Are You Getting Maximum Marketing Impact at Your Stage of Consulting?

Building Your Consulting Business

Maximum Marketing Impact for Your Stage of Consulting

Filling your prospect pipeline takes more than marketing and networking. To do it right, you need to do the right type of marketing at the right stage in building your consulting business.

In 30+ years of solo-consulting to regional, Fortune 1000 and Global 1000 companies, I have seen expert consultants lose traction and fail to build their business because they did not match their marketing and networking to the maturity of their consulting business.

Most consultants start their business with a few clients in their pocket, lots of energy and lots of excitement. The future looks great.

After a year or two the initial referrals dry up. The leads from former employers, business acquaintances and friends disappear. Their consulting business becomes trapped in the dreaded “feast-or-famine” cycle.

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Maximum Marketing Impact for Your Stage of Consulting

Don't Get Trapped in the Feast-or-Famine Cycle

The feast-or-famine cycle traps many consultants. In the beginning they focus on client work and have no time for marketing. Their prospect pipeline goes empty. When the client work ends they need to find a client as quickly as possible, so they work full time on marketing with no income coming in. Once they have another client they stop marketing and devote all their time to client work. And the feast-or-famine cycle starts all over.

Three things trap consultants in the feast-or-famine cycle,

  • Taking it easy in the beginning because they have referrals
  • Failing to build a system that continuously fills their prospect pipeline
  • Using the wrong marketing and networking for the current stage of their business

Consultants are experts in their fields but they are rarely experts at building business and marketing systems.

You Must Take Control of Your Prospect Pipeline

As a consultant you must take control of filling your pipeline! You have no control if you leave your pipeline to the whims of referrals. At the same time, solo- or boutique consultants are limited in time and resources so they have to carefully focus on marketing and networking that makes an impact.

Breaking free from the feast-or-famine cycle takes maximum leverage using the right marketing through the right channel at the right time. To do this you need three guiding principles,

  • Match your best communication style to the prospect’s preferred channels
  • Produce campaigns and content that can be magnified and leveraged into other campaigns and content
  • Match your marketing to your consulting business maturity. Each stage of maturity has different needs, limits and abilities: budgeting, branding, experience and scope.

Get Your Maximize Marketing Chart

Build your thriving consulting business with the step-by-step guides, videos, scripts and community at Critical to Success.

Maximum Marketing Impact for Your Stage of Consulting

Your Business Needs are Different at Each Stage in Building Your Consulting Business

When you start consulting you may need revenue as quickly as possible, but you have limited budget, invisible branding and few testimonials. For most consultants at this stage the best route is one that brings in quick cash and client testimonials. Some consultants at this stage gather leads by speaking at local industry meetings, doing pro-bono or low-fee projects to gain experience and testimonials, and building near-term outbound marketing systems to fill the pipeline.

New consultants who work on long term marketing, such as blogs or high-level referrals, may go broke.

Consultants with more business maturity and cash flow should work on long term marketing: automating marketing, building inbound systems, and automatically qualifying and filling their pipeline. 

Do the Right Marketing at the Right Stage of Your Consulting Business

This figure shows three stages of consulting business maturity the marketing appropriate to each stage. (Time frames are approximate.) 

Maximum Marketing Impact for Your Stage of Consulting

No solo- or boutique consultant should attempt to do every type of marketing even if it is at the appropriate stage. That lack of focus is a sure recipe for failure.

New consultants should start in the left stage, choose their best best communication style (writing, speaking, networking) and then choose two or three marketing vehicles to leverage it through. Once they produce a core marketing asset it can be leveraged into other uses and channels. For example, a thought leadership whitepaper can be given personally to prospects, used as a website opt-in offer, handed out at speaking events and published as a LinkedIn article. If you are better at speaking you might choose a marketing that combines speaking, networking and expert mentoring.

By choosing the right portfolio of marketing assets you can leverage your work to get more out of your limited time and resources and still meet your client’s needs. 

Get Your Maximize Marketing Chart

Build your thriving consulting business with the step-by-step guides, videos, scripts and community at Critical to Success.

Maximum Marketing Impact for Your Stage of Consulting


If you have questions, want to discuss this or disagree, please contact me. We can both expand our vision.

Ron Person
ronperson.cts@gmail.com

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