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The ultimate list of lead generation techniques for consulting companies

The ultimate list of lead generation techniques for consulting companies-Blog-Featured

 

Generating all the quality leads you need to scale your small consulting company is a tough job. That’s why you must choose the channels you invest your time and money into wisely. This post provides you with the most popular channels that you can use to generate leads for your consultancy, including the pros and cons of each so that you can decide which to prioritise to enable the growth of your consultancy.

Here's an overview of what we'll be covering in this post:

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Why aren’t your current channels performing

Unless you aren’t doing any marketing, you’re already investing in marketing. There is a high chance that you will find some of these channels in the list below. Are these channels already performing for you? If they aren’t, why is that?

If your current channels aren’t performing, what makes you think that a new channel will?

You must understand what is and what isn’t working for you before investing in any new channels. You can ensure that you have the five points listed in the following section in place when you understand this.

Do this before you get started on anything else.

Before you get stuck into investing in any of the marketing channels below, you must be clear on:

  • Audience: The ideal customer you’re targeting (if you have a few, start thinking in terms of planning a marketing campaign)

  • Message: Your compelling message for your ideal customer

  • Offer: An irresistible offer that you’re making them

  • Goal: The goal you’re aiming to achieve - typically a revenue goal, broken into new customer and lead generation goals

  • Timeframe: The timeframe in which you want to achieve the goal

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Many consultancies skip this crucial step when looking for new lead generation channels. If you miss this crucial step, you can guarantee that you’ll end up wondering why that new channel doesn’t perform.

When you’re clear on these five points above, you’ll be able to make better decisions on which channels to invest in to attract quality leads and hit your targets.

Assessing the channels

Where are your gaps?

Different channels often serve different purposes. Some are perfect for reaching broad audiences at a very early stage in their buying journey. At the same time, others are great for increasing your influence. Leaving a few that are ideal for attracting leads from potential customers who are in the market to buy immediately.

To have comprehensive marketing coverage that guarantees consistent lead generation, you need to have all of these bases covered. However, you’ll probably also want to be generating leads as soon as possible to fund investment in longer-term activities.

That’s why you want to understand where your current gaps are to prioritise which need filling first.

You can use the list of lead generation channels below to work out which you’re performing well in and which you aren’t. This exercise will help you identify your gaps, and you can use the information on each channel to prioritise your investments.

What are your best opportunities?

Identifying your gaps will also help you to identify your opportunities. For example, you may already be generating thousands of visitors to your website every month, but you’re experiencing a low conversion rate of these visitors to qualified leads.

If you’re confident that the visitors are relevant, your priority should be converting those visitors to leads before you start sending more visitors to your site.

Likewise, you may have a high conversion rate of website visitors to leads but are underperforming on your lead target because you don’t have enough visitors. In this case, your priority is to drive more relevant visits to your website.

These are simple examples. However, when you map out your marketing funnel, plug in the numbers and look at the conversion rates between each stage, it will give you a great idea of which opportunities to prioritise.

Short term vs long term returns


Just as the different channels can play different roles in your marketing, they can also provide short-term and long-term returns.

The list below indicates whether a channel is a short-term or long-term play in terms of the results that it can generate. If you need more leads immediately, you’ll want to prioritise the channels most likely to generate results in the short term. If you’re looking to strengthen your future position, then long term plays will rise in your priorities.

Immediate value vs evergreen value


Similar to the point above, you will find that some channels require constant investment to maintain performance, whereas others will have much longer-term value.

An example of this is Google Adwords compared with search engine optimisation (SEO). Google Adwords requires you to pay for each click, meaning that if you want to maintain those clicks every month, you’ll need to maintain your spending. Whereas with SEO, you can optimise your website and particular pages for specific search terms, and when done well, that investment can have a lifespan of at least a few months and potentially a few years.

Lead generation techniques for consultancies

Search Advertising - Pay per click - Google Adwords

Google Adwords is the most extensive search engine advertising channel, making it a sensible channel to start your search advertising. When you have it working for you, you can also use other search engine networks, the second most prominent being Bing ads. 

Google Adwords is particularly appropriate for targeting potential customers already in the market for the service you provide and are actively searching for suppliers. You can accurately target these prospects, including the countries and regions they are searching from. In addition, you can target precise keywords and phrases with appropriate landing pages to serve messaging that addresses precisely what your prospects are looking for. 

All this power comes at a cost. Because Google Adwords can deliver highly relevant leads in the market to buy, it’s highly competitive. It is essential that your funnel is performing well, is constantly managed and optimised to get the best possible results.  

Attributes

  • Short term returns
  • Immediate value

Strengths - Pros

  • Can generate leads, sales and returns very fast
  • Strong potential to provide immediate value
  • Can deliver excellent ROI
  • Excellent for targeting in-market customers

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Highly competitive
  • The cost per click can be very high
  • High cost per acquisition, especially for poor-performing funnels
  • Difficult to attract prospects not actively in the market
  • Requires constant management and optimisation

Social Media Advertising - Pay per click - LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram

The key social media channels have a vast reach. In the B2B space, most of your prospects will use LinkedIn, and many of them will also regularly use Facebook or Instagram. Making the majority of your audience within your reach through one of the channels.

Wider audiences tend to be available through Facebook and Instagram, with excellent targeting options available. Targeting within business parameters is very good on LinkedIn, and the advertising costs are typically double the equivalent on Facebook and Instagram. These upfront costs often have a bearing on the cost per acquisition of leads; however, to get a truly accurate picture, you will need to measure performance all the way through to the cost per acquisition of your customers. 

As with Google Adwords, you can have social media adverts up and running almost immediately. However, as with all these digital advertising channels, they require constant management and optimisation to generate a high level of performance. 

The social media channels tend to perform best when promoting offers early in the buying journey, compared to search advertising that is better suited to targeting prospects who are actively in the market for the services you provide. 

Attributes

  • Short term returns
  • Immediate value

Strengths - Pros

  • Short term
  • Immediate value
  • Can deliver excellent ROI
  • Excellent for targeting early-stage offers

Weaknesses - Cons

  • High competition
  • Costs increasing
  • Can experience high wastage
  • Difficult to target in the market prospects
  • Requires constant management and optimisation

Video advertising - YouTube

YouTube is the second most popular search engine globally, making it a sensible channel to consider in your lead generation strategy. Advertising on YouTube gives you immediate access to a targeted audience, allowing you to test how it performs for you and get your videos in front of relevant people.

Creating high performing video adverts takes skilled scriptwriting and video skills, which might inhibit your progress. If you don’t have the skills in your team, you must find a partner with the right skills and experience to perform well with YouTube advertising. 

Attributes

  • Short term returns
  • Immediate value

Strengths - Pros

  • High recall rates as it engages both sight and sound
  • Large audiences
  • Accurate targeting options
  • Lower competition
  • Good for early-stage offers

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Higher cost to produce adverts
  • Higher cost to run split tests
  • Higher cost to make changes to advert creative
  • Difficult to target in the market prospects
  • Requires constant management and optimisation

Organic Video marketing

With the popularity of YouTube and video content, both directly in the channel and in the organic search results, organic video marketing is integral to the lead generation mix. As people are watching and listening to you, their engagement is high. When they watch a number of your videos, they build a trust similar to meeting you in person. 

If you can get your videos to appear for searches on important keywords for your consultancy, the video can be responsible for directly generating leads. With their high and easy engagement, they also play an important role in supporting and educating prospects through their customer journey with you. To perform well in organic video search results, you will want excellent sound quality, good video quality, well-optimised videos and descriptions. They don’t need to be as slick as video adverts, but it still takes a lot to produce high performing organic videos. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Evergreen value

Strengths - Pros

  • High recall rates as it engages both sight and sound
  • Large audiences
  • Lower competition
  • Good for increasing engagement

Weaknesses - Cons

  • It can take time to build traction
  • Takes higher commitment to produce content
  • Initial costs for kit or outsourcing can slow progress
  • Higher learning curve than other channels

Remarketing

The social media channels and search engines all offer remarketing opportunities that allow you to serve your adverts to an existing database. You can build this database either using pixels installed on your website or by uploading and matching email addresses on the platform. As long as you have or can build these audiences quickly, this form of advertising enhances your other marketing channels. People will often visit your site once, only to forget about you. With remarketing, you can serve adverts to remind relevant people of your offer. It tends to be cost-effective, and when you measure results against the uplift of associated channels, the ROI tends to be good. 

Attributes

  • Short term returns
  • Immediate value

Strengths - Pros

  • Increases performance of other channels
  • Increases engagement and conversion rates
  • Increases recall rates and brand awareness
  • Highly granular targeting options
  • Relatively low cost due to targeting options available

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Requires more technical set-up
  • Requires constant management and optimisation
  • Directly attributed results can appear low (results need to be measured holistically)

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

SEO is a popular channel for any consultancy serious about generating leads due to users’ high trust in organic search results. SEO tends to have good long term value, with much of the investment having evergreen potential. With its value, there are many nefarious practices in the space that the search engines are in a constant battle to eliminate in the quest to maintain trust in their search results. As a result, you need to approach SEO with caution. It forms an integral part of most digital strategies as long as it is done well with a long term view. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Evergreen value

Strengths - Pros

  • The high trust of organic search results from your audience
  • It can be very cost-effective when high search rankings are maintained over the long term
  • Investments can have a solid long-term value
  • Good for attracting traffic early in the buying journey
  • Potential for low cost, high volume traffic acquisition

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Testing is much more difficult
  • Can lose rankings overnight with algorithm changes
  • Extensive misunderstanding and misselling by providers
  • It can take months to get high rankings
  • High competition on high-value phrases, especially for purchase intent phrases
  • Ranking performance is easily negatively affected by small on-site or off-site changes

Blogging

Blogging has a close relationship with SEO, as many blog posts will target specific search phrases. The search engines often favour blog-style content as it tends to be educational. With the potential of blogging, many consultancies invest in it, unaware that their investment is misplaced due to a poor blogging strategy. Blogging takes time and requires expert input to provide value in the market. If misplaced, this can be very costly as very low to no results will be generated. However, when done well, it can generate substantial long term returns from evergreen content. You must create a strategy and establish key performance indicators, to ensure success. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Evergreen value

Strengths - Pros

  • Good for brand and thought leadership positioning
  • Blog posts tend to perform well in organic search results
  • Attract links and references from external sites
  • Good content to share and promote via social media channels
  • Supports education of prospects through their buying journey
  • Provide content for lead nurturing
  • It can be very cost-effective when high search rankings are maintained over the long term
  • Investments can have a solid long-term value
  • Good for attracting traffic early in the buying journey
  • Potential for low cost, high volume traffic acquisition

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Testing is much more difficult
  • Requires ongoing commitment and consistency
  • Easy to misunderstand, leading to abysmal returns
  • It can take months to see results
  • Usually requires internal expertise from high-value team members

Social media marketing (Organic)

Time spent on social media is enormous, and all of the channels present lead generation opportunities through organic posting. As the reach of organic posts is limited in favour of sponsored posts and advertised content, it can be much more challenging to generate the level of results that social media initially gained its reputation for. Expect that you’ll need a well-thought-out strategy and to invest a lot of time to see good results from organic social media marketing. If you are advertising through social media channels, you will require a credible organic social presence to support it. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Immediate value

Strengths - Pros

  • Good for brand and thought leadership positioning
  • Potential to build large subscribed audiences
  • High traction with large or highly engaged audiences
  • Good for networking with thought leaders
  • Supports social media advertising

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Performance is very prone to algorithm changes
  • Networks constantly suppressing organic performance in favour of paid promotions
  • Requires ongoing commitment and consistency
  • Usually requires months or years to build high levels of returns

Cold outreach (Email, social media, telephone)

Cold outreach could be considered a sales activity rather than a marketing activity. However, whichever way you view it, it is a lead generation technique. Whether you are using email, social media or telephone calls to reach out to prospective customers, if they are cold contacts, the first job will be to get them to respond positively. When they do, they become a lead. 

Cold outreach is a numbers game. For it to work well, you need a highly targeted database, up to date contact details and a well-designed set of messages. In current times most cold outreach campaigns combine a mixture of email, social media and telephone outreach to get through prospects. Automation provides efficiency, but it tends to take some time investment to get results. Avoid spray and pray approaches at all costs. These rely on hitting a wide audience on the basis that if you get your message in front of enough people, you’ll find someone in the market. It is a surefire way to build a poor reputation and ensure diminishing returns if you go down this road. 

Attributes

  • Short term returns
  • Immediate value

Strengths - Pros

  • Potential to reach large audiences relatively fast
  • It can be suitable for split testing messages
  • A broad range of suppliers is available

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Low trust levels with recipients
  • Constantly being suppressed by email providers, social media channels, and telephone gatekeepers
  • Requires ongoing commitment and consistency
  • Typically low response rates requiring large input numbers

Advertising (Display and publication specific)

With a wide range of media channels available, all relying on advertising revenues, there are plenty of choices to get in front of your target market. Most advertising outside of the search and social media advertising already explained above is display advertising used to increase awareness of your brand and message with your target market. 

When your market is aware of your brand and message, it increases the likelihood they’ll consider you when they are in the market for what you sell. Even if they don’t search you out directly when they find you, the awareness of your brand increases trust and the probability they’ll choose you over a competitor they are less aware of. 

While brand style display advertising is the most common form you’ll see, direct response style advertising is also available. Direct response adverts use the same channels and ad formats as brand adverts; the difference is these adverts encourage the reader to take direct action after seeing the advert. If you’ve ever seen adverts for products with extensive text explaining the product and its benefits, these are direct response adverts. For these to work, you’ll need an audience that is sufficiently large and well-aligned to what you are selling. If you can’t find this, you’ll need to create hybrid ads that combine brand and direct response techniques to cover all the bases with your advertising.

It can be challenging to measure the effectiveness of this advertising. While it suffers from a degree of inaccuracy, tracking how your overall website traffic and conversions perform during campaigns is a good indicator of how campaigns are performing overall to drive awareness and trust in your target audience. 

Strengths - Pros

  • A wide range of channels and suppliers is available
  • Good for increasing awareness with audiences
  • Provides good support for direct online channels
  • Potential to reach large audiences relatively fast

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Requires high levels of research to identify the proper channels
  • Difficult to split test
  • Requires ongoing commitment and consistency to generate results
  • Traditional media channels struggling to compete and remain relevant in the online world

Advertorials

Advertorials are a hybrid approach of display advertising. They are adverts designed to look and read like editorial. Readers and viewers of media channels trend to having higher trust in editorial coverage in comparison with advertising. With this in mind, publications developed advertorials to sell advertising that benefited from this increased trust. In modern times advertorials must be clearly marked as an advertising promotion. While this does decrease the trust slightly, advertorials remain an effective way to communicate your message. 

As they use an editorial style, they are suited to communicating more information to the audience. When placed in the correct channels that align naturally with your target audience, advertorials can achieve good lead generation responses and develop brand awareness.

Attributes

  • Short term returns
  • Immediate value

Strengths - Pros

  • Wide range of channels and suppliers available, both online and offline
  • Good for conveying more information than adverts
  • Higher trust levels with viewers and readers
  • Often better suited to direct response lead generation

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Requires high levels of research to identify the proper channels
  • Difficult to split test
  • Requires highly skilled copywriting to perform well

Webinars

Webinars are a popular and effective lead generation technique for consultancies. You’re an expert, and communicating by sharing that expertise to educate your audience naturally builds trust with them. 

Webinars exploded in popularity during the lockdowns in recent years. With this explosion in popularity came a mixed bag in the quality of the information communicated. For webinars to perform well, they must educate your audience rather than be a poorly disguised sales pitch. As long as you educate your audience, provide them with insights and show how you can help them, webinars will perform. When prospects sign-up for your webinar, it indicates their interest in solving a problem you can fix. To this end, ensure that your webinars align well with a problem you solve. If they aren’t, you won’t be attracting potential people in the market for what you sell, which will reduce your conversion rate to leads. 

With their explosion in popularity and the ease of signing up, your webinar efforts can fall flat without investment in marketing and a strong reminder sequence to encourage sign-ups to attend. Remember that planning your marketing, reminders, and follow-up is vital to success with your webinars. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Immediate & Evergreen value

Strengths - Pros

  • Excellent for communicating more complex ideas and educating prospects
  • Good for building trust
  • Generally, good sign-up rates when promoted well
  • Relatively straightforward to host
  • Low cost to host

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Difficult to get right and maximise conversion rates
  • Tricky to stand out in competitive markets
  • Require a high degree of follow-up to ensure sign-up to attendance rates are strong

Seminars

Seminars are the direct sibling of webinars. The benefit of seminars is that people experience you or your consultants firsthand, allowing them to build a strong relationship and bond with your consultancy. 

Developing a one-to-one relationship online through a webinar platform can be tricky, especially if you have more than twelve attendees. However, when people see you in person, ask questions and perhaps meet you briefly in the run-up or at the end of your seminar, they’ll build a personal bond with you. This personal bond can go a long way to supporting the development of leads. You can find in-person seminars offered in conjunction with larger events that allow you to leverage the audience and marketing of the event to attract new prospects to your seminar. 

Follow the same advice as webinars to ensure your content is highly educational and valuable to your ideal prospects. As long as you signpost that you can help solve the problem, you’ll find the leads flow naturally. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Immediate value

Strengths - Pros

  • Excellent for communicating more complex ideas and educating prospects
  • Good for building trust
  • Generally, good sign-up rates when promoted well
  • Meet prospects face to face, to support with relationship building
  • Often viewed as high value by prospects

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Relative high cost to run
  • High associated time costs
  • Need to be hosted in different locations to reach a wider audience

Podcasting

Podcasting has potential as a lead generation technique. Most commonly, it is designed to increase awareness of your consultancy and trust with your audience of listeners. The main podcast channels like Apple and Spotify have huge audiences, and you can optimise your podcast listings to appear in their search results. You can include calls to action for your offers in your podcast and interview people who have a broad reach and influence with your audience. All of this builds trust and increases lead flow for your consultancy.

You can also use podcasts for interviewing ideal prospects, getting on their radar, and building a relationship. Whichever approach you choose, you’ll find that podcasting is a long term strategy and will take time to build momentum and start seeing its impact on your lead generation results. If it is an approach you’re keen to employ, build it in as part of your strategy, work out how it can contribute to your broader marketing activities and build a three-year plan for it. As long as it is well aligned and you can measure its performance and impact, it can be an important contributor to lead generation marketing for consultancies. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Evergreen value

Strengths - Pros

  • Excellent for communicating more complex ideas
  • Good for building trust and engagement
  • Excellent for educating prospects and customers
  • Attracts podcast interviews and PR opportunities

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Relatively high time cost to run
  • The steep learning curve to get set-up
  • Requires ongoing commitment and consistency
  • Usually requires months or years to build high levels of returns

Networking

Networking is a tried and trusted lead generation technique for consultancies. You benefit from building one-to-one relationships and talking directly to your prospects, ideally meeting several ideal prospects in one place at one time. 

While it is much more of a one-to-one approach than many of the techniques, a well-aligned networking event provides an element of one-to-many opportunities, in the efficiencies of meeting prospects in one place, at one time, who are expecting to have business conversations. These reasons have made it popular. Networking events also provide an excellent opportunity to test your messaging on a one to one basis and gain important market feedback on the main challenges your market is facing. 

Like nearly all of the techniques, it requires a consistent investment of time to generate results. While it can generate new contacts fast, building the trust to evolve into leads typically takes a more prolonged time investment.

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Immediate value

Strengths - Pros

  • Excellent for building relationships and identifying new opportunities
  • Supports referral strategy
  • Good for building early-stage traction

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Requires 1:1 time typically from senior team members
  • Time intensive
  • Limited in terms of reaching a wider audience

Whitepapers

Whitepapers and reports allow you to share your insights and findings in a longer format. Well-aligned assets that provide insights into the challenges you solve are an excellent way to open the door with potential customers and generate leads. 

You can use snippets of information to feed your social media and content marketing, with the full report available in exchange for some basic contact details. This technique is a popular approach for consultancies to gather contacts interested in a challenge they solve. With follow-up marketing, these contacts can be qualified to generate sales-ready leads. 

The information in the whitepapers and reports often contain valuable insights that support the sales process, providing an additional benefit of increasing your sales conversion rates. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Evergreen value

Strengths - Pros

  • Excellent for communicating more complex ideas
  • Good for building trust and engagement
  • Excellent for educating prospects and customers
  • Attracts PR opportunities

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Relatively high time cost to create
  • Requires extensive marketing campaign to generate returns
  • Requires ongoing commitment and consistency to maintain traction

Mobile strategy

With all of us carrying around access to the wealth of the internet in our pockets 24/7, mobile has to be part of your lead generation strategy. It is rarely a channel in itself but an essential part of your customer’s journey and relationship with your consultancy. The more accessible you are through your prospects' mobile devices, the more likely they will build a relationship with you.

If you don’t design your marketing activities for mobile, you’ll be missing a significant and crucial opportunity for your audience to engage with your messages. When you build a mobile strategy, the aim is to increase engagement and conversion rates from your messages and consultancy. You may, of course, extend this by creating tools and apps for mobile devices that in themselves can perform as lead generation techniques. 

You must consider mobile devices for any marketing activities you undertake. 

Attributes

  • Short term returns
  • Evergreen value

Strengths - Pros

  • Improves conversion rates with ever-increasing mobile use
  • Encourages higher consideration and engagement with the customer journey
  • Aid understanding of prospect engagement with your marketing channels
  • Improved performance can reduce costs of online channels
  • Longer-term value of investments

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Requires high technical investment
  • Work tends to be time-intensive
  • Difficult to identify and prioritise highest potential activities
  • It tends to have lower returns for lower traffic businesses

Email marketing

Email marketing comes in various forms, from email campaigns to your contact database, sponsoring a third party’s email newsletter or paying to distribute a campaign to their contacts. Email is a fast, efficient and generally lower-cost way to reach an audience. While email users and email platforms effectively filter out messages and senders of low value, email is still the most popular form of online communication. 

With 99% of email users checking emails at least once a day, there is a solid chance that your prospects will see your message as long as it arrives in their inbox. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-stats

Email is a prevalent marketing technique for all types of business, making it a crucial consideration for your lead generation marketing. 

Attributes

  • Short term returns
  • Immediate value

Strengths - Pros

  • Low cost of delivery
  • Good for split testing messages
  • Excellent for reaching large audiences fast
  • A broad range of data providers

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Typically low response rates
  • Difficult to distribute to purchased contacts
  • Risks to your domain, if sending from your primary domain
  • Requires ongoing commitment, consistency, testing and management to maintain traction

Email newsletters

Email newsletters are a popular form of marketing and method to nurture leads. Building a subscriber database for your regular newsletter is a business asset, and a growing, well-managed database is a strong indicator of growing trust and engagement with your consultancy. 

When you build signposts into your email newsletter that allows prospects in the market for what you provide to take the next step and indicate their intentions, it provides an effective lead generation mechanism. All too often, newsletters distribute company news rather than educating subscribers on solving their problems. By switching your newsletter to educate, with follow-on steps they can take if it’s an area of interest, you build an effective what to nurture your contacts to leads. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Immediate value

Strengths - Pros

  • Low cost of delivery
  • Excellent for maintaining and nurturing relationships with your existing audience
  • High ROI potential when managed well
  • Minimises wastage of leads and contacts

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Requires ongoing commitment, consistency, testing and management to maintain traction
  • Typically takes time to generate results
  • It can’t be overused for direct lead generation

PR

With PR, you can leverage the power of existing media channels and increased consumer trust in editorial coverage to give your message a boost. When you place a story or mention that displays how your consultancy solves a problem relevant to the media channel’s audience, it can immediately boost your lead generation activities. 

Even PR mentions that don’t directly contribute to leads will increase awareness of your consultancy. If the mention is online with a link back to your website can also support your SEO efforts with an inbound link to your website from a trusted source. 

PR often gets overlooked as a lead generation technique for consultancies. However, when used appropriately, it can deliver a powerful uplift to your other marketing activities. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Immediate & evergreen value

Strengths - Pros

  • Excellent for leveraging the trust of existing channels and influencers
  • Great opportunity to reach large audiences fast
  • Provides associated brand trust to use in other channels (e.g. in the “As featured in” section on your website)
  • Can stimulate high response rates

Weaknesses - Cons

  • It can be a relatively high cost
  • Very difficult to estimate returns on investment 
  • Notoriously tricky to measure return on investment
  • Requires an experienced provider or high time investment 
  • Challenging to manage surges in demand when it does work well

Referrals

Many consultancies rely on referrals and recommendations for their new business. When successful, it is a great indicator you are providing a high level of service. However, when you combine a referral strategy with other lead generation marketing techniques, you can get a match made in heaven for a consistent flow of quality leads. 

When you rely on referrals, you’ll constantly be fighting customer churn as customers naturally come to the end of their relationship with you. However, when you are consistently adding new customers, delighting them with your service and encouraging referrals, you can drive huge returns on your initial marketing investment through referred leads that convert to customers.

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Immediate value

Strengths - Pros

  • Leads generated have a high degree of trust
  • Sales to referred leads tend to be faster and easier
  • Increases ROI from all channels
  • Low cost of acquisition
  • Highly sustainable

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Can become reliant on referrals to the detriment of other channels

Website conversion rate optimisation

If you already have relevant visits to your website, website conversion rate optimisation can go a long way to supporting your lead generation efforts. I commonly speak with consultancy owners who complain that they never get any leads through their website. It’s usually because their website isn’t optimised for conversion.

As a consultant, you understand what you’re selling, and often you’ll describe what you sell as you’d like it described to you. The trouble is that your potential customers come to you for your expertise, which they don’t understand. So you need to explain things for them, not for you. You also need to give them clear signposts on the next step they should take with you. When prospects are researching, they’ve probably got ten websites open, and they’ll only enquire with the one where they understand what they are enquiring about and who have made it easy for them to enquire or buy. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Evergreen value

Strengths - Pros

  • Increases performance and ROI of all other channels
  • Potential to increase performance fast
  • Can lower costs of online channels

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Difficult to maintain the high level of early returns
  • Often done once and then forgotten
  • Can require specialist design and technical resource

Sponsorship

Sponsorship allows you to get your brand in front of a relevant audience. You can sponsor a sports team, but you’ll get a lot of waste if you do. However, suppose you sponsor an industry event aligned with your target audience and agree on a presentation slot and networking opportunity. In that case, it can provide an excellent opportunity for lead generation.

Sponsoring suitable events can help raise your profile, get your consultancy in front of prospects, and open doors to generate leads. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Immediate value

Strengths - Pros

  • Increases brand awareness with relevant audiences
  • Can provide an excellent opportunity to get in front of a large audience
  • Facilitates and support other marketing opportunities

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Difficult to measure direct ROI on lead generation
  • Typically takes time to impact lead generation returns
  • Requires a high degree of marketing strategy integration to generate returns

Community groups or websites

With all the social media channels and various websites available, it’s rare for there not to be a community that exists for your niche audience. They can take some tracking down, but when you find them, they can be a gold mine of opportunities to develop relationships, research the challenges in your niche and generate leads. A word of warning is that when you find a community group and get access to it, don’t go in straight for the kill to generate leads. If you do, you’ll likely find yourself banned within minutes. These groups are protective. Where groups get overrun with people trying to sell to them and generate leads, they become very low value as the members aren’t engaged. However, a community of engaged members passionate about their niche is a valuable place for you to get known and provide value. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Evergreen value

Strengths - Pros

  • Provides access to highly targeted and engaged audiences
  • Great opportunity to build trust with relevant audiences
  • Opportunities to identify and build relationships with influencers

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Requires ongoing commitment, consistency, and management to maintain traction
  • Can fall flat or damage reputation when executed poorly
  • Some groups take a very dim view of promotional activity

Survey / reports

Surveys and reports are siblings of the whitepaper. Running a survey and reporting on the results is a fantastic way to increase awareness in your industry and generate leads. It does take some effort, but it can be a highly valuable approach as you produce original data that provides insights into your niche. 

Not only do you develop relationships with prospects when running the survey, but you can also then follow up with a copy of the report and other marketing activities like webinars and seminars to present the findings to them. Not to mention the blog and social content that highlights your findings and the media doors it can open. Creating your survey and follow-up report can be a high value lead generation exercise with the potential to support many other areas of your marketing. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Evergreen value

Strengths - Pros

  • Excellent for building original research
  • Good for building trust and engagement
  • Excellent for creating original content
  • Attracts PR opportunities

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Relatively high time cost to create
  • Requires extensive marketing campaign to generate returns
  • Requires ongoing commitment and consistency to maintain traction
  • It takes time to generate results

Support a charity / Pro bono work

It’s probably a stretch to spin charity, and pro bono work directly as a lead generation activity. However, when you consider its potential to generate PR and how it can help you stand out from the competition, it is easy to see how it can contribute to your lead generation. Where possible, align your charity and pro bono work with your area of expertise so that it supports your story and expands your experience. Many successful consultancies allocate a percentage of their resources to charitable pro bono work. It provides value in the world, engages your team, and gives you promotional opportunities that generate leads, creating a win-win situation. 

Attributes

  • Long term returns
  • Evergreen value

Strengths - Pros

  • Excellent for brand association
  • Can attract aligned opportunities
  • Attracts PR opportunities
  • Increases trust from prospects and leads

Weaknesses - Cons

  • Requires a well-integrated strategy and marketing campaign to generate returns
  • Very difficult to measure direct ROI from the activity
  • Requires ongoing commitment and consistency to maintain traction

 

I’m too busy for all of this

Consultancy businesses are notorious for going through feast and famine cycles. There is often little to no time to invest in lead generation efforts when you’re busy on projects. In lean times you’re left wishing you had invested earlier. 

This post gives you a list of over twenty different lead generation activities that you can invest in. At some point in time, you may want to invest in all of them. However, in the early days, just two or three will get you started. There are plenty of opportunities in this list that can be fully outsourced, leaving you the time to get on with your day job. When you see these working, it’ll give you the confidence to invest more of your time into lead generation activities. 

If you choose to outsource, you must review and manage the activities’ performance to generate quality leads that convert to customers, giving you a good return on your investment. Work through this list and choose the techniques that appeal to you, then find a supplier who can provide the service at the level you need. 

Start planning your lead generation

To help you gather the information you need to plan your lead generation and brief the jobs that need to be done, we’ve created a lead generation pack with all the templates you need to get you started. 

You can download the lead generation pack here. 

Scaling your consultancy starts by generating the leads you need

As a consultancy, you solve problems. When you scale your consultancy, you solve more problems and create more impact in the world. That’s why it’s vital that you work on scaling your consultancy, and it all starts by generating the leads you need. 

Work through this list, download your lead generation planning pack and generate the leads you need to scale your impact in the world. 

 

Lead Generation Planning Pack | For Consultants  A strategic framework & actionable template pack to help your consultancy  "AMPLIFY" it's existing lead generation efforts.   Download Now

 

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