Marketing and advertising are a cornerstone of any business, so it’s essential to prioritise these departments. Promoting a consulting business is particularly important to attract new clients. You’ll need to promote the unique qualities of your company in order to secure clients and make money.
This article will guide you through the different methods available for promoting your consulting business, as well as how to start a consulting business in the first place. The topics we’ll cover in this article include:
- How to start a consulting business
- How to promote your consulting business
- How Countingup can help you manage expenses from promoting your consulting business
How to start a consulting business
A consultant is someone who offers expert advice to an individual or organisation. You can consult on really any topic, with the only requirement being that you should have a high level of expertise on the topic in question.
For instance, you could be a business consultant, a legal consultant, a marketing consultant, an engineering consultant — the list is nearly endless. You’ll need to study an appropriate degree or similarly high level of education before you can think about selling your expertise to others, though.
There are also specific steps for starting a consulting business that you need to ensure you’ve completed before you can begin accepting clients. These include filling out an IR35, a specific tax form that identifies you as a consultant for your client, not as one of their employees.
You’ll also need to complete most of the usual paperwork for starting a business: registering your company, getting a business license, and doing any necessary financial planning, among other things. Once you complete these tasks, the next step is to promote your company to potential clients.
How to promote your consulting business
Social media is an excellent way to promote your consulting business because it’s free and reasonably easy to use. Although making quality social media content – photos, blog posts, videos – can be a little tougher, simply having a social media presence means a great variety of potential clients can find you.
When it comes to promoting yourself on social media, remember to be consistent. It’s not much use putting together one great video that explains what your business is all about, then not sharing anything for months. Instead, post content to your social media pages frequently, but make sure it’s all relevant to the people you want to work with.
Use existing contacts
You may have worked at other places before beginning your own consulting business, or maybe you know people within the industry from your time studying the subject you now consult on. Either way, these people are now valuable contacts that you can use to promote yourself.
Have your contacts share any social media content you create or mention you to potential clients. Having your close contacts give you a referral is a good way to get your first client as a consultant, as many people trust personal referrals over advertising.
Although in-person networking events are less popular in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, they still exist, and they’re still a smart way to promote your consulting business. Networking events provide a professional setting for different organisations within the same industry to discuss topics and learn about each other.
Many people attend networking events specifically to find consultants. This means you might discover that you don’t need to put much effort into promoting yourself — people will come to you.
If you don’t win any clients while at a networking event, don’t worry. By attending and speaking to people about your consulting business, you will have made lots of people and companies aware of you.
If you’re operating a freelance consulting business, freelancing sites are a good way to promote yourself. A freelancing website is a space where companies can post jobs they have available, which freelancers (like yourself) can apply to.
You can use freelancing sites for promotion in the same way they’re used to win clients. By applying for jobs, you make other people aware of your business. Even if you don’t get hired for the job you applied to, the company you apply to may keep you in mind for other work or mention you to their contacts.
Another point to remember with freelancing sites is that it’s important to choose a website relevant to your field of expertise. For example, Upwork is a freelancing site that shows posts for a variety of sectors, but Houzz is specifically for people in the architecture and interior design industries. Your efforts at promotion might be more memorable on a specialised website, as you can get lost among the crowd in a general freelancing site.
Manage expenses with a simple app
Once you’ve chosen how to promote your consulting business, you’ll need to work out how much it will cost. Although many of the methods we’ve described are free, you may want to invest some money into promoting your business to make your marketing more effective.
You can claim this kind of spending as a business expense, but you’ll need to track your expenses to file the claim correctly. An easy way to manage your expenses is to use financial software, and a great example of financial software is Countingup.
Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are.
You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward!
Find out more here.