How to Grow Your Consultant Business

0
300
AU-April4 - 1200 x 800

Consultants are paid for their expertise. The expertise they offer can be in problem solving, or because of their knowledge in a certain topic. Starting and growing a consultancy business means putting yourself as the product. It is your knowledge and your skills that you are outsourcing to others who need your help. You are often brought in for short periods for a specific solution.

You may specialize in sustainable development, for example, and get hired to direct a company’s shift into sustainable innovation. You may work in production management or supply chain innovation.

Increase Your Expertise

To grow your business, you first need to increase your expertise. People hire and rely on consultant expertise, and therefore the best way to expand your business operations is to first improve the product you offer. Experience is great, of course, but after a certain point being able to research and conduct studies successfully on your own will provide you with better insight that your competitors cannot beat and your clients cannot do without.

Create Case Studies

It’s easy to put a list of the brands you have worked with to advertise your services, but creating case studies is actually the best way to really showcase what you can do and grow your reputation.

You will first need approval from your clients to create and publish the case study about their business. If you don’t, then you can potentially anonymize the information, depending on your field and the restrictions surrounding it.

The goal of a case study is to help explain the problem, your solution, and the process. You can learn so much from creating case studies, and these case studies can also be used to boost your reputation and can act as excellent marketing material for those who are serious about hiring you and want to know more about your process and what types of problems that you can help with.

When publishing your case study, try to redraft it for the layperson. This means simplifying the information and using design to make reading through a pleasurable experience.

Further Your Education

Other than leveraging and learning from your experience, your other option is to further your education through the academic track. You can earn a doctorate in business administration, for example, and really focus your education on a comprehensive research topic that will allow you a truly unique insight into your field that can and will often be lauded by other professionals and even academics once you get your research project published.

The goal of a DBA is simple; to strengthen your ability to solve complex business problems and give you the skills to design and deliver research with impact. You can even complete your DBA course online, giving you the freedom to pursue your DBA while continuing your work as a consultant. This way, you can build your clientbase and your network while establishing your skills and knowledge with a DBA.

Grow Your Reputation

Having a doctorate and advertising with case studies will both do wonders to help improve your initial introduction, but that’s just the start.

Host Talks/Become a Spokesperson

There are many ways you can get your ideas out there. One of the best ways that will help you grow your clientele is to either host a talk, or apply to be on the panel for other talks. Try to talk at the biggest events in your field. You don’t have to start big and probably won’t be invited or accepted to talk at the most prominent panels when you first start out. Instead of starting small and building your reputation within this field, you can then build on your own platform and eventually reach massive audiences.

This is great for your reputation but is also a very easy, very effective way of getting the attention of potential clients. All hosts and panelists are allowed to introduce themselves and the business they operate since that is the audience’s expertise.

Work with Universities

Work with universities. You can host short talk series, or even workshops, that help you teach the next generation. Not only that, but clients are far happier to know that the consultant they hire has been vetted and approved by a university.

Once again, you will need to work your way up. Your goal is to become a familiar figure at the campus of highly regarded universities.

The added benefit is that you can grow your client list in new sectors this way and work not just with businesses but also with academics. Universities are great clients to have, so if you can work not just as an educator but also as a consultant, you have made big leaps for your business.

Become a Prominent Writer

Finally, try your hand at writing. If your specific written skills are not up to par, write out the information you want to include in your book or in an article, and hire a talented ghostwriter to transform your knowledge into an engaging piece. This can help further your reputation and can also help you connect to a wider pool of potential clients.

Reward Repeat Business and Referrals

You want to reward ongoing client relationships. You want to reward clients who refer your business to a partner or to someone else in their industry. This can be done by offering discounts or by providing additional services free of charge for ongoing clients.

Ongoing client management is one of the most important things you can do as a consultant. If the expertise you offer does not suit ongoing engagement, have a system that makes it easy to take note of previous clients. If you know a previous client is making a big merge, you can call them up. Re-engaging this way can offer your old clients who enjoyed your services an easy solution they trust. Don’t wait for them to search for someone else, be there with the solution first and foremost, as this will help improve your business.