At last count, there are 2,398 programs, vehicles and channels for you to market your consulting firm. Approximately. You can buy yourself some SEO tactics, media packages, space on a speaker platform or the perfect webinar system. Myriad spending choices all devoted to solving your biggest problem: You’re not in front of enough buyers. You need more visibility!
That is your biggest problem, right? If you could just get in front of more prospects your business would explode. That’s the story spun by folks peddling those marketing opportunities. But they’re lying to you.
You don’t have a visibility problem.
You have an impact problem.
The prospects you’re in front of aren’t paying attention. Your message slides off them like chocolate syrup cascading from a superhydrophobic tennis shoe.
Fortunately, I’ve got good news: your prospects haven’t been sprayed with a special coating (as far as I know). Hmmm, that’s not news.
Let’s try this instead: Before you invest in spreading your message, make your content much, much stickier. If you don’t, your marketing efforts will be highly inefficient. You’ll find yourself frustrated, suspicious and prone to accusations like, “The claims they made about this tactic were lies, lies, lies!”
How do you solve an impact problem? I’m glad you asked.
To create impact you have to be relevant and meaningful.
Relevant means prospects think you’re talking about them. The more specifically your target description applies to them, the more relevant you’ll sound. One consultant I work with tells prospects he works with newly-promoted pharmaceutical executives. If you’ve just become a VP at Pfizer, your ears perk up when you hear that description. It’s relevant to you.
Meaningful signifies you solve a problem or help achieve an aspiration that your prospect strongly needs and wants now. Right now. Again, specificity is your friend. While you might think clients would jump all over “improve organizational effectiveness” or “identify growth strategies,” the truth is those promises are far too generic. Even when executives start with a need that vague, they’re tightly focused by the time they reach the “buy now” state of mind.
Important Note: Pandering is neither relevant nor meaningful.
When you’re hungry for business, it’s tempting to say whatever you think a prospect wants to hear. Gosh, you’re a banker? I just happen to work with bankers. In fact, bankers are my specialty. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
You can get a conversation or two started that way and maybe even win a few projects. But before long even you won’t know what you do or what you’re good at. Then winning business becomes harder and harder. And you start believing the tale that all you need is more visibility.
If you have a couple of light-duty weeks as the year draws to a close, take the time to truly narrow in on what you do. Who is your target? What specific problem do you solve? You’ll find you’re far more likely to win business from everyone you’re in front of.
And then you can focus on visibility. Because the truth is once you have impact, you should invest in marketing to become better known. That’s no lie.
I’m curious, what else do you think generates impact?
Text and images are © 2018 David A. Fields, all rights reserved.