Being self-employed can be rewarding, but without the right planning and promotion no one will know about your offering and services. As a consultant you must be proactive in marketing yourself, your services and reaching out to your target audience.
Here are some different ways to market yourself successfully to strengthen your brand.
Before you begin to market yourself, set goals on what you want to achieve. Doing so will let you measure how you are doing and where you are going. For instance, who will want your service? Where are they currently looking for your service? What is the current market demand? These types of questions are a great place to start.
The more effort you put into your research, the more you will get out of it. You can research your industry through publications and company research databases such as Alert Data to highlight trends for your field and pinpoint market demand. Look at other consultants with a similar offering, how do you compare? Why do you like them? How do they market themselves? Is their website easy to follow? What is their unique selling point (USP)?
It is important for you to know who your target audience is and look at ways to reach out to them.
It is important to remain consistent in your image and how you present yourself to your existing and potential contacts. Websites such as http://searchengineland.com/and http://www.searchengineguide.com/ have various articles that may help get you started. Before you start to develop your brand it can be useful to consider your USP – what makes you different from everyone else? It’s this message you need to convey when promoting yourself through your business.
A website allows you to be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At any one point in time there are millions of people, from all over the world online. Many of them are looking to source products or services. A well designed and informative website is more likely to attract new customers and give existing customers a reason to return.
When creating your website think about the following areas:
A professional website shows people that you are forward thinking and customer focussed, which is an important factor in making a decision to work with someone.
Use a signature block in your emails. Make sure you include your name, LinkedIn URL, website address and tag lines or a one liner with your areas of expertise.
This is key if you want to be noticed and for people to take notice of you. If you were to Google yourself where would you rank on the list of results? You obviously want to be as close to the top as possible so you are exposing yourself to prospective clients.
Tips to consider;
Networking is essential as a Consultant. Get advice and share ideas with others; they could be able to introduce you to relevant people. Whilst networking online is becoming more popular than ever, it is essential to meet as many people as possible. People are more likely to remember you if they have met you and will remember you for future opportunities.
There are social media sites to suit everyone. LinkedIn allows you to expand your current network and connect with your target audience. As you are still representing your online brand make sure you keep your social networking professional.
Tips on using LinkedIn effectively
Additionally Twitter may be a useful forum for you to consider;
E-Marketing allows you to reach a wide range of customers and to offer a diverse range of services. Using campaigns via email is a fast and effective way of targeting your specific audience at the click of a button. When targeting potential customers via email it is important to get it right from the start. Here are some points to consider;
Once you have given this some thought and looked at your current contacts, you may want to consider the following when marketing yourself to a wider audience.
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