If your price is making a prospect balk, you can cut back on the extent of services and thus lower the price. Another powerful tool when negotiating pricing is the rush fee. Think of a rush fee as a tool. It should serve two distinct purposes:. When negotiating, pay attention to red flags.
Climbing out of that hole means creating more demand for your services.
How to Start a Freelance Writing Business and Work At Home (For Good)
And the ladder? Chapter 6. Lots of it. It will come from people who use your services, love working with you, and want to tell others all about it. This is a totally organic kind of marketing. One person tells another about your work. A lot of the work here is just providing damn good service. Networking is key, so get out there and meet people at events in real life. Go to meetups, conferences, and other events in your industry. One strategy for networking is to forge relationships with people who exist in the same industry as you but work with a different client base.
For example, if you are a legal consultant, you can connect with lawyers who have different areas of practice than you. Stacey Burke, a law firm business consultant, recommends that attorneys look to those who work in areas of law with lots of cases and clients, like consumer bankruptcy, social security disability, or small car accident.
People working in those areas get a lot of inquiries, including a high number of prospects looking for legal services outside their areas of expertise. For more on how to strategically use networking events to build your business, check out our in-depth article on that very topic. Written or video endorsements from real, live clients can be compelling. Making claims about what you can do only goes so far, but a testimonial from a happy client is real evidence that you can deliver results.
Contact your favorite clients and ask them for testimonials you can use on your website and in your marketing. Where to put testimonials? Your website, for sure. Always try to use photos, since including a headshot of the person endorsing your services will make their testimonial much more credible and believable. For that same reason, video testimonials can be more powerful than text. Matt Olpinski, a design consultant who works on websites and apps for businesses, displays testimonials prominently on the home page of his own site.
Testimonials should come from your ideal client type, because people relate better to those who are like them. As is often the case at the start of a consulting career, your existing client base may be all over the place with all sorts of people. You should also think about the key decision maker. Who will decide whether or not to contract with you?
If you work with businesses, will it be the CEO?
What Service Should I Sell?
The head of marketing? A VP of such-and-such? Try to identify the kinds of people who will be making the decision to work or not work with you, and get testimonials from them—even if the company rep you work with on the day-to-day is a different person. If you have them, numbers are great. If you use numbers in your testimonials, try to use exact numbers. A study from the University of Minnesota Duluth's Association for Consumer Research looked at what people thought about numbers they saw in advertising claims.
Even though the second ad's number was lower, people saw it as both more credible and more accurate.
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Video testimonials are most effective. They are harder to come by, but if you can get a few, they will do wonders for your business. Consider offering an incentive for clients to provide a video testimonial and only ask those clients with whom you have already built trust.
Avalanche Consulting, which works with communities on economic development, uses video testimonials to highlight their range of clients and put real, breathing, talking people in front of prospects. Videos are often more convincing than text. A case study is a story. Diving deep into the specifics of how you helped a client and what results you got for them can really prove that you have what it takes to give prospects what they want. A short report or page on your website can include a client testimonial, outline what you did, and give key stats on the results you achieved.
Avoid a wall of text. Use headlines, bullet points, images. The case study details a consulting project with KeySmart , a big ecommerce brand, and it has all the essentials: impressive stats, a quick blurb on what KeySmart is, images and multimedia, a written testimonial, a summary of what Ethercycle did, and to round it all off, a simple call to action asking visitors to reserve a consultation.
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In that case, keep potential case studies in mind when landing the right clients, and think about how you can pitch the idea to them, focusing on what kind of benefits like exposure it could offer them. As the name suggests, lead magnets attract potential clients, and should be a part of any serious marketing strategy to grow your consulting business. A lead magnet is a marketing tactic whereby you offer something for free in exchange for an email signup, with hopes of generating interest among potential clients.
It needs to be exciting and unique, filled with high-value advice, tips, and resources to help subscribers succeed.
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If you write a newsletter, your content should be tailored to what your ideal clients would have interest in. The problem is that newsletters are everywhere how many are you signed up for? That said, newsletters can be a good option if you like producing content and relish the challenge of crafting unique, compelling emails that will leave subscribers with no choice but to open and read.
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Beyond actually creating the newsletter content, this option is fairly straightforward. You send one email at a time, each with helpful nuggets of information. Jane Portman is a user experience consultant who offers a relevant email series with a clear, specific value proposition. Bonus points: her sign-up is super simple, asking only for an email, making it quick and painless for visitors to grab the lead magnet.
People like downloadable PDF freebies that help them accomplish a task or learn actionable tips for success. These one-pagers can go by all sorts of names: worksheets, tip sheets, blueprints, cheat sheets, checklists, templates, etc. Take a difficult part of some process and offering a free template for it can bring the email signups streaming in.
Austin L. A targeted, useful lead magnet might be something along the lines of a checklist of 11 quick copy fixes to boost conversion rates. Some sort of weekly meal planning template, maybe bundled with a healthy eating cheat sheet, could be a good fit. When creating your one-pager, start with just the text. You can always stop there and turn it into a pdf, or you may want to design and brand it.