Subtitle: How to Become a good consultant?
Business consulting for tech and marketing is one of the most interesting ways to learn about business, go beyond the current scope, and remain updated with the industry.
Of course, these benefits are apart from the money which you make.
I am personally quite excited about these opportunities as I get to learn a lot, which does the things I love(Building Tech, Doing Marketing).
How to Become a good consultant and grow progressively?
A good consultant just doesn’t build solutions and do marketing for others but also they should spend time grooming themselves. It’s just like how Tesla markets its products, or how Apple builds customer experience.
They hold the whole journey. From having a glance at on first iPhone with friends to you buying the very first iPhone to the service you experience at the service center.
Everyone, including an engineer, can do consulting for the website. A marketing executive can do consulting. But if they do it won’t be the most efficient.
1. Building Visibility
Building visibility is basically showcasing your product to the right audience with the right message. There are many broken ways to do it.
A lot of people do this by writing LinkedIn posts, tweeting on Twitter, and making videos. These are great ways to market their profile.
But as a marketer, I see all these as broken strategies. Broken strategies because it misses visibility and misses trust that should be built.
I am writing this post for the same reason so that you, as a consultant, will have all the strategies at one place and you can execute them one by one.
So, what’s the secret? Let’s go one by one.
Website, because it gives you space to present your work, research, services, and thoughts in one place. You can choose the color you want, you can host the content you want, and you can build the form in your manner.
It is often seen as an authority by the audience and clients as it’s not something everyone can create for free. it’s an asset that is customized to you, as per your taste and people will visit here to know about your service.
Pro Tip: Make sure to use a good professional picture on the very first view of the website. This builds trust. Avoid any cartoon or illustration as people start to trust your face. A lot of consultants do not do this and this will be an edge over them as people trust face more than any illustration.
1.2 Social Media
The website and blog on the website is great. You will update them as you will get time, and you will be publishing a new case study as you will be completing a project. But every time you complete a project, people will not be visiting your website. Of course, if you have an email address, you can send them a mail. But it will be quite quacky as most people would not like to listen to every project completion.
The way to do this is to publish it on social media in the social media way. Not just logo and photo.
You should create a post, a carousal a Case Study, PDF, or even better a video about the project, stages, and completion with a testimonial from the client.
This content will reach everyone who have liked/follows your page and if it’s very good, it will reach to the external audience as well.
Is that all you do on social media?
Absolutely not! The testimonial and case study is often considered as sales content and being sales all the time creates interestlessness. You should publish a mix of content in a healthy fashion.
The different types of content that you can publish on your social media as a business consultant or consulting company are
|1||Educational Blog Articles|
|6||Industry News and Updates|
|7||Tips and Tricks|
|10||Product or Service Demos|
|11||Interviews with Experts|
|12||Industry Event Coverage|
|13||Interactive Polls or Surveys|
|15||Memes or Humorous Content|
This will create a healthy mix of content and will keep people interested in your service.
Shorts is crazy, it’s the place where millennials spend all their free time.
It’s not just millennials, but also mature people and senior managers and people as directors. People watch short videos in their personal space when no one judges them. It doesn’t mean they watch for the house, but most of them watch.
1. How B2B insurance company OnSurity cut the CAC using Instagram by 65%!
Shorts are great ways to gain visibility in the industry. It is also quite easy to gain authority in the industry. Having a smartphone in hand has made videography simple. You can simply plan fun, entertaining, industry-specific content and publish it.
Once published, let youtube, Instagram, and TikTok do their jobs. Their job for them is basically to find the context of the video and recommend it to the audience that is interested in the topic.
1.4 Video Podcasts
Video podcast has been in the trend for 2022, 2023. Every business that wants to become a market leader and build trust has started doing podcasting. This is great to build trust, gain visibility for free without advertising, and build trust.
It builds trust as people discuss the industry, issues, and solutions and people watch these to keep themselves aware of the market.
Video podcast opens up the opportunity to build connections with the leaders in the industry which often becomes a trust factor and also becomes a strong pillar to execute any bigger projects.
2. Generating Leads:
Lead generation is done in many different ways and if you are a beginner at consulting then there are a couple of things you can give a try.
To get initial projects you can
- Let close friends and experts know about your services, existing work in the past (you did as an employee) and what makes you fit
You should remain in touch with them not just for the sake to sell your service but to build a relationship. Talk about the industry, their projects, industry dynamics and other topics, your project, and other business things that you can think of.
This can bring some initial customers.
What to do for the long term?
Content, Content, and Content
You can be like a normal consultant doing everything with a LinkedIn profile or you can be someone who will be having the whole asset adding a lot of authority and professionalism to your profile.
Chose the 2nd because it always impresses clients.
Example from my real-life conversations:
While I talk to companies and audiences, I often talk about past work and they love it. They come and ask my contact and I say then search my name “Rana Jayant” on Google and you will have everything.
Most of the faces light up in appreciation and it’s one of the best ways to share contact, connect with people, leave a very good impression, and deliver authority.
This is great because I am a person who consults for websites and marketing. Having my name ranking in the 1st few positions of Google really delights them.
This works like a charm and if you have a similar asset, you should definitely start introducing yourself uniquely than doing a sharing business card which often gets lost in the card stack.
Ways to do lead generation on full scale
Doing lead generation on a full scale requires resources. Resources like websites, social media pages, marketers, content writers, content designers, content editors, social media publishers, advertisers, and much more.
Initially, you will have quite resources and most of the things mentioned above should be done by you. But as you grow, try to offload to a team member. If you can’t afford a team member then hire a freelancer who can manage that for you.
I have made a list of activities that you can do along with the amount of effort it takes and the impact it can make on your consulting business. You can refer to this and choose to do the activities as per your choice.
|1||Social media engagement||Low||Moderate|
|2||Content marketing||Low to medium||Moderate to high|
|3||Referral program||Low to medium||Moderate to high|
|4||Email marketing campaigns||Medium||Moderate to high|
|5||Search engine optimization (SEO)||Medium||Moderate to high|
|6||Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising||Medium||High|
|7||Webinars and online events||Medium to high||High|
|8||Influencer partnerships||Medium to high||High|
|10||Trade shows and conferences||High||High|
|11||Cold calling and direct outreach||High||High|
Note: Do not spread yourself too thin on the process, it takes a lot of business hours to do these. If you have enough resources, always allocate them to the team that does those by yourself. Have an expert in contact who can give you weekly/monthly feedback and guide you in the journey of marketing.
Spread yourself too thin: This means that don’t do a little bit of everything and expect results. Do the process completely to see the result.
Converting Leads into Customers
Once you have the leads, you will have to convert them. As a beginner, you will have too many things to talk about and a lot of excitement to tell
The right way to talk to the client
- Appear well
- Discuss casual
- Understand the client’s expectations
- Qualify the Lead by talking (ask about their past business, current business, team, location, sales, average price, sales and etc)
- Let them speak
- Add authority (Talk past work, past clients, past issues and solutions, then talk about similar projects from the past)
- Open up on pricing and define your expectations
- Finalize the deal in 3 meetings (By 3rd meeting, try to take some advance, Do not work on verbal agreement)
Note: Initially convert everything that comes, and qualify once you have enough projects.
What is Authority? How to build authority and Why to Build?
Building visibility, Running ads, and getting leads is something a lot of businesses can do. But all of these yet doesn’t deliver trust to convert bigger projects.
This is where authority comes into the picture. Authority is basically trust that makes leads convert into customers.
In different parts of the geography, people trust different things for trust building but there are common ways to make it happen.
From the recent, having a blue tick on Instagram, Twitter shows that you are professional. It’s because people in the past believed that only important can have a blue tick and the trust still continues in the bigger segment of the audience.
But that alone will not do the magic. It’s a part that appeals well and you should consider having it.
It’s just like iPhone, people trust you in general.
And there are ways to make it happen.
Here is a general list of things that you can execute to generate leads.
|1||Consistent Content Creation||Low||Moderate|
|2||Social Media Engagement||Low||Moderate|
|3||Guest Blogging||Low to medium||Moderate to high|
|4||Speaking at Local Events or Meetups||Medium||Moderate to high|
|5||Participating in Industry Webinars||Medium||Moderate to high|
|6||Providing Expert Interviews or Podcasts||Medium to high||High|
|7||Publishing Whitepapers or eBooks||Medium to high||High|
|8||Hosting Webinars or Workshops||Medium to high||High|
|9||Conducting Original Research or Studies||High||High|
|10||Speaking at Industry Conferences||High||High|
|11||Developing Industry-specific Tools or Software||High||High|
3. Inbound Lead Generation vs Outbound Lead Generation
Inbound Lead Generation:
Inbound Lead is any leader who has reached out to you that you reaching out to them. They might be watched your video, read your article, see your checklist, seen your content on social media and etc.
- Content marketing
- Video Content
- Audio Podcast
- Video Podcast
- Research Paper
- Case Study
- Gated Content
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Email nurturing campaigns (A series of emails that is sent to add value to the lead that direct selling)
- Influencer marketing
- Customer referral programs
- Webinars and online events
- Chatbots and live chat support
- Lead magnets and gated content
- Remarketing and retargeting campaigns
Nature: When an inbound lead is generated, the lead is often positive and likely to be covert. You should qualify these leads properly and send them to the funnel.
Outbound Lead Generation
Outbound lead generation is anything that you manually do for general leads. For example Sending bulk mail, doing cold calling, walking to a booth at an event, and sharing information about your service.
- Intro to company and services (Direct Sales)
- Intro to Resources (Relationship first then sales)
- Invite to Webinar
- Invite to Quiz
- Invite them to Check their Score (Website score, business score)
- Show checklist
List of outbound lead generation activities
- Social media outreach
- Cold calling
- Email marketing
- Social media outreach
- Direct mail
Nature: Unlike inbound, you will have a lot of No as an answer, or “No Reply” as an answer but this is the nature of outbound lead generation.
As you do the marketing choosing different strategies, you will realize that audience behaves very differently in different scenarios. Your work as a consultant should be soft, talk professionally, and leave a message and a healthy connection.
If not today, the clients will come back to you after a few months or a few years when they have a need.
- Use your photo on the website and all the content.
- Do not become unprofessional
- Online fights are bad
- people don’t like to get spammed with sales messages
- Freelance vs Consulting (Article)