It is a fact of life that as consultants our business won’t grow unless we have a consistent supply of targeted leads. I know, obvious isn’t it and yet it’s not always at the top of our priority list.
It’s much more fun to deliver that project and immerse ourselves in our expert field than get our marketing and sales process developed to bring in a regular supply of interested prospects.
Wondering where to start to get guaranteed results? In this post, we share some straightforward strategies that will deliver.
1. Inbound Marketing
The new Holy Grail of marketing and important to have at the front of your mind. Think website here. Optimise for the search engines and have a call to action and capture names and contact details.
This is a foundation every consultancy needs in today’s environment. The good news is that billions and growing, searches online mean more clients.
Get your SEO right: It’s Straightforward
Though SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) isn’t the easiest strategy in the book, at least have words and phrases your clients will be searching on within your website. You can find out what they are by using this tool.
Below is a screengrab of two simple search terms. Imagine if, over time, you appeared for that keyword search; think it would help your business?
CTA = Call to action. The question is, are you using them? Many people forget.
Only this morning I was consulting with a client. He writes great content and shares it online. In fact, he shared a particular post on LinkedIn and signed off with his name.
No web address, no telephone number, no link to find out more. He had done all the hard work; it was a great post by the way, and then forgot to say how he could help people.
If you aren’t doing this make sure you sign off every blog post, LinkedIn pulse or email with the next step for your potential new client.
Oh, and in case you haven’t done this make sure your phone number is at the top of your website and on every page if you want to receive inbound phone calls.
What next? Offer something of value.
A great way to capture leads is to offer something of value. Examples could be a free report or checklist. For example; “Download our free report on 4 ways to know your IT system isn’t safe.”
This system works and might even be the reason you are reading this post. The way that we work as human beings is you do something for me, and then I am likely to do something for you. It is one of the well-known influencing principles made famous by the work of Professor Robert Cialdini.
It is a key principle of marketing. We will cover this in greater depth in another post.
A quick win for any consultant is referrals. If you have connections and have already carried out great work for others, get on the phone and ask them for more. Referrals should always be welcomed in any business.
They are easier to convert, as often the individual will be pre-sold on you and will have visited your website already (hence the focus on inbound lead generation first).
In addition, whoever has referred you will have ‘done’ a good selling job on your suitability too.
The thing is many of us forget to systemise this strategy, so it’s working in the background all the time.
To this very day, we use an outbound strategy that consistently works. It’s straightforward.
Ready? We send out an email to an ideal target customer who we haven’t met. We offer something of value and then follow up with a phone call.
That is it. Of course, we craft our email or message in a certain way.
The truth from our experience over the last 14 years? Cold emailing followed up by a lukewarm call can and does work.
Top tip: Pick up the phone and talk to people. Fewer people do this now (I know that might surprise you- I think the ‘don’t bother cold calling’ idea was a rumour started by someone who wanted to sell people courses on how they could be a millionaire without doing any work!) which means there is an opportunity.
Though you might feel uncomfortable using this strategy, it works.
Do it consistently. What is the worst that can happen? … Someone says no!
4. Paid Advertising
Paid advertising has changed over the last five years; for the better.
It is about being in the right place at the right time where your potential client is looking for a solution to a problem.
Through Google, you can target adverts to show up on relevant websites and the Google home page.
You can do this on LinkedIn as well. Depending on your sector, Facebook might also be worth considering if your target market is there too.
It is all about R.O.I.
Let’s say you offer a great white paper you have written to your ideal target customer. They raise their hand for it and give you their name and email and consequently join your email list.
As an example, this lead might have cost you £5. A simple way to work this out is, let’s say it costs you £1 every time someone clicks your advert, but only one person out of the five who click gives you their email. Let’s say you spend a £1000, therefore @ £5 each this generates you 200 targeted leads.
At any point in time research suggest that 3% of these individuals are ready to buy; now. Let’s say your sales and conversion abilities are in development and you convert only 3 of this 200 initially. To make the maths easier let’s say each consulting project is worth £5k to you.
You convert three leads and they each commission your services at £5k a project.
Therefore you have spent £1000 to make £15,000. Quite a respectable R.O.I., isn’t it? Better even than Warren Buffet who works on a 20% R.O.I.
Those numbers will get better by the way. As around 50% of leads like this will buy a product or service like yours within 18 months. And around 15% of leads will buy within 90 days.
I’ll let you think about that one.
Where are you currently with these four strategies? Start working on them and you will see results. Would you like support? Then either email us here or give us a call on 01524 784331.