Supposing you are a consultant, or you own a consulting business, how do you market it
How do you attract clients?
How do you get clients to pay you to advise them? Especially when there is so much information online for free?
Let’s take a look at how consulting businesses, like IMCL Services, can attract and acquire clients online.
About IMCL Services
IMCL Services is a media and legal consulting firm in Nigeria.
The company provides essential advisory services to businesses and startups in the country. From how to create a brand image your customers will love, to how to develop a business process that will keep your business profitable.
That’s not all they offer, they also help individuals manage their image (especially political and celebrity figures), and help startups with their legal needs so they are within the law.
Obviously, there is a real need in the market for the services IMCL provides, but how does the company tap into that market and acquire clients online?
Step 1: Develop A Niche
In consulting, the key to building a reputation is identifying and hitting a niche market. Being a master at one thing.
Or being a master at one thing at a time.
IMCL has several products, each targeting several niche markets.
For example, the legal advisory arm targets a niche market of startups. The Business Process Management product, targets established businesses. And the Public Relations and Personal Branding services targets individuals and popular figures.
Now, how does IMCL promote each product, engage each niche market and continue to be seen as an expert in each field?
Simple, separate distribution channels for each product and market. Think of CNN, and how they have CNN Africa for the African market, and CNN Money and CNN Tech for different markets.
But before you go ahead and create different twitter handles for your different products, you need to develop a content marketing plan for each product/service. Let’s take a look at how IMCL can do that.
Step 2: Develop A Content Marketing Plan
Content is what attracts people to your brand and business.
And content is what determines whether a prospective client will do business with you or not.
Now, what sort of content should a consulting company like IMCL produce?
As a consultant, people pay for practical advice. They want to know what to do to solve their problems or meet their needs.
But before they can trust you enough to pay you for advice, they need to trust that you do know what you’re talking about.
So, a content marketing strategy for a consulting business will focus more on producing content that shows your expertise in a certain field. Pick common problems in your field, and show your prospects how to solve that problem.
But, ensure that you do not give away every piece of information. Just enough for your prospects to want more and come seek your full advice.
IMCL can produce a blog post on how to develop a personal brand (for the personal branding services), or a video content on how to set up a business process that will reduce operating costs for a company (for the business process management service).
So each product will have its own content plan that details what content to produce, how the content will be distributed, and how clients will be acquired.
Step 3: Generating And Converting Leads
I always say content marketing is not complete when a sale is not made.
And unfortunately, a lot of businesses spend time and resource producing content, without taking into account how that content will translate to a sale.
There’s a simple process to this. First you produce your content, second, you distribute your content to where your market is, third you capture leads and fourth you convert your leads to customers.
Businesses neglect the third and fourth steps all too often.
To generate leads, you need to include lead capture tools on your content.
That means having a call to action, an offer and a form in every piece of content you produce.
For example, if IMCL produced a video on how to manage business processes, there needs to be a call to action (CTA) that compels the viewer to drop his/her contact to get more information on business process management.
So at the end of the video, you have something that says ”click here to get more practical advice on business process management. The CTA is to click and subscribe, the offer is more practical advice on business process management, and the form will ask for the contact’s name, email, and phone number.
Now, to convert a lead to a client will require email automation – that is a series of pre-formatted automated emails designed to nurture a lead until he/she converts to a client.
But that’s talk for another day (see what I did there?).