explanation of why some of your clients’ competitors perform better than others.
Your point of view (i.e., your Success Thesis) doesn’t need to be unique, controversial or differentiated. However, you do need to be able to support your point of view with data, evidence, case studies and/or anecdotes.
Make Your Point of View Easy to Understand
Long, rambling explanations suck the energy and credibility from your Success Thesis.
Metaphors, models, and simple frameworks (like the classic 2×2 chart) are your friend. Test out your explanation on a slow-witted, adult relative. If he says, “Yeah, I get it,” while brushing the rainbow sprinkles from his chin, you’re good to go.
Make Your Point of View Actionable
Clients don’t hire consultants who are smart and have interesting ideas. Clients hire consulting firms that will tell them confidently and specifically what to do.
Whether your consulting firm offers advice, planning, implementation or some combination of those three, your marketing will only produce clients if you translate your Success Thesis into specific, granular action steps.
Shout Your Point of View Where Prospects Can Hear You
Prospects need to hear your point of view (obviously). That’s what the Five Marketing Musts are for.
Choose the marketing channels that fit your consulting firm’s strengths and your prospects’ likelihood to engage. If your best prospects read mangas, then illustrate your Success Thesis with Japanese-style drawings and post it on crunchyroll.com. (Let me know when you’re back from Googling all that.)
Market Now, and Later
Don’t wait until your Success Thesis is fully formed to start broadcasting. Announce your consulting firm’s thinking now.
Don’t wait until every one of your relatives understands your consulting firm’s concise message. Publish it now.
Don’t wait until your action steps are fully formed. Broadcast your Success Thesis now.
Don’t wait until the perfect, high-ROI marketing plan has been assembled. Jump into action now.
Don’t wait until all (or most) words, colors, images, or graphics are “right.” Market now.
That seems pretty clear.
Then repeat your consulting message. Over, and over.
Along the way, you can fine tune, adjust, shift, modify and even completely reverse your opinion. You can develop entirely new Success Theses, and try new channels.
As long as you consistently keep the heat up, attracting a steady flow of consulting clients is as easy as… well… eating ice cream.
In the comments, share your favorite marketing tip (or your favorite marketing metaphor).
Text and images are © 2023 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.