Your consulting firm can increase the amount and quality of engagement from the readers, listeners and viewers of your marketing content (a.k.a. your thought leadership).
You utter pithy proclamations in your podcasts, write alluring arguments in your articles, and present a veritable treasure trove of value in your videos. You even pepper your content with culinary puns.
So, why does virtually no one comment on the content your consulting firm produces? Or, why do you receive only nice-but-thin, two-word comments like, “Great article”?
Does engagement from your consulting firm’s audience even matter?*
When your audience responds, comments, expands on your content and recommends it to others, your consulting firm benefits.
- You enjoy increased exposure among prospective clients.
- You receive implied, social proof of your consulting firm’s value.
- You publicly create a taste of what it’s like to work with your consulting firm.
- You start a conversation with a contact that is likely to evolve into an engagement.
- You attract interest from potential partners who, in turn, increase your consulting firm’s exposure even more.
If you want to absolutely, 100% guarantee high engagement with your content, there’s a surefire method to achieve that goal:
Offer money. Lots of money. $1,000 for each comment ought to do it.
No, belay that order. Your consulting firm isn’t trying to attract indiscriminate hordes chasing a prize. You’re looking for engagement from thoughtful, potential consulting clients.
Therefore, let’s explore a few realistic strategies for sparking reaction and engagement between your prospects and your consulting firm’s content.
Stay Right-Side Up
Your content is about your audience, not about your consulting firm.
Tactically, that means:
- Focus on what your audience wants to know, not on what you want to say.
- Make your audience the hero by creating opportunities for them to look smart.
Invite Your Audience to Engage
Literally ask your readers, listeners and viewers to post a comment. To help this along…
- Ask a question at the end of your audio, video or written piece. The best questions allow for many, different “right” answers.
- Ensure the mechanics of posting a comment are easy. (No one wants to search for a button on your site.)
Consider including a survey with either an instant result or a closed answer period, after which you’ll distribute the results.
Tap Into Strong Opinions
Take a controversial stand and don’t worry that a portion of your consulting firm’s audience will disagree vehemently with you.
Focus on a hot topic and establish a forum for the audience to debate.
Of course, there are probably many other factors tips and tricks that will help boost engagement with your consulting firm’s marketing content.*
Have you ever shared or commented an article, podcast or video? If so, why?
Text and images are © 2023 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.
I comment on your insightful articles 1) because they’re really good 2) you respond.
Engagement has been really slow on my social posts recently – been chalking it up to people being disengaged, desensitized, and distracted by “current events,” but I’ll try to ask questions that make my audience look smart instead of playing the hero… hmm… what’s your most “controversial article”?
Eric, you’ve pointed out something the article left out: responding to comments increases engagement. It also initiates a conversation with the person who wrote the comment and, interestingly, with others who read the exchange.
If engagement on your social posts has flagged, it could very well be the time of year or that you need to freshen your content a little bit. Mix it up with something completely different–a contest or survey or illustration or limerick, for instance.
Controversy can be very effective; however, I don’t use it much with my community. All my readers are like you: friendly and agreeable. 😃 Thanks for jumping into conversation with me today, Eric!
Ruth’s hair isn’t blue. Now you owe me $500.
You’re so funny. Good thing our sister doesn’t read my articles or I’d be out $1k.
Actually, her hair looks purple in my post 🙂
Wow … this is a great way to make some pocket money.
David, when does your next article come out?!
Rod, your comment cracked me up. Of course, you have the disadvantage of not actually being my brother, unlike Derek. He’s not getting the $500 either.
Over the New Year’s weekend, I’ll work on an illustration of a $500 bill. Then we could award them to commenters like NFTs. Wow, the convergence of consulting, bad drawing, and cutting-edge economy. You may have started something big, Rod!
David, I feel like I check all the boxes on LinkedIn.
– I’ve tried asking questions, tried surveys, focus on my audience, and write about current topics.
I haven’t written any posts that are controversial, but I have commented on other posts with some pretty strong opinions. People have reacted to those but it has not garnered any new followers.
I have actually slacked the pace of posting partly because I am (thankfully) so busy with consulting work, and partly because I am so discouraged. I have reached out to contacts and they say they’re reading my posts but they are not commenting or reacting (no real explanation).
The stats show people are looking but not reacting and my following is not growing significantly.
My business is under a year old so maybe I’m simply being impatient. Or maybe I need better content.
Thank you for the opportunity to be reflective. (You may choose to call it a pity dump, I choose to call it being reflective and I’m sticking to it.)
And thank you for all the great direction and inspiration! Your books and articles are top-notch.
Penny, LinkedIn is a world unto itself with somewhat different rules than other content distribution vehicles. Because connections on LinkedIn are looser than, say, subscribers to your podcast or regular readers of a magazine you write for, content tends to resonate with a smaller percentage of the audience. Therefore, you have to reach a much, much larger audience to create engagement.
Two thoughts on LinkedIn: 1) patience, 2) partners. Partners are a HUGE part of successfully increasing the exposure of your consulting firm, and they’re definitely one of the keys to LinkedIn. Find people whose tribes complement your own, and work with them to expand your reach and to seed engagement.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Penny. It’s important to have a safe place to vent your frustrations, and (I hope) this is one. Also, good on you for being busy–obviously, you’re doing a lot right!
I have posted comments on your blog and on some others. The “why” is easy, I post a comment if the topic is of interest and I feel that I am adding value to and furthering the conversation.
You’ve captured an important aspect of creating engagement, Michael: create opportunities for your audience to add value.
Many consultants feel like their content is supposed to show off their superior knowledge; they’d be better off using their content to create a relationship with smart folks like you!
Thanks for your insights and wisdom, Michael!