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How to Dramatically Expand the Audience that Sees Your Consulting Firm’s Content

Being smart and producing high-value content aren’t sufficient to win new consulting clients. Unless you expose a broader universe of prospects to your content, your opportunities to win business will stay narrow.

On the up side, you have a right to be proud of your work. Your consulting firm’s thought leadership on chocolate soufflés is undeniable. Any restaurant chain that suffers from collapsing creations should be engaging you to consult with their CKO (Chief Kitchen Officer).

On the down side, that large universe of prospects isn’t knocking down your consulting firm’s door because… they’ve never heard of you. Dang! You need more eyeballs watching your videos and reading your articles. You need more earballs listening to your podcasts.

Since a small fraction of your target population appears on your contact list, the audience you can attract directly is small. How do you increase your exposure?

By borrowing audiences.

Borrowing an audience means presenting your content to those fine folks residing on someone else’s contact list.

4 Steps to Borrowing Audiences


Step 1: Start With the Obvious

Some audiences are meant to be borrowed. For instance, Restaurant Today magazine shares many authors’ content with their list of subscribers. Each author is borrowing the magazine’s audience. The same concept applies to trade associations and conferences.

Does your marketing plan already include at least five trade publications and/or conferences whose audience you’re borrowing? If not, start by locking in at least five of these pre-made, obvious audiences.

Step 2: Identify Non-Obvious Partners

Find five, potential partners whose audience you could borrow. Potential partners are folks who talk to people likely to be your prospects.

High-potential candidates are suppliers to your industry, like Rintin’s Tins. They’re also software providers, direct competitors, consulting firms with adjacent offerings, other professional service providers (e.g., attorneys), influencers, leaders of formal and informal networks, and anyone who sells Girl Scout cookies.

Step 3: Create Relationships

Audiences are valuable and the CEO of Rintin’s Tins isn’t going to parade you in front of his contacts unless he trusts you. Hence, it’s time to initiate and nurture relationships with your potential partners.

My suggestion: give them a call. Compliment them on the value they provide and inquire about their journeys. In other words, stay Right-Side Up.

Step 4: Help Them… and Along the Way, Help Yourself

Many consulting firms mistakenly think that their own offering is so intrinsically valuable that potential partners should obviously recommend them. Those consultants lead with, “Promoting me is a way to add value for your contact list.”

In essence, they’re saying, “Help me, and along the way you’ll benefit.”

As you know, that’s upside-down thinking. Flip that Right-Side Up by saying, “Let me help you, and along the way I’ll benefit.”

Discuss how you can add some sunshine to their lives. Perhaps you could loan them your audience, or introduce them to a valuable contact or resource.

Even better, can you build their services into your consulting offering ? Perhaps purchasing equipment from Rintin’s Tins should be your clients’ first step before you launch into your culinary consulting, or a recommendation at the end.

Best yet, what if you could help Rintin’s Tins leverage their own audience more? For instance, what if you penned an article (or gave a webinar, podcast, speech, etc.) on soufflé fundamentals and, as part of that presentation you reinforced the importance of using the finest baking equipment… like Rintin’s Tins!

Borrowing an audience doesn’t have to be a big event, though. Simply posting an insightful comment on your partner’s blog puts you in front of their readers.

Borrowing audiences dramatically expands your reach, and finding audiences to borrow should be a centerpiece in your marketing plan.

Have you ever borrowed an audience? I’d like to hear what’s worked for you.

  1. steven feinberg
    April 26, 2018 at 1:52 am Reply

    thinking of expanding to Lassie, Fury, or Sky King, Flipper and then Rin Tin Tin… could be other audiences…wasn’t that the Saturday morning tv line up… hope all is well…sf

    • David A. Fields
      April 26, 2018 at 8:41 am Reply

      Funny, Steven. In a way, all those characters borrowed audiences from each other (and, of course, the network’s viewership). By running the shows in adjacent time slots, the networks were able to keep kids who turned on the TV for one show sitting in front of it for the next one too.

      Rin Tin Tin and Flipper were “competitors” for Saturday morning attention; yet, they helped each other (business-wise) too. A good illustration of why borrowing audiences from a competitor–and lending your own to your competitors–can be effective. Come to think of it, wasn’t Flipper on in the evenings? Don’t answer that… let’s just go with the lesson!

      Thanks for the comment, Steven.

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