Get Consulting Clients Quickly at these Websites
Getting a list of consulting prospects is easier than you might think. This article will show you four overlooked sources for prospecting leads.
Google Maps and job boards have features that will help you find consulting prospects that fit your niche. They are a nice addition to using LinkedIn and business research.
Google Maps is useful for showing you businesses in a geographic area that are in the same "Business Category" as businesses you've had consulting success with. Learn to use Google Maps with Google's Business Categories and you'll suddenly see a map with pinpoints on your next clients.
Most of us think of job boards as a place for people looking for full-time employment (FTE). But there are a couple of USA and international job boards devoted to consulting work. As this article describes, you can also use FTE job boards as a detective tool to discover companies making large hiring changes or new manager hires. Both those changes mean work for consultants.
Once you find prospective clients you can engage the hiring manager using the proven methods taught in the Starting and Building a Thriving Consulting Business course.
This article describes four types of online sources for consulting prospects.
- Google Map Search with Business Categories
With the right keywords and an understanding of Google’s “Business Categories” you can find prospects in almost any niche and geographic location. It is almost as easy as typing, “Niche Clients Near Me”.
- Consulting Placement Websites
There are websites worldwide that specialize in finding and placing independent consultants and interim professionals. They act as aggregators and intermediaries between consultants and clients.
- LinkedIn Job Listings
LinkedIn has a job search engine that enables you to search by criteria for companies looking to hire. While LinkedIn doesn’t focus on consulting, you can use search criteria to discover potential prospects in your network.
- Job Websites
Job websites list not only full-time jobs, but also openings for independent consultants and interim professionals. Plus, you can use job websites to discover when a company is making changes and could need consulting.
Finding Consulting Prospects with Google Map and Business Categories
Most of us are familiar with getting driving directions with Google maps.
Did you know Google maps can also give you directions to new prospects and clients?
If you focus on an industry sector or niche, which I highly recommend, you can find companies in that niche in a specific geographic area!
For example, with a few clicks can find all companies in a Business Category such as “Medical Technology Manufacturer” or “Biotechnology Company” near you or near a city. (Below you will learn what the Business Categories are.)
One way to discover Business Categories you are interested in is to open Google Maps and enter the name of a business you know is in the niche. For example, by entering Genentech with the map of San Francisco Bay open the map displays Genentech offices near the San Francisco airport.
Notice the red box that shows most of the offices display the Business Category of Pharmaceutical, but one shows Biotechnology.
These labels under the company name are Google's Business Categories. Google or the business has defined the company’s primary and secondary Business Category. In this case, the primary appears to be Pharmaceutical and the secondary category is Biotechnology.
Return to the map and in the map’s search bar at the top left of the map, enter Biotechnology and press Enter. Expanding the map area know shows you all the Biotechnology businesses in the north San Francisco Bay area. You can move or zoom the map to see other regions while displaying markers for this business category.
Another way to search is to look first to Google’s Business Categories. Pixel Cut Labs has a list of the more than 3,000 business categories Google uses in their map app.
Click here to download the 2020 list of Google's Business Categories.
Once you have the list of categories search for a specific category by scrolling or search for a specific category with Ctrl+F (Windows) and Command+F (Apple) to pop-up search box in a browser.
Consultant Job Boards
While the open job boards focus primarily on full-time employment these job boards focus on independent professionals and independent consultants. Some of these job boards include all types of freelancing, but you can select criteria to focus on consulting.
Consultant Job Boards
Create your expert profile, then sell online consulting services by the minute. Primary clients are startup companies. Clarity sets the price and takes a commission.
Credo works with gig professionals and independent consultants looking for digital marketing projects - such as email marketing, link-building, content, social media, PPC, and SEO. Unlike the “open” free for all in Upwork, Credo chooses three vetted professionals for agencies. They list senior consultants who have proven their work.
Flexy is a community and job board for independent professionals and consultants. It helps manage your back office with tools for contract, invoices, and taxes. There is a flat booking fee.
LocalSolo lists freelancers in the creative and services market, but one of the Category criteria is for Strategist/Consultants. You can also filter by location and experience level. Subscription Fees
Independent consultants and professionals in finance - CFO, financial analysts, bookkeepers, and accountants, should turn to Paro to find gig finance jobs. Paro does the biz dev to find the jobs and works with you on fees.
Highly-Experienced Consultant Job Boards
Expert360 is the leader in finding highly experienced independent professionals and consultants in Australia. They also work in New Zealand, Hong Kong, or Singapore. They work in the areas of Strategy & Finance, Technology, Project Management, Data & Analytics, Business Services, and Cross-Functional Teams. Free for freelancers to sign up. Expert360 adds a markup to your fee and invoices the client.
COMATCH is a curated marketplace matching “world-class” consultants to some of the best companies in the world, primarily working in Europe and the Middle East. Consultants should have two years high-class consulting experience or ten years of professional experience in their field. Located in Berlin they work in multiple languages, although the 3 office dogs only speak German.
Works with elite professionals such as corporate strategy, development, finance and accounting, operations, and so on. Their home page states their business is “Highly-Vetted Consultants On-Demand.” You must have at least two years’ experience in your field of consulting. Graphite adds a markup to your fee.
Mindbench has a strong presence in Europe for consultants and independent professionals. They recruit for boutique, mid-sized, and Big 4 consulting firms.
TalMix works with elite professionals. It matches experienced independent professionals and consultants against a wide range of projects. Clients include large businesses such as Pfizer and Staples. TalMix adds a markup to your fee and invoices the client.
Finding Prospects with LinkedIn’s Job-Hire Hashtags and Listings
The first thing you should do in LinkedIn, after creating your LinkedIn profile, is to follow LinkedIn hashtags for your consulting areas and hashtags on job openings.
As well as seeing posts in your feed about organizations that are hiring, you will see postings that can improve your skills in the hiring process.
For starters, follow the hashtags,
To follow hashtags on LinkedIn,
- In the LinkedIn Search bar at the top of the page, enter the hashtag. For example, #GetHired, and press Enter.
- The content feed containing that hashtag will display.
- Click the Follow button.
- New content containing that hashtag will now display in your LinkedIn Home feed along with previous content.
Alert: LinkedIn changes their user interface frequently so it is hard to write directions for what may be in the future. If the above does not work, search in LinkedIn Help for how to follow a hashtag.
Follow Andrew Seaman, Sr. Editor for Job Search
An important person to follow is Andrew Seaman, Sr. Editor for Job Search and Careers at LinkedIn News.
Andrew publishes articles about the interview process as well as publishing a weekly list of businesses in LinkedIn that are hiring. This list is massive.
Look at the Featured scroll area at the top of Andrew’s page for interesting LinkedIn articles about hiring, interviewing and the changing job scene.
Go to "Here’s Who Is Hiring Now"
Andrew publishes and updates his massive listing weekly in the Here's Who's Hiring Now newsletter. Although the sub-heading says Published on March 31, 2020, a sub-heading near the top shows the date of the most recent weekly update.
At the top of the listing are usually businesses hiring service jobs, like FedEx and McDonald’s. Do not let this stop you. This is like the seething surface of the ocean where the bait fish school while the giant tuna feed below and out of sight. Look below the surface. Scroll down!
Andrew has another job listing page here. Each week has a new page and your country may have its own page. So search in the LinkedIn content for "heres whos hiring right now".
Scroll through either hiring list and look for the names of companies in industries or niches you consult in. You can scroll to discovery names or search a screen for specific business name using Ctrl+F (Windows) or Command+F (Apple).
Finding a Consulting Prospect in the LinkedIn Hiring Listings
Out of these large lists for full-time employees you can find consulting prospects with the following process.
Make a list of the companies or industries you consider prospects. Scroll through the hiring list and look for those companies.
Once you find a lead, drill in. For example, if you work with high technology companies you might stop at the Agilent listing. This appeared for Agilent on December 4, 2020.
Clicking on the 150 people link goes to the Agilent Jobs page on LinkedIn.
Most large businesses have a LinkedIn Job Page. However, on ones that do not you can post a question asking how to apply.
On a business Job Page you can search through the job postings. Notice there are filter buttons at the top of Agilent’s page. Entering “Business Consultant” and clicking Search produces 9 listings for global positions.
From here you could,
- Look through your personal LinkedIn network to see if you know someone who can refer you within that division.
- Use the connect, engage, and nurture methods we teach in the Starting a Consulting Business course.
- Apply directly from the Jobs page. Applying through the Jobs page which will go through HR’s automated filter processing is much less effective than getting a personal referral within the company.
Finding Consulting Clients on Job Boards
Job boards like Indeed.com and ZipRecruiter.com have tens of thousands of worldwide full-time employment jobs. They include postings for internal consultants, interim professionals, and independent consultants.
Even postings for full-time employees can indicate changes within a company that show the need for a consultant. For example, a large number of job postings for app developers may indicate a need for an Agile consultant or trainer. A large number of postings, and there are many, for ecommerce service and delivery personnel could indicate a need for onboarding training or new manager training or technical documentation.
An advantage to positioning yourself against a full-time job opening is that as a consultant you have not only deep experience in your niche, but you bring experience from competitors and best practices. Also, you give the business the flexibility of being an interim hire with low commitments to benefits. That makes you a powerful candidate.
In all cases, using your own detective skills on LinkedIn to find LinkedIn network connections and contacts and going around the job sites and human resources can be more effective. US News & World Report wrote that SilkRoad, a talent management company, surveyed 1,000 companies about job search results. It took 129 applicants through job sites to hire one new employee. But it took only eight applicants using internal sources and referrals to hire one new employee. Whenever you can, bypass the human resource department's Artificial Intelligence resume shredder and connect with someone in the business.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Job Boards
Searching for consulting prospects on job boards has a number of advantages over direct outreach. Combined with the connect and engage methods taught in the course you can build a large list of interested prospects. A few advantages over cold outreach are,
- Searching thousands of prospective openings that include specific requests for consultants
- Automating searches to notify you of openings meeting your specific criteria
- Being able to switch between full-time, interim, or independent consulting depending upon your situation and the offer
- Searching with specific profiles meeting your criteria, ex., “eCommerce strategy”
- Setting up email alerts and notifications for the latest changes
- Showing job postings for “Remote” work
- Indicating a business need for consulting due to a large number of hires in a skill area
- Having the "expert" advantage over full-time employees that apply for a position
- Staying in contact with hiring managers who may become excellent contacts to nurture for the future
The disadvantages to using job boards are,
- Competing against thousands of people
- Some companies and many positions are adamant they will only hire full-time employees
Begin your search using your Ideal Client profile, like we create in Stage 2 of the Start and Build a Thriving Consulting Business course. Expand out from that search to widen your niche or go into adjacent areas.
Consultants Should Watch for Change
The majority of listings on job boards are for full-time employees, but in some cases a large amount of hiring or hiring for a unique skill can indicate a need for consultants in HR, project management, onboarding, compliance, training, risk analysis, IT and data analytics, and more.
When you see big changes in companies and industry sectors think about what those changes imply? Could they also need consultants or interim professionals? Change in the New Economy usually means consulting work for,
- Distribution and partner channel changes
- Change management
- New manager and new hire training
- Data analytics expansion
- New product/service offerings
- E-marketing expansion
These are just a few areas where a consultant can help, either on a project, interim, or as a full-time employee.
Job Board Alerts
Most job boards have alerts or notifications that will send you daily or weekly summaries of new jobs meeting the criteria you specify. This is an easy way to gather information on prospects needing consultants or changes in a specific company.
Here is an alert sent by ZipRecruiter for a niche consulting profile.
Employee Job Boards
Some of the most widely used job sites are,
Indeed claims to be the #1 job site in the world with more than 250 million monthly users globally.
ZipRecruiter aggregates job openings from 100 sites and uses algorithms to find your best match.
GlassDoor is most widely known for their salary information, they have a job board as well.
Monster’s site includes resume assessments, job fit scoring, and career advice.
Niche Job Boards
You can narrow your focus and dive deeper into your niche with specialized job boards.
Colleges and Universities
Special Education Teachers >Menu>Career Center
(Lists of Non-Profit Job Boards)
Also, search Google for “government job board <your state>”