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How you can launch a consulting business in 1 week and be profitable
There are plenty of people out there that want to get out of the SEO and Marketing game but want to dive into the consultancy game because it's the same work with less stress. Think about it; you don't have to worry about clients hitting you with chargebacks because you're going there to consult, you're not offering them a service to help them make more money (sort of). You will be going to businesses around you, or you can travel to them if you want, and you'll essentially be training them to do what you used to for yourself and clients in the past.
I've had a few consulting gigs in the past, and I will tell you that they are much less stressful than working with clients' websites in hopes of ranking them higher within the search engine results pages. All you need to do is establish yourself as an authority, talk with the hiring manager or business owner to ease their mind, then set up a time for you to come in and consult the entire company or a single department.
Build your consulting website
First things first, you'll always need a website when doing a digital consultancy job or any consultancy job for that matter. A website today is like a business card of the past because people will check out your site before contacting you. Business cards are still nice to have on hand in case someone asks for one, but they're not the main form of marketing anymore.
Think about it, how often have you heard of someone offering a product or service, and then you've checked out their website before talking with them? I'd say at least 90% of the time, and that might be on the low end lol
Your website doesn't have to be flashy, but it does have to be done in a way that you seem like an authority as well as a diverse business person. There are plenty of themes out there that can help you with this, so don't go beating your head against a wall when trying to decide.
Just like any marketing or SEO campaign, you will need to fine-tune everything, so you get the best results possible. You'll need to have various landing pages to send people to, loads of PPC campaigns running to see what works best, different approaches to closing a deal, and much more!
You'll never have a "Set it and forget it" type of business model because you'll always need to be evolving. Those who do not evolve and keep learning about their industry are the ones who get left behind and reminisce about the "good 'ol days."
Optimize for conversions
You'll want to optimize for the search engines, but you'll also want to optimize for conversions. Throw your accomplishments in people's faces, use social proof that you know what you're doing, and funnel people to a contact form or live chat box so they can get in touch. The more credibility you have in this field, even if it's not 100% true, the more likely you'll get people willing to hire you as a consultant. At the beginning of your consultancy journey, you will need to "Fake it til you make it"!
Offer 30 minutes of free consulting
One thing that I've noticed works extremely well, especially if you're talking to the owner of the business, is if you offer a free 30-minute consultation to let them know what you think could be changed on their website or within their business to bring in more sales. If you can talk with them for 30 minutes about their business, and point out some flaws that need attention, you could open up a lot of doors for a yearly consultancy gig with business owners that will love you forever.
You must prove your worth to potential clients
If you're not showing off your medals, trophies, badges, testimonials, etc. then you're not going to make it very far. You need to show off before people start to contact you because those little images showing your accomplishments are what will make your phone ring or give you a notification that your live chat plugin is working.
To get this started, you can offer some free consultancy work in exchange for reviews. You can't ask for positive reviews because that's against a code of ethics (or something like that), but if you know your stuff, you will please anyone you talk to and help. Make sure you get your reviews on a public page like a GMB listing so everyone can see it. After you get a dozen reviews, you will then post them on your site and link to each one on your GMB or wherever they were published.
Starting a consultancy company isn't the most difficult thing in the world, but making it flourish is another thing. It's difficult to make any business profitable, but a consultancy business is a different monster. If you don't have any reviews, testimonials, awards, etc. it will be difficult to get your first clients on board. This is why you need to offer some free time to people that are looking for a consultant, and you will eventually bring more clients on board
Thanks for reading
- Tommy Carey