Launching a marketing consulting career is like trying to launch a rocket ship. Getting your business off the ground takes a lot of time and energy. The more momentum you gather, however, the less energy it takes to continue to grow. Eventually your business will fly on its own, with little to no energy from you.
These five tips will help you get to that point.
==> Tip #1: Establish Metrics Early
You never want a client to sit there, wondering if you did a good job. There should be objective criteria for whether or not the two of you succeeded.
Establish metrics for success early. Make sure you and your client set realistic expectations that you both believe you can meet.
Ideally, you should set target metrics based on what your client wants – as well as what you genuinely believe you can beat.
==> Tip #2: Over Deliver
Always under promise and over deliver. Promise just enough to get people interested in your service, then surprise them by giving them much more than they asked for.
This is what gets people to rave about your service. This is what gets people to post on their Facebook walls or Twitter feeds about you. This is what gets people talking to all their friends about you.
Blow their expectations out of the water.
==> Tip #3: Ask for Referrals
Get in the habit of asking for referrals. As long as you have goodwill and have delivered results beforehand, very often they’ll say yes. After all, if they’re happy with you, they’ll want to help their friends have the same kind of success.
How do you ask for referrals?
Just ask them if they know anyone who fits your target market. For example:
“Do you know anyone who owns a business but doesn’t have a website yet?”
“Do you know any other lawyers who need help with generating leads?”
==> Tip #4: Outsource the Small Stuff
In your consulting practice, there’s going to be a lot of little things that need to get done. You might need a photo color corrected. You might need data from a marketing experiment entered and formatted. You might need to convert a YouTube video to a downloadable MP3.
Whatever it is, don’t do it yourself. If you’re charging rates that a marketing consultant charges, it makes no sense to do things you can pay someone $12 an hour to do. Learn to outsource the small stuff.
==> Tip #5: Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes
Clients will respect you more if you fess up to your mistakes, rather than trying to pretend they didn’t happen. Even if you make a mistake, clients may still hire you again. The one thing clients hate most is people who make promises, don’t deliver on them, then pretend it wasn’t their fault.
Fess up to your mistakes – apologize, and if appropriate ask for a second chance.
These five tips will help you build a long-term sustainable practice as a marketing consultant.