When you've been in the business for years and you've developed an image as a powerful and successful independent consultant, you can become complacent. Complacency is your worst enemy. New and young consultants are emerging and can potentially take your business away from you. Understandably, you appreciate your current clients, you feel comfortable working with them and you feel secure. The only thing that remains is that "What if" question; "What if they go out of business?", "What if they find a consultant that charges less?", etc.
It's important to always keep your business' door open for new opportunities that may be bigger and better.
While being an independent consultant may have been a quiet industry when you first started years back, the troubled economy has given the industry a boost. More and more people are becoming freelancers and independent consultants and it's important to your already established business to keep bringing on new clients.
You want to be traditional but you don't want to be stuck in the past. Bringing in new, fresh clients makes your business desirable.
Here's how you can attract the new clients:
Update your business model
First, you're not going to know which types of clients you are going to be able to take on unless you evaluate your business. Adjust your business goals and all of the numbers to determine whether or not you want to raise your rates. Decide if you would like to expand your target region. If you're a successful consultant already, you have the room to take a risk and use a client outside of your region for a "trial run."
Expand your focus
Perhaps you've grown too complacent with your business because you deal with the same kinds of clients all the time. The more years you get under your belt, the more experience you'll have to be able to manage clients from different areas. Doing so may boost your moral and make you even more successful. You may be able to develop an expertise in both industries and become a substantially well-known consultant.
Go where they go
As you already know, word of mouth only goes so far. Due to your consistent business with your current long-time clients, you may not have had to attend meet and greet events, conferences or seminars. These events are where the deals are waiting. You've most likely attended conferences when you first started out, but they've changed since then. With the new and improved opportunities to market yourself these days, whether it's through social media, email marketing, business cards, etc., conferences have substantial potential when it comes to helping you expand your business.
Adjust your selling tactics now that you have the experience
When you first started out as an independent consultant, you most likely made a few rookie mistakes when it came to selling your services to potential clients. Now that you have the experience, it's important to use that to your advantage. While you shouldn't go down a bulleted list of all of your success and accomplishments, explaining how you've positively affected businesses goes a long way.
The main way to sell to a client is to show them that you're the answer to all their problems. With the experience you have as an independent consultant, you've most likely had, or currently have, clients that have similar issues. Explaining that to them and showing them how you've resolved the problems makes your business irresistible to them.
It's important to keep your business modern and updated. Potential clients will notice that you haven't been picking up any business by looking at the way you conduct your own. With new clients comes new ways to do things. Clients are looking for an independent consultant who is up to date with the trends and can provide them with the best shot at beating their competition. So avoid being the old dog that has to be taught new tricks, instead teach the clients all the tricks through your own experiences while keeping up with the modern tactics.
News and notes for independent workers and their clients. This is the September 26, 2016 edition.
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