Establishing a business is no easy feat. It’s even more difficult if you are a new consultant. You are constantly faced with worries about how to get your first or next client or how to pitch your business among other competition. And new consultants especially struggle with how to establish a fixed rate for their service.
Below, are ways you can get consulting clients fast. With these steps, you’ll learn how to get clients, how to write a winning pitch that will turn them into paying customers.
Find out who your ideal clients are
As a new consultant, you may be desperate to win over as many clients as you can, irrespective of the type of project. But if you start this way you’re heading for trouble. Prior to looking for potential clients, you need to find out who your ideal consulting clients are.
Define your niche
Ensure you define your niche and then the type of clients this niche will attract. Find out your clients’ challenges and how you can help solve them. This is a very vital step in creating an online presence that will attract your target audience.
Create an online presence
Create an online presence that will help your potential clients reach you. You need a website and social media accounts to do just that. To begin, you don't need to spend money on hiring a fancy web designer. There are plenty of affordable web building and hosting resources like WordPress or Squarespace that are available to you. Use these pre-built templates to create a simple website for your business.
You also need to be strategic when creating your social media accounts. Where can you find your potential clients online? What social networks do they use the most? Your efforts to reach your ideal clients online will be wasted if you are using a different social platform other than the one your ideal clients use.
Showcase your work
Now that you have established an online presence, showcase your work to your prospects. Your prospective clients want to be sure you’re good at what to do. Convince them to hire you by showcasing your talents and services. To help them make a faster hiring decision, ensure you include testimonials from previous clients. Your previous clients can be one of the best promoters of your business when you do a great job for them.
Clean up your social media accounts
Your online footprint can make or break you. Search your name on Google to see what comes up. Are there pictures or posts on Twitter or Instagram you don’t want clients to see? Then delete them. Post articles on your social media accounts that will help your ideal clients solve their problems.
Recruit new clients
Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, you now know your target market and you’ve created an online presence that is well suited for your business. Now is the time to actually get your clients. So how can you possibly get the ideal clients for your consulting business?
Look to Your Former Employers:
If your consulting business is in line with the fields of your previous employers, reach out to them. Your past employer can very well be a potential client. Let them know you’d like to work with them as a consultant. This is a great way to get clients since you already have an established relationship with them. Ensure there is a concrete consulting contract before you embark on any project.
Develop Deliberate Partnerships:
You need others to grow. If you are finding it difficult to get clients, consider developing strategic partnerships with other consulting agencies who work in a similar or complementary market. This sort of working agreement allows you to get referred to their clients. In addition, you may implement a structure to give bonuses once you get a referral.
Leverage Social Media:
Social media promotes networking. Every day, thousands of deals are being sealed on social media. You’d be leaving money on the table if you don’t leverage this to connect with your target audience and engage with them. Optimize your profile on social networks by adding keywords that are specific to your niche that will help potential clients find you and add it to your profile. Create and post engaging content about what you do on your social media pages. Join Facebook groups where your ideal clients are likely to hang out. However, read Facebook’s non-promotion rules, to ensure you do not violate them and be sure to check out LinkedIn for job listings.
Master the perfect pitch
While it is not necessary that you have a fancy website, you need to have a ready-to-go cold pitch to recruit new clients. You should be able to briefly and eloquently explain the service you render. If you are cold-emailing a potential client, add your portfolio as an attachment. Add content that explains your achievements and highlights your past results.
So, how can you develop a winning pitch for your consulting business?
Send a personalized message. Do your due research. Find out the name of your prospect and craft messages that speak about their business. This will give the recipient the feeling that you care.
Identify the problem their business is faced with and offer solutions. Instead of putting the focus on your business, focus on what’s in it for your potential client. Offer free advice that will add value to them as you pitch your business. This will show that you’ve carried out your research and also help you build trust.
Give evidence that you can deliver. Show your prospect that you have accomplished your promise for other clients.
Be easy to reach. Don’t make your prospects break a sweat trying to reach you. In your pitch, include all the details they need to contact you if they decide to work with you. This includes your full name, your website and your contact details. You can also include a Calendly link so they can easily schedule an appointment with you.
Use a clear call to action. What do you want the recipient of the pitch to do? Would you like them to schedule a free online consultation? Whatever it is, make it clear at the end of your pitch email. Make your call to action simple and not sales-oriented.
Always follow up. If you don’t get an immediate response, don’t quit! Wait for at least a week and then send a follow-up email.
Craft the right proposal
Now that you’ve got a client lined-up, you need to develop the right proposal, an appropriate timeline to get the job done and the price offer that matches the size of the project. The vital elements to include in your proposal are:
A strong opening statement to get your client’s attention.
Establishing the scope of the project to ensure that all the details are known to all parties.
State what you’ll need from the client
Establish the cost of service. If you offer different packages for your service, you should also include the cost of each package. Your client will be able to choose a package that fits their budget.
Layout the timeframe of the project, including deadlines and milestones.
A signature area. This will serve as a contractual document for the client to sign after reading and accepting the proposal.
Trouble-shooting potential problems
It’s natural for a potential client to want to negotiate the terms of your proposal. If they think the price is too expensive:
- Offer to narrow down the scope of the project to lower the cost.
If the prospect is uncertain you’re the right fit for their business, consider these:
- Offer a paid-trail run or
- Money back guarantee.
- These options may be risky for you but it could ultimately boost the client’s confidence about your service. However, make the terms and conditions clear and put it in writing. It’s also ok to decline to work with some clients. If a client complains about your price because they feel your job is easy, they might not be an ideal client for you. Likewise, charge a “rush fee” to clients that want a quick job. As a consultant, you carry a lot of risks so be sure to have the right Consultants insurance to protect you from any claims associated with misconduct. Your business is just a hobby if you are not making any money. Now, put away the fear of being rejected and put these actionable tips into practice to get clients for your consulting business.