How can consulting firms reach & influence more ideal clients?

In this article, we are going to focus on these areas:

  • Power positioning – the foundation for more visibility & more consistent business
  • Content marketing plan – so you can influence your ideal clients
  • Prioritising short-form content – make it snackable to get seen

It is taken from The Accepted Authority podcast, hosted by Andy Marmont and Greg Roworth. You can watch the full episode on YouTube or where you get your podcasts.

Power positioning is your foundation for consistent new business growth

Getting prospects to value your services is the first step to influencing your ideal clients.

We talk about using the right language in your messaging that fits your ideal client.

You’ll probably see the language on most professional services websites is very generic. Anyone could a client instead of really narrowing it down to a specific niche.

You might be thinking, ‘why would we want to narrow down our focus and miss opportunities?’ But the reality is now with messaging, if it’s generic and was really tends to be watered down to fit everyone in. So when you do that, you actually don’t really communicate effectively with anyone.

Using language to really fit your ideal client’s specific situation is important in getting that message across because they’re more receptive to something that’s really tailored to them. So, you end up having a much greater impact with your messaging when it’s focused and targeted to a specific niche market.

In management consulting, we need to be really focused on not trying to serve a number of people, but you’re trying to serve one. And then, it’s about understanding where they hang out. In consulting, you’ll find that LinkedIn is probably the easiest way to get a direct connection with a lot of your ideal clients.

LinkedIn’s great because you can really go and narrow the search of people, and update their profiles correctly. And then it just comes down to understanding a bit more about the language they use, the problems that they have, whether you actually speak to your clients regularly and you get a sense of that. And from that, you’re able to h conversations with these prospects.

A focused content marketing plan

In a report by BenchPress, consulting firms overwhelmingly had tried Linkedin, written content marketing and email marketing as the main ways to generate new business. But when it came to getting results, all three had failed for 90% of the firms.

Are you in the same boat? Have your tried marketing your firm in these areas, but haven’t got success? Let’s explore some of the key reasons why and what works.

The first thing to realise is content marketing success is all about consistency.

You need to commit to presenting content and being seen in the market. Whether it is three, four or five times per week, you’ve got to stick with it every week for at least 6-12 months;

Doing this elevates your authority positioning. Don’t fall into the trap of random acts of marketing – doing ad hoc campaigns. You see, when we get quiet and need to go to market, and we attempt to influence our ideal market, the messages get taken out of context. There’s no real authority around that messaging. A lot of people do it the wrong way, so it’s perceived as spam (cue those dodgy LinkedIn messages where they sell you as soon as you accept their message).

So, there’s a lot of benefit in being consistently seen to be sharing your expertise, your opinions, your thoughts. In our experience, even though you mightn’t get a lot of feedback (likes, comments, engagements) all the time, you’ll start to become omnipresent.

It happens to me all the time. I might bump into them somewhere and they’ve mentioned that they’ve seen my posts and like them.

The buyer is usually not ready to buy

Consider that a very small percentage of your ideal target market is ready to buy right now (2-5% in my experience). Then, there is 43-48% who might be ready in 3-12 months. The rest, 50% will never buy.

A successful content marketing strategy will influence the 43-48%. Our direct messaging will convert the 2-5% ready to buy now.

Let’s talk about what to consider when planning out your strategy.

People buy outcomes, not services

As professional service providers, nobody actually wants our services.

They want outcomes that those services provide. So a big mistake I see a lot of professionals making is promoting their services, which now this creates a disconnect because no one really wants to those services unless they know what the outcomes of those services are.

Consider creating content that will be meaningful and relevant to your ideal client. Next, think about the outcome they will get with your posts or other content. Think about walking in their shoes, where they have been, and the struggles they are finding.

If you are going to run a content marketing program, which if you run a consulting firm it might be a series of a series of text and video posts, it might be a series of webinars, or emails, or a combo of all.

People often know what they need to know (e.g. they need a new CRM, a new technology). But it’s your job to give them practical ways to apply this knowledge. That’s where using models and coaching content helps this.

Getting cut through with your content marketing strategy

Influencing your ideal client is a journey. it involves a lot of testing and data. And if you are going through a campaign or you’re starting a campaign, then I guess the advice that we’re landing on here one niche, one target market to start with.

Then, craft messaging and your content marketing posts, go out and test it. Do some digital doorknocking, connect with new people, put content out there that you think that that would be relevant to. And then, and then measure it, get some feedback because you’ll get feedback pretty instantly.

The way that you can get the cut-through is realise it is about a war of attention nowadays. Content is changing and has changed dramatically in the last five years. Marketing professional services and marketing consulting firms is no different.

Previously we would write big, long LinkedIn articles or LinkedIn posts, or big long emails and newsletters. And now it’s about being concise. And instead of doing one email a month, it’s a weekly email. If we are writing a LinkedIn post, then instead of having a long post, we focus on the top three lines to hook people in

So, you’ve got to just always think about what are people going to stop and look at? The same with your webinars, the same with your other events that you’re doing.

Prioritise short-form content to build visibility

People have very short attention spans (check out a great book called Hook Point, it illustrates this really well).

So your job is about capturing that attention in short-form content first. They are sampling your approach and your thinking.

Think about the pathway that we are leading people down. What sort of content do we need to provide at each step on that pathway? And to bring them to a point where they’re influenced by us and ready to, to work with us, ideally rather than just informing them about the seven ways to solve their problems.

Remember:

  • Reaching and influencing your ideal clients starts with a strong power positioning approach.
  • Commit to a consistent content marketing strategy that is relevant and meaningful to one ideal client.
  • Prioritise short-form content and create a pathway that leads and educates prospects to your solution.

If you want to reach & influence more ideal clients for your consulting firm, book a 15-minute discovery call with our CEO, Andy Marmont, here. And let’s see if or how we can help.

About the Author


Director

Owner of Conqurve Content Marketing, ex-recruiter, sports writer and journalist.