If you are considering jumping into the world of freelance consulting and entrepreneurship, you may quickly realize that working for yourself is not what it seems. New consultants often find themselves overwhelmed with tasks and unsure of how to prioritize them. There is a steep learning curve, but once you learn how to market yourself as a consultant, you will continue to reap the benefits for years to come.
Why Marketing is Important for Consultants
Marketing is a fundamental skill that is necessary for all solo consultants. After all, how will people buy your services if they don’t know about them?
Sifting through the endless marketing advice on the internet is exhausting and time-consuming. Nobody has time to watch endless YouTube videos of self-proclaimed gurus repeating the same inefficient advice when you are building a business from scratch. There are easy ways to tackle marketing, and you don’t have to spend money to get started. If you want to discover how to market yourself as a consultant, you need to master the tried-and-true basics.
How To Market Yourself As A Consultant: 5 Proven Strategies
Here are 5 proven strategies you can use to market your consulting business and build the client pipeline you need to thrive:
#1: Your Website
Your website should be a well-branded representation of yourself and what you stand for as a business. Websites are unfortunately under-appreciated by many new consultants – with many instead focusing solely on social media. This is a mistake. Your website acts as your “home” on the internet. Welcome your potential clients authentically, and their first impression of you will be lasting.
Part of learning how to market yourself as a consultant is discovering your brand identity. Tying together your logo, mission, and brand story will result in potential clients feeling connected to you and your consultancy services. Successful consultants know that relationship building is the key to effective marketing.
#2: Social Media
Using social media has been a vital marketing strategy for years now, but some entrepreneurs still don’t know how to do it the right way. The single best way to use social media to market yourself as a consultant is to use social networks to get people to sign-up for your e-mail newsletter. When it comes to marketing yourself online, e-mail is your most important strategy.
There are so many platforms available that you can choose which one best suits your needs and style. Most consultants start with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If you have a knack for photography, Instagram can be a highly effective marketing tool. Some apps allow you to schedule your Instagram content in advance, so you can batch create posts and forget about them. If you like to have fun and create authentic engagement with your audience, Tiktok is a rapidly growing platform that can get you in front of thousands of eyes.
When considering how to market yourself as a consultant, remember that you do not have to use every platform to be successful. The most important key to mastering social media is remaining consistent and constantly pointing people back to your website, where they can sign-up for your e-mail newsletter list.
Podcasts can be an excellent strategy when thinking about how to market yourself as a consultant. Podcasts are rapidly gaining popularity, with nearly 6 in 10 people listening to them. In the US, people who listen to podcasts listen to an average of 7 different podcasts per week.
If planning your own podcast seems daunting, fear not. As a new consultant, it is beneficial to let someone else’s audience do the work for you. Getting interviewed by an established podcaster gives you uninterrupted time to explain who you are, what you do, and give the audience the opportunity to connect with you. You can quickly warm an audience just by being yourself.
#4: Attending Conferences and Networking Events
Although the strategies mentioned above are all online methods for finding new clients, don’t forget good old fashioned networking when planning how to market yourself as a consultant.
Face-to-face interaction is essential to making a name for yourself as a consultant. Networking with like-minded peers, and getting the opportunity to have authentic conversations with potential clients can pay dividends well into the future.
Given the current popularity of online events and the new-found acceptance of remote work, there are plenty of online conferences happening as well. Don’t discount these opportunities to form strong industry bonds and create a lasting impression.
While focusing on providing valuable content for your audience is important, do not underestimate the importance of referrals. As people increasingly distrust the information they read on the internet, word-of-mouth referrals are still important when planning how to market yourself as a consultant. Recent studies have shown that 64% of marketers believe that word-of-mouth is the best form of marketing, and I myself have found referrals to be invaluable when seeking out new clients for my consulting businesses.
Marketing Yourself Doesn’t Need to Be Expensive
Contrary to popular belief, marketing does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. There are many successful entrepreneurs out there that leverage social media and referral programs to promote exceptionally lucrative businesses. Creating valuable content for your audience and showing up consistently can drive impressive results.
When you are strategizing about how to market yourself as a consultant, don’t discount the free marketing methods readily available to you. You do not need to spend a dime on paid ads to be a successful consultant (although those can be helpful too). All it takes is a little time, consistency, and a solid marketing strategy.