The Best Business Development Advice For Consultants

You need a bias for action.

Came across this insightful tweet today:

I believe you should apply the same logic to all of your business development efforts.

Having worked and seen the inside +100 consulting firms, it's astonishing how few of its partners can market themselves consistently. Things get busy and they turn to client work or management tasks.

Business development should be a habit, not a task on your to-do list. That's how you lead your business and team. That's how you keep your pipeline healthy, with a steady flow of new work.

So to paraphrase the tweet:

I got asked for some advice about building visibility and growing a consulting practice. My #1 tip: there's a 95% chance you will not consistently invest in business development, so spend all your effort avoiding that outcome. Everything else rounds to unimportant.

Sure, if most of your work comes from public speaking you will want to work on it - improve your storytelling skills, incorporate tactics to follow up with attendees, learn how to land more and better speaking engagements.

But learning all of these skills won't matter if you don't actually speak frequently.

Hearing this can be incredibly freeing for many consultants out there:

  • It doesn't matter how narrow your positioning is;
  • It doesn't matter if your leads come from networking, content marketing, or cold outreach initiatives;
  • It doesn't matter if you do everything yourself, share responsibilities with other partners, or work with an advisor.

Pick whichever one makes you less likely to stop marketing your business.

Starting small, creating clear processes, and increasing accountability are some of the things that help.

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