If you want to stand out to your prospects, you need to promote your business. But attempting to start marketing your consulting business when you have little to no experience can be quite daunting and confusing. When I first started marketing my own ergo services, I didn’t know what would work and what wouldn't. As a result, I wasted so much time and resources doing the wrong things. During that time, I wished I had someone who could point me in the right direction.
If you’re just starting and wondering how to find your first paying clients, have no fear. In this post, I'm going to share 5 steps to help you jump-start marketing your business. Whether you’re in the process of starting your ergo consulting business or already offering ergonomic services in your current practice, the list below is going to help you attract paying customers and ultimately grow your consulting business.
First, before I jump into the list, I just want to make a few things clear:
Most people's initial focus when starting a business is usually: I need to get clients. I need to make money. I need to pay my bills. Then after the first two or three months without a paycheck, they get scared and end up stopping before they get to see the real results. That's why I suggest that before you leave your nine-to-five job, start planting as many seeds as possible. This is a huge tip because it can take anywhere between 3-6 months of consistent marketing to even start to see the impact. Especially if you’re coming from a nine-to-five job and have no experience managing a consulting business, let alone launching one, you have to start establishing relationships early.
Yes, PREPARATION is important. You don’t want to launch your consulting business and only then start reaching out to people. The earlier you identify key people and organizations in your community and share the message of who you are, what you do, and what value you offer, the sooner you may get potential clients. You can build those relationships by simply consistently attending local networking events and developing relationships with people in those events, as well as building up your local network on LinkedIn. Remember, you're not selling anyone at that point. You're just developing those relationships.
I've noticed that the most effective ergonomics consultants out there who are building a business have a combination of two things: patience and a system.
Patience means that as long as you're consistent with your process, it's only a matter of time before you start generating leads. Keep in mind that long-term efforts don't produce results overnight. And system refers to the marketing system that drives your funnel forward.
For me, I like to have leads generated in my business 24/7. If you don’t have a system that works for you 24/7, then you're not realizing your potential as a business owner. If you're unfamiliar with this whole idea of passive ways of using a system to attract prospects 24/7, my program called Accelerate helps ergonomics service providers from all over the world set up this side of their business. And I highly encourage you to check it out.
Take the pressure off finding your first client and see if there are any part-time opportunities out there. This tip is very helpful because it can lessen many of the financial risks related to running a business. The last thing you want to happen while trying to grow your consulting business is getting stressed paying your expenses without a sure way of earning it back.
There are two ways to do this: You could do this while you’re still in your current nine-to-five employer if your contract allows it. The other option is to look for something completely different but has one thing that you really need.
Marketing efforts don't mean getting prospects to invest in your services right away. So before launching, start filling your marketing funnel. Generate leads, make low-cost or no-cost offers to get your foot in the door with companies that you really want to work with, and get testimonials from clients.
One of the ways that I really encourage those who are just starting from scratch or in a new market is to utilize a Value Ladder strategy. This is one of the main ways that I built my ergonomics service business. What I like to do is make offers to employers who I want to work with. I'm in the state of mind that you can either pay for leads through LinkedIn ads, Facebook ads, and other digital marketing strategies to reach your prospects, or you can use your time. And what I find to be useful is to select specific employers in my city, leverage a value ladder strategy by offering a no-cost Lunch-and-Learn, and build that relationship. And it worked. I really recommend using a value ladder strategy. Start by demonstrating your value by offering valuable low-cost offers. If you've provided them a good experience, they'll get encouraged to do business with you again when the need arise.
When it comes to marketing, engaging consistently with your audience and making your process systematic for a long time is key. So every day, allot some time to focus entirely on marketing your business. Show up, whether that means reaching out to your audience on LinkedIn for 15 minutes every day or responding to the comments you receive on Facebook twice a week. Remember that marketing is a lifestyle, so build it into your life. There’s no magic formula that can substitute consistency.
Being consistent with your marketing strategy is an important step, but it’s also crucial to track how that strategy impacts your business. And this has a point, especially when you're first starting out. You want to identify the impact of the marketing systems that you're using. I personally like to look at the quarterly impact. This gives you enough time to really dive into the market strategy so you can see the results. The results can either be income or impact, that’s two ways you can track it. Tracking your marketing goals quarterly via these two ways (income or impact) will give you clarity into whether your strategies are helping you reach your goals or whether there are improvements needed.
Are you still unsure which direction is the right fit for your ergo biz? Are you looking for further support in marketing your ergonomic business beyond what I discuss here? Let me introduce you to the Accelerate: The Business of Ergonomics program. In this program, I’ll show you how to get in front of the prospects that desire your services, maintain a steady stream of work, and generate more revenue for your business. I’ll be opening the enrollment at the end of June 2022. So if you’re interested, just click here to join the waitlist now.
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