If you’re a consultant, there are thousands of companies that could benefit from your services. And despite this, sometimes it feels hard to reach any new customers – especially if you don’t get out as much anymore and the majority of your work is done behind a screen.
Fortunately, finding new clients might not be quite as difficult as it seems. There are several practical approaches to help boost your client list in 2021, and this post will walk through the best of them. Let’s begin!
Eight Strategies for Finding New Clients
1. Asking for Referrals
Every consultant is constantly building a network, and those network connections can turn into a funnel of new clients if you play your cards right. If you’re trying to grow your consulting firm, reach out to people in your network and ask them if they’d refer clients your way (and, of course, offer to do something for them in return).
But don’t confuse this with a shotgun approach—you’re not messaging everybody in your LinkedIn address book in an attempt to drum up referrals. Only engage with specific people who have seen your skills and would be comfortable referring clients to you. People to consider: former coworkers, mentors, bosses, or agencies you’ve worked for.
2. Creating a Referral Program
This is a great practice for leveraging your past and present clients to possibly create new work for two separate parties.
A good referral program will ask previous/existing clients to refer new clients in exchange for a discount on their service cost. For example, “Take $500 off your monthly bill for each new client you refer.”
Of course, the specifics will depend on how you bill, what you charge, and your business structure, but awarding your previous/existing clients with a discount will not only incentivize them to stay longer, and the expense will be covered by the new client’s potential.
3. Strategic Partnership
Strategic partnerships are an incredibly valuable tool for your business. To form one, contact another company that offers a similar— but different – service and discuss how you can benefit each other. From details to discounts, a strategic partnership can vary widely because of the number of variables at play.
For example, say your firm is a social media marketing company, and you for a strategic partnership with an SEO page-rank company. Now, you can offer your clients access to SEO page-rank services (presumably at a slight discount) while the second company can offer their clients access to social media marketing.
In short, you’re sharing clients with each other. Additionally, you can even take it another step further and create “package discounts” to incentivize new clients by adding a new offering.
4. Take Your Knowledge to Social Media
You presumably have a Facebook business page and other social media pages for your company, but there’s a lot more you can do with social media. In fact, a great way to reach new clients is simply commenting on posts!
Using your industry knowledge, you can offer a lot of guidance and friendly pointers to a lot of potential new clients. All you need to do is join a marketing or business group, read posts and threads, and then comment on the ones where you feel you can help. If you do this, more people will read your name, see your expertise, and hopefully contact you about work!
5. Write Articles for Publication
People trust experts to handle important decisions. And there’s an easy way to earn instant gratification as an expert: publish your work! Whether it’s being published in a print magazine or online niche website, find opportunities to write and publish what you know.
Some outlets will pay for the writing, but drawing a paycheck from it is not the important thing—exposure is. The more articles you publish about marketing, lead-gen, social media, or whatever your specific skills are, the more credential you have as an expert and the more people will read your work.
6. Create Online Video/Info Content
This falls in the same vein as writing articles: creating an online video or informative content, such as blog posts, is another great way to solidify your stance as a topical expert.
From making YouTube videos to filming Q&As on Facebook, there are lots of ways to stand out from your business competition while helping potential clients, and one advantage of video content is that it allows your personality to shine through. On the other hand, informative blog posts (such as what you’re reading right now) are another great form of published content that drives website traffic.
7. Create Case Studies
Even if you’re not the kind that likes to brag, creating a case study that highlights your success is a valuable, professional pat on the back. Work with your client to get all the necessary information and permission, then put together a case study that quantifies what you can do for a client. On top of that, if any of your clients are comfortable sharing testimonial videos, those are always a great tool for building a client base.
8. Don’t Miss Out on Any Leads
If you’re working hard to find new clients, the last thing you want to do is miss an opportunity because you failed to nurture it correctly. That said, if you’re in the process of juggling 30 different leads, it’s understandable that one might slip through the cracks.
Thankfully, a great small-business customer relationship management system (CRM) can help. A CRM will track all the leads for you and help properly nurture them so you get the most out of them without ever forgetting and missing out on any. Better yet, BQE CORE CRM is probably the platform for you: a top-of-the-line system that will ensure you never miss any leads again!