Marketing for Consultants

In the article So You Want to Be an E-learning Consultant… I discussed the pros and cons of consultancy as well as the various areas of practice in our field. One area I did not discuss was attracting and retaining clients. As the saying goes, when you’re working, you’re not finding new clients and when you’re looking for clients, you’re not working. I decided to look at a number (32) of my past projects and see how my clients had come to find me. I broke this down into three main categories, with the number of projects shown in brackets:

  1. Direct reference (20) from a member of my business community, defined as someone I know or have met or may have worked for or with previously. This includes follow-on projects.
  2. Indirect reference (9) through one of my professional networks, also known in social media as a “friend of a friend”.
  3. Client found me on the Web (3) via some form of search.

Obviously my closest connections are my best sources of client referrals. I haven’t calculated the revenues from all of these projects but I can say that the third category, while only three projects, generated a significant amount, so passive Web marketing should not be discounted.

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