A major part of standing out as an independent consultant is learning how to effectively market your services. Don’t waste your money on ineffective campaigns and expensive pay-per-click ads. Here are the steps to building a powerful and cost-conscious marketing plan:
We’ve said this before, but the foundation of your marketing plan as an independent consultant should always be a tailored definition of your area of expertise. Not only will this distinguish you from other consultants, but it will also serve as the core concept behind your brand.
Posting regularly to social media is important, and you should try to keep a steady stream of relevant content going. If you think you don’t have time, try using a scheduling platform like Buffer or Hootsuite to queue everything up for the week at once.
But don’t stop there. Use your social media accounts as tools to generate interactions with other industry professionals and potential leads. Join conversations, ask questions, and contribute frequently to a few hashtags and groups. If you post an article from a third party, tag the author; it’s a great way to get your name out there, and they’ll certainly appreciate the shout-out.
One of the most effective ways to market your consulting services is by becoming a thought leader. As you’re working on projects, start a list of potential topics to write about. Ideas might include frequent questions asked by clients or your thoughts on a certain practice. Try to post something every week or two, and don’t forget to share your content across all your social media accounts. If you really want to reach a bigger audience, cross-publish your posts on LinkedIn Pulse and Medium.
What’s the point? Publishing enough valuable content over time will help you gradually build up thought leadership in your area of expertise. Good blog posts can lead to speaking engagements and guest writing for other publications. The end game, according to Forbes contributor Henry DeVries, is “to be a thought leader who is sought and bought, not just another professional who has to continually tell and sell to find clients.”
You already know that networking is important, and as an independent consultant, you might rely heavily on referrals to get work. If you’re not getting enough organic leads from your current network, try offering incentives to well-connected individuals or businesses to give you work. For example, you could offer a small discount to a repeat client on their next project for each referral they give you that turns into a job. The best part is that you only pay for the lead if the contract gets signed.
These tools will help you effectively marketing your consulting services as an independent. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle, sign up for Bench SME. We provide marketing support to independent consultants by connecting you directly to clients with an active project need.