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Marketing Your Consulting Business. by Robert H. Badgley, Ph.D. Outline. How the Consultant Works Getting Contracts 3. Types of Marketing 4. Examples of Marketing. 1. How The Consultant Works.

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marketing your consulting business
Marketing Your Consulting Business


Robert H. Badgley, Ph.D.

  • How the Consultant Works
  • Getting Contracts

3. Types of Marketing

4. Examples of Marketing

a consultant
Is an independent professional, retained by an organization, and sells results by the hour or day

Brings his / her own knowledge and a substantial set of files to meet the client’s requirements

Is his / her own boss

Has no routine work hours at the client’s firm

Is not one of the group, and is not a contractor

Often works on relatively short projects

A Consultant ---
the consultant as a subject matter expert
The Consultant fills a specific technical niche, which is sometimes quite narrow

The Consultant is in demand because of in-depth knowledge of a topic in which a Client needs help

People skills and organizational boundaries are not usually important to solving the Client’s problem

Single projects are common, and might result in a long-term support effort

Results are often difficult to predict in advance

The Consultant as a Subject Matter Expert
the consultant as a process expert
The Consultant understands most aspects of entire processes, which may be quite broad

The Consultant is in demand because of knowledge of how organizations function

People skills and organizational boundaries are usually important to solving the Client’s problem

Client process problems usually require a continuing effort and are often cyclical in nature

The Consultant as a Process Expert
consulting positive aspects
Great autonomy in selecting and conducting jobs

Great variety in work

Business can be set up and conducted with little investment

Potential for high income

Great job satisfaction.

Consulting – Positive Aspects
consulting negative aspects
Consulting – Negative Aspects
  • Little involvement with client firm’s staff
  • No support system
  • Irregular cash flow
  • Regular retraining may be necessary
  • Work level may cause problems at home
the successful consultant has
A strong drive to maximize his / her income

A clear belief in his / her unique ability to solve Clients’ problems better than anyone else

An exceptional interest in becoming and remaining an acknowledged expert in his / her chosen field

Strong self confidence that no matter what type of Client problem is encountered, it can be solved

The Successful Consultant Has ---
the successful consultant also
Has inherently strong skills at reading peoples’ moods, and is unusually good at understanding motivations and agendas

Communicates well over a range of organizational levels

Understands and practices self-promotion continuously to keep the contracts coming

Deals well with change and rejection, and is pragmatic

The Successful Consultant Also ---
time commitment for marketing
You should spend almost full time marketing your services until you receive your first contract.

You can never stop marketing. There must be almost continuous marketing throughout your career as a consultant, regardless of workload.

After your first contract is received, your marketing effort can decline to those hours not spent on your first project.

Regardless of project workload, you must always do marketing – never less than 5-10% of your hours, or about 2 - 4 hours per week.

Time Commitment for Marketing
focusing the marketing effort
Focusing The Marketing Effort

First, ask yourself three key questions:

  • How will prospective Clients learn about my services?
  • What Consultant qualities should I emphasize?
  • What will be my most effective marketing methods?

Your Present Assets

  • If you were just laid off, call your former boss. He / She has an immediate problem, knows you, and may plan to hire a temporary worker. You know the work.
  • Immediately start networking with all of your business contacts. DO NOT WAIT for an engraved invitation.
which marketing activities work best
Which Marketing Activities Work Best?
  • Emphasize personal contact networking with selected colleagues who may need specialist help in their work.
  • Focus on national associations in the technical area where you want to sell your services - their member firm lists will be valuable.
  • Join special focus groups who will market your services to select types of clients.
  • Develop regular communication schedules, using telephone and email, with key people.
other effective marketing activities
Other Effective Marketing Activities
  • Focus on your past technical accomplishments, regardless of where they were achieved. Clients want to know if you have solved their kinds of problems before. Your experience is key.
  • Consider using a newsletter which highlights your accomplishments and successes. Your mailing list will become your networking list.
  • Avoid expensive printed brochures, flyers, ads, and direct mail. Potential clients don’t select consultants by reading promotional material.
marketing via the internet
Marketing Via The Internet
  • Consider using a web page. Templates are available to get you up and running quickly. Monthly costs are reasonable.
  • Provide your email address and phone numbers.
  • Focus on presenting your qualifications.
  • If you discuss examples where you have solved problems, try to be as generic as possible.
  • Be careful not to reveal proprietary information from former clients.
marketing via the internet cont d
Marketing Via The Internet (Cont’d)
  • Provide information on your web site which clearly demonstrates your experience and credentials.
  • Help your prospective clients to visualize clearly how you can be of assistance to them.
  • Consider interactive options to tell your story better, and in a way more meaningful to clients.
  • Update your web site frequently, to keep prospective clients returning to see what’s new.
contact thread network marketing
Contact Thread (Network) Marketing
  • Identify one or more individuals who helped you get contracts in the past
  • Make up a contact data base for those individuals, including telephone numbers, email addresses, web sites, and physical addresses
  • Keep in regular contact with those individuals
  • Tell them about new contracts you have gotten, technical successes you have had, etc.
  • Some contact threads will persist throughout your entire career
contract follow on marketing
Contract Follow-On Marketing
  • The most effective point to start selling the Client on a follow-on project is when the project shows the first signs of success, often at the 90-percent completion point.
  • Selling the Client on a follow-on project is easiest when the Client knows about project successes, and the Consultant’s role in achieving them.
  • The greatest chances of success with a follow-on project come when there is a strong professional bond between the Client and the Consultant.
professional association marketing
Professional Association Marketing
  • Accept all opportunities to appear in professional, noncommercial, settings. This may be as an unpaid speaker at professional meetings, where you can become more visible.
  • Demonstrate during your appearances that you are a leading edge expertin your field.
  • At professional meetings, conduct regular and continuing networking in a style which is comfortable to you.
specialty focus group marketing
Some groups are formed to offer specific services to specific groups of clients

Some groups may serve only a limited geographic area, such as YourEncore, a mid-West group.

Expert Witness groups support the legal profession in law cases:


Round Table Group

Specialty Focus Group Marketing
example no 1
Example No. 1

Contact Thread (Network) Marketing

Met contact person named “Greg” after he had been unable to solve a “Fans” vibration problem for his commercial building client. The client subsequently contracted me, and I asked Greg to re-join the “Fans” project as my assistant.

The “Fans” project was eventually solved.

Greg later asked me to assist him on a “Large Fans” project at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum.

example no 1 cont d
Example No. 1 (Cont’d)

The “Large Fans” problem was eventually solved.

Greg asked me to assist him on a natural gas

line valve vibration problem for Washington Gas.

The valve problem was subsequently solved.

Greg later asked me to assist him on a steel rolling mill vibration problem.

A solution was subsequently found.


Example No. 1 (Cont’d)

Washington Gas later asked me to assist in

resolving vibration problems on two different kinds of hexane injection pumps, with Greg making the vibration measurements.

10. A solution to this problem is currently being implemented

example no 2
Example No. 2

Contact Thread (Network) Marketing

Met contact person “Bill” when he was retained to solve a machinery failure problem at my firm

Was later contacted by Bill, after I left my firm to work as a consultant, to assist in a factory explosion investigation. Effort lasted 2 years.

Was later contacted by Bill to work in a refinery investigation. Effort lasted 3 months.

example no 3
Special Focus Groups

YourEncore Group

US Navy LCAC project

RFP preparation project


Catalytic converter project

Wind turbine project

Patent evaluation project

Example No. 3
example no 3 cont d
Example No. 3 (Cont’d)
  • Round Table Group
    • HVAC fans project
    • Parking garage equipment project
    • Washing machine project
    • Fan blade failure project
    • Heat exchanger project
    • Machine safety project
    • Hot water heaters project