While many people are competing in the job market, another approach is to offer your talents as a consultant.
You can find all kinds of specializations and target a audience that needs your services. Companies are increasingly looking for experts per project instead of hiring someone full-time.
Hiring a freelance allows you to set your tariffs, choose your clients, and in many cases work from home (although some projects may require face-to-face meetings).
However, consultants face one major challenge, especially when they're just starting out: finding clients. You have to be creative and persistent in building your reputation.
This will give you more consulting customers
Here are some of the best ways to get more clients than consultants.
1. Create a Targeted Client Profile
New consultants often make the mistake of addressing potential customers too broadly. Identifying your ideal customer and looking for the best ways to reach him or her is important.
Look at industries, company size, region, marketing style, and other relevant factors that you can identify. Over time, your customer profile will most likely evolve as you learn which people and companies are best suited for your services.
2. Make your website a lead generation tool
Your website is one of your most powerful tools as a consultant. Hence, you should make sure that you get the most of it.
In addition to professional design and user-friendly navigation, you need a lead generation process. Always have a call to action on every page that reads, for example, "Call us for a free consultation" or "Sign up for my newsletter".
When you offer a lead generation product like a whitepaper, you want to make that offer visible. Another essential feature of your website is a beautiful design that makes the content quickly available on all devices, including mobile devices.
3. Organize a live event or webinar
Holding an event, whether live or digital, is an effective way to position yourself as an expert in your industry. It is important to choose an engaging topic for your event that is relevant to your customers. You can't turn your presentation into a long advertisement for your services.
Instead, offer real information that will help your prospects. You can organize live events through MeetUp or by networking with a local business association. Webinars are now also pretty easy to set up. You can even use Google Hangouts for free.
Successful consultants know how to capitalize on the fact that most people are either lazy or pressed for time. When you tell people how to do something, many automatically think that it would be easier to just hire someone.
For example, if your specialty is local SEO, there are some great tips you can give companies on how to rank in the search engines. Don't worry about giving out any information. Many potential customers do not have the time or interest to carry out complicated tasks themselves.
4. Create a valuable product
Creating an authoritative book, white paper, or video is a great way to prove your expertise. As with a live event, many potential clients will be impressed with your knowledge and will prefer to let you do the heavy lifting. The only caveat is that you have to offer something unique. No matter what industry, you have a lot of competition.
You may not be able to develop entirely new strategies for every problem. What you can do is give your solutions a special touch. If possible, give specific examples.
If you don't have a lot of experience, see a case study used by a major brand. For example, if you want to demonstrate the effectiveness of influencer marketing on social media, give an example of a company that ran a successful campaign with an influencer.
One way to make your product even more impressive is to interview a recognized expert such as a writer, business owner, or influencer. Partnering with someone is mutually beneficial as both names are promoted.
5. Use LinkedIn
Almost everyone in the business world has a LinkedIn profile, but few are taking full advantage of this fast-growing social media site. LinkedIn has over 350 million members, many of whom are business owners.
Members do not log in to watch cat videos but to find jobs, customers, and relevant services. Here are some tips to help you get more out of LinkedIn.
- Get a Premium Account – There are several premium options, but business is the most relevant for consultants. If you upgrade to Business Membership, you can send up to 15 InMail messages per month, even to someone you haven't connected with. You also get unlimited member searches and business insights that can be used to provide valuable resources for businesses to find the best audiences.
- Join LinkedIn groups – Joining or even starting a group gives you the opportunity to connect with people in your industry or need the type of services you provide. It is important to regularly contribute to groups in a friendly and helpful manner. Never request your services directly as this will be perceived as spam.
- Post content – The LinkedIn timeline is now more user-friendly than it used to be. Share links and updates to keep your name in the minds of followers. You can also publish long articles that may be indexed by Google.
6. Join a co-working space
Cooperation spaces have emerged in cities all over the world. One of the challenges you face as a freelancer or consultant is meeting people in the real world. Co-working spaces are meeting places where different business owners, consultants, programmers and different creative types share the space.
Cooperating companies usually offer multiple plans depending on how many hours you want to be there. If you don't have many clients at this point, you can sign up for a minimum plan.
Showing up for just a few hours a week gives you the opportunity to connect with prospects. Even (or maybe especially) in the digital age, you can get a significant advantage by meeting someone in person rather than relying on email or messages.
7. Start a podcast
Podcasting is a fast growing medium that can help you reach a specialized audience in any niche. You don't need much more than a microphone and a subscription to a podcast hosting service to get started.
One of the best formats for podcasting is to interview experts in your field. You can start and finish any program by casually mentioning that you are a counselor.
As with many customer acquisition methods, you may not get a ton of business right away. However, you can use your program to build authority and spread your name widely.
These guidelines will help you attract clients to your consulting business. It takes time to get going. So don't expect to get big customers right away. If necessary, keep your current job as you begin.
However, as you gain momentum, your business will start to improve as you can ask existing customers for testimonials, which makes it easier to find new customers. You just need to prime the pump to start the process.