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Archive for the ‘Consulting’ Category

Growing Your Consulting Practice

Posted by advantagemarketing on September 25, 2014

Growing a Consulting PracticeIf you run your own consulting practice then read “Growing Your Engineering Consulting Practice” from Chemical Engineering Progress magazine for practical advice from established, successful consultants.

Smart moves for your consulting practice

While the article was written for chemical engineers who run consulting firms, it can help any professional who wants to grow their consulting firm. You’ll find out why it’s important to:

  • Delegate so you can focus on growth
  • Align your growth plans with your company’s philosophy
  • Tell a compelling story about your company’s brand
  • And more!

Is your consulting practice in growth mode? Tell us about your successes and challenges in the Comments section!

Need help growing your consulting practice? The experts at Advantage Marketing will review your consulting practice and provide advice you can use immediately. Contact us today!

Posted in brand building, Business, Chemical Engineer, Consulting, Management, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is Starting a Consulting Practice Right for You?

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 9, 2014

Starting a consulting practice

Are you thinking about starting a consulting practice? Get some practical tips for getting started by clicking on the above photo.

Are you considering starting your own consulting practice? If you are, then read my latest Career Corner article for Chemical Engineering Progress magazine.

Consulting can be a professionally and personally rewarding career choice, especially if you enjoy helping others. While “Is Starting a Consulting Practice Right for You? ” was written for chemical engineers who may be considering opening a technical or engineering consulting practice, the article has lots of good advice for anyone who is considering running their own consulting practice.

This article can help you get hit the ground running when you start your consulting firm. You’ll find out why it’s important to:

  • Get your license or certification
  • Plan your move before you jump from your current company
  • Establish a professional presence
  • And more!

Have you recently started a consulting practice? Tell us about your successes and challenges in the Comments section!

Posted in Business, career, Chemical Engineer, Consulting, Entrepreneur, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Build Your Brand for Positive Career Impact

Posted by advantagemarketing on April 28, 2014

personal brand

Can Jimmy Buffet’s brand help you build yours? Read this article and find out!

In my latest Career Corner article for Chemical Engineering Progress magazine, I talk about the role branding plays in career success.

Consider these common situations: You are up for a promotion only to learn the position went to a more highly visible coworker. Or perhaps you run an engineering consulting practice, and you lose a big bid to a better-known firm.

Whether you are an employee or run your own company, having an authentic personal brand and communicating it effectively can help your stand out in the minds of others. Your personal brand is a snapshot of what others know about you and what they can expect from  you.

Read Build Your Personal Brand for Career Impact and find out why looking at Jimmy Buffet’s brand can help YOU become more successful.

How you have used your own brand to advance your career? Share with us in Comments.

Posted in brand building, Business, career, Chemical Engineer, Consulting, Marketing, personal branding, small business | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lead Generation and Trade Show Marketing for an IT Client

Posted by advantagemarketing on March 11, 2014

lead generation

Aujas, our California, New Jersey and India-based client, needed a lead generation and brand building strategy for the IBM Pulse conference and exhibit at the end of February. Teaming with their practice heads around the globe, Advantage Marketing brainstormed and developed their messaging, and then created display signage and service briefs to support their brand and promote their services.

We also ran Twitter and LinkedIn campaigns to promote their show presence. Aujas garnered well over 50 leads and lots of positive attention for their brand.

Thanks to Guiding Graphics for the design work and Graphic Marketing Group for printing – most of which was completed during one blizzard or another this February!

Need help with lead generation and brand strategies for trade shows or other marketing campaigns? Contact us for a complimentary initial consultation.

Posted in B2B marketing, brand building, Business, Consulting, lead generation, LinkedIn, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, trade shows, Traditional marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Here’s How to Grow in 2014

Posted by advantagemarketing on January 6, 2014

Marketing in 2014

Here are some tips to help you stick to your marketing plan and grow your company in 2014.

Don’t ring in the New Year without a marketing plan in place that will help you grow your company. At Advantage Marketing, we’ve been working with clients who are deep into planning for 2014. Here’s some of the advice we’re sharing with them so that they stay on track:

Don’t look for quick fixes. First and foremost, recognize that growth doesn’t come from quick fixes. You’re better off relying on tested and effective marketing tactics to put prospects in your pipeline. For example, one of our clients is planning quarterly sales and marketing campaigns that include direct mail blasts plus email and phone follow-up with prospects. Such an organized, methodical approach is going to result in real business growth over the entire year.

Make a real commitment. The marketing and business development efforts you implement will take time and effort and therefore a long-term commitment. We advise our clients that if they are truly committed and stick to their plan, growth WILL happen!

Ask for client input. In the book The Pumpkin Plan, author Mike Michalowicz talks about the “Wish List”.  It’s not your wish list, but your clients’. Mike has a sneakily effective way to tease it out of them: ask your clients questions about the industry not about your company. Wish List questions you can ask include: What is most confusing about my industry? What frustrates you about vendors in my industry? What do you wish we would do differently? Listen closely to the answers and you will identify golden opportunities for your company.

Build on successes. Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, say that when it comes to change, we’ll tend to ask, “What’s the problem and how do I fix it?” But often we can benefit more by asking a different question: “What’s working and how can I do more of it?” In other words, we can learn from our own “bright spots.” What bright spots did your marketing have in 2013? How can you build on them?

Focus, focus, focus. As business owners, we multitask way too often, to the point where we may think it’s a luxury to do just one thing at a time. But in reality, you’re not getting more done by trying to switch between tasks frequently. In fact, you’re probably making more mistakes. Studies have estimated that multitasking can cause your productivity to drop by 40%! Instead of driving yourself crazy, set up your day so that you are doing similar tasks at the same time. For instance, set aside time in the morning and afternoon to focus on email. Ignore it the rest of the time, and you will find your productivity increasing and your frustration decreasing.

Don’t spread your efforts too thin. If your company is just starting on social media and you’re updating your website and running email and direct mail campaigns, then adding more marketing tactics – having a booth at the industry’s big trade show, for instance – can actually derail your overall marketing efforts. Wait until you have the website finished and your campaigns are running smoothly before you add one more thing.

 Stay accountable. Track your hits and misses and share them with your team. Brainstorm about why a particular tactic didn’t work, so that you can improve. For instance, if your direct mail or email campaign is not getting a good response, have team members evaluate the campaign’s copy and call-to-action, as well as the mailing lists used. Each of these factors can influence your response rate and can be tweaked or overhauled as necessary for the next campaign.

Celebrate often. All work and no play can lead to a dispirited and unmotivated team. Make a habit of recognizing and celebrating successes both big and small. This goes a long way to keeping your marketing efforts on track and your team motivated to succeed. The rewards don’t have to be huge. One HVAC contractor we know tracks successes on a big blackboard in the break room. It has become a badge of honor among employees to have your name up on that board.

What are you doing to grow your company in 2014? Share it with us in the Comments section below.

Do you need help ramping up your firm’s marketing for growth? Let’s talk! Sign up for a complimentary marketing assessment to get started.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Consulting, Email marketing, Marketing, Marketing budget, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

WSJ Social Media Insights Apply to Consultants Too

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 2, 2013

social media for consultants

Consultants can benefit from these social media tips as reported in the WSJ’s Small Business Report

Today’s Wall Street Journal Small Business Report offered some excellent social media advice that consultants can apply to marketing their own practices:

  1. Be genuine. Don’t hire someone to speak for YOU. Although it’s fine to have someone post your updates, the posts should reflect your viewpoint and who you are. People respond to authenticity.
  2. Stop being a social media bore. Engage your audience by devising social media posts that are NOT all about you. Talk about a recent successful client engagement – without revealing sensitive client information, of course – or discuss timely news and events that are relevant to your consulting specialty.
  3. Have a few social media strategies. I advise my consulting clients on this all the time and WSJ experts agree: not every prospect or client is on the same social media channel. Your job is to find out which social media tool you can use to capture your target audience’s attention.
  4. Don’t let social media become your entire plan. Although everyone seems to be talking about using social media, it really is just one of the marketing and advertising tools you need to promote your consulting practice. Your marketing strategy should take into account the members of your target audience who use social media and may look for you there, as well as target audience members who may hear of you in other ways.
  5. Don’t let social media take over your business schedule. It’s easy to waste time on social media, especially if you’re new to it. Delegation is key! Find someone who can take on the day-to-day tasks, so that you can focus elsewhere. Set a fixed time each week to review your postings so you know what’s being done.
  6. Don’t try to do everything at once. Start with the social media channels you are most comfortable with, and where you will most likely find your best consulting clients. Once you have mastered that channel, start adding others.

Read more of the WSJ Experts’ advice.

Do you need help integrating social media into your firm’s marketing? Let’s talk! Sign up for a complimentary marketing assessment to get started.

Other posts you might be interested in:

Does Social Media Fit into Your Professional Service Firm’s Marketing Plan?

How Consulting Firms Are Tweeting, Using Social Media

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Consulting, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Twitter’s Been Hacked. Don’t Leave Yourself at Risk

Posted by advantagemarketing on August 23, 2013

If you use social media sites, make sure you aren’t putting yourself at risk!

Twitter hacked

Take these steps to protect your social media accounts

Various media sources have reported that Twitter was recently breached and login credentials for 15,000 users have been leaked.  The leaked information included user IDs and associated tokens, which are used to connect Twitter accounts to third party applications.

If you have a personal Twitter account:

  • Change your password as soon as possible.
  • Consider updating your account settings to revoke third party application access.
  • If you use the same password to access other social media sites or emails accounts, change those passwords too.
  • Use different passwords and employ a complex password, that is, one that includes letters, numbers and symbols.

Be wary of suspicious emails asking you to supply a password or other information.  It may likely be a phishing attempt.

For more about phishing and scams, read Social Media’s Dark Side.

Posted in Business, Consulting, Management, Marketing, social media and phishing, Social media marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How Consulting Firms Are Tweeting, Using Social Media

Posted by advantagemarketing on August 22, 2013

consultants and social media

Twitter and Facebook aren’t a waste of time for consultants, according to recent studies

The recent Institute of Management Consultants buzz about consulting firms and social media was about how consultants are using Twitter and Facebook in their practices. Here’s the scoop as reported by IMC in its C2M Connections e-newsletter:

More Tweets and Retweets Required for Consulting Firms, Finds New Report

A new report from White Space examines top consulting firms use of Twitter to determine how consultants can best make use of the social media platform. White Space followed some 60 Twitter accounts belonging to consultancies including Accenture, Deloitte, and KPMG for five months and discovered that while the large consultancies had the most active accounts, sheer tweet volume did not determine whether an account was successful or not. Follower engagement, determined by the number of retweets compared to the number of followers, was actually the highest among the sector-specific accounts, such as @IBMbigdata.

The report ultimately recommends that consultants focus on growing the number of their tweets that get retweeted, rather than simply growing their user base or tweeting frequently, and as such focus on developing sector-specific material that can be disseminated through Twitter.

“For consulting firms Twitter offers a chance not only to get your content into the hands of people who want it, but to gain an understanding about what engages people and what doesn’t,” says Source senior research manager Rachel Ainsworth. From “More Tweets and Retweets Required for Consulting Firms, Finds New Report”  – Source for Consulting (07/29/13).

How Social Makes Professional Services Teams More Successful

Social media such as Twitter and Facebook can cause a loss of productivity in the workplace and some companies have even banned their use, but business use of social media tools also has the potential to improve workplace communication and collaboration, creating a more productive environment for professional services firms.

Storing discussions in feeds and on profiles or within groups allows any employee to review the complete history at any time. Social media is also a great improvement over email, which limits conversations to the individuals directly connected to the conversation. Email is useful for communicating with people within one’s existing network, but social media offers “ambient awareness” or feedback from less-connected people in the company. Conversation streams can include knowledge and documents with easy access and search capabilities. Employees can “follow” documents customers or projects, keeping knowledge in context and allowing teams to collaborate more effectively. From “How Social Makes Professional Services Teams More Successful”  Consulting Magazine (07/13) Ashton, Debbie

Read more about how professional service firms can use social media to market their firms.

Posted in Consulting, Facebook, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, Social media marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Join Me for a C2M Live! Webinar: Getting on Your Prospects’ Radar

Posted by advantagemarketing on July 30, 2013

Getting on Your Prospects Radar

Join me on August 15 or 27 as we explore how building a distinct point of view and reputation can get you noticed by prospects

I’m excited to announce that I will be the featured expert on the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC)  Consulting to Management (C2M) Live! August webinar series:

What Are You Known for?

How building a distinct point of view and reputation can get you on your prospects’ radar.

Dates:   August 15 @ 1:00pm EST & August 27 @3:00pm EST

Register for either session: August 15 OR August 27

Cost: FREE for IMC members; $19.00 for nonmembers

Are you a consultant who is just starting out who needs to find prospects? Or are you an experienced consultant who has found prospects, built your referral pipeline, but now finds your referral sources are gone? Perhaps the colleagues and clients who referred you have retired, or their companies have been bought by larger firms that don’t need your services.

Maybe you’ve tried to do some prospecting on your own. You’ve tried calling or emailing prospects and they don’t respond. You might as well be invisible – these prospects barely know you exist, much less want to take a call from you.

We all know that people prefer to buy professional services from other people, not companies. But how do you grab the attention of prospects so that you can sell to them?

In this interactive session, we will discuss how developing a distinct point of view and reputation can help you attract and build relationships with prospects so that you can then turn them into clients.

We’ll discuss:

  • The four steps that prospects must complete before they are willing to buy from you.
  • Why your reputation probably isn’t what you think it is – and what you can do to improve it.
  • How you can define your distinct point of view so that prospects will recognize your value.
  • How to establish deeper relationships by connecting with what matters most to your prospects and clients.

REGISTER NOW

How C2M Live! Works

Every month IMC hosts a live one-hour webinar on topics of interest to consultants. IMC know that your schedule is busy – that’s why they offer a live session at two different times during the month.

  • At the beginning of every month, IMC has a short survey on the topic for that month’s sessions to start the conversation
  • Each session features a seasoned expert discussing current issues that you’ll find practical, useful and thoughtful.
  • If you miss a session, just download the podcast!
  • Then continue in the conversation after the session on our IMC USA LinkedIn group, where you’ll get to chat with fellow participants and the presenter.

 

REGISTER NOW

Posted in Business, Consulting, Entrepreneur, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, Thought leadership | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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