Consultants build their business based on their knowledge, skills and abilities, particularly within a specific industry. From marketing to green living, consultants put their knowledge to use in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets. Regardless of your industry, it's important to create a plan for attracting customers. A well-developed client marketing strategy can help you as you try to grow your firm and add value to your customers' lives.
Determine the types of services your consulting firm will offer. Come up with a brief description for each, detailing what the services include, the benefits of purchasing the service and the pricing. These factors will help you as you determine the ideal market for what your consulting firm offers.
Create a target market profile which outlines the type of clients you need to attract to your consulting business. Determine whether you're targeting consumers or fellow business owners, then identify information such as your target market's salary or gross sales, industry, size of the company or household, interests, values, motivations for buying, their geographical location, their level of education, hobbies, gender, ethnicity, marital status, position or title and other determining factors that help sculpt a clear picture of the person who would buy your services. You may have a varied customer profile for each service you offer if your services vary greatly in pricing or offerings.
Identify how your target market uses media to get information about products and services. Determine if they're reading specific industry blogs, websites or print publications such as newsletters, magazines, newspapers or trade publications. Find out which radio programs and television programs they regularly tune in to. Check advertising prices for your best options and purchase space according to your budget and business goals.
Connect one-on-one with your potential consulting clients by attending industry-specific events where your audience is present. Whether it's a trade show, a networking event or a conference, these events give you an opportunity to build relationships with potential clients, answer their questions and discuss the primary benefits of doing business with your consulting firm.
Arrange speaking engagements or workshops in geographical locations that are heavily populated by your target clients. Offer complementary sessions and provide attendees with tips and ideas based on your consulting expertise. If you offer tax and accounting services, for example, provide small-business owners with tips on keeping up with their financial documents throughout the year.
Join professional and networking groups in your community and begin building strategic relationships with other business owners. These groups give consultants an opportunity to promote their businesses during meetings and gain referrals from other group members.
Hire a graphic designer and copywriter to help you create a website for your consulting business. Armed with a branded website, you can list your services and begin blogging about topics related to your consulting practice. The tips, ideas and articles you share will help position you as a an expert in your chosen consulting field.