Love Consulting, Hate Marketing?

Marketing Strategy for the boutique B2B consultancy

The three truths about marketing a B2B consulting business...

Marketing Truth Number 01: Every single marketing channel can work! 

From referrals, to exhibitions, to social media, to webinars. You name it, every single marketing channel can be proven to work. And I'm sure if you speak to enough of your peers, they'll each say that it's a different channel that works best for them!


This makes it all the more difficult to decide on which channels are right for your business. 


But that's your first problem. You're asking yourself the wrong question!


You see, there's no such thing as 'one marketing channel'.


No business markets through a single channel. Even those businesses that are offering to show you how to market with webinars, or cold calling, or Linkedin, they're marketing to you through multiple channels.


It might be social media ads, an email list, a webinar, etc. But take the time to analyse it and you'll see that they've deployed an omnichannel strategy. Which brings me on to...


Marketing Truth Number 02: You need to have an omnichannel strategy 

Not just one that is focused on digital marketing. You need a strategy that effectively blends traditional marketing channels with digital channels. 


Now if you get this wrong, using multiple marketing channels can result in a lot of time and effort spent for little or no return. This is where the 3rd truth come in...


Marketing Truth Number 03: Marketing only works if you can commit to being consistent, persistent and patient. 


That's not as easy as it may sound. This is why it's important to choose only those marketing channels that you enjoy (or can learn to enjoy!). 


As a consultant though, being consistent, persistent and patient can be extremely challenging!

It's not your fault - Consulting and marketing are polar opposites!

Now, I love consulting! 


It's so empowering walking through the doors of some of the biggest and most prestigious businesses in a sector, knowing that they've brought you in to solve their most pressing business challenges! 


Put simply, consulting is doing something that you're trained to do, that you enjoy, that someone asked for, that they expect, and that you'll very likely get positive feedback on. 


Contrast that to marketing - when you're doing something that you're seldom trained in, that the recipients didn't always ask for and may not even want, and if you get feedback there's a high chance that it will be negative!


Marketing can often feel like the polar opposite to consulting.


When consulting, failure just isn't an option. Yet with marketing it's all about embracing failure!


It's about trying things out to see what works. And for some of those things - those marketing channels - success rates of as little as 3% are seen as good!

Why would you be good at something you're not trained in?

The fact is, very few consulting business leaders are trained in marketing.


That's because most people who start a consulting business do so because they're an expert in a technical discipline. A niche. And their superpower lies in their ability to consult with clients around their niche. 


But for many consulting businesses, they just have too few clients. Their business is perpetually on a knife edge.


Things don't often start out that way. Most new consulting businesses start by winning engagements with people that they already know. The real challenge comes when you've exhausted the opportunities with your existing contacts.


It's at that moment the challenge of marketing - or lack thereof - comes to the fore. 


Let's take a look at the most common marketing mistakes I see consulting business owners make:

01 They talk only about themselves!

02 They're inconsistent and impatient

03 Too many channels, not enough depth

04 They try to figure it all out for themselves

05 They rely solely on repeat business and referrals

Design the perfect marketing system for your B2B consulting business. A system that maximises results whilst minimising efforts

Successful marketing requires an omni-channel approach 

Marketing is all about generating leads. Getting prospects. And you convert those prospects into clients through your sales process. 


So it might seem that the answer is simple - just get more clients. And who doesn't want more clients!


The trouble is, it's just not that easy. It certainly isn't as easy as many authors and course creators will have you believe.


On top of it all, right now - with thanks to the internet and social media - marketing is probably one of the fastest moving disciplines that you need to master in your business.


The information age has completely turned on its head the approach that consulting businesses need to make to marketing. 


Where as a consultancy was once selling 'secrets', for which a client would need to engage you before you gave them any valuable information, the information age (aka the internet) has made information on just about anything readily available. 


So if you're not leveraging digital channels to educate your ideal prospects, and to support your more traditional channels, you can rest assured someone else is!

Marketing Strategy for the B2B Consulting Firm


Too many consulting business owners end up reinventing the wheel and trying to do it all by themselves. 

This is not only time consuming and expensive, but it's needless!


Success in a B2B consulting business starts with marketing. Or as we prefer to say - Client Attraction.


Our approach to marketing is to ensure that you can attract the attention of your ideal clients without having to become full-time marketers.


It will elevate you and your business from being on the revenue roller coaster - where your business revenue is entirely unpredictable - to a business with a consistent flow of predictable leads. 

Strategy Framework

Below is the framework that we have developed and follow to create your tailored Marketing Strategy.

01
Define your niche

Get clear on who you serve, the problems you solve, and the outcomes you achieve.

  • Specialist vs generalist - which is best?
  • How to identify the core problems of your ideal clients
  • How to shift your focus to outcomes over process
  • Craft your perfect elevator pitch

02
Design your services

Design your consulting products and services to more easily win new clients, and to stay engaged long-term.

  • Design your service offering
  • Understand how your services correlate to revenue types
  • Mitigate the risk of opportunity loss through service design
  • Focus your services dependent on new vs. existing clients

03
Understand marketing fundamentals

Identify the marketing channels that you can commit to being consistent, persistent and patient with. 

  • Know the different marketing channels
  • Know the different audience types
  • Understand what a Marketing Funnel is and how it relates to your Sales Pipeline

04

Build authority through content

Attract prospects through content and position yourself as the authority.

  • Know what to talk about, how and in which formats
  • Using digital to support traditional channels
  • Create your cornerstone content
  • Why, how and where to use lead magnets

05
Stay top of mind with email marketing

Keep prospects engaged through your email newsletter.

  • "The money is in the list" they say - learn how to build a GDPR compliant email list
  • Know how to engage new subscribers
  • Create a regular newsletter that doesn't require tons of unnecessary effort

06
Build your authority website

Your website as content hub and lead generator.

  • The anatomy of a good website - catering for the different types of visitors
  • How to drive content engagement
  • How to capture leads through calls-to-action
  • How to align and leverage case studies

07 
Grow your audience and drive content engagement

Linkedin is the best B2B social media platform, but it is not passive. You have to work it hard to get results!

  • Get your Linkedin profile in shape and attract prospects
  • Build your network effectively and efficiently
  • Simple ways to create regular content
  • Drive engagement with your content both on and off of Linkedin

08
Combine digital marketing with traditional channels

Don't rely on digital-only channels, and stop thinking that they're mutually exclusive! Determine your omni-channel marketing strategy and ensure you're committed.

  • Learn how to efficiently integrate digital marketing with traditional marketing channels
  • Design and implement your follow-up strategy
  • How to stay consistent, persistent and patient

How do we help you?

The ultimate aim of any consulting business marketing strategy is to generate leads. Working collaboratively, we will develop your unique Marketing Strategy to generate high-quality leads. 


Based upon your business profile and team make up, combined with our knowledge of what works best, we will determine the most appropriate strategy and marketing channels. 


We'll also work on ensuring the right people contribute to strategy and its implementation. 


Our Marketing Strategy support is tailored to each client. If this is an area where your consulting business requires improvement, schedule a call with us. 

Here's what our clients have said...

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I wish I'd have met Martin much earlier in my journey to create a successful consulting business!

Finding and landing new clients was proving a challenge for me.

Martin showed me how to market and sell effectively. His knowledge, expertise and experience of how to build a successful consulting business shone through.

One particular area he helped me with was to successfully navigate the many different service providers that I'd engaged.

He’s also shown me how, and motivated me, to engage in content marketing. From blog writing to lead magnet creation.

I’m also making huge inroads with Linkedin, which I’m certain will play a big role in my lead generation efforts going forward.

Having external advice and guidance has proven invaluable, especially during the sales process.

Through the programme I’ve been able to implement a sales process that is much more effective and efficient.

Martin's guidance has also been invaluable for tactical discussions, and to know how to better manage pricing objections.

Douglas Thornton - ISO Consultant

Our marketing strategy is now both powerful and meaningful!

I'd been in business for a long time before I met Martin.

During that time, I'd tried most all of the different marketing approaches with varying levels of success.

Things were ticking along nicely in our business, but I had this nagging doubt that we were neglecting our marketing. Instead of investing in marketing, we were in danger of falling into the trap of relying on referrals and repeat business alone.

Whilst they are still fundamentally important, I knew that we were leaving food on the table if we didn't exploit other channels, especially digital.

What I particularly liked about the Consulting Compass approach is how it joins everything up. Ensuring that our digital marketing efforts align with and support our traditional marketing channels, and vice versa.

We're now crystal clear on the type of prospects and clients we can help. Thanks Martin!

Martin Williams

Creator of Consulting Compass

About Me

Hi, I'm Martin. I always knew I'd run my own consulting business one day.

And after nearly 20 years of being an employed consultant, I went out on my own.

If only I'd have known how hard it really would be!

Anyway, 5 years on and I was still in business, despite there being so much conflicting information out there about how to run a successful consulting business.


That's why I created the Consulting Compass framework. To teach people what I believe and know is the best way to start, run and grow a successful consulting business.

Copyright - Consulting Compass

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