What can your consultant company do to increase engagement and strengthen your reputation in the market? Not just in terms of managing new clients, but also when it comes to recruiting new consultants. The answers to this question are not the same as they were just a couple of years ago.
Today, online is everything when it comes to creating a name for your brand, and when it comes to reaching out to new clients. However, a meeting IRL is still what leaves the most lasting impressions. If you also manage to get people talking about your company, and recommending you to their friends and business contacts, you are well on your way.
In this article I will talk about some important points to market a consultant company. I will also provide you with a couple of examples of how we use these strategies.
If you hone in on one or two areas, you make it easier for your clients and candidates to perceive you as experts. This means less competition and easier (and cheaper) marketing. If you are too wide-ranging you will be perceived as a “commodity” and will solely compete on price with fierce competition.
Knowing your niche makes your marketing easier by having a clearly defined view of what makes you different from your competition. If you are the best at what you do, you are in a great position to know what your clients need and what makes them tick.
You need to fulfil three criteria in order to succeed in creating and selling your niche;
Here are some tips for creating your niche; 19 Ways to Make Your Consultant Company Different (sorry, this one is in Swedish).
At Cinode, we focus on one thing: to develop an online service that makes it easy, fun and smart to run a consultant company. By having this niche, and by meeting thousands of consultant companies with similar issues managing skills, assignments, utilization, sub-consultants, and recruitment, we have managed to create the best solutions for these problems. This means that many companies view us as an expert in the field.
Content marketing has become increasingly popular during the last years. When done right, it can be a very strong marketing strategy. Your content should prove your role as an expert in the field and explain how you solve problems that your readers can relate to. By educating your clients they will start seeing you as a potential partner.
Blog articles are also a way to make your presence known online, and a stepping stone to a greater Google rank, which means more people will be able to discover you. Another thing worth mentioning is that you shouldn’t only focus on writing on your own website. A great way to spread the word about your services is to write as a guest blogger in many different places where you think your prospects are hanging out, and then add links to your own website.
A small caveat though: most consultant companies have a blog of some sort, but they vary in quality. When competition is fierce, it is often a good idea to hire a professional editor to raise the quality before you publish your content. Content marketing can be very time consuming, and if it’s only done half-heartedly, it could be a better idea to not do it at all.
For Cinode, our primary marketing strategy is to write articles about the consultant industry – from surveys about the industry to educational articles. We also invite many guest bloggers in the industry to give them space to show their expertise in various areas. We also produce our popular newsletter “Weekly consultant news”, containing the latest in the industry. This has led to great reach for our brand, and our clients now know that we are the supplier that knows the consultant industry best.
Do you have the best Java developer in Sweden, or an employee that is often featured in interviews regarding digitalization? Promote your brand using your assets. A lot of companies have experts, but they could definitely start promoting them more. Create a plan and focus on making your experts visible for your potential clients. Give them a platform to educate your prospects, for example by writing e-books, blog posts, participating in seminars etc.
This is also a great way of generating new leads. Who doesn’t want to work with the best? This applies to both clients and potential employees.
Your website shows who you are, and what you do. But a website can also be so much more. By combining your articles with expert content such as white papers, reports, and newsletters, you can identify who your potential clients are. This is a way to offer your leads more content in order to later convert them into clients.
At Cinode we use white papers and a newsletter to share our deep knowledge about the consulting market and consulting businesses to help our existing and potential clients. Our clients like it, and they frequently get in touch with our online service.
Arranging a seminar is a great way to make new contacts with potential clients and recruits. You will be viewed as an expert in your field, and you invite your clients to get a personal relationship with you and your brand. If you are looking for a bigger audience, you can apply for a speaker slot at a bigger conference. Or, why not arrange your own conference?
At Cinode, we regularly arrange breakfast and evening seminars as well as webinars.
In terms of networking and reach, LinkedIn is very useful, especially when it comes to B2B. Use your current network and make sure that you connect with colleagues, your clients and prospects. By also being active in groups (both with content and in discussions), and by writing and sharing content directly on LinkedIn, you create greater reach for your message and brand.
At Cinode, we frequently use LinkedIn, to spread content in our personal channels and in relevant groups. We also try to be active in discussions where our users are.
Do you have more tips and tricks regarding marketing strategies? Want to bounce an idea with someone? Comment below or get in touch with me personally!
Johan Haeger - Head of Enterprise Sales, Cinode
Johan Haeger - Head of Enterprise Sales, Cinode
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