Business consultants must be very strategic in their approach to branding and marketing. Why? Everyone believes they are a consultant. Likewise, everyone believes that they can create marketing in a matter of minutes. The wave of social media and technology has taken off so fast and continues to develop in such a way that we are beginning to believe there is no need for anything unique or different to help our brand stand out. It seems that it is as simple as putting together a Facebook page, creating a Twitter account and throwing together some content once in a while.
Unfortunately and fortunately, business consulting is different. This arena is different when it comes to marketing because your brand is your expertise. Instead of being linked to a specific product, your marketing is directly linked to you. This includes your appearance, your personality, your background, and your experiences. This is true to a certain degree for other professions, but when it comes to consulting, marketing efforts are enhanced. Here are three surefire tips to market your brand differently as a consulting business owner.
1. Build Genuine Relationships
This may sound like a no-brainer, but most consultants are ready and eager to tell people that they do consulting in a specific area before lunch has even started. Make sure that you are building real relationships, not just trying to obtain a new client. Realize that not every person you have lunch with will be your next client, but they could connect you to your next client. Sometimes lunch and a business card with no additional explanation goes a long way.
2. Utilize Social Media and Media Outlets Unique To Your Brand
Jumping on board with the next best social media outlet may not be the best strategy for your business. Think about what works for you based off of the type of consulting you partake in and what is natural for your everyday work. For example, try using video to send short weekly messages if you are a consulting coach of some sort.
3. Market where it Makes Sense
Show up and participate in conferences and host tables that are relevant. It’s another simple strategy that sounds like a no-brainer, yet it’s still a concept that goes by the wayside sometimes. Your presence at a sports event as a technology consultant may not be well received.
Overall, the variety of tools that are now available to an emerging world is a great way to market your brand, but it won’t go very far without the foundational thoughts at the forefront of our branding.