No one likes to prospect. And to avoid it, many consultants bet all their chips on content creation and inbound marketing. If that's your case, I want to give you a few reasons why might need to rethink your strategy.
To keep your marketing engine running and build a healthy pipeline, you need to be constantly starting new conversations with prospects. Conversations turn into opportunities, and opportunities into new clients.
Ideally, you want at least some of your ideal clients to come to you. Inbound leads are not perfect, but are almost always cheaper and have a faster sales cycle.
They usually come after consuming your content on different platforms, or as a result of a referral from clients or contacts in your network. The stronger your brand, the more inbound opportunities you'll get. And that's the biggest advantage of becoming an authority in your niche.
But that doesn't mean you should neglect prospecting.
Here are 3 moments every consultant experiences, where prospecting is an excellent use of your time:
You’re new to consulting and need to start building your client base
When you're just starting, you simply need clients. Prospecting might not be your favorite thing, but you do it.
You look for clients in your existing network. You get active on LinkedIn, have calls with old colleagues, and join networking groups to find your audience.
Happy and busy with your first clients, you stop.
You're positioned in a niche but don't have an audience to keep growing organically
After you’ve stopped prospecting, the leads start drying up. Or you keep doing busy work, with a low cap on your revenue.
In either case, you’ll realize it’s time to niche. Specialize your offerings to upscale your pricing and client base. Be perceived as an expert and specialist.
So you start generating content for that new message and audience. But your base is way too small. Writing and creating relevant content for just a few hundred email subscribers doesn't seem like a high-impact activity.
Good news: Prospecting can be an ideal way to reach them.
You’re not selling them on your services, but on your idea. To join your email list, to read and engage with your stuff. It will be slow, but can lead you to a tipping point.
You’re targeting a different audience or changing niche
To change your messaging, you need experimentation. Finding out what makes your audience pay attention, which message lands and which one doesn't, strike the right tone of voice.
The fastest way to do it is by having one-on-ones. Private conversations with your new audience. Understanding how they speak, what their concerns are, how you can add value.
Your first goal won't be to sell. But to discuss ideas and understand how to communicate your new offering.
So here's a question for you:
Of course, you want to build authority with your content so that your ideal clients come to you. But until you’ve created a self-sustaining flywheel, why not prospect to get you there faster?