5 Steps to a Simpler Digital Marketing System for Consultants
(Guest post by Tsavo Neal.)
Are you overcomplicating your marketing?
Have you thought of leveraging your digital presence to win more clients?
Many consultants don’t bother with digital marketing because they think it’s too complex.
And because of all the noise out there, I don’t blame them.
Marketing your consulting business is different than marketing in other industries. You’re selling your expertise, not a product. You want to know what specific digital marketing tactics will work for your business.
Digital marketing for consultants is simple. And once you get the hang of it, it’s also easy.
But it takes a plan, and the discipline to execute on your plan.
Myth Busting: “Setting Up Your Digital Marketing System is Complicated”
Let’s bust the myth that your digital marketing system has to be a complicated and confusing mess.
A few weeks ago, I watched a webinar from a consulting coach. She claimed that setting up your digital marketing system is like setting up Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
“You have so many different moving pieces that it all becomes a giant, complicated mess that it costs you more time than it saves you.”
(Which is ironic, because I ended up on her webinar due to the exact system she criticized!)
The myth that your digital marketing system is doomed to be complicated comes from digital marketing for other industries.
In other types of businesses, like start-ups, you don’t know exactly how you’re going to acquire new customers yet. You have to try a wide variety of different tactics and spend a lot of time and resources to test them and see what works.
As a consultant, you already know what works. It’s about translating what works for consultant’s offline (Writing, Speaking, Networking, and leveraging Trade Associations) to digital.
Your digital marketing system as a consultant should start out simple. Once you’ve got the basics set up you can add more to it. But until you set up the basics and gain some traction, keep it simple.
As you become more comfortable with your system and the tools that make up your system, you’ll be able to do things quicker, with more automation, and at scale.
Setting the Framework for a Successful Marketing Strategy
Before you simplify your marketing strategy, you’re going to have to approach it in a different way.
Here are some guidelines.
Share What You Know Once A Week
What’s the easiest way for a potential client to verify your expertise and become aware of their problems at the same time?
By reading your content. Experts in their fields become experts by writing, and then sharing their writing.
Your website is one of the most powerful publishing tools available to you, because you own the content and you can design it to match your voice and your brand.
Creating content is helpful to your potential clients – and it’s also incredibly value for you.
By writing, you’ll clarify your own thinking. You’ll improve your communication skills and hone your expertise. You’ll build up an impressive content base that attracts more and more business opportunities for you the more you add to it.
If you’re serious about improving your craft and providing more value to your clients, then writing and sharing what you know will help you do both. And your website is the perfect vehicle to share that expertise.
Use A Buyer-Focused Consultant Website Template
Platforms like LinkedIn and Quora are great for sharing what you know, but you’ll need a hub to tie all of your content together.
That hub is your website. The key is to present your content while simultaneously demonstrating how it’s useful to your prospect.
Here’s a quick diagnostic for your website to determine if it’s engaging and useful to your prospective client:
- Visit your website on your phone. Is it as easy to navigate on your phone as it on your desktop? If not, it’s hurting your business. As a consultant, an unresponsive website will signal to your potential clients that your business is “out of touch” and at worst, unprofessional. It’s a trust killer.
- Read the copy on your homepage. Count the amount of times your website says “you” and addresses your prospect directly versus the time it says “I” or “we.” If your copy talks more about your business than your prospects business, chances are your website is too focused on you rather than your reader. You won’t acquire leads by talking about your business until you’ve shown you’re relevant to their business.
- Finally, does your website foster any interaction? Is it easy to find your content? Do you offer a lead-magnet? Is there a “schedule a free consultation” button to click on? Or have you simply dropped in a 4 field contact form with no real incentive for your prospect to fill out?
If your website doesn’t foster interaction and build trust with your potential clients, it’s not going to move the needle for your consulting business.
Use Lead-Generation Software to Generate Leads
This is where a tool like Mimiran come in.
Unless you’re trying to win design awards with your website, then it’s sole purpose is to generate leads for your business.
That’s your website’s main job. If it’s not doing that, you need to fire it.
On your website, using your opt-in software, you sell your prospect on your lead magnet. They type in their name and email address to receive your lead magnet, and you have their name and email address stored in your email database.
All of your writing, podcasting, and other marketing efforts go to waste if you aren’t using your website to generate leads. Most of your website traffic won’t return. But, if your website is turning some of your traffic into leads, you’ll build recurring traffic and nurture your prospects when you send them back to your website for new content.
Prospects who read your content and opt-in to your list are qualified leads who have given you permission to market to them — at scale.
Action Steps: 5 Easy Steps to Streamline Your Digital Marketing
Here’s a simple 5 step system you can use to start generating more clients through your digital presence and website.
- Set up the right tools. If your website isn’t converting, use my free Consultant Homepage Template. Use a tool like Mimiran to help turn some of this traffic into leads. Without the right design and tools on your website, it can’t do its job (acquiring leads) very well.
- Search through your archives to find something you could turn into a lead-magnet. Chances are you have something that would be valuable to all your prospects sitting on your hard-drive right now. Search through all of your material and find something that you could turn into a checklist, report, course — anything helpful enough to your prospects that they would “purchase” it with their email address.
- Commit to writing 200 words a day for an article on your website. This will take you no more than 20 minutes max. Do it first thing in the morning. When you’re looking at that blank document, don’t think of it like “content marketing” or “thought-leadership” — simply share what you know. You can aim for a short-form post (300-700 words) or a long-form post (750-1250 words) depending on the subject matter.
- Once you’ve hit your word count and made your point, edit your article. Clean up any grammatical errors using a tool like Grammarly, and make sure it’s easy to read using a tool like Hemingway Editor.
- Hit publish. Share your article on LinkedIn. Give a quick summary of your article when sharing, and end the post with a question to create a discussion. Even better if you can share your article in relevant groups and ask your previous clients to share it on LinkedIn. If it makes them appear as thought-leaders, then they will happily share your thought-leadership.
With the first two steps in place, you can do the latter 3 — writing what you know, editing it to make it simple and easy to read, and then sharing your insights to where your target audience hangs out (among your LinkedIn connections and relevant groups is the perfect place to start) — and it will take you no more than 20-30 minutes a day. You will increase relevant traffic to your website and start generating inbound leads.
Creating content, sharing it to your prospects, turning them into leads, and nurturing your audience can all be done without cutting into your project work — and it will help you build a more predictable and profitable client acquisition strategy.
Tsavo Neal helps business consultants and boutique consulting firms use their website to get more clients. You can visit his website here: TsavoNeal.com
Update– if you haven’t seen it yet, check out Tsavo’s massive post on the 64 ways consultants can generate leads online.