Grow your marketing consultant business beyond your ZIP code
Expanding your marketing consultant business with clients outside your area can lead to lucrative new opportunities. In the digital age, it’s much easier to work beyond your ZIP code, but it does involve unique challenges. These tips can help you grow your consultant business by connecting with remote clients.
Carve out a niche
Clients need a reason to choose you over the marketing talent they can find locally. Tell potential clients what you do better than anyone else by focusing on your unique skills. Businesses are more likely to hire external consultants if they’re specialists in a particular area of marketing, such as branding, customer relationship management, or digital content.
Make your specialty clear in your company’s branding, pitch messaging, and communication with potential clients. Use highly specific keywords on your website so people looking for niche experts can find you in an online search. The best way to leverage your presence on the internet as a growing marketing consultant business is as a specialist.
Get to know the technology
There’s nothing worse than starting a remote pitch or an online meeting with an apology because you can’t figure out how to use the technology for a conference call. When you work with clients in other cities, you often spend more time with them online than in person. To communicate effectively, you need to know how to use popular online platforms for remote work.
As a freelance marketing consultant, you’ll work with different clients that use various video conferencing, online chat, and task management platforms. Each client will likely ask you to communicate with them on the platform that they understand the most. Be ready to meet clients where they are by demonstrating competency in a wide range of business tools.
Make in-person connections
Don’t retreat behind your laptop when you start working with clients in other ZIP codes. It’s even more important to make in-person connections when you work remotely. Eight in 10 business executives prefer in-person meetings (PDF) because they help them build more meaningful relationships, according to Forbes.
Networking at business events and conferences can also help you establish long-term relationships and grow your business beyond your local community. There’s almost no better way to grow your business (and your freelance marketing consultant rates) than by giving an expert talk at a professional event. Not only will you reach potential clients in the audience, but you can also reuse video content and photographs from the event to reach potential clients on your owned media.
Think like an entrepreneur
You’re a marketing consultant, but you’re also an entrepreneur focused on growing a business. As you scale your business to fit an increasing number of clients, it’s important to take calculated risks that help support the long-term health of your consultancy. You might, for example, bid on a high-profile freelance digital marketing project or hire an employee to share your growing workload. These risks can help you take your business to the next level with new clients.
Limit your liabilities
A growing marketing consultant business comes with new opportunities, but also new risks. If you don’t take measures to protect yourself from liability, you could end up facing a costly lawsuit.
As a freelance marketing consultant, you might be drawn into litigation by a client who feels you didn’t deliver the results you promised – especially for projects with larger budgets. Even frivolous lawsuits that are lost in court can be expensive and hurt your reputation if you don’t have a mechanism in place to deal with them.
Business insurance for freelance marketing consultants can protect you from legal risks. Typical policies include general liability insurance for injuries or damage to customer property and professional liability insurance, which covers attorney’s fees and judgments if someone sues you for a work mistake. Commercial property insurance and cyber insurance can also protect your business’s physical and digital assets.
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