Think You’re Too Busy to Market Your Business?

how to market your business when you're buy with client workThink Again.

If you’re like a lot of consultants, your plate is full. Very full.

You’ve got projects to run, a business to manage, and a personal life. Sometimes, there’s just not enough time in the day.

The natural reaction to the stress of being overloaded is to put off something on your to-do list. When you get too busy, you sort through your priorities and often it’s your marketing activities that you put on the back burner.

Why? Because it’s an easy thing to put on hold. You can convince yourself that publishing that article later than planned won’t hurt anything. Or you promise yourself that you will rework your web presence next month.

You can convince yourself that publishing that article later than planned won’t hurt anything.

If the reason you feel forced to pull back on marketing is because you have too much client work to do, that’s not a bad problem to have.

But the short-term gain from your client work, no matter how good it is, can put your business in a deep hole once that work slows up.

And that’s a problem you don’t want to have.

No doubt, you know it’s a mistake to let your marketing activities slip.

But to underscore the point, I’m going to use the business writer’s rule of social proof. When in doubt, roll out Peter Drucker.

Drucker summed up his take on marketing this way:

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation.”

Even though you understand the long-term implications of setting aside your marketing program, you may feel that’s your only option. So you resolve to put your head down, get the client work done, and ramp up your marketing as soon as things settle down.

Even though you understand the long-term implications of setting aside your marketing program, you may feel that’s your only option.

Fortunately, you do have another choice.

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The Power of Becoming a Visible Expert

becoming a visible expertHere’s something everyone intuitively understands.

If you create a strong presence in your market and become recognized for your expertise, you’ve got a platform for growth.

What’s less obvious is how to create that platform.

I just read the newly released report, Visible Expert Research Study: Management Consulting Edition, by researchers at Hinge that sheds light on how consultants can create a platform for growth.

The Hinge Research Institute studied more than 530 professional services firms to understand consultants’ challenges and their top marketing priorities. The results point the way for firms that want to grow.

The Hinge Research Institute studied more than 530 professional services firms to understand consultants’ challenges and their top marketing priorities.

The study focuses on what Hinge researchers call “visible experts.” These are people with high market “visibility and acknowledged expertise who can command influence within a specific target audience.”

The report outlines the impact of visible experts on a consulting practice, how buyers find them, what tools they use to raise their market visibility, and how consultants can accelerate their progress to becoming a visible expert.

Three of the report findings stand out.

First, when buyers of consulting services were asked how they learn about consultants, they said that they checked out the consultant’s online presence.

That’s not earth shattering news by itself, but here’s what’s striking. The use of online searches by prospective buyers seeking to learn about consultants has “eclipsed more traditional methods such as recommendations.”

The use of online searches by prospective buyers seeking to learn about consultants has “eclipsed more traditional methods such as recommendations.”

Wait. What?

To be precise, prospective buyers use a variety of sources to find a consultant, but a firm’s online presence keeps growing in importance.

The takeaway: Consultants who view their web presence as a necessary evil, not the foundation of their lead generation strategy, should rethink their marketing approach.

Second, the report shows what individual visible experts do to generate leads for their firms. Speaking, books, and social media top the list of lead generation tools for visible experts.

lead sources

The top three tools combine to position a consultant to reach many prospective clients, on an ongoing basis, with a clear and authoritative message. That sounds like a recipe for success.

Finally, visible experts ask for (and get) higher fees than most anyone else.

As an individual’s level of expertise grows, so does the consulting fee that consultant can earn.

According to the research, the top management consulting experts can earn seventeen times the rate that an average professional earns.

According to the research, the top management consulting experts can earn seventeen times the rate that an average professional earns.

You’ll find lots of other interesting findings in the report. You can get it by clicking the link below.

Have a look. It’s a quick, informative read, and there’s no cost.

Download the Report (It’s Free)

visible_expert reportThe Management Consulting Visible Expert research study by Hinge explores:

  • How leading management consulting experts impact their firms and their clients
  • Why and how buyers seek out management consulting Visible Experts
  • The marketing tools that management consulting experts use to raise their profile
  • Techniques to increase your visibility more quickly

Download it here.