As a consultant, getting new clients for your business can seem hard. Yet, nothing is more essential to your success than keeping a steady stream of customers walking through your door (or visiting your website).
You’ve probably already heard (and tried) the standard advice other consultants give for getting new clients for your business: call your personal contacts, attend networking events, ask for referrals from current customers. All of these are important, but in this article, I want to go further. In this article, I want to give you 5 ideas you may not have thought of for getting new clients for your business.
Here they are, in no particular order:
#1: Develop a Niche Selling Proposition
In order to attract new customers, you need to stand out from the competition. One great way to do this is by developing a “niche selling proposition.” This means that you focus your consulting services on a narrow market segment that is easily to advertise to and which you know really well.
For example, rather than saying you’re a marketing consultant, what if you were a marketing consultant for orthodontists? Or for orthodontists in Los Angeles? Rather than saying you’re a fundraising consultant, what if you were a fundraising consultant just for small organizations? Or just for small animal shelters?
Imagine if everyone knew you were the #1 “go-to” guy or girl for coffee shop SEO or high school sports team logo design? Getting new clients for your business is easier when you’re a known quantity within a specific niche.
#2: Set Up an Affiliate or Referral Program
Another strategy for getting new clients for your business is by setting up an affiliate or referral program for others who work with your target clients. Under this type of program, companies that refer customers to you receive a finder’s fee or affiliate payment when you sign the referred person as a client.
The best way to utilize this strategy is to seek out complementary businesses – those that work with the same people you want to work with, but who provide different services. For example, if you’re a business strategy consultant working with mid-sized family-owned firms, you might want to offer a referral program to lawyers, accountants, advertising firms, and others working with the same mid-sized companies.
#3: Write an E-Book
Writing a book can be a great tactic for getting new clients for your business. (I suggest starting with an e-book, since it is easier to write and produce… but traditional books work well too). When you write an e-book and sell it on a platform like Amazon, you set yourself up as an expert and offer proof of your expertise… when people read your book, they’ll understand that you really know what you’re talking about.
Make sure that your e-book includes one or more pitches for your consulting services. Let people who are reading your book know how to get in touch with you and that you work with clients to help them implement the ideas in the book (as well as offering other services). To learn more, check out our article How to Write a Bestselling E-Book.
#4: Do a Podcast Tour
Podcasts are extremely popular, with many people listening to multiple podcasts per day. The great news for you is that podcast hosts are in constant need of interesting guests to appear on their programs. Appearing on podcasts can be excellent strategy for getting new clients for your business.
In order to leverage your time and energy, my suggestion is to consider doing a “podcast tour.” This means booking appearances on a number of podcasts over the course of 1-2 weeks, highlighting a new e-book or whitepaper you just released, or a brand-new article or infographic on your website.
When you do a podcast tour, you don’t need to try to book yourself on your industry’s biggest podcasts. While appearing on these shows would be great, they can be difficult to get on. Instead, look for moderately successful podcasts that are big enough to have listeners but not so large that they don’t need help finding guests. Reach out to the podcast hosts, tell them about yourself, and offer them a few topic ideas that you could discuss with them if they invite you on the show.
To learn more about podcasts and other online marketing opportunities, read our article The 5 Best Ways to Find More Consulting Clients Online.
#5: Speak at Virtual Conferences
Speaking at conferences has always been a tried-and-true tactic for getting new clients for your business. This strategy is now easier than ever due to the explosion of virtual conferences held on Zoom or other video platforms. Instead of needing to spend days (and money) travelling out to a conference, you can now hop on your computer for an hour or two and present to hundreds of people from all over the world.
When speaking at a virtual conference, be sure to offer a free whitepaper or e-book to all of the attendees if they hop over right after your presentation. For example, if you’re a political consultant presenting to a group of people who want to run for office, at the end of your presentation say something like:
In order to thank you for being here today, I want to give you a free copy of my new e-book 10 Ways to Raise the Money You Need to Win Your Next Election. All you need to do to get your copy is visit MyWebsite.com/money and I’ll send it to you right away.
Be sure that the URL you give is easy to remember (i.e. whatever your website is followed by /money or /10 or /win, etc.) Once someone downloads the e-book, you can send them follow-up e-mails to try to set up a no-obligation call, and you can put them on your e-mail newsletter list.
Getting New Clients for Your Business Doesn’t Need to Be Hard
As you can see, getting new clients for your business doesn’t need to be hard. But it does take work, and you do need to be creative. Once you’ll implemented all of the “standard” strategies, try the 5 ideas above… they’ll help you bring in a steady stream of new customers and grow your revenue each and every year.