PCTA: Marketing Strategy For Independent Consultants

A methodology for independent consultants to rethink their marketing strategy.

Your marketing strategy might be the single most important document to lead your firm's growth. Without a clear plan of action, your consulting practice will suffer from feast and famine cycles, low margins, and poor (or none) authority and reputation in the industry.

If you haven't already, I highly recommend you to read my CCS framework first. In it, you will understand that your marketing strategy is nothing more than one part of a big system that will drive the growth of your consulting firm. And maybe it's not the most urgent piece that you need to address right now.

CCS: A Growth Framework For Boutique Consulting Firms
A useful demand-based methodology for independent consultants.

Here, I'll share an overview of the methodology I use in my marketing strategy engagements. It has been tried and tested over the years, although it is continually being improved. I've also added links to specific posts that help me expand on some concepts.

Now that we got this out of the way, here's how this post is divided:

Introduction

First, to make sure we're speaking the same language it is always useful to start with some definitions. Strategy, in particular, is a word that everybody likes to use and few can explain what it means. Here's my definition, if you're curious.

What Marketing Strategy Consists Of

Your marketing strategy is a detailed plan of action whose final goal is to earn the attention and trust from your target audience.

The plan of action is formed by:

  • A diagnosis, which is an analysis of your circumstances. Every business is different, so you shouldn't ask for a prescription before a diagnostic.
  • A methodology, which is the approach that will be used to tackle this diagnosis. This comes from specific knowledge and expertise after solving similar challenges.
  • A set of coherent actions needed to achieve the goals. The recommended initiatives need to be aligned with the methodology to be effective.

What you will learn in this article is an overview of the methodology I created and use with other independent consulting firms. This should give you a framework to look at things that might be improved or missing in your current plan of action.

The diagnosis and recommended actions are going to be unique to your business, and I highly recommend you hire an advisor or specialized consultant to help you with those. You can try to do it yourself, but practical experience and an external perspective will make a whole world of difference when creating an effective strategy.

Differentiating Attention And Interest

Seth Godin famously said, "Marketing is a contest for people's attention."

Indeed, if you want to create demand and interest for you and your offerings, your success depends on winning the attention of your target audience. But to create our plan, we still need more clarity on how exactly this process works.

The key to improving our understanding of how attention and interest work together is differentiating them. Here are their definitions, according to the Cambridge Dictionary:

  • Attention: the act of directing the mind to listen, see, or understand; notice.
  • Interest: the feeling of wanting to give your attention to something or of wanting to be involved with and to discover more about something.

It's clear what the main difference is: interest is the result of a much more conscious and intentional process, while attention is largely unconscious and harder to control.

It is relatively easy for you to draw attention from people. If somebody fires a gun in the air, you’re going to turn your head. If you come across the same advertising piece 20 times in a single day, at some point you will notice it. These are just some of the many biological triggers used in direct response marketing.

Generating interest, however, is not that easy. What makes people want to be involved with or learn more about something? You certainly have to be relevant and earn their trust. And to do this well you must understand how your audience thinks, feels, and behaves.

The Marketing Journey

Understanding how people think and behave is a good starting point. Someone who never heard about you before needs to go on a journey to see you as a trustworthy consultant. Illustrating what the journey looks like will help us break down what we need to include in our marketing plan of action.

We can look at it from two different perspectives: your prospects' perspective (what's the journey they need to go through) or your own perspective (how you design that marketing journey).

From the perspective of a potential consulting client, this path can be roughly described like this:

  1. They pay attention to you and your services. (Awareness)
  2. They judge if you are someone worthy of their interest. (Relevancy)
  3. They establish some kind of relationship with you. (Connection)
  4. Over time, they come to believe you could potentially improve or transform their business. (Trust)

Each of these activities has a different time duration:

  • People will judge if you are worthy of their interest immediately. If you're not, your message will be ignored or quickly forgotten.
  • Next, they will connect with you relatively fast. They may follow you on social media, subscribe to your email list, or agree to have an intro chat. Depending on the kind of connection, this typically happens in the following hours or days.
  • Finally, earning their trust usually takes a longer time. The bigger the commitment, the higher the level of trust must be. Someone might decide to buy your book after very few interactions, but being seen as an expert that can be trusted for 5 or 6-figure projects might take months or even years.

What does this mean to you, the consultant? If this is how your prospects behave, your plan of action must align with their journey. We can safely say that there are at least three big conclusions we can take from it.

First, when you invest in getting the attention of people (visibility) but are not judged as someone worthy of their interest (relevant), you are effectively wasting time and money. This means that to plan successful marketing initiatives your positioning should come before anything else.

Second, you can only earn trust from people once you have established some kind of relationship with them. It's up to them to decide how and where they want to connect, so you will need to find out where they spend their time and ensure you have a strong presence there. This is where your marketing platforms come in.

Finally, it takes time to earn trust. You will need to show you are competent, reliable, honest - not an easy task to perform without a clear plan of action. This is the part that will require most direct involvement from you in your day-to-day.

These are logical conclusions. And accepting them as true means the order in which you plan and design your prospects' journey is different from the one they go through. It consists of the same elements, but in a different configuration:

  1. You define who are the people you want to work with, and how you will come across as relevant to them. (Positioning)
  2. You make it fast and easy for them to connect with you. (Connection)
  3. You decide how you will engage with them and nurture the relationship over time. (Trust)
  4. Finally, you invest your time and money to get in front of them. (Attention)

Seth Godin is not wrong. Marketing is essentially a battle for people's attention. But putting it at the front and center of your marketing plan is a common and costly mistake for independent consulting firms.

Making people notice you is only part of the job. If you don't make it clear why they should care, or have no plan to establish and nurture those relationships, chances are you will only waste their attention. And a lot of time and money.

Now, let's take a closer look at each one of those PCTA elements.

Positioning

Positioning is the first and most important element of your marketing strategy. It's not a coincidence that authors such as Jack Trout and Blair Enns refer to it as "the most difficult business decision".

You can have the most efficient marketing engine in the world - if you are weakly positioned, you will struggle to build a profitable and sustainable consulting practice.

What follows is an overview of my thoughts on the topic. I highly recommend you to look for professional support or other relevant books and resources before rethinking your positioning strategy.

What It Is

Your positioning refers to how you, your firm, and your offerings are perceived by your target market. It's not about how you look at yourself, but how they see you. And understanding this distinction is key to improving your positioning.

Nothing exists in isolation. We can only perceive light because its absence is dark. When we judge something as pretty, fast, efficient, or complicated, we are unconsciously making a comparison with things and people that are not.

The same happens with your brand and business. People will compare you with other consultants, contractors, agencies, advisors. And to do this they will draw from each action, message, and material associated with your name.

Who decides what's "better" are your clients and prospects, not you. It's subjective - they can only judge your services once you create a comparison. If that comparison is too similar, then the easiest way to differentiate is price.

Having a strong positioning strategy - and implementing that plan - is the only chance you have to influence how people will compare you to others. Do it right, and you will make competition irrelevant. Neglect it, and all your sales conversations will be reduced to price and negotiation.

Ignore Common Positioning Advice

There's a lot of marketing advice on the internet, and a considerable part of it is not suited to consultants. What works for selling products or productized services is not always applicable to selling advice, even if our human buying behavior is.

Positioning is a topic that fits this category. Most marketing advice found on the internet or mainstream media focuses on positioning a product. Here are some common assumptions used:

  • You can quickly see what competitors and substitute brands are doing.
  • You can quickly change the components, ingredients, packaging, label, or even the name of a product.
  • You can quickly test changes in scale (for example, using paid advertising to drive traffic simultaneously to multiple offerings, A/B testing every detail).

Notice the speed - you can quickly change the way people perceive the product. The process is definitely more complex for global and timeless brands, but most of these characteristics still stand.

Now let's compare those assumptions to the world of independent consulting:

  • Consulting engagements are typically confidential, and witnessed by only a small group of people at a time.
  • Consulting is delivered by people, and it takes time for people to change. Acquiring skills and cultivating expertise requires exposure, reflection, and repetition.
  • Consulting engagements are not scalable, and your target audience is typically small. The best way to test new offerings is through one-on-one conversations.

Common advice on positioning doesn't work for consultants. We can try to move some pieces with the hope people will perceive us differently, but it's usually not effective - and even if it works, this won't happen quickly.

Your Specialization Decision

What's the best way to influence your positioning as a consultant then? In one word: specialization.

Specialization is the decision you make about how to focus your business.

When done right, choosing your specialization is part of a process where you will explore, consider, and test alternatives. A specialization decision is a powerful catalyst for your marketing efforts:

  • At the end of the process, you will have a declaration of focus which states who you serve and who you don't. You learn how to reject opportunities.
  • This will give you more clarity of who your ideal clients are and where you can find them. Join them there, and you will learn how they feel, think and behave.
  • Immersing yourself in a niche will help you gain insight and build a body of work that demonstrates expertise. This will help you not only connect with more buyers but also earn trust from them over time.

When you don't specify which industries or verticals you work with, companies will see you as a less credible generalist. When you don't share unique insights or relevant ideas, prospects will struggle to see you as an expert.

Specializing requires difficult decisions, and that's why many consultants ignore it. You feel like you will lose business when you narrow too much. But the alternative is losing leverage and being perceived as an order-taker, who will always need to compete on price.

Most lead generation problems are positioning problems. Impressions and web traffic are meaningless if they don't convert into new relationships. Everyone complains of visibility, but don't invest time to improve their relevancy.

You can expect a longer post on specialization to pop up here in the future. For now, if you're struggling to be perceived as relevant my advice is to follow the maxim: "Niche until it hurts."

Connection

Your specialization decision will increase your relevancy among your potential clients, making you worthy of their interest. But that's not enough to start planning how you will attract their attention yet.

The reason for it is simple: earning trust takes time.

The journey between noticing you and believing your services could improve or transform their business takes time. People will move at their own pace and take as long as they need to go through it.

But if they can't contact you, it will be difficult for them to complete that journey. You need an open line of communication. An easy way for them to learn more about you if they want to.

That's where the connection component comes into play.

What It Is

After people judge if you are worthy of their interest, they typically establish some kind of relationship with you. That's a connection.

All of the following are examples of how people can connect with you:

  • Following you on LinkedIn.
  • Subscribing to your email list or podcast.
  • Joining your private community.

What drives this behavior is the feeling of wanting to learn more about you and your work, follow or get involved with your future marketing initiatives, and discover new insights that might be useful to them.

If you've tried to build an email list, a social following, or any type of marketing platform before, you know it takes real work. Most people don't simply stumble upon your blog - you need to actively promote it. "Build it and they will come" is a myth, and the sooner you understand this the better.

But before investing time and money promoting it, why not reduce friction?

Building awareness and attracting the attention of your potential clients is the last component of our marketing strategy. But if you want to make the best of your resources, you first need to ensure people can quickly and easily establish a connection with you once they find you.

Building Your Marketing Platforms

The two biggest recommendations for you to improve connection are:

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Be where your potential clients are.

This part of your marketing strategy should be simple, and the reason for it is obvious: you want it to be easy for people to connect with you. You don't need expensive marketing tech or complex solutions to do it.

Another thing that makes it easy is to be where your audience is. If you've done your homework and have your positioning strategy ready, you should already know the channels they use to communicate, where they find and consume information, and how they spend their time.

The connection between you and your audience happens in a marketing platform.

A marketing platform is a place or technology that allows you to engage with your audience, in a two-way street. It's not only a place where people can see your work and read your ideas, but where they can also contact or message you if they want.

A giant billboard is not a marketing platform, but a marketing channel. They can see your name and message there, but can't connect with you. It can, however, lead them to one of your platforms (e.g. your website).

The most popular marketing platforms for consultants are:

  • Website: Your consultancy website, and/or your personal website. They can include a blog, an online forum, or other resources for your audience.
  • Email: People should be able to contact you through email. Most consultants also distribute content to an email list, making it easy for the recipients to reply and start a conversation.  
  • Social media: Your company and/or personal profile on social media (e.g. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) allow your audience to engage with you there.
  • Niche communities and trade associations: There are the several groups, both online and offline, that your audience is involved with. By joining them you make it easy for potential buyers to find and connect with you.

No matter which marketing platform your audience is on, it should be easy for them to establish a connection with you. This means:

  • Website: Have a visible contact form or page, and an easy way to join your email list or private community.
  • Email: Add a link to your website, blog, social profile, or community to your email signature.
  • Social media: Every social media platform allows you to write a description of yourself and add links to external URLs - include a link to your website and contact information.
  • Communities and associations: Introduce yourself and make it easy for people to connect with you on social or email. Trade associations generally keep a directory with updated information on their members - include your contact info.

Apart from potential changes to your website design, all of these initiatives are extremely quick to implement. You can perform a full check and make any necessary change in a couple of hours.

The Order Of The Factors

We're at the half of our methodology, so it might be good to come back to the start.

With your specialization decision taken and your marketing platforms in place, we have 2 of our 4 elements covered. What's missing is:

  • Earning trust: The goal is for buyers to believe you could improve or transform their business. To do that, you need to decide how you will engage with them and nurture the relationship over time.
  • Building awareness: The goal is for buyers to pay attention to you and your services, and start their marketing journey. To do that, you need to decide how to invest your time and money to get in front of them.

Which one of these components should be tackled first?

Some consultants argue you shouldn't invest much energy into trust-building initiatives before having a decent number of connections and relationships, and an awareness strategy that has been tried and tested.

The argument in favor of placing the trust component last in your marketing strategy is fair. The more you know about your audience, the easier it will be for you to create a plan of action to nurture those relationships. You need to understand what they care about before planning any initiative.

With that said, if you're reading this you probably have a good amount of existing contacts. These are people who are already connected with you somehow, but that haven't heard from you in a while.

Those relationships don't deserve to be neglected - as you will soon see, they will play a large role in our marketing strategy - and they can help us build a trust-building strategy for the future connections your marketing initiatives will generate.

Let's dive deep into it.

Trust

Studying trust is like entering an endless rabbit hole. The topic is incredibly rich, highly contextual, and involves multiple disciplines and areas of knowledge. My list of selected books and publications on trust-building includes almost 100 titles.

You can expect to read more on trust-building in the future here. For now, our goal is to understand what are the elements that you can take into consideration in your marketing strategy, and why they matter.

The bigger is the problem you are solving (or the higher is the average value of your project or engagement), the more important trust-building initiatives will be. If you work with large companies, offer complex solutions, or have a long sales cycle, this component is key for the success of your marketing initiatives.

What Is It

Most of the dozens of definitions of trust I have studied can be compiled into one simple idea: trust is an evaluation of outcomes, of how likely it is that things will go right. We can also say that the lower the chance of a harmful or unpleasant outcome, the higher the level of trust.

As Morton Deutsch said, trust is "confidence that [one] will find what is desired [from another] rather than what is feared".

It's instructive to apply this to our marketing journey. We're selling consulting services. But that's not really what buyers want when they hire us, right?

What they desire is to improve or transform their business. What they fear is losing time and energy, money, reputation, peace of mind. Building trust means increasing their confidence that the former will happen while lowering the chance of the latter.

I previously wrote about the centrality of risk in the consulting industry. Peter Drucker famously said, "All profit is derived from risk." The work of every entrepreneur, consultants included, is to manage it for business and society.

The world is complex, unpredictable, ambiguous. The speed at which markets and technologies change, the lack of predictability in their business, and the difficulty of telling cause and effect apart are all seen as risks for your client. When you sell your expertise, you're selling insurance to those risks.

As Rachel Botsman wrote, "Trust and risk are like brother and sister. Trust is the remarkable force that pulls you over that gap between certainty and uncertainty; as the Nike tagline says, "Just do it." It is literally the bridge between the known and the unknown."

The goal of your trust-building initiatives is to create that bridge. When you do, your sales conversations become less of a game of persuasion, and more of an exercise of qualification. Your prospect already trusts your ability to deliver outcomes - the main question is whether you two are a fit or not.

Trust And Trustworthiness

“The aim [in society] is to have more trust. Well frankly, I think that’s a stupid aim,” said Onora O’Neill. That's also true when applied to the relationship between you and your audience. To understand why we need to distinguish trust and trustworthiness.

Ask yourself now: Do you trust school teachers?

Most people intuitively answer yes. But when you give a second thought to that question, it becomes clear it doesn't make sense. "Wait, trust them to do what?"

You might trust a school teacher to educate your children. But you won't trust that same person to drive an ambulance with you in it. As O'Neill puts it, "Nobody sensible simply wants more trust. Sensible people want to place their trust where it is deserved. They also want to place their mistrust where it is deserved. They want well-directed trust and mistrust."

This is what your potential clients do after first connecting with you. They trust some people to perform some tasks, and mistrust people for other tasks. Your long-time friend might love to go out for drinks with you - but if he doesn't trust your abilities as a consultant you will have a hard time winning his business.

When you present yourself as a specialist, people will try to judge whether you are trustworthy or not - in other words, if you "know what you're doing".

Now, there is not a scientific consensus on what's required to "be trustworthy". Authors and researchers have small disagreements here and there. Since our goal here is to create a practical plan of action, let's focus on what's actionable.

The 3 main components of trustworthiness for consultants are:

  • Competency: People trust you have the necessary skills to do the job.
  • Reliability: People trust you will deliver on your commitments.
  • Honesty & Intimacy: People trust you will tell them the truth, and feel comfortable sharing and discussing their challenges with you.

Next, let's see how you can create a plan of action to communicate and improve each one of them.

What Makes A Consultant Trustworthy

Although I write about "trust-building" in most of this article, this term is not at all accurate.

Trust is not built, but given. You can't force people to trust you. All you can do is to give them reasons or arguments to decide you're a trustworthy consultant.

To make this happen, you have to satisfy both of the following conditions:

  1. You need to be trustworthy. As Abraham Lincoln said, "You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." The best way to be perceived as a trustworthy consultant is to actually become one.
  2. You need to provide evidence that you are trustworthy. This consists of showing your target audience that you have a high level of the 3 components previously mentioned: Competency, reliability, and honesty and intimacy.

Again, this topic is incredibly rich and highly contextual, and you can expect to read more on trust-building in the future here. For now, I'll give a brief overview of each of those components, with suggested initiatives for you to communicate them to your potential buyers.

Competency:

  • Biggest focus: Words (what you say)
  • How to provide evidence: Thought leadership and consultative selling.
  • Potential initiatives for consultants: Publish original content and/or research that's useful or anticipates buyer's needs, educate your target market by explaining complex ideas in a clear way, never prescribe solutions before diagnosing, create and defend a unique point-of-view.

Reliability:

  • Biggest focus: Actions (what you do)
  • How to provide evidence: Strong social proof and digital presence.
  • Potential initiatives for consultants: Add testimonials and case studies to your marketing platforms, create a standardized brand identity, communicate frequently through your owned platforms, partner with other centers of influence and respected brands in your space.

Honesty & Intimacy:

  • Biggest focus: Emotions (how you make them feel)
  • How to provide evidence: Client-orientation and network nurturing initiatives.
  • Potential initiatives for consultants: Nurture your existing relationships, invite dream clients to events, interviews or exclusive initiatives, avoid self-orientation during interactions and conversations, interrupt prospects and reject bad ideas when necessary.

There are no hard rules to determine which one of these you should prioritize. Sometimes one of those components will stand out during conversations - multiple prospects asking if they may contact previous clients, for example, is a sign of low reliability. But all of them should be addressed at some point.

I recommend adding to your plan of action one improvement initiative for each of those 3 components, every quarter. This way you'll be able to slowly build capabilities and create the marketing assets and collateral to support it.

Now let's finally move to our last PCTA component: Attention.

Attention

Here's a reminder for you: People can't work with you if they don't know you exist.

Still, many consultants ignore this before planning their marketing initiatives.

Yes, ideally you want to have prospects knocking on your door. When people approach you they're usually convinced that you, if not trustworthy yet, are at least relevant. The sales cycle is shorter, and the cost of acquiring a new client is lower.

But if you're in the consulting industry, you're in the marketing industry. For your business to thrive, you need to continually encourage new people to initiate their buying journey with you. And remain relevant for the ones that already know you.

And to do that, you will need their attention.

What It Is

At the beginning of this post I shared one widely accepted definition of attention, according to the Cambridge Dictionary:

Attention: the act of directing the mind to listen, see, or understand; notice.

There's no need to overcomplicate it. There are two ways for people to notice you:

  1. You get in front of them. You proactively engage in activities and initiatives that stand out to them, and direct their attention to you or your message.
  2. You make it as easy as possible for them to notice you. You create assets, relationships, and a reputation that people will likely come across.

Both work if done right. An effective strategy to increase your visibility depends on your positioning, offering mix, and circumstances, but will likely include a mix of them.

Killing Many Birds With One Stone

If you stop to reflect on our previous components and their recommendations, you will notice that all of them build awareness:

  • Positioning: The process of testing and implementing your specialization decision, by itself, will make several prospects and influencers in your new niche or vertical notice you.
  • Connection: If you have an updated website, join social media platforms and niche communities, and register your contact info on trade associations where your buyers are, some will likely come across you over time.
  • Trust: Publishing unique content, communicating frequently through your owned platforms, nurturing your existing connections will certainly make people notice you.

Indeed, the best initiatives in your marketing strategy will kill two (or more) birds with one stone:

  • Running a webinar or virtual event: It helps new people become aware of you (attention), and also earn credibility from your existing connections (trust).
  • Engaging organically on social media: Participating in public conversations on social media will help people come across your comments (attention), but also increase intimacy with your audience (trust).
  • Interviewing prospects: Publishing relevant conversations via a blog or podcast will help people in your space notice you and your work (attention), but will also earn trust from the buyers you interview.

I won't discuss individual tactics in this post. But since the attention component of our marketing strategy usually requires the most amount of resources, let's take a look at one of its biggest challenges: How to get your buyers' attention profitably.

The Cost Of Attention

Profitability is a key challenge to building awareness for you and your services.

If it wasn't, your attention-grabbing mission would be way too easy to accomplish. Hire all online and offline advertising you can. Is it possible NOT to notice something when it appears in front of you 50 times every day?

I never saw a consulting firm do that (and if some ever did, it would be a miracle for them to still be in the market). The reason is simple: cost. Getting in front of your buyers everywhere, all the time is expensive and certainly not profitable.

An important learning for consultants here is this: Getting someone's attention is costly - you pay for it with your time and/or money.

Here are examples of the true cost of popular marketing initiatives:

  • You pay with your money: Paid advertising, event sponsorships, direct outreach initiatives such as cold emailing and direct mail.
  • You pay with your time: Blogging or thought leadership, hosting a podcast, networking activities, public speaking, writing a book.

It's worth noticing that this classification is not a given. If you don't have the budget to hire an agency or run ads, you can message prospects yourself. It will cost you your time, not money.

Similarly, (most of the) initiatives that require your time can be delegated or outsourced. If you want to maximize the value of your time, you could hire a ghostwriter to write a book under your name. This will lead to side-effects on your business and proof of expertise - but many consultants still choose to do it.

But the need to balance your time and budget when choosing initiatives is not the only lesson here. Getting someone's attention is costly, but that doesn't mean you'll need to pay for it every time. Once people know you, they can give it to you for free.

To illustrate this, let's use a helpful analogy.

Putting Food On The Table

Attention is a key ingredient your consultancy needs to generate opportunities. People are trees, and they only yield a limited amount of fruit (attention) every season. This gives you three options to feed your business:

  1. You can buy fruits in the market. (Targeted Outreach)
  2. You can cultivate trees that will keep yielding fruits over a longer period. (Audience / Community Building)
  3. You can look for fruits in your back garden. (Tap Into Existing Network)

There are pros and cons for each of these approaches.

Targeted outreach allows you to find clients fast. If you enjoy making personal connections and nurturing relationships, this will suit you. One of the biggest challenges is to start those conversations in the first place, but it also allows you to make the best of your resources by focusing on your dream clients.

Audience building, on the other hand, will give you leverage. It's a good approach if you enjoy generously creating and sharing your work in public. The downside is that it depends on scale, and it takes a considerable time for your audience to grow and mature. But when people choose to voluntarily give you their attention, the cost of promoting your ideas and services goes to virtually zero.

The third option, which is to leverage your existing network, is the most effective and underrated way to drive attention to your consulting business. Of course, to do this you will need to have a network in the first place.

Your previous clients and collaborators are some of the trees in your garden. They know and trust you, making it extremely easy for you to get their attention. If you neglect those relationships, however, they start yielding fewer fruits. Eventually, some of those trees might die - you become a stranger to people you once knew.

Many successful consultants, when asked, say they "don't do any marketing." Yes, they do - they nurture their contacts and relationships. That's why most opportunities come from their existing network as referrals or repeated business.

You can use all of those three approaches to generate attention to your business. The question is which one you should prioritize, and how to balance them out. For the sake of brevity, we'll leave this task for a future post.

What Now?

If you read this whole post, you should have a LOT of ideas to improve your consulting business. So here's a reminder for you: Strategy is your plan of action. Before investing time and money in implementing those changes, document that plan first.

I recommend you to go through each of the PCTA components, and make an honest review and evaluation of what can be improved and which indicators you can put in place as benchmarks. This includes looking at:

  • Positioning: Your specialization decision, declaration of focus, and network of support.
  • Connection: Your marketing platforms.
  • Trust: Proof of competency, reliability, honesty & intimacy.
  • Attention: Analysis of current initiatives, existing network, and audience.

All of these are included in the diagnosis I offer to independent consultants, the complete marketing audit. Feel free to drop me a line if you're interested in learning more - we also add your offering mix and implementation in the analysis.

You can see the collection of every post I've written on marketing here - while this methodology has certainly made several old posts outdated, many of them will complement it by focusing on specific challenges or tactics.

Was this methodology helpful? If yes, chances are other consultants would also benefit from it. Feel free to share it, subscribe to the Pragmatic Consulting Club for exclusive content and events, and connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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