Do you have a consulting business? Maybe you do and you don’t even see it that way.
The type of business you own is an important distinction to make early on because it’ll help you become productive and profitable sooner. Over at CoCommercial, an online community I’m part of, we talk a lot about offers, pricing and models.
And in these conversations we are speaking about a few main things – delivering our best value – as efficiently as possibly, how to attract & enrol clients and what to price our offers. These decisions are oh-so-closely related …
… because of the numbers.
The number of clients x pricing of your offers either = $ or $$$. You have to sell a lot more of your core offers to make $$$ if they are lower priced.
And that is why some business owners decide early on if they are more interested in marketing or sales. If you are more interested in marketing, you need to find the marketing channels to communicate with your target audience and deliver your message consistently and frequently. Sales is also important but a sales funnel or email sequence can be administered to convert leads to customers instead of sales calls.
For a sales driven strategy, that relies on having a live person (you!) to close the deal, price point matters. Because you can’t funnel every prospect through the sequence at the same time, you need that time to turn into revenue that makes a significant impact on your income.
So how do you grow first? I have a theory on how the biggest marketers today have done it, and here it is …
They’ve build their consulting business by personal outreach before talking to a broader market
I know it looks like many 7 figure online marketers have conducted big launches to huge lists, from the get-go. You’ve never seen them before so you wonder how they created such professional looking massive launches. And it makes you feel like you should be doing it like this too.
But I believe that they, too, grew their business by doing outreach. Plain old-fashioned sales.
And this is what I refer to by building your business backwards. By starting with a consulting business model, you can gain the traction, revenue, connections, experience and proof that you can impact many more others. Don’t get drained by marketing when you could be gaining confidence by delivering true value.
Growing your business one client at a time is still the best strategy to create true wealth.
This means creating for the audience who wants a higher level of service from you and will pay for it. It also means that you can focus on activities that bring in revenue, be less experimental and save a lot of your time and energy. Once you have a full pipeline for the foreseeable future, you can invest more heavily into reaching a broader audience.
I call this a consulting business. It’s nothing new but many entrepreneurs – creatives, freelancers & practitioners don’t consider themselves consultants. If you are doing any kind of one-on-one work, you might want to look at it through a consulting business lens. It’ll have a big effect on your activities, investments and priorities.
Here’s how to gain fast traction in a consulting business …
1) Reach out directly to people you want to serve
This is the oldest marketing tactic on the planet. If you grew up in the age before the internet, you probably saw your share of door-to-door salesmen or received numerous telemarketing calls. Direct sales outreach is highly value and currently under-utilized. Too many business owners are putting all their effort into funnels and lists and are missing the opportunity to connect with people in real conversations.
Even after being in business for years, more recently I’ve renewed my focus on reaching out to prospects personally. I’ve chosen to spend most of my time building relationships with individuals than “growing my list”.
Like with any relationship you are nurturing, keep the connection strong. Make sure you are using a solid CRM system (or have a VA or manager keep you accountable to it) to follow up.
2) Position yourself to attract clients who want big outcomes
You’ve probably been told by now to find your ideal client. I’m just here to remind you that part of “ideal” is higher committed, higher paying clients. In a consulting business it’s still a numbers game. Less clients – higher fees. The latter, means delivering outcomes that are worth more to clients who value them.
When I can promise an end vision to a client that costs, say $5,000, it’s not based on hours. It doesn’t matter whether it takes me 25 hours or 5 hours to do it. As long as they evaluate the outcome at that price. The process you use to transform will get more efficient over time so you should be able to reduce your hours and still get people the same results.
3) Niche like a ninja
Niching like a ninja is critical to getting noticed when you do outreach. It gives you expert credibility and helps you stand out to cooler contacts. If they feel you are speaking directly to people in their field with their mission, they’re more likely to trust you.
And then you are perfectly set up to approach them with a distinct message on how you can help them. Being someone who they can relate to is going to build a stronger connection immediately.
4) Create high-priced offers that deliver more value
Make your effort worth it by selling offers that add a greater amount of value to your clients. Last year, one of my clients, had all the above, current clients who he’d built up over time, they were in the financial wealth industry so they were established businesses and he wrote content specifically for these financial companied. He had it all – except one thing. High priced offers!
He was run off his feet writing $100 blog posts and small white papers for these companies who were dabbling in the online lead generation space. What he needed was fewer clients to whom he offered bigger outcomes. What his clients needed was to develop robust online marketing systems that generated phone calls.
My client turned his freelancing business into an agency and his $100 posts into $10,000-$30,000 projects. Win-win!
And all of this can still happen online. You can attract prospects and clients from all over the world and meet them via online platforms. At the moment I’m giving LinkedIn and Instagram a whirl. Come find me there!
So in case you aren’t yet convinced that your you have a consulting business nor is it right for you imagine this reality:
- Your success doesn’t rely on growing or selling to a list
- You get to avoid technicalities of a complex marketing funnel
- You will perfect your offer by getting more direct feedback from your clients
Grow your confidence and your revenue now and let that feed your marketing. You’ll get amazing content, referrals and be able to afford technical help to do bigger broader more effectively.
I can help you build that strategy. Let’s chat over a short call and find out how I can help you get your work into the world.