A career in the consulting industry can be very rewarding - but for you to be successful, you need to learn how to get clients as a consultant. After all, you won't have any income if you don't have clients.
Small businesses may struggle more with this, as they may not have too big of an online presence. They may not even know how to get their first clients yet. So, if you are looking for tips on how to reach your target audience, this article will help with some advice.
Note: if you are a consultant looking for tools to streamline your business, try Bonsai. Get access to contract, proposal, invoice templates, tax tools, task management software and more. Save time running your business so you can focus on getting more clients and growing your business. Claim your 14-day free trial here.
There are several reasons why you should get consulting clients for your business on a steady basis. First, it helps your sales and profit: the more new leads you get, the more revenue you will receive.
That being said, once you attract more clients, you increase brand recognition. People are looking for brands that they can trust - so, if they see hundreds of people engaging with you, they will likely consider using your services.
The more customers you have, the more you will become acquainted with their needs. A well-informed business owner will be able to update their service per need. This will increase customer satisfaction, which will bring even more paying customers through referrals.
There are several ways for you to find clients for your business and some of them are easier than others. Here are just a couple of tips that you can try:
So that you can get more clients, people need to find you online. A website will be very helpful in this case, but you must make sure it speaks to your potential customer. Testimonials from past clients on your website can also increase your online presence.
You can create an online portfolio that displays your work since you started your consulting firm. Social media can also help you out with prospective clients, as you can connect in real time with the people there.
When paying clients are looking to get a consultant, it's because they have a pressing issue that they need to solve urgently. And since they want that issue done fast, they don't have time to listen to you mumble about random things.
This is why you must prepare a good pitch that will hook the consulting client within the first few seconds. This is also commonly referred to as the "value proposition."
Within a couple of words, you need to clarify the service that you offer, the problem that you can solve, and your unique advantage.
For instance, if you offer change management assistance or sales digital marketing services, you need to pitch that in the first 1-2 sentences. Your clients must know why you are the one in less than one minute.
This is usually done by sending a project proposal to your client, one where you write down your pitch. There are many platforms such as Bonsai that can offer you a proposal template, making it easy for you to write the perfect pitch.
Recommended reading: How To Write A Consultant Proposal To Close More Deals
You may easily get more paying customers by polishing your business profile. Clients like to see that you actually know what you are doing - and unless they are referred to you, they won't know unless they see it on the website.
This is why you need to highlight your experience and make your business profile attractive. You may start with your own website and a bio page, but make sure that you prep your social media partnership as well.
Remember that the "About Us" page is the only section that matters. Everything from the basic information to the things you post about will say a lot about you as a business. Read more about properly naming your consulting business.
Once you figured out who your ideal client is, you need to start sharing valuable content with them. You can start by sharing regular informational blog posts or a guest blog, as they will likely first start looking for answers than for products and services.
Next, you have to establish yourself as an authority. For instance, you can get published in an authority magazine from your niche, or you may send newsletters to potential clients.
Public speaking may also help you deliver a message to new clients. If you don't have any events nearby that you can join, you can simply start your own local event.
To get more consulting clients fast, you may want to join social media groups. People usually enter these groups because they have a problem that they want to be solved, or because they have an interest in a certain industry.
So, if they see you in those groups with the services that they need, you will become like their knight in shining armor. Plus, if you interact with potential clients in those groups, you will build trust and will further increase your online presence.
Referral programs represent a good way to reach your ideal client through other people. For instance, when someone uses your product, you may reward them with an incentive if they refer your services to someone else.
This can be a fixed cash reward or a percentage of the fees earned from the client that you referred. You can also offer them a discount on their next project or their fees each time they refer someone new to you.
Job listings are very common nowadays, and more and more businesses are placing a request for different services. The advantage of this method is that you can get matched right away, sparing you the trouble of looking for more customers.
Indeed, with a job listing method, you may not have the freedom of choosing your own client. However, you will still be connected to individuals that want to work right away. If you just started a freelance business, this may be a good place for you to get your first consulting client.
Email marketing remains one of the best strategies for lead generation these days, which is why you need to make the most out of it. While people have been constantly changing social media accounts and platforms, there is one thing that they never stopped using: their email.
If anything, people are using email more than ever, preferring to use electronic mail than the ink-on-paper type. As a result, if you create a good email that can grab their attention, then you may have found yourself a new lead.
Try to personalize the email, as it will make the client more interested in what you have to offer. Emails should also be delivered at strategic moments. Automatic emails may come in handy, as they can be triggered by specific behavior from your potential client.
Note: Try Bonsai to get access to our contract, proposal, invoice templates and project management software. You'll have everything you need to run your small business. Claim your 14-day free trial here.
Pretty much every person uses search engines for everything nowadays. So, if a person is searching for marketing tips or a consulting specialist, chances are high that they will look it up on the Internet.
The problem is that unless you optimize your content, you won't be able to reach the right clients. Google, for instance, uses an algorithm that shows content based on keywords and traffic. To bring your content as high up as possible, you need to add the correct keywords within the text.
Email and content marketing are good ways to create leads. However, those strategies are only good for a past client or someone that already came in contact with your company before.
As a result, you might want to use targeted ads to get new clients. There will be certain monthly fees that you need to pay, but this will increase your reach.
For instance, you may try PPC ads, when you make a bid on a keyword and only pay when people click the ad. Sponsored posts on social media can also be very helpful here, as they can be set for your ideal client to be able to see them.
Retargeting ads can be a good option because they use an individual's online activity (i.e., whether they've been on your website before or not). This will bring you more exposure and create a trust link between you and the potential clients.
When you are going into business, it doesn't help you to be the "lone wolf." You need to create more business associations to keep yourself steady. We're not telling you to partner exactly with your direct competition. Do so with someone offering a different set of services.
For instance, if you offer marketing consulting services with a focus on SEO, you may want to partner with someone offering web design services. It will create opportunities for you to reach their clients as well through collaboration projects.
If you have clients that used your product before but haven't done so in a while, then you may want to follow up with them. Perhaps they got distracted and used someone else's business - but now they no longer do and are interested in collaborating with you.
Look for old leads that you haven't nurtured properly. Perhaps they were not interested at first, but the timing has improved. Once they see the results that you have achieved, perhaps they will go back to the idea of collaborating with you.
Networking with other professionals is a good way to keep your head above the waters and perhaps even walk over it. For this reason, you may want to attend events that would interest your ideal client.
While you may not always make paying customers right away, all that networking will create connections. Even if they don't use the service themselves, they may still refer you to someone else.
Cold pitching is a good way to get consulting clients that you want to work with. For instance, maybe you find a local company and you figure they might need a consulting business.
Rather than waiting for them to reach out to you, you can reach out to them instead. You may use a proposal template from a platform such as Bonsai and simply express your willingness to solve their problem.
The worst they can do is turn you down. But if they turn out interested in what you have to offer, you will have found yourself a new client. Discover more mistakes you should avoid with cold pitching.
While it can take some time and a good marketing strategy to get a steady flow of paying customers, there are still some good ways to get consulting clients fast. The more you bring them all together, the more you can make your new business known. Hopefully, our advice was of good use to you.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?