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Need Clients? The 5 Best Ways to Market Your Consulting Business

In Start Your Own Consulting Business, the staff at Entrepreneur Press and writer Eileen Figure Sandlin explain how you can start a profitable consulting business, no matter whether your consulting business will focus on HR placement, computer troubleshooting, or anything else you can dream up. In this edited excerpt, the authors describe five methods you can use to market your new consulting business.

Here’s a look at some of the conventional methods favored by consultants to get the word out about your business:

Direct mail. Direct mail is a powerful way to drum up new business because it’s targeted to exactly the audience you want to reach. You create or rent a targeted prospect list, then send your prospective clients a sales letter, brochure, flier or “lumpy envelope” with a gift enclosed, all describing the consulting services you offer.

Here are some tips for creating attention-getting direct mail:

  • Personalize your sales message. Use a mail merge program and address each envelope to the recipient by name. In the same way, your sales letter inside the envelope should be directed to that recipient by name.
  • Put a compelling message on the outside of the envelope. “Free,” “Limited time offer,” and “Act now” are all powerful attention-getters that can induce the recipient to open the envelope.
  • Stress the benefits of your offer, and give all the pertinent details in your sales letter. Then make it easy to respond or request information. Give your phone number, e-mail address and website URL–and include a postage-paid postcard or envelope, too, so it’s impossible not to get back to you if the interest is there.

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Cold calls. Another way to reach out to prospective clients is through cold calling, which is the process of contacting prospects who weren’t expecting a sales call from you and trying to sell them on your services. Most people absolutely abhor cold calling, but when you’re starting a new business, it’s a good idea to try a mix of techniques to land new business, which means you should give it a shot.