In the past few years, I've helped several consultants develop and bring new offerings to market.
It's one of the most important growth drivers after all: New offerings are a lever to acquire new clients, retain and grow your existing ones, and strengthen pricing. It can also be used to leverage income-generating assets such as existing IP and proprietary data. Yes, they are that important.
But there's a common belief that often gets in the way during this process. The one that if a specific offering provides great value, it will become a profit center.
They believe the new service or product will be profitable on its own, when revenue and total costs are accounted for. This thinking is predominant among older founders and partners who do not understand how consultancies are marketing their businesses today. And it is a harmful and completely false assumption.
Those consultants often say to me things like:
- "There's a lot of value in this content, so it's more than fair that we charge for it right?"
- "We can't really measure any impact from social media and email marketing - I'm wasting time that could be invested in projects, billing clients."
- "If people want me to go speak at their event they should pay my fees. I don't work for free."
Can you see the problem here?
Partners invest hours creating quality content they offer for free, but that's what builds their profile and supports higher consulting fees. Many give away books and educational workshops for selected prospects. They might "lose" money and billable hours in social media or speaking engagements, only to earn much more with coaching, advising, or digital products.
The consultancies that thrive today are those that build a polished product and services ecosystem.
You can't try to take the ecosystem apart and measure each offering in isolation. Online webinars might seem like a waste of time. But maybe they are the key to accessing a new segment of profitable consulting clients.
None of your offerings deserve to be seen as "our best service", they all work together. Your goal is to create a valuable ecosystem that delivers results and a great experience, while keeping your clients and audience interested and engaged.