Consultants come from a variety of industries and have a variety of expertise. Whether your “expertise” is social media marketing, SEO, or real estate, you’ll discover your limitless potential.
In this guide, we’ll cover a few steps in leveraging your unique skills and starting your own consulting firm.
WHAT IS A BUSINESS CONSULTANT?
Consultants offer advice and expertise to individuals, businesses, and organizations to help them improve their lives, performance, management structures, and more. Consulting services can run the gamut from strategy consulting and financial advice to marketing consulting and beyond.
While being a consultant is hard work, it is a fulfilling profession that presents many networking opportunities and enormous earning potential.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUILDING A BUSINESS CONSULTING SERVICE
Want to start making money as a consultant? There are several things you need to consider before starting a consulting business.
· What valuable skills do you have?
· What certifications or licenses do you need to start a business consulting service?
· Are you organized and have a disciplined nature?
HOW TO START A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS CONSULTING SERVICE IN 7 STEPS?
Once you’ve discovered your “expertise” —that is, the unique skills that are your selling point, it’s time to start turning your passion into a profitable consulting business.
All you need to do is hone your craft, market yourself effectively and deliver great results to your clients.
The following details the steps you can take to start your own business consulting services from the ground up.
- Define Your Unique Selling Proposition
A unique selling proposition (USP) is what makes you unique from other professionals in the market. While you may market yourself as a consulting business, what makes you the consultant of choice for your potential clients?
Think about the unique skills you have, your communication style, and your level of experience. Then, define your USP based on your value statement, the benefits your services provide, and the results you will produce for your clients.
Your value proposition is the single main thing you offer your clients. This should basically be your number one selling point when you market your services to prospects. It answers the question of why someone would hire you.
For example, if you are a financial advisor, your value proposition might be that you have five years of experience advising multinational companies on making sound financial decisions.
You can then market yourself as a consultant capable of working with companies (something many advisors may not be able to do).
Beyond your main selling points, what other benefits can clients expect from working with you? You can write a list of benefits that you can highlight in future marketing materials.
What results do you want to produce for your clients?
Each type of client has a specific purpose in working with you. Once you know your niche, your job is to uncover what that goal is and help your clients achieve it.
- Define Your Target Market
This step takes your USP one step further by helping you determine your ideal target market. Many people make the mistake of starting out looking for a customer base that is too broad, which increases competition and makes it difficult for the business to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
By being more specific, you can narrow down the competition and speak to the needs of your ideal client. The more you understand your target audience, the easier it will be to sell your services.
This step involves answering the who, what, and where of the target market you want to reach.
- Build a Lead Generating System
How you market your business consulting services will depend on where your target customers are and which platforms they use to find consultants like you. This will vary from industry to industry.
The best way to find out where to market your company is to ask your target market how they find consultants. You’ll likely find a variety of platforms and methods you can use to generate leads and eventually land clients.
Here are some of the most popular lead-generation platforms:
· Paid Ads
- Have a Great Website or Portfolio
While having a website is not a requirement for becoming a business consultant, it certainly helps. A website or portfolio gives potential clients a place to learn about your services, see the results you produce for clients, and contact you.
Platforms like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace provide free, low-cost templates to help you set up your first website.
You can create pages that list your services, publish blog posts, and direct website visitors to your contact page. Use social media marketing and SEO to drive traffic to your site and generate a consistent stream of prospects.
- Gives Great Results
The success of your business depends on whether you have delivered outstanding results for clients. This will enhance your brand, encourage repeat partnerships and attract more clients.
Once you start delivering results for your clients, you should measure important key performance indicators (KPIs) and start creating case studies.
- Ask for Testimonials
Like case studies, testimonials display the results you get for your clients, in their own words only. Great testimonials not only make you feel good, but they can also actively work to attract new clients.
After working with the client, ask them to leave you a review on all or any of the following platforms:
Google My Business: A free platform where you can post business information, phone numbers, client reviews, and articles.
Facebook: Request reviews on your business Facebook page. Don’t forget to ask for a five-star rating!
LinkedIn: Ask clients to provide LinkedIn recommendations about your personal LinkedIn profile or reviews on your business LinkedIn page.
Website: You can repost client reviews on your website, or use website plugins to pull in testimonials from Facebook, Google, and other review platforms.
The more positive reviews you have, the better. If you get a negative review, be sure to handle it professionally. Sometimes you can request that they be removed if you think they are spam or if users don’t really work with your business.
- Always Learning
Your goal is to provide the best results for your clients. This requires you to stay on top of your game and hone your skills on a regular basis.
In addition to staying informed about current trends in your industry, you should consider investing in additional education to improve your skills over time. Find lots of free and paid resources both conventional and online to help you become the best consultant ever.
START PROFITABLE BUSINESS CONSULTING SERVICES TODAY
The beauty of consulting is that you can basically take any skill and turn it into a full-time business, as long as you are providing value to your clients.
If you have a unique “expertise” that allows you to help others, you can market your skills as a professional consultant.
There are many paths to success in the business consulting business, so feel free to pave your own. With the steps outlined in this guide, you should at least have a framework as well as a way to start and scale your own business.