After having a prosperous professional career, you may be at the mid-point, near retirement, or in transition. During this time, you may have considered consulting as an option or be providing consulting services on an as-needed basis. As you wait for referrals from former colleges, those within your network, and new relationships formed through networking, the wait can be discouraging.
What if we told you that you could delay the wait by having an effective strategy? What if we told you that there is a way you can have a successful career as a consultant without having to return to your corporate job? Well, we are telling you the special formula to not having to go back is strategic networking, prospecting, and online positioning. This formula's prospecting component can often be perceived as the most difficult because it is frequently associated with cold-calling and direct inbox outreach. Though these are a part of effective prospecting, they aren't the end-all and be-all. It starts with having a strategic networking strategy, and that begins with understanding who you would like to provide consulting services for and who can connect you with those individuals. The next step would be to align yourself with opportunities to get in front of those individuals as much as possible. This could be through online and offline events and sharing content to position yourself as a subject matter expert online. Before sharing content, you should make a concentrated effort to connect with as many people on Linkedin that would fit within your ideal target audience or be at least two degrees of separation from who you would like to get in front of.
After you have identified who can help you connect with your ideal client, start to evaluate ways to incentivize them to open up their networks to you. An example of this may be, if you offer services as a skincare branding consultant, what independent aestheticians could you build relationships with so that they could open up their networks to you. By opening up their networks and providing introductions, this could provide opportunities for you to offer your skincare branding consulting services to their audience in exchange for a referral fee.
Developing relationships that will open up doors for you to stay in front of your audience will be vital to your success as a consultant and make your networking more targeted and yield more outstanding results.
Now you try!
What type of consultant are you?
What problem do you solve?
Who do you solve it for?
What are people missing by not having you as a consultant?
What people and organizations do your ideal clients spend the most time with?
Who can connect you to your ideal clients, and have you established a relationship with them?
In conclusion, referrals aren't enough to survive entrepreneurship for the long haul. You must establish a consistent pipeline of individuals to build mutually beneficial relationships for network sharing. If you need help developing your prospecting and online positioning strategy, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org