How to Brand your Business to get more Clients
Written by: SPP Editorial Team
How to Brand Your Business to get more Clients
How do you stand out from other businesses?
It’s not hard to see that clients pay more for a strong brand. You can create a nice stream of business without even looking for it. Having a strong brand you business can set you apart from other “non-brand” firms and give people a reason to choose you. But it can be challenging to create a differentiated brand, and harder still to quantify your return on investment of time, effort, and money building that brand. Maybe you’re ready to invest in building your consulting brand but aren’t sure where to start.
In this blog, you will learn how to create a unique brand that stands out from your competitors.
Here’s an overview:
- Branding for a Consulting Business
- Brand Strategy Consulting Defined
- Unique Brand Positioning
- Brand Messaging
- Network Nurturing
Ready to learn more? Let’s dive into it..
Branding for a Consulting Business
In the world of independent consulting, everyone is talking about building your brand. Why build a consulting brand? With so many qualified people looking for consulting gigs, it’s critical to stand out from the crowd. But fear not, having a strong, unique brand can change all that and put you above the rest.
“A brand can make your phone ring with prospective clients who already understand the value you can provide.”
I don’t think people realize what a brand can do for business success. What people might know is building and maintaining a brand requires an investment of your time and money. Think of branding as a businesses long term investments. It pays off in terms of the kind of work you get to do and how much you charge for your services.
Brand Strategy Consulting Defined
Personal Brand vs. Consulting Brand
Your personal brand is not the same as your consulting brand.
“A consulting brand represents your mission focused around the client’s need.”
Consulting brands also differ from product brands like Adidas or Starbucks. For your consulting business, the product is your expertise and understanding of how to manage processes. It’s about how your clients feel when they work with you and what makes them confident that you can help them.
Your value proposition and messaging are said in your logo and tagline.
This allows a future buyer to immediately recognize your value without you having explanation.
When people come to you, they have a good idea of the value you provide. They are likely to already have a defined need and perhaps most importantly, they’ve already decided that you are on their short list and maybe even their first choice. In many consulting firms, the brand promise is linked to the firm’s owner or partner. A strong consulting brand is tied to the value the firm creates for the people it serves.
Ask yourself these questions:
What is the forever promise that you will help your clients achieve?
What justifies their commitment to you and not to any of the other competent firms out there competing for their business?
Unique Brand Positioning
Defining your brand can be one of the hardest things to do when starting out as an independent consultant or professional services business. A good place to start is with positioning. Positioning is where you fit relative to your target client’s other options. What other solutions would your prospect consider if you weren’t available?
Sometimes for a company, keeping things “in-house” might be the best fit rather than outsourcing marketing efforts. That’s where choosing your positioning carefully and narrow in on what you want to be known for.
Related Reads: 12 Examples of Great Brand Positioning Strategy
Once you’ve developed a unique brand position, it’s now time to make sure everyone knows this turf is yours and to make sure you protect it from others who might try to take it from you. You do this through your messaging. What are three proof points to convey that support your positioning claim? If you say you’re an expert career coach for business professionals in transition, the proof points for example might be that you’ve coached 20 business professionals who are leaving big firms, that you are credentialed in career coaching, and that you yourself are a trained business professional and have successfully transitioned to something new.
Your content strategy should always tied back to those messages. The goal is to communicate these messages to different groups of people in different formats. Here you want to show your potential client what outcome they might expect and with what proof? Here is where a good testimonial comes into play.
You also want to explain to potential referral sources like fitness businesses how you reduced their pain of outplacement. Something to consider is creating collateral customized just for them. You might even develop a presentation that you offer for free to organizations of HR professionals working with gym owners. And you’ll need messages optimized for other career coaches, so that when they have a prospect who is a gym owner, they’ll think of you. If people often incorrectly assume things about your brand, incorporate that into your messaging.
Related Reads: How to Create Brand Messaging that Really Resonates
Your network is key in branding.
The place to start is with the people who know you and respect you. This group includes colleagues, classmates, clients, friends and family. They don’t need to be experts, but it would be great if they’re able to recognize a good prospect for you and be able to recall your value enough to make the connection.
You might also consider using this network to learn about a prospect or client before a meeting. You can build relationships with people you want to know by using these networking techniques.
- Make a list of the people you want to connect with
- Find a way to build a connection
- Follow them on social media (Leave value in their comments)
- Offer them value for nothing in return
- Think of ways on how you can help them achieve their goal and implement
Your network is simply a group of people who you would be willing to help and whom will help you.
It needs to be nurtured in a consistent way for it to be valuable. Reach out to your current connections and perhaps offer to help. Catch up, and provide value where you can!
Build rapport with leaders in your industry.
So what’s next? Now is the most important part, taking action. It’s time to get going. Define your positioning; establish your key messages. Then turn on the horns so everyone knows how great you are. And if you’re not happy with the results your brand is delivering, remember, it’s your brand, and you evolve it or even scrap an old brand that is no longer useful, and replace it with something that works with your current goals.
As you make progress, be sure to keep learning. If you want to be fully recognized and fairly compensated for your skills and expertise that will help you stand out!!
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