Consulting companies need to demonstrate trustworthiness, quality-standards and ability to deliver alongside their offerings in order to attract leads. Many consulting companies find prospects through inefficient methods like cold calling or blasting messages to a purchased list. This list focuses on lead generation techniques that are appropriate for consulting companies and consultant practices.
Most of the channels and techniques described below focus on an inbound approach to marketing.
- Referrals. One of the best methods for getting started with consulting. Leverage your existing relationships and clients to generate leads. Ask for recommendations, but ensure that your existing clients are happy and that your consulting practice is meeting expectations.
- Website. A consulting company needs a website to represent their brand and express a clear value proposition. Prospects will use your website to evaluate your brand and form an opinion prior to ever speaking with you. A website becomes perhaps one of the most important marketing assets a brand owns. A website will need to be part of the lead generation process–helping to inform, self-qualify and inspire leads. Additionally, a consulting company website will be one of the best sources for measuring ROI of marketing efforts. Here are some web design tips for consulting companies.
- Networking at events. Networking has long been a source for consultants to find and connect with prospects. More generally, real world networking events can build a variety of useful contacts for a consulting company–from specialized service providers to potential customers.
- Seminars. Teaching and presenting ideas through seminars can be a highly valuable way to gain visibility for your practice. Focus on your brand’s unique specialization and build presentation materials that stem from your primary focus as a consulting practice.
- Webinars. Webinars are a great way to connect with prospects at a distance from your headquarters. By offering free webinars, you will be able to demonstrate your value proposition, gain visibility and build trust with prospects. Also webinars are a fantastic way to generate leads.
- Blogging can be a powerful lead generator. The SEO power of blogs should not be ignored. Blogs can allow your brand to generate content for sharing within social media and bookmarking websites. Additionally, blogs with great content can allow brands to build a base of subscribers, which can consist of prospects or brand advocates.
- Search marketing (SEO). According to a recent study by Chitika, web traffic from Ask.com, Bing, Yahoo! and Google all offered better performing click through rates (CTR) than internal website traffic or direct traffic.
Search engine traffic yields great results for brands. Consulting companies can drive search traffic by creating a regular publishing schedule for blogging, produce great content that is shared by others and optimize their website for search.
- Advertising & PPC. Online advertising is a fantastic way to drive prospects to a brand website or landing page in a way that is scalable and repeatable. It is important to optimize ads, landing pages and marketing messages to attract the right leads.
- Whitepapers demonstrate the value a consulting company can bring to a client. Whitepapers help build trust and make for a great lead generation offer on a landing page. Publications are viewed as a very important source for valuing your company and its products by prospects.
- Video & media. Recycle past webinars, lectures or seminars as video content within your website to help demonstrate your value.
- Mobile strategy. For smaller consulting companies, having a full mobile strategy may be out of reach. However having a mobile responsive website may be an easy way for consulting companies to make use of mobile users. B2B brands tend to be more conservative with mobile marketing. However, this presents an opportunity for those B2B organizations that focus on mobile marketing.
- Social media marketing. Consultants can use social media to share ideas, answer questions and participate in communities where their leads already inhabit. Social media marketing is a great way to build brand visibility and build a PR practice by sharing great ideas, inspiration, answers and content. Social media also allows your brand to show it’s fun side and provide a window into the company–helping to give the brand a personality. Remember, don’t just post sales content… You will gain no followers if you just pitch your services. Participate in the community and add value to others. Give in order to get.
- Private member website. It may be possible for some consulting companies to build member websites and communities to build the visibility of their brand. The community could be an industry-insider network, helping to connect people with each other, ideas and resources.
- Survey report. By creating surveys, your brand can demonstrate thought-leadership and gain notoriety within the industry. Additionally your report can earn links and citations from outside websites, blogs and trade publications. Consider publishing your survey findings on external websites and blogs to help drive visibility from other audiences and build a reputation.
- Help a charity. Use the skills and resources of your consulting practice to help a non-profit or charity. This is a fantastic way to do good and build your reputation as a brand.