Mindshare is a marketing term that describes the amount of consumer awareness there is around a certain product, service, or company. To illustrate it, here's a quick quiz for you:
- Name an electric car company.
- Name a search engine.
- Name a music streaming service.
Chances are that you said Tesla, Google, and Spotify. Why? Because they have the category mindshare.
Many argue that small businesses can't afford to invest in mindshare since it doesn't provide a clear ROI. The growth of performance marketing means more and more companies focus exclusively on optimizing their sales funnels. This is positive, but misguided.
The abundance of data distracts us from the fact that most purchases are irrational. Being perceived as the best at what you do is what will drive companies to hire you, since they can only judge the quality of your services during the engagement.
Now, those large corporations invest heavily in advertising and promotion to make consumers think of their brands first. You don't have the marketing budget that those companies have, and can't dump millions in ad campaigns or brand initiatives. But luckily, you don't need to.
There are four powerful components that every consulting firm can use to capture and increase mindshare in their niche:
- Hyper-specific value proposition
- Hyper-relevant content
- Hyper-targeted marketing engine
- Hyper-insightful consultative conversations
Hyper-Specific Value Proposition
If you want to be known for being the best at what you do, you can keep redefining your value proposition until this is true. You will always be the first option when you position yourself as an expert in a unique segment, and people understand exactly what you do and who you serve.
Here's a value proposition I used in the past, as an example:
I help £100k+ independent consultants to win more clients at higher fees by adding strategy, structure, and consistency to their marketing initiatives.
It's not perfect, but it included all of these positive characteristics:
- It's clear: When you hear it you know instantly whether you’re in the niche or not.
- It's outcome-oriented: When you hear it you know instantly whether you want the outcome or not.
- It's memorable: Strategy, structure, and consistency are words that are always popping up in conversations with clients and prospects.
Take some time to audit your value proposition today.
This could be blog posts, emails, podcasts, ebooks, webinars, public speaking. The key is to continually produce high-quality content, in a decent volume, so that your audience is impressed by how much of your expertise you are openly sharing.
Relevant content will reinforce your position as a subject matter expert, and also attract people and companies who are looking for insights.
The consulting firms who are mindshare leaders in their own niche understand that consistency is as important as quality. Even solo consultants started to see themselves as a media company, as prospects look at your content as a sign of domain expertise.
Hyper-Targeted Marketing Engine
A specific value proposition and relevant content are worth nothing if no one sees it. The main goal of your marketing engine is to put you and your message in front of your target audience. "Build it and they will come" is a dangerous myth, and the sooner you reject it the better.
Flawless implementation is what usually sets apart the consulting firms that "survive", from the ones that "thrive". The main challenge is to identify which are the activities that your engine must consist of. Once you do, it shifts to ensuring you keep pouring fuel in a consistent matter.
Hyper-Insightful Consultative Conversations
A consultative sales approach will position you as an expert and trusted advisor. The key is to share value in every conversation in the form of insights, which will allow you to ask for the commitments needed to move the deal forward (time, explore needs, propose solutions, etc.)
The focus is entirely on the prospect, rather than the service being sold. The topic is big, but one of the best ways to share insights while maintaining a friendly and professional rapport is by sharing stories.
Position yourself as a specialist, nurture your audience, and act in their best interest. You need nothing else to be the first and only consultant on their minds.