I am looking for new ways to increase the visibility of my consulting practices. I have tried blogs, a quarterly newsletter, participating in online and local business communities, and working with nonprofits on a pro bono basis. Each of these work well on a sustained basis but what else do you suggest?
Those all sound like plausible ways to get exposure. Each of these work differently for different people and for different types of practices. The one thing that affects how successful these tactics are is the effective amount of exposure you get and how well recipients understand and trust your message. Pro bono work, beyond the intrinsic value of supporting your community, is only effective in showing people your public service commitment and your expertise if enough people know about it and your contribution usefully shows your consulting expertise. Newsletter and blog subscription base are the same. Getting people to know you, trust you and hear from you a lot is the key.
Many of us under use one avenue of exposure that may be one of the most effective. It is your email signature. You send it out every day to dozens of people with whom you have some kind of relationship. The message you would like to give is one that makes it clear why someone should use your services, tells them how to use them, and makes it easy to access you. Spend a day or two looking at some of the email signatures you receive. You will see some with just a name/email/phone, but you don't really know what services the person provides. Others say what they do but not how services are available - consulting, workshops, training, through products? Finally, some have email addresses or websites that are not linked or have broken links. Why make it hard on the recipient, whose attention you have, to buy your services?Tip:
Do a little thinking and looking at emails of other consultants with whom you correspond. What constitutes an effective email such that you know clearly what they do, how you can access it (even possibly an encouragement to do so) and provides the fastest and easiest way to get to you or at least learn more? Every few months, vary the email to keep it fresh, update with new content relevant to emerging issues in the market, and get some feedback from colleagues about how effective they think the signature is.© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA