Do you struggle to generate the leads you need to hit your growth targets each month? Is your lack of leads keeping you up at night? Are you constantly wondering why you’re the best-kept secret in your industry?
As a small consultancy generating all the leads you need to grow, let alone scale can be tricky. If you’re struggling to generate quality leads to scale your consultancy, I’m going to show you what you can do to get all the leads you need.
Here's an overview of what we'll be covering in this post:
- More marketing isn’t the answer
- The 3 secrets to successful consultancy marketing
- Tip 1: Start with a campaign
- Tip 2: Figure out what you want to achieve and set targets
- Tip 3: Define your ideal niche audience
- Tip 4: Craft your compelling message
- Tip 5: Create an irresistible offer
- What to do next?
- I tried niching before, and it didn’t work?
- Don’t have time for this?
- Don’t have the expertise?
- Get started on generating all the leads you need
- The world will be a better place when you’re solving problems at scale
More marketing isn’t the answer
When you’re struggling to generate all the leads you need to keep the lights on and grow your consultancy, no one will criticise you for thinking you need to do more marketing.
The trouble is if the marketing you’re doing isn’t generating quality leads, doing more of it won’t help you.
Most marketing agencies and experts will all tell you that you need to do more marketing. So will pretty much every blog post you read or video that you watch.
It is in their best interest. These experts know that you won’t have the time to do it yourself. Even if you invest in doing it yourself, you’ll run out of steam unless it is your passion because you’d rather invest your time in work you are passionate about.
The thing is more isn’t the answer. The answer you’re looking for is investing your time and money in the right marketing for the right audience.
The 3 secrets to successful consultancy marketing
The three secrets to successful consultancy marketing are clarity, confidence and consistency. When you have all three, you’ll find that you’ll generate all the leads you need to grow and scale your consultancy.
Most consultancies that come to me with the desire to generate more leads to grow their consultancy lack clarity. It all starts because their ideal customer isn’t well defined. It’ll typically be too broad, meaning that they’ll effectively work with anyone.
When there is a lack of clarity on their ideal customer, their message is lacklustre. It is trying to appeal to everyone and, as such, appeals to no one. It certainly doesn’t stand out in the market to help its customers differentiate them from all of its competitors.
This lack of clarity on the ideal customer and message, in turn, means that the service they are offering to customers is vague. They rely on offering bespoke services, effectively solving ten different problems for ten different customers, which means that any investment they make in marketing is largely wasted.
When your marketing attempts fail to produce results, it’s not surprising that you’ll lack confidence in marketing.
Why is investing more time and money into marketing going to be any different than your previous attempts? If you lack clarity, you’re right to be thinking this. Without clarity on your ideal customer, all your future investments will be largely wasted. You’ll never build the confidence you need to invest in marketing to fuel your growth.
However, when you have clarity and see your marketing working, you’ll be very confident to invest in it wisely.
Every form of marketing works when done consistently. In the same way, if a marketing channel isn’t invested in consistently, it almost certainly won’t work.
Imagine this blog post. It could be the best blog post anyone has ever written on generating leads for consultancies. You might find it, read it and take action on the advice. However, if you never heard from me again, read another blog post of mine, or saw anything else from me, do you think you’d ever buy from me? Probably not.
In contrast, if you read that blog post and then signed up for my weekly newsletter, then read a few blog posts of mine every month. Do you think that when it came time to getting help generating leads for your consultancy, you’d get in touch?
As long as I’d done an excellent job of holding your interest and you read a few posts of mine every month, I’m sure I’d be on the list of people you’d contact.
That’s why all the biggest brands never stop advertising and investing in making sure their brands are front and centre when you’re in the market for them. Just think about a brand like Coca Cola, love them or hate them. If I asked you to name a cola brand, would they be the first on your mind?
So now you know the three secrets, how do you actually get them in place?
Tip 1: Start with a campaign
If you’re anything like 90% of the consultancies that come to me, you will benefit from creating a well-defined niche to target. Many consultancy owners struggle with this because they are worried it will put off their existing customers.
So if you’ve ever struggled with this, you’re not alone!
That is why I recommend that you start with a campaign. If it doesn’t work, you can always try another one, with nothing lost.
Companies and brands run marketing campaigns all the time. With the well-targeted niche campaign that you create, there is no reason that your existing customers who are not part of this niche will ever see the campaign. If they do, it’ll be evident that you are running a campaign to target a specific audience, so it’s unlikely they’ll question it. Even if they do, you can explain that it’s a marketing campaign you’re testing.
Tip 2: Figure out what you want to achieve and set targets
You want to test everything you create to understand if it will be enough to achieve your goals, which is why it’s good to start with what you want to achieve.
You can use the Lead Generation Calculator included in the Consultancy Lead Generation Planning Pack we’ve created to simplify this process for consultancies like yours.
The key questions you need to answer are:
What level of revenue growth are you targeting?
How many customers will you need to achieve this?
Are these ideal customers or average customers?
What is an ideal customer worth, how many of these will you need to achieve your revenue growth target.
With this in mind, you can get to work defining your ideal niche audience.
Tip 3: Define your ideal niche audience
When you are defining your ideal niche audience to target with this campaign, you’re looking for a highly targeted audience that is large enough to supply all the leads you need for 12 months.
What is the problem that you’re solving? Who can you solve this problem for consistently and reliably?
Now ask yourself these following questions:
Are you passionate about solving this problem for these people?
Is it profitable?
Can you feasibly be the best in the world at it?
Jim Collins wrote about these three attributes to a great business in his book Good To Great. He christened this concept, The Hedgehog Concept. While this concept was developed for large businesses, it applies well when defining your ideal niche audience for a campaign. You’re looking to create an audience that can feasibly sustain the growth of your business for some time to come.
The first two questions should be pretty straightforward to answer. The third will take some research. Look at the competition and ask yourself how feasible it is to be better than the best in a relatively short space of time. If you can’t, can you refine your audience and the problem that you’re solving?
Is the audience large enough to give you all the leads you need for at least the next 12 months?
Can you be in a top 3 position within the market within the next six months?
Is what you’re offering sufficiently different to the competitors that you can define a compelling message and irresistible offer?
Suppose you want a template to help with this. In that case, you can use the Ideal Customer Persona template and Ideal Niche Audience Validation questions in the Consultancy Lead Generation Planning Pack that’s available to download here.
Tip 4: Craft your compelling message
Now that you’ve identified a niche that passes the tests above, your next job is to craft a compelling message for your audience.
Start with the problem you’re solving for them.
What does their world look like while this problem goes unsolved? How is it affecting them, what are the consequences of them not solving the problem?
Go to town on it and describe their current situation in as much detail as you can.
When you’ve described their current situation, you can look at their future when they’ve solved their problem. Just as you did for their current situation, describe this future in as much detail as you can. How is their life different and better? What can they do now that they never could before?
Create a short paragraph describing the audience, their problem, situation, and future when you have these. You want to identify the best part of everything you’ve written. Create a 250-word paragraph, a short 50-word summary and a very short 9 to 15-word summary sentence.
You’ll probably find that you’ll refine these over time, but as long as they are good enough, you can get started with testing them in the market.
Tip 5: Create an irresistible offer
The final piece of the puzzle that you need in place to start generating all the leads you need is an irresistible offer.
Again you need to go back to the problem you are solving and who you are solving it for. Your audience wants confidence that you will solve their problem. How can you package your offer to give your ideal customers the confidence they are looking for?
You could price it at a level that removes all the risk, but this may make your life difficult to deliver the profit that you need sustainably. So instead, look at what guarantees you can put in place.
When you combine your ideal audience, the problem you solve, and your unique guarantee to solve it, you’ll create the unique sales proposition (USP) that your campaign needs to succeed.
What to do next?
Now that you have these five tips in place, the world is your marketing oyster.
Your job is to get your compelling message and irresistible offer in front of your ideal customers.
Just ask yourself where your customers are. Are they on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn? Are they searching on Google for how to solve the problem you’re solving? Do you have a database full of the ideal customers you’ve defined?
Remember that no matter how great your irresistible offer is, only a proportion of your market will be ready to buy it at any one time. The percent of any market that is ready to buy is typically around 3% of the total market. So don’t expect them all to buy at once.
Design your marketing to bring your ideal customers into your world and nurture them until they are ready to buy.
The Consultancy Lead Generation Planning Pack contains all the tools you need to plan your campaign in the right way.
I tried niching before, and it didn’t work?
The concept of niching isn’t new. A lot of consultancies I come across have tried it before. If you’ve tried it and it didn’t work, it’s probably because of one of the following reasons:
The audience you defined was too wide to get traction fast
If you can’t develop a credible top 3 position solving a particular problem for your audience within six months, the chances are that the audience you’ve defined is too broad. It’ll take you at least 18 months to develop credibility for that audience, which means most consultancies give up before they get to the breakthrough.
The audience you defined was too shallow
Just as you can go too broad with your audience, it won’t allow you to grow if you select a narrow niche audience that is too shallow. It’ll also mean that the 3% who are ready to press the button and solve the problem now will be too small to warrant the effort you need to put in to find them.
You didn’t nurture the audience
If you selected the perfect audience but didn’t consider that only 3% will be active in the market to buy now, you won’t have put all the systems in place to attract those ready to buy and nurture those who aren’t. Without these in place, the wastage of your campaigns will be massive, and you’ll give up on niching almost as soon as you’ve started.
Using the method that I’ve outlined above and tools included in the Consultancy Lead Generation Planning Pack, you be in the perfect position to niche in the right way.
Don’t have time for this?
I get it you’re a busy person. If you’re not generating all the leads you need, getting this right is the most valuable thing you can do right now. Work out how you can make time for it. Of course, you can outsource it all, which will save you a vast amount of time and allow you to focus on what you’re best at.
If you want to explore outsourcing, check out our service at LexisClick to generate the leads consultancies need to scale.
If you want to do it yourself, download the Consultancy Lead Generation Planning Pack that contains the tools you need to plan it in the right way.
Don’t have the expertise?
It’s good to have a good sense of your expertise. Just like your clients come to you for your expertise, you can benefit from getting some outside expertise for this.
All marketing is not made equal. Getting marketing right for a small specialised consultancy is difficult, which is why you’re not already generating all the leads you need.
Find a company that specialises in generating leads for small consultancies. You’ll find any number of marketing and lead generation companies out there, but you’re looking for someone who really gets your business and that you can be confident will deliver.
You could find a coach who’ll guide you on what you should do, but do you have the time to do it all yourself? If you don’t, you want to find someone who can actually do it for you.
Get started on generating all the leads you need
Get started on generating all the leads you need by downloading the free Consultancy Lead Generation Planning Pack.
The world will be a better place when you’re solving problems at scale
As a consultancy, you solve critical problems for your customers. You can make the biggest impact in the world when you solve those problems at scale. When you have the clarity and confidence to generate leads consistently, you unlock the door to scaling your consultancy. With this door open, you create the best opportunity to create your unique impact in the world.
It’s time for you to go and unlock that door to scale your consultancy.
Want a proven system to scale your consultancy?
Scaling the output of an owner-managed consultancy is tough. There's no doubt about it.
For the owner, scaling the consultany often entailes years of:
- Creating products/services that don't sell, or can't scale without their expertise.
- Managing a team that is constantly demanding their time in order for projects to be completed.
- Trying and failing to leverage digital marketing to create predictable, high quality leads.
In total, Stephen (LexisClick's Founder) has spent 12 years and over £250,000 to find a repeatable system that worked to scale his owner-managed consultancy.
You could say he knows the pain of scaling a small consultancy...😅
Unfortunately, almost all owner-managed consultants will face these issues when scaling. It's just the nature of the beast.
However, it doesn't mean you can't solve them faster and cheaper.
Join Stephen on a live webinar this Wednesday where he'll be sharing his story, challenges and solutions to scaling an owner-managed consultancy.