For many small business owners, the urge to get more clients translates to how best to market themselves. However, getting new customers is significantly tougher than continuing to serve current clients. This report considers how to attract more business from existing clients while simultaneously reaching new customers. The former is a question 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 need to make certain that you keep adding more value to existing services.
You can discover new ways of serving existing clients by surveying them to find out what they enjoy and appreciate as well as what they find dissatisfying, annoying or bothersome. Based on your clients’ answers, you will know how best to tweak your offering in order to incorporate more of what they enjoy and appreciate and less of what they find dissatisfying, frustrating or annoying.
You might also tweak your offerings based on what you’ve found your customers to like, value and appreciate over the years. In some instances, it is a simple matter of changing some small detail that’s inconsequential to yourself, but tremendously meaningful to your clients. In so doing, you become a one-stop store.
Finally, you might have the ability to attain your existing customers more effectively by offering your present services across a range of platforms. Similarly, you may also consider extending your offerings into the printed word (for example, subscription-based newsletters, special reports, downloadable e-books or published books). If you’re already providing training or public speaking, you could extend your offerings further by supplying CDs and DVDs of your job.
The Question of Marketing for Your Business
There are a number of ways to promote your consulting business. The method you choose may reflect your personal taste. It might also reflect your availability, as well as the degree of comfort you have with the assortment of marketing methods available to you. Whatever methods you use, you might want to ensure that they dovetail well together.
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 website. You will want your site to be simple 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. So much so, that there are many companies who specialise in the provision of newsletter proformas and/or content in return for a fee. However, newsletters are best when they are developed based on your expertise and use a unique style that is consistent with your company brand. You will want to create your newsletters on a regular basis, be it on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. As a marketing tool, you could make preceding issues freely available on your website. You could even hand out previous issues to your prospective and current customers where applicable to their needs and interests.
3. Social networking is most effective as a marketing tool when you pick the a couple of platforms you enjoy using and frequently post on them. You’ll want to use your social media platforms as mediums by which you point followers to specific pages within your website.
4. Networking: Networking is one of the simplest types of marketing. It is also the most useful if you can join several networks where your prospective clients may be found. Networking is most effective when you start by asking prospective clients about themselves. In so doing, they feel valued and will probably reciprocate by asking you about yourself. Make sure to bring plenty of your business cards so you will always be able to provide one of your cards on request. You will also find it invaluable to provide prospective clients with tips in addition to introduce them to the ideal people. Kind deeds are always favourably remembered. If you are able to obtain your prospects’ contact details, you can place them in your mailing list for complimentary copies of your newsletters.
5. You will want to provide valuable information on a variety of topics your existing customers are most interested in. You will also want to set your articles in a range of different platforms and do this on a regular basis. Some might appear on your social networking channels. Others might appear on your website. Others still, may be submitted to other sites or magazines your potential clients frequent. For those posts that are placed out of your site, you’ll want to include links back to specific pages of your website.
6. Public Speaking and Authoring: Authoring and people speaking reflect two additional methods for showcasing your talents. In some instances, they may act as different revenue streams. Once more, you will want to speak and write to subjects that reflect your area of expertise; areas where you would like to attract new business. It is then a matter of offering to talk to these topics in media groups, professional meetings, conferences and workshops. If space allows, you could even host presentations in your premises. For those who have authored any books, make certain to highlight their presence as part of your presentation. Once more, you might also draw attention to the existence of your website. You may also wish to invite back-of-room earnings after the speaking event.
Do you want to know more? Be sure to look at some of my other ezine articles.