Marketing for a consulting business: 13 steps to market your consultancy 

16 min
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Let’s be honest. An exceptional consulting service alone doesn’t guarantee overflowing customers. 

Sure, it plays a crucial role. After all, the few who have enjoyed your service might keep coming for more and refer clients to you. But you can’t solely rely on that; you also need to put effort into marketing your practice. That’s the only way to bring your expertise to those who need it the most and scale your business. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to become a marketing pro overnight. Today’s guide will examine 13 consulting marketing strategies to help you attract more clients to your service.

Importance of a marketing strategy for a consultancy

A marketing strategy for consulting firms brings in these three key benefits. 

  • Visibility: a strong consultant marketing strategy draws attention to your practice.
  • Authority: Effective marketing showcases your expertise and experience, establishing you as an industry authority and expert. 
  • Trust: Your marketing strategy would involve sharing trust signals like testimonials or partnering with trustworthy figures in your niche. These can make you appear credible to clients. 

Now, here’s the deal. Consulting clients will only go for consultants they’ve seen or heard about. Moreover, when picking a service, they prefer going for one they trust and perceive as experts. 

As you can see, these three elements—visibility, authority, and trust—work together to attract more clients to your consulting practice.

13 ways to create a consulting marketing strategy

Now that you’ve seen what a consultant marketing strategy can do for you, let’s quickly get into how you can create one for your practice: 

1. Know your potential customer

Before creating your consulting marketing strategy, you should know your potential customers inside out. Failure to do this can lead to two unfavorable outcomes. 

First, your marketing efforts might not effectively reach your target market because you won’t know where they spend their time. 

Second, even if your campaign reaches them, it might not resonate because your marketing content will likely not speak to or address their needs. 

So, take the time to gather as much information as possible about your audience, including their:

  • Pain points, 
  • Preferred marketing channels, 
  • Favorite content formats
  • Ideal consultant personality
  • Communication preferences 
  • Demographics, interests, and preferences. 

You can then use this information to tailor your campaigns. For instance, you can weave your value propositions around their pain points and deliver your content through their preferred channels. That’s how you get good results from your campaigns. 

How can you get this information about your potential customers?  

If you have current or past clients, you can ask them directly via surveys or interviews. But let’s say that’s not the case. You can still send surveys on social media, industry forums, and relevant communities to gather information about your prospective clients.

Another excellent option is to spy on your competitors. You can analyze their case studies, social channels, etc., to understand their target audience. This will give you an idea of who the people who need your services are. 

You can combine these three research methods. After all, the more data you can get, the better you can tailor your campaign. 

2. Develop a brand personality

When people interact with your marketing materials, they should be able to associate specific human characteristics and values with your consulting firm, i.e., a brand personality. 

If they can relate to this personality, they are more likely to form an emotional connection with your brand and keep you top-of-mind. So, when they need a consulting service, they remember you before others. 

Developing a brand personality is fairly straightforward. You have to start by understanding your target audience deeply. That’s settled in #1 above. 

Once you’ve nailed down this foundation, find out the personalities or traits you think your audience would love. You can draw inspiration from Aaker’s brand personality model: 

An illustration of Aaker's Five Dimensions of Brand Personality with five categories: Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, and Ruggedness, each with associated traits like 'Honest', 'Daring', 'Reliable', 'Upper-class', and 'Outdoorsy' respectively.

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For example, let’s say your ideal client is a risk-averse entrepreneur who values security. They’d love a personality that exudes “competence” and “sincerity.” However, if you’re targeting a young, trendy startup (seeking innovation), “excitement” and “sophistication” might be more relevant.

After choosing this personality, incorporate it across your marketing touchpoints. For instance, if you’re going for a rugged personality, you want to use a logo that evokes strength and durability. Your content and marketing assets should also reflect this tone and style throughout. 

3. Do a SWOT analysis for your business

A SWOT analysis helps you understand your internal strengths and weaknesses (SW), as well as external opportunities and threats (OT). With SWOT insights, you can tailor your consultancy marketing strategy to:

Play to your strengths, 

Let’s assume you run a management consulting firm. You can discover your strength to be a “strong reputation for delivering high-quality strategic advice.” You may capitalize on this in your campaigns by highlighting client testimonials.

Address your weaknesses, 

On the other hand, you might identify a weakness, like a limited online presence compared to competitors. Recognizing this, improving your online visibility could become the priority of your campaign strategy.

Capitalize on every opportunity 

Also, you might uncover an opportunity—say, increasing demand for management consulting services in emerging industries like healthcare. You can seize this opportunity to position yourself as a consulting leader in these emerging industries. 

Mitigate potential threats.

And lastly, a threat could be constant regulatory changes. You can mitigate that by communicating your consultancy’s ability to navigate regulatory changes to your clients.

The point is that a SWOT analysis keeps your marketing plan well-informed and equipped to generate massive consulting success. 

Here’s an example of a template you can use to conduct this analysis:

A simple SWOT Analysis template with four quadrants for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, prompting analysis of internal and external factors in strategic planning.

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Answer the questions in the template to better understand what goes into each section.  

4. Establish a thought leadership approach

Marketing a consultancy isn’t like selling a product on a shelf. Clients invest in your expertise and experience. That’s why they must be convinced you’re an authority in your field so they can choose you. One way to achieve this feat is by establishing yourself as a thought leader. 

Becoming a thought leader doesn’t have to be difficult. Focus on what you do best—offering advice and expertise to help people and businesses grow.

You can offer these insights in various ways. First, create expert and authoritative content. This includes blogs, case studies, industry reports, podcasts, infographics, and video content. We’ll cover how to create effective content later. 

After creating this content, distribute it across your channels, including your website, emails, social media, communities, etc. Check out Oliver Wyman, for example: 

A webpage from Oliver Wyman displaying featured articles such as 'THE FUTURE OF B2B TELCO' and 'Commodity Trading's Coming-of-Age Story', with a focus on transformative business insights.

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You can also contact top industry publications and ask them to feature your content. For instance, if you’re a tech consultant, publishing your content on respected websites like Wired or TechCrunch can enhance your authority in the industry.

Content creation aside, seek opportunities to speak and share your insights at industry conferences, workshops, and webinars. This further solidifies your position as a trusted authority in your industry.

 5. Create a professional website

All your marketing efforts eventually link back to your website. It’s where your prospects would check if they need to learn more about your service. Believe it or not, 75% of them judge your credibility by looking at your website alone. That’s why your website has to be top-notch. 

So, you must pay attention to everything, starting with your user interface. You should: 

  • Use high-quality visuals
  • Have necessary pages like a contact page, about section, and service page. 
  • Feature your unique selling proposition. 
  • Keep the interface uncluttered, mobile-friendly, and easy to navigate. 

You can see One North’s website for inspiration:

The homepage of One North, a digital agency, with a slogan 'Move fearlessly forward.' and a description of their service offerings in creative ways, showcasing their professional image.

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You also need to include trust signals on your website, such as industry certifications, results generated, or client testimonials. These elements build trust and demonstrate your expertise to potential clients, ultimately encouraging them to choose your service.

For example, Edgy Inc. boldly displays the results they’ve generated over the years:

An infographic from EDGY Inc. showcasing their achievements with '19B NEW REVENUE', '21 COUNTRIES', '9 YEARS', and '38 VERTICALS', claiming the results speak for themselves.

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We know you’re already thinking of the costs and efforts needed to create a professional website. But don’t worry. Creating a high-quality professional website is easier than ever. You can opt for no-code solutions like our website builder to do this yourself. And it literally takes you just a few minutes. 

6. Strengthen your email connections

Not every one of your ideal audience is ready to use your service right away. Some might be happy with their current situation or don’t have the budget for consulting services at this point. But that doesn’t mean they’re not valuable potential clients down the line.

You don’t want to ignore these people now, hoping they reach out when they need your service. They most likely won’t. The right thing to do is collect their emails to nurture and build relationships with them. So, if they eventually realize they need a consulting service, you’ll pop up in their minds first.  

But first, how can you get their emails

Decide on an irresistible offer for which people would be willing to exchange their email addresses. This could be access to your event, a free tool, or even the thought leadership content you created earlier. 

For example, Mandy Maynard used access to her free masterclass to collect her audience’s emails. 

A registration form for a LinkedIn event titled 'The 4-Lever LinkedIn Framework For a Steady Flow of High-Quality Leads', with fields for event date, time, full name, and email.

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Once you’ve decided on your offer, place it where your audience will see it. Like Mandy did above, you can create a section on your homepage to offer it. You can also make a dedicated email capture landing page or use website pop-ups. 

After collecting these emails, focus on strengthening connections with the prospects by providing consistent value. Give them exclusive content offers, free consultation sessions, priority access to events, and even some of your expert insights. 

Doing so will make you the first person they think of when they’re ready to engage a consultant. 

7. Write an effective and engaging sales pitch

Whether you’re sending a cold email or meeting with potential clients, you need a strong sales pitch. It’s your opportunity to communicate your value and convince potential clients that you’re the right consultant for them.  

Before you can develop a solid pitch, you have to go back to your initial audience research to understand who you’re pitching to. At least, you need to recognize a problem they have that you can solve. 

Now, let’s write your pitch. Start by clearly defining your lead’s problems. You don’t need to dwell on their problems, but it’s always a good idea to acknowledge them. For example, “I understand your business is struggling to attract and retain top talent.”

Next, your pitch needs to showcase your expertise. You can briefly mention how your experience or approach can address their pain points. You can also highlight a result you’ve achieved for clients with similar problems. 

Finally, end the pitch with a call to action that indicates the next step. It could be scheduling a follow-up call or requesting a proposal. 

Here’s an example of a cold sales pitch that follows this strategy: 

An image displaying a cold sales pitch text, starting with an introduction by John, an HR consultant, identifying a problem in recruitment processes, offering a solution, and ending with a call to action for a discussion on HR strategy.

Note that your pitch has to be concise and straightforward. It’s something you should be able to narrate in less than one or two minutes. So, try to fit everything into around 150–200 words.  

8. Market with effective content

We’ve talked about how content can position you as an industry leader and generate leads. But did you know that content can also attract people to your practice directly?

Take your blog, for instance. You can optimize it for SEO, targeting relevant keywords in your niche. So, when someone looks for those keywords on Google, you appear in the search results. From there, the audience might read your expert content and become interested in your business. 

The same goes for your social media content. If someone comes across your video and likes what they see, they may decide to engage your consultancy.

How can you create content for your consultancy, you ask?

Simply come up with a list of questions people ask you a lot as a consultant. You can also use social listening tools like Hootsuite or Brand24 to see the discussions going on about your niche on social media. Then, create content around these topics, sharing your personal experiences and expertise.

Remember that you asked your audience about their preferred content format during the research phase? Make sure your content marketing consultant strategies prioritize these formats for the best result

 9. Focus on networking

Consulting is a relationship business. You need to build solid relationships with networks that matter and relate to your business. So, if they need a consulting company or know someone who needs a consultant, they’ll think of you first. 

For this strategy to work, you need to be intentional about who you connect with. Prioritize those you think can lead you to your next clients. That could include industry influencers, complementary service providers, and business decision-makers.  

The next step is finding these networks. To do this, you can join relevant social media communities, industry networking events, or workshops. For events, you can use Eventbrite or AllEvents to discover those happening in your niche. 

When you find these contacts, don’t approach them solely to get something. Focus on providing value to them by offering insights, making introductions, or having informative conversations. Over time, as you build trust and rapport, you’ll feel more comfortable asking for referrals or inquiring if they need consulting services themselves.  

10. Have a Google Business Profile created

If your business serves a local community, claiming a Google Business Profile (GBP) is a no-brainer. 

Why? Assume someone searches for a local keyword related to your niche. Let’s say “business consultants in California” or “business consultants near me”. Only consulting businesses with a Google Business Profile have a chance of showing up among the local 3-pack results on Google:

A screenshot showing a Google search result for business consultants near California, displaying multiple business listings with ratings, contact details, and a map view.

You can see above that this section takes up the top three positions on Google for local searches. So, if you don’t have a profile, you’ll miss out on potential clients in your area who need consulting services.

Even if local prospects are not your cup of tea, claiming your Google business profile is still advisable. The platform lets your customers leave reviews after using your business, so it’s an additional opportunity to convince more people that your service is the real deal. 

To create a Google business profile, simply go to the Business Profile platform. Sign up with your Gmail account and add essential information about your business. It’s that easy, and best of all, it’s completely free.

 11. Leverage social media

64% of customers find brands via social media. That tells you your next consulting client is probably hanging out on social media too. Social media should, therefore, be a vital part of your consultant marketing strategy.

The first step is to determine what social channels your potential client frequents. Again, the research you conducted earlier should provide insights into this. 

After discovering the platform, focus on creating a strong presence there. Start by optimizing your profile with a detailed bio that covers your USP. Also, make sure you’re using a high-quality profile picture. 

Here’s an example. 

A social media profile of 'EDGY Inc.', depicting a branding message of providing superpowers for CEOs, promising revenue success in 6 months with a bold yellow lightning logo, indicating their consultant marketing approach.

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Consistency is key. Use the same branding elements for all your social profiles. This will make you more recognizable across platforms. 

Moving on, remember the value-rich content you created? Post them on your social media channels, too. You may also want to adjust the content style and format to make it native to each platform. 

As you post, don’t forget to engage your audience. Take the time to respond to their comments and messages. This is key for building relationships with them and potentially reeling them in to try your service.  

12. Collaborate with other consultants

As the saying goes, there’s strength in numbers. Partnering with other consulting firms allows you to reach a wider network of potential clients. You can leverage each other’s audience and increase brand awareness for both parties. That’s a win-win. 

Begin by looking for consultants whose skills and expertise complement yours but don’t directly compete with your services. For instance, if you’re a construction consultant, you might focus on partnering with a sustainability consultant that offers eco-friendly solutions. 

Just like you did during networking, focus on building relationships with these people before pitching a collaboration. 

How can you collaborate? Well, you can both partner on content to introduce each other’s expertise to your respective audiences. This could take the form of social media live sessions, co-hosted podcasts and webinars, or AMA (ask me anything) sessions. 

Furthermore, you can consider referral-based collaboration. You never know; some of your clients might need eco-friendly construction solutions, while the sustainability consultant’s clients might need construction services at some point. So, here’s another chance to expand your business further.

That brings us to the last marketing strategy for your consulting business.

13. Set up a referral bonus system

Your happy customers are your strongest marketers. People tend to trust first-hand experiences. So, when satisfied clients recommend your consultancy, their words carry more weight. 

Some satisfied clients would be happy to give you referrals even without you asking. Even then, if you want the best results, you have to put in some effort by asking your customers for referrals after a successful service. 

However, a simple ask may not suffice for all clients. That’s why your best bet is offering incentives to provide that extra nudge needed to motivate referrals. When your referees know there’s a reward involved, they’ll be encouraged to spread the word about your service. And that’s where a referral bonus system comes into the picture. 

You can even establish a two-way referral system, rewarding both the referrer and the referee. This tends to yield better results and can even make your referral program go viral.

Furthermore, make it easy for your clients to send referrals your way.  This naturally increases the chance they’ll do just that. So, provide them with easy-to-understand information about your referral program, message templates they can send to their referees, and personal referral links.  

Once your referral system is up and running, let your clients know. This could be via email or even your social media platform.  

In closing: How to do marketing for a consulting firm

Every consultant needs a solid consultant marketing strategy. That’s the only way you can consistently bring in new clients to your practice. 

This guide covers some highly effective marketing strategies for consultants. Now, go ahead and implement these strategies. 

Keep in mind that you have to be consistent with these strategies to get results. Don’t post on social media once in a blue moon, for instance, and expect results. You have to be consistent. Moreover, monitor your campaign’s performance and make sure you’re constantly seeking ways to improve them.


Nael Chhaytli
Nael Chhaytli
Nael Chhaytli is a Digital Marketing Expert and a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at GetResponse with a diverse background in marketing specializations. He has used his expertise to drive success and growth for businesses in the service, SaaS, and e-commerce sectors.