5 Business Development Steps for Consultants
Have you spent countless hours at networking events? Have you cold-called, sent multiple emails, and relied on your network for referrals? At the start of designing your business and brand, you may have created a business plan. That business plan could be used to gain access to financial support, position you for opportunities, and clearly state the vision for your business, but does your business plan include an effective business development strategy?
Social media marketing, email marketing, sales funnels, retargeting, targeted ads, informational lead magnets, podcasts, webinars, and professional speaking are great ways to promote your services offerings. However, you will still need a way to find clients for your business.
So what does business development mean to a consultant or small business owner? I want to simplify the process for you into five steps:
1.) Identify your target audience and audience personas.-Ask yourself what companies and specific people you would like to work with. Doing so will provide you with a reference list for online and offline outreach. It will also help strengthen your networking efforts. When you know whom you want to work with, you can ask your network for connections to those companies and individuals.
2.) Streamline your brand story around yourself and your company.-Clearly explain to your audience the problem that you solve and whom you do it for.
3.) Stay top of mind with your audience.- Hold yourself accountable for selecting and designing content that will educate and motivate your audience to take action. When positioning yourself as an expert in your space, you have to be giving with your intellect in a way that your audience can benefit from. By sharing quality content online consistently on the platforms where your audience can be found, it will help you stay top of mind.
4.) Remember, “You are worthy.”-You are worthy of contacting anyone if you have a solution to their problem. Online and offline outreach has to be mutually beneficial for it to work. Your target audience will care more about what you have to offer if It advances their personal or professional success.
5.) Network with purpose.-The online and offline networking that you spend your time on should position you to connect with your target audience. When networking, you also will want to add individuals to your LinkedIn connections in addition to adding their business card contact information to your database. Connecting on LinkedIn with those you meet will expand your outreach efforts and ability to stay top of mind when sharing quality content consistently.
In conclusion, challenge yourself to get clear on who your audience is. Identify the offline events and online locations (LinkedIn) of those target individuals and connect. Leverage your network to support the needs of those in your network and make the problem that you solve very clear.
Here is an example: “My name is Mia D. Martin. I help professionals analyze their professional experiences and skill-sets to develop brands. After brands are developed, I help individuals stay top of mind by helping them identify their target audience and share content that their audience can benefit from consistently.”-Mia D. Martin, Modern Créatif CEO