Making a business profitable and successful requires a great deal of promotion, which is why there are so many different marketing strategies that have been developed throughout the years in order to make it happen.
This is no different for coaches and consultants; their businesses require a lot of exposure to get to their target audiences and that is why digital marketing has become such a helpful tool: it can provide the kind of promotion and exposure that any type of business requires in order to be successful without having to spend as much money as you would do through conventional mediums.
This article is dedicated to teaching four proven ways for consultants to market their business online and attract more qualified leads, how to build trust and demonstrate credibility without face-to-face interaction, what you can do to scale your marketing efforts, and have your digital presence work for you while you’re delivering projects.
What digital marketing has on traditional relationship building is that it scales. With a great guest post, podcast, or article, you can prove your expertise and build trust with hundreds of leads at a time.
Why should you engage in digital marketing? Because it can help you solve your biggest business challenge as a consultant which is attracting and developing new businesses or clients.
Frequently, consultants and coaches firms build a new website that functions as an online business card, and usually, many of these websites are little more than digital brochures with a contact form. In numbers, 96% of B2B small business websites don’t offer guides, white papers, or similar reports on their home pages.
There are “Four consultants must” that need to be followed in the search of getting better results on marketing:
In the following section, we’re going to explain to you everything you need to know about these four different elements.
Networking: Digital Outreach
Networking is more than a marketing method for consultants, and most of all, it’s the lifeblood of their business. If you understand how to network in a personal manner, then you can do it online. The best thing about doing digital outreach (also known as “the cold email”) is that it allows you to reach people you otherwise would not have been able to reach.
You can use tools to find email addresses from almost any website. And don’t forget about LinkedIn, either using InMail or sending a connection request. Email typically gets a higher response than InMail.
Some of the best benefits that you’re going to get from networking are:
- A lot more reach.
- The capacity to reach people that you probably wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.
- Stablishing professional connections.
Writing: Content Marketing
Content marketing is a fancy word for “writing online with the goal of educating potential clients with the intention of turning them into buyers.” Statistically, 80% of B2B decision makers prefer to get information from articles rather than advertising. This rings especially true for consultants.
It’s hard to find a marketing method more efficient for consultants than writing. Using a tool as scalable as your website as your publishing vehicle makes content marketing a no brainer. As a consultant, prospects and potential buyers need to know that you’re an expert in your field so that you can help solve their problems. Reading your articles helps them feel more at-ease hiring you.
You can not only write content for your website, but you can also do it in a blog where you can offer a more casual and closer perspective of what your business is all about, thus establishing a stronger connection with your clients. Of course, there are many different benefits from this:
- If you decide to use SEO, there are higher possibilities of people finding your website through internet searches.
- A lot more exposure.
- Answering your audience’s questions and that is going to result in a better relationship with them.
Speaking in front of 20-30 prospects is an almost a guaranteed way to pick up consulting work. The tool of podcasting, allows you to speak in front of hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of prospects.
Look for consulting podcasts or podcasts related to your industry. Pitch the podcasts host on having you as a guest. Don’t talk about your education and your skills. Talk about what their audience wants to learn and how you can help them with your expertise.
To maximize the effectiveness of your podcast appearances, at the end of the podcast, ask the listeners to visit a special follow-up link. This link on your website should give them a way to follow up with you. Prompt them to sign up for your email list, schedule a free consultation, or add you on LinkedIn. Some of the biggest benefits are:
- Engaging with your audience in a more casual and immediate manner.
- Better explanations of your brand, of what you can offer and how you offer it.
- Answering people’s questions, providing the information they might not be familiar with and overall putting your brand out there.
Trade Associations -> Guest Posting
If you don’t get a lot of traffic to your website and are looking for some initial traffic, you can “borrow” the audience of trade associations and other industry blogs to bring you more visibility. Associations like IMC, CMC, and AIBP are good examples of what these organizations offer online. They have guest publications, newsletters, member forums, etc.
Trade associations exist online, and if you can join one, you’ll find many opportunities for both networking and marketing. Look for ones you can join, and contribute by guest posting. Make sure your guest post features a link back to your website.
Many of the benefits are the ones that you can imagine:
- A lot more exposure.
- Creating professional connections with other brands.
- Having a better understanding of how to get your work out there, relate to others and generate more leads to your website.
The great thing about digital marketing for consultants is that you don’t have to try a million different tactics. Do at least 3 of these methods. Or even better — master two of them. You want to be efficient with the time you spend marketing yourself online. You can’t do that if you keep trying new things and don’t get good at a few proven methods.
A business coach works with small to medium sized business owners on improving various skills, but marketing in particular. Most business owners that we speak to are usually excellent in what they do, but have a lack of experience in marketing and that department usually suffers as a consequence.
Most of all know that the web design industry is competitive, fiercely competitive. It is also mostly made up of graphic designers and IT people with a technical background. One thing to bear in mind when dealing with a company from this background is that they probably couldn’t care less whether your website works or not, their primary motivation is to have a website that looks good on their own portfolio.
It’s important to you the way evolve your online presence with a customized digital marketing strategy. We start with a thorough assessment that analyzes your digital footprint.
Then, we’ll work together to establish your core business objectives, and use those to design a strategic plan that includes: comprehensive audience profiles, strategic key performance indicators, content marketing frameworks, and your ideal marketing channel mix to enhance more and better results on a scale that reaches your expectations.
Furthermore, when talking to a client, it is crucial to adopt a specific tone that is not too formal, that you appear elusive, yet respectable at the same time. In addition to managing the content clients, experts know smart reputation management techniques to deal with the unhappy ones.
You can increase your credibility tremendously if a negative review is handled tactfully and customers are pacified by addressing their issues with your company.
Some of the biggest platforms and tactics that you can use to grow as a consultant on a digital scale are:
- Social media platforms.
- Email marketing.
We are going to give you an explanation of how you can use all of these options in order to get more leads and a lot more exposure to the digital landscape.
Social media Platforms
We all have a profile in at least one social media platform, whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or whatnot. Nowadays, these are the platforms and areas on the internet where there is the most influx of information and where you can reach a lot of people, so it’s essential that you tap into that from the moment that you decide to take your brand on a digital scale.
Not only you create a profile, but you also share the content of your website, you interact with your target audience and you can answer all the different questions they might have, which is something fairly common if you decide to focus on the coach profession.
We can say that social media is where the action is at and that is where you must be if you want to generate a lot more engagement, trying to connect with your target audience and building up a following that is going to provide the leads that you desire.
Some of the main benefits are:
- A lot more engagement.
- The possibility of sharing your content to a wider audience.
- Giving your brand a more professional perception to the public.
There is a common theme that email marketing is outdated and not as useful as it once was, but when it comes to your work as a coach, we can safely say that email marketing is still very relevant and it can provide the kind of input that fit your business the best.
Why are we saying this? Mostly because working as a coach can lead to a very intimate business relationship with your clients, which is why it’s recommendable to contact your target audience on a private scale, which is something you can do through email and where you can also share with them more specific content, such as special offers, contracts, discounts and elements of that nature.
Some of the biggest benefits of email marketing include:
- A more intimate relationship with your business clients.
- A better sense of communication because you can provide more specific answers.
- An easier influx of information.
Blogging can be one of the best alternatives to get your brand out there and to explain all the different services that you can offer, which is something that you must do to get a lot more exposure and overall have a better relationship with your target audience in the short, medium and long term.
You don’t require a lot of resources to start a blog, especially if you decide to start one at Blogger or WordPress, and you can promote through multiple social media platforms and email marketing, as we have stated before. You can use this blog to answer multiple questions, to engage in a more effective way and give multiple explanations of how your business works, thus achieving the following benefits:
- Space where you can offer quality content in a different structure to a website or social media platforms.
- Better engagement with your target audience.
- A lot more exposure, especially if you decide to use SEO to be more visible.
There are many different ways to reach your audience and that is one of the reasons that digital marketing has proven to be so useful for so many types of businesses: it gives you the possibility of becoming a major success if you play your cards well, without having the budget or other types of resources that the big brands have.
It’s all about work, dedication and putting the commitment that every single entrepreneur needs to succeed in this world and if you decide to start a career as a consultant or as a coach, then this is the way to go for you.
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That’s it for now.