In the last few posts on Launching a Consulting Business we’ve discussed the general area of Marketing (preparing to make some noise) to attract others to you / your business.
At this point you should have:
- A comprehensive LinkedIn Profile
- A website
- Content which you have begun placing into the tool you have selected to manage your e-Newsletter and/or Blog
If you don’t have ALL of the above stop here and come back when you are ready 🙂
If you do have ALL of the above you are ready to begin the never-ending process of shamelessly promoting your business.
To start, you NEVER know where consulting engagements will come from. They could originate from anywhere: a neighbor, someone at church, the parent of one of the players on the same team as your child, colleagues you worked with and/or for at prior companies, your Board of Advisors, etc. And, because these are the people you will see most frequently and/or are part of your “inner-circle” you’ll want to start here.
To do so you will want to let them know what you are up to. You can do so as follows:
- In conversation – remember your elevator speech?
- Send them an (individual) email message summarizing what you are up to (your elevator speech and value proposition) encouraging them to visit your website to learn more.
- Invite them to subscribe to your e-Newsletter and/or Blog
- Encourage them to forward your e-Newsletter and/or Blog to others who may benefit
And, because they are in your inner-circle, you should ALWAYS ask them for their honest opinion and feedback, offering to help them if there is any way that you can (related to their own personal or professional endeavors).
In addition, be sure to update your email signature (that you use outside the company that you may still be employed at) to share your:
- Company Name and it’s tagline
- Phone number
By doing so, EVERY email that you send whether it is personal (to friends, relatives, neighbors, etc.) or professional (for your business) you are sharing your e-business card reminding people what you are up to and providing an easy way for them to “check you out.”
Finally, in a prior post I mentioned that I place marketing collateral on a USB memory stick which I hand out as business cards. In addition to this, I’ve had a bunch of (very nice) hooded sweatshirts made up with my company logo, that I wear and give out as gifts. For example, a few years ago we hosted a neighborhood Christmas party which included a Yankee Swap. Guess what my gift was: A Customer Centricity sweatshirt. Everyone got a kick out of it and (if it hasn’t worn out yet) there is someone else in this world promoting my business…
In closing, get creative – make it yours!
In a future post I’ll share marketing strategies that didn’t work (for me) and how I FINALLY landed my first consulting engagement (cha-ching!)