For many small business owners, the urge to secure more clients translates to how best to advertise themselves. However, getting new customers is significantly harder than continuing to serve current clients. This report considers how to bring in more business from existing clients while simultaneously reaching new clients. The former is a matter of service delivery while the latter is a question of marketing.
The Question of Service Delivery On Your Consulting Business
In continuing to serve existing clients, you want to ensure that you keep adding more value to existing services. Like beauty, value is in the eye of the beholder: Your client.
You can find new ways of serving existing clients by surveying them to learn what they like and appreciate and what they find dissatisfying, frustrating or annoying. Based on your customers’ answers, you will know how best to tweak your offering in order to incorporate more of what they like and appreciate and less of what they find dissatisfying, frustrating or annoying.
You may also tweak your offerings based on what you’ve located your customers to enjoy, value and appreciate over time. In some instances, it is a simple matter of changing some minor detail that is inconsequential to yourself, but highly meaningful to your customers. In other instances, it’s an issue of providing additional and more comprehensive offerings that dovetail with existing services. In so doing, you become a one-stop shop.
Finally, you might be able to reach your current customers more efficiently by offering your existing services across a range of platforms. Similarly, you might also consider extending your offerings into the printed word (such as subscription-based newsletters, special reports, downloadable e-books or published books). If you are already providing training or public speaking, you could extend your offerings further by providing CDs and DVDs of your work.
The Issue of Marketing for Your Small Business
There are many ways to market your consulting business. The method you choose may reflect your individual taste. It may also reflect your accessibility, as well as the degree of comfort you have with the range of marketing methods available to you. Whatever methods you use, you might want to ensure that they dovetail well with one another.
1. Websites: Your website should reside at the heart of your marketing initiatives. Ideally, any other marketing initiatives you engage in should direct people to specific pages on your own site. The specific webpage that prospective customers are led to will depend on where they found out about you (and hence, the offerings they will be most interested in). You will want your website to be easy to navigate, professional and consistent with your business brand.
2. Newsletters: Newsletters can be a revenue stream if you make them available via subscription or membership schemes. They are also a valuable marketing tool. However, newsletters are best when they are developed based on your expertise and use a unique style that’s consistent with your company brand. As a marketing tool, you can make previous issues freely on your site. You can also hand out past issues to your current and prospective clients where applicable to their needs and interests.
3. Social networking : The assortment of marketing options under social media is quite extensive these days, such as: Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube. Social media is most effective as a marketing tool when you pick the one or two platforms you most enjoy using and regularly post on them. You’ll want to use your social networking platforms as mediums by which you point followers to particular pages in your website.
4. Networking: Networking is among the simplest types of marketing. It is also the very useful if you are able to join several networks where your potential clients may be found. Networking is most effective when you start by asking prospective customers about themselves. In so doing, they feel appreciated and will probably reciprocate by asking you about yourself. Be sure to bring a lot of your business cards so you will always have the ability to provide one of your cards upon request. You will also find it valuable to offer prospective clients with tips as well as introduce them to the right people. Kind deeds are always favourably recalled. If you can obtain your prospects’ contact information, you can place them on your mailing list to receive free copies of your newsletters.
5. Articles: Articles are a great way of showcasing who you are and what you can do for potential clients. You will want to provide valuable information on a variety of topics your existing customers are most interested in. You’ll also want to set your articles in a selection of different platforms and do this on a regular basis. Some might show up on your social networking channels. Others might appear on your website. Others still, could be submitted to other sites or magazines that your potential clients frequent. For those posts that are placed outside of your site, you will want to include links back to specific pages of your website.
6. Public Speaking and Authoring: Authoring and public speaking reflect two additional ways of showcasing your talents. In some instances, they may act as separate revenue streams. Once more, you’ll want to talk and write to subjects that reflect your area of expertise; areas where you want to draw new business. If space permits, you could even host presentations on your own premises. For those who have authored any books, be sure to highlight their presence as part of your presentation. Once more, you might also draw attention to the presence of your site. You may also want to invite back-of-room sales after the speaking event.
Do you want to learn more? Make certain to check at some of my other ezine articles. You will also find more posts on this, and related, topics on both my websites: