The need for consultants is increasing every day in our rapidly growing business world, so much that the outlook for consultants is expected to increase by 14 percent between 2020 and 2028! Whether you are just starting out as a consultant or you have an established consulting business, finding new clients can be one of the challenges of the industry.
Starting and sustaining a consulting business requires a steady influx of new clients. Since there are increasing numbers of professionals and companies in need of consultants, it should be easy to find new clients, right? Not necessarily. Here are some tips and tricks to landing new clients in the ever changing world of business consulting.
Share helpful industry related content through blogs, social media, and a website
Sharing content about your industry on a blog, your website, and social media can help you establish an online presence, which will help you to gain credibility with potential clients. By creating, writing, and sharing helpful industry tips, tricks, and news, you will appear knowledgeable and experienced. Any potential clients who come across your business through your social media presence will be interested in working with you if you come across this way!
Sharing content through an array of online platforms will also assist in getting your business onto the screens and in front of the eyes of larger numbers of potential clients, directly and indirectly! Having a blog attached to your consulting website will also enable you to potentially reach larger audiences by showing up in search engine results! These are just a few of the many ways that sharing content online can increase your chances of winning new clients.
Ask for referrals from past clients
Start with personal business connections, those you have worked with in the past, to help you get your foot in the door with new clients. You don’t even have to limit the referral process to professional clients, you can also reach out to friends and family to get an idea if they know of anyone who may be in need of consulting services. This can be a great way to find clients, thanks to the know, like, trust factor. If the people you ask for referrals know you well, like you, and trust you, all of those things can transfer to your potential clients.
By using referrals to find new clients, you will likely be able to find clients who will trust you, as they found out about you from a trusted source of theirs- a mutual connection that you both have in common. One thing to remember is that you should actively pursue new clients while also being proactive about asking for referrals. You’ll need to do more than just sit and wait for the referrals to roll in. In the meantime, there are lots of other ways to gain new clients!
Partner with other consultants or firms
Creating strategic partnerships can make all the difference when it comes to recruiting consulting clients. You can get in with agencies or firms in a couple of different ways. The first way is to offer a specialized service or consulting specialty the agency or individual doesn’t offer. By doing this, any clients needing your specific services will be referred to you by the agency. Another way is to partner with an agency or individual that has an overflow of clients, and offer to assist them in consulting with some of their clients, reducing their load.
Invest in paid advertising
While you may want to gain clients organically, and without spending any money, if you find yourself in need of more clients, it may be a good idea to invest in paid advertising, and your best bets are through social media or web advertising. If you want to go for a very specific, targeted audience, Facebook Ads are the best way to do so.
You can create targeted ad campaigns specifically for audiences who may be in need of your consulting expertise and services. These expenditures should be viewed as investments, and if your campaign is run well, you should see a return on this investment in the form of new clients somewhat quickly.
Connect face to face at industry meetups and events
One of the best ways to make strong connections with potential clients is through conferences, where you are able to meet face to face, have a conversation, get to know one another, and exchange contact information. It’s an easy way to network and gain tons of contacts, market yourself in person to lots of potential clients, and if you market yourself well, they’ll remember you and reach out next time they’re in need of consulting services!
Follow up with old leads
Just because you didn’t quite cross the finish line with a company, that doesn’t mean they never want to work with you! Very often, it can be a case of “right place, wrong time” and it can’t hurt to reach back out! Contact them, get to know how their business is doing since you last connected, update them on what you’ve been up to professionally, even sharing experiences and stories of recent happy clients and success stories.
Who knows? You might reach out at the exact right time, and you may be able to score them as a new client! Worst case scenario, they say no, but they will definitely keep you on their radar and you’ll stand out as a proactive consultant to them!
Utilize online job boards
Online job boards and online listings can help to connect you with clients interested in hiring a consultant for specific projects, specialized tasks, and more! The only downside of this method is that it lacks the flexibility of signing your own client as a consultant, but it can be a great way to make a connection with a company, exposing your consulting skills to other potential clients, and get your foot in the door if you’re just starting out as a consultant. You can use job boards like Indeed or even freelancing sites like Fiverr to find new clients!
While you may hit slow patches where it feels as though there are no prospects, no individuals or businesses in need of consultants, this is never the case. There will always be a growing need for consultants, you just need to use the right methods to find the clients that are right for you. Those clients are out there. You’ve got this!