Of course, your strategy depends on a variety of factors, not the least of which is where you are in the development of your business, what you’ve tried (if anything) in the past, how much money and time you have to assign to marketing, and so on. I’ve found it almost impossible to come up with a strategy by starting with the list of things I can do. It’s best, in my opinion, to start at the other end.
What is a strategy but a means to an end? In this case, a marketing strategy is a means to develop a demand for your services and to promote your business. But it doesn’t matter how well you’re promoted or how much demand there is for your services; what really matters is how much business you get in the door. For example, you could pay a lot of money and have a sales booth at, say, an accounting conference. By the end of the event, your business may be very well promoted to the attendees at that conference. But if none of them is in a position to engage you on contract even if they wanted to, the net result of all that time and money will be zero return.
So think about what you want and which sectors you would like to work with. Okay, now think of anyone you know in that sector who you would like to get a sales meeting with. What marketing actions could you take that would increase the likelihood of getting in front of her? Obtaining a referral from someone you’ve already worked for who knows that person would be ideal. Going to, or even speaking at an event that she is likely to attend, could work very well. You could also send a short introductory e-mail and follow up with a call. Maybe you could connect with that person on LinkedIn.
Perhaps your targets are more general. For example, you want to get contracts in the food and beverage sectors, because that’s where you have the best track record. Okay, you know the sectors, you know the people. What would be the best ways to promote yourself and your company to them?
Bear in mind as you prepare your strategy that all marketing takes time and costs money. You, like the rest of us, will be limited on both. So plan your marketing for the year. How much time and money are you going to assign? If you have one day a week and $5,000, tailor your actions accordingly.
As a highly experienced consultant and author of “Consulting Made Easy”, Adrian assists consultants, or would be consultants, to achieve success on their terms in their own consulting businesses. Adrian helps consultants increase their fee rates, find more clients, have more free time and have more fun.
Contact Adrian at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
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