Four Tips to Beat the Feast or Famine Syndrome
You've probably heard the saying, "When it rains, it pours." Most consultants would love to be that busy-with clients lined up waiting for their services. The reality is, though, that consultants are more likely to experience the feast or famine syndrome: streaks of challenging, profitable work, followed by stretches of the doldrums with no work in sight.
Here are four tips to help you strike a balance between serving your existing clients and marketing your practice.
1. Allocate Marketing Resources Effectively
Without question, your best source for new consulting work is from your existing clients and the referrals they can provide. Your current clients should generate the largest share of your profits, so plan to allocate 60% of your marketing efforts to your existing clients.
Prospective clients represent the next generation of work for your practice. Your goal is to convert prospective clients into paying ones-if they fit your targeted client profile and have problems that you can solve. Commit 30 percent of your marketing resources to win work from this group.
It's always important to maintain visibility in the broader market. This includes everybody in the business world not represented in the two groups above. Invest 10 percent of your marketing resources in the broader market. Focusing on this group is less efficient, but the effort has the potential to generate important contacts and leads.
2. Create a Plan You Can Stick to
The most effective marketing plan is short-seven sentences to be exact. It should fit on a single page. Feel free to add as much detail as you'd like, but begin with the basics. Even if you already have a marketing plan, try to re-craft it using these seven points:
• Explain the purpose of your marketing.
• Explain how you achieve that purpose by articulating the benefits you provide.
• Describe your target market(s).
• Describe your niche.
• Outline the marketing tactics you will use.
• Define the identity of your practice.
• Quantify your marketing budget.
3. Build a Marketing Road Map
A Marketing Road Map spells out the details of how and when you will implement your marketing plan to steer your marketing activities in the right direction. Preparing your Marketing Road Map is a strategic and tactical activity. It begins with your ideas on how to present your practice to the market and sets a precise schedule for each marketing activity on your plan. Your Marketing Road Map will always show you where you are and what you need to do to arrive at the future you've designed in your marketing plan.
4. Be Consistent
The most successful consultants know that marketing is a continuous process. Marketing success is about creating momentum through consistent action over a sustained period of time. You must be the constant force behind that process.
How much time is enough to maintain your momentum? Opinions vary, but try to spend a minimum of 20% of your time on marketing your practice. Variations of this rule are everywhere, so assess your own situation. But keep at it, no matter what.
You should schedule marketing time at the beginning of every month and every week. Treat your marketing "appointments" with yourself like client time: It's uninterruptible, unless there's an emergency. Reserve marketing time on your calendar and watch your market presence and success grow.
Provided by Business Know-How. For more tips and information, visit www.businessknowhow.com.