My brother-in-law is a pianist and member of several music bands. Most of them hire a marketing agency to promote their work. Our last conversation was focused on the music industry, but many ideas work just as well for consulting firms.
Although much of his marketing efforts are now on social media (increasing reach and engagement on Instagram, Youtube, Spotify) and design (video production, artwork design, social media branding), there's an important but often critical third pillar - collaborations/PR.
The goal is to get in front of the right people. Not those who will listen to your music, or your ideal fans. But those who will sell and distribute it for you.
There's a reason why DJs and radio stations receive piles and piles of new song tapes every day, for years. They are key partners. If you're an artist, winning their sympathy and getting them hooked into your music will make you grow much faster than winning a new fan.
This marketing strategy is timeless. Today my brother-in-law's key partners also include youtubers, bloggers, and online music curators that have a direct line of communication with their potential fans. But the logic remains: it's worth investing time and money to build and nurture those relationships.
This works for consulting as well.
If you have an executive coaching practice that is the perfect complement to clients of a recruitment agency in your area, why not give that agency some free intro workshops "passes" that they can use to thank their best clients?
Putting a sample of my friends' new CD in the hands of 100 key partners is a far smarter investment than spending thousands on ads that don't work.
Who are your potential partners, and how could you do the same?