It is no surprise that consultants are some of the most active people on social media, particularly on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Why would a company use a consultant?
Because they have
- Expertise that the company may not have in-house
- Specialist or niche experience
- Been through similar challenges before
- Have helped companies like them
- Value-add in a variety of ways
Companies are often not looking for a consultant. In fact, consultants can have a reputation as an expensive resource, working in their client’s offices on secondment, and while they’re looking for new projects they can work on, competing with other consultancies.
What companies are looking for are solutions to their problems or someone to show them the easiest way to improve their:
- Technology and systems
- Customer experience
- Employee engagement
- Bottom line
- Sales and marketing
- And so on….
So, how do the great consultants stand out from the crowd, showing the value they can bring?
- Opinion and commentary
- Client stories/case studies
- Facilitating discussion
Consultants naturally use ‘Account-based Marketing’ – with relationships on many levels of their target companies.
The employees who have been given the task of researching a problem/solution
Our consultants add value, with content about common problems and their solutions.
The employees who are at the sharp end of the problem
Our consultants invite them to their LinkedIn group and/or their event to facilitate discussion, share best practice and to understand where they are, benchmarked against peer organisations.
Content about how the consultant has helped organisations just like theirs
The employees who are on the Board
Content about company strategy, culture, industry – showing an understanding of strategic direction and what affects bottom line.
These are consultants story-telling
- Why they have chosen to specialise in this field?
- What led them here?
- Who are these individuals?
- What is their experience?
- Why companies need their approach?
- How can they solve their problems?
- What needs to be done?
- Who else have they done this for?
- Do they know what we need?
- Can they help us a company like ours?
Anyone who wants to gorge on their content will get all the information they need. For most consultants work can come through referrals, and their existing network. They have done a great job, and all too often there is a heavy weighting to money from one or two clients, which is risky for business.
In order to grow your consultancy business, there is a need to reach out to new people in a cold way in order that they hear your story.
You may meet these people in person, while networking, connect with them, and stay front of mind with regular content updates and articles.
You may meet these people online. We know it doesn’t work to ask ‘Do you need a consultant?’ You need to add value and slowly let these people know what you stand for, how you help people and become the go-to for your niche/speciality.
Mostly – grow your network.
Get them into a group, keep them front of mind, and invite them to events so they meet you. It’s a long game, but it works and it pays off. People move roles they are still connected to you – the individuals and when they move to their new organisation with a related problem, they will get in touch.
Of course, all in-bound doesn’t bring enough leads if you are really wanting to grow your business, so it is worth an ask for a coffee – even without a brief / purpose – so your network get to know you in person too.