"Slugging it out:" Building A Consulting Firm in a New Market

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According to small business consultant Elynn Fish (and almost every business owner out there), “slugging it out” as a small firm in a new market isn’t easy. Some of the most important things in building a consulting firm include getting and keeping clients, creating cash flow, and convincing your prospects that they need your services.

Last Thursday in the grand return of #scoopitchat, I teamed up with Elynn to discuss some best practices for developing a small consulting business in a digital world.

Some key takeaways include:

1. What’s the most important thing to consider when launching a consulting business (or any business)?
  • Have passion for what you do, and be willing to take action on that passion.
  • Don’t only work hard; work smart as well.
  • Pace your growth. Fall in love with your idea, not with the hope of success.
2. How do you develop yourself professionally and stand out online?
  • Have proof of skills, build credibility, engage targeted areas. Make sure you are consistent and have a solid presence on key sites.
  • Use curation to build your credibility. Share what you’re reading along with your insights to demonstrate your engagement.
3. Now that we’ve figured out how to develop ourselves and find our passions, what are some of the best ways to find new clients?
  • Establish yourself as an expert, build an online community, and volunteer to speak for free.
  • Ask for referrals.
  • Research your niche, identify those that would best benefit from your services and reach out to them.
  • A good on-topic content strategy will naturally bring prospects and leads to your site. Be clear on what you are about.
4. With socia media and digital marketing being a new concept, how can you lead prospects into deciding to go forward w/ this investment?
  • Help them identify the gap – where are they now vs. where they could be with your services.
  • Share case studies and previous clients’ outcomes.
5. What kind of business model do you recommend to create consistent cash flow?
  • Offer products and/or services that can be billed monthly.
  • Take action and hit the ground running locally.
  • Define your slow season and focus on developing new relationships during that time.
  • Be careful with your expenses. Define what’s truly of value to you.
6. What tips would you give to professionals looking to start their own firm?
  • Don’t try to be perfect. Once it’s 70% – 80% ready, take action on it; you’ll figure it out!
  • Ask questions and listen to your clients. Define what exactly they want and how you can provide it.
  • Plan on one year of working crazy; constant marketing; find allies; start with one or two clients.
Miss this week’s chat? Check out the entire transcript below!

Follow along and share your insights every other Thursday at 11am PST by following @allygreer and @scoopit and hopping into the TweetChat room. Make sure to tag your tweets with #scoopitchat too!

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About the Author

Ally Greer
Ally is Scoop.it's Director of Content & Community. She loves to geek out over anything social, Internet, or tech related. When she isn't working, you'll probably find her running the streets of San Francisco. Follow Ally on Twitter @allygreer.
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Josh Krakauer
11 years ago

Exciting stuff! I’m there. Thanks for the invite, Scoop.it crew.

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Thanks Scoop.it but would you plz inform me why my post goes to disable on this blog.

Josh Krakauer
11 years ago

Exciting stuff! I’m there. Thanks for the invite, Scoop.it crew.

M A Halim
M A Halim
11 years ago

It’s an excellent and new idea to earn some money as well as helps to educate others

Jay M. Stevens
11 years ago

Thanks for the insights Ally. I’m working on building a creative consultancy right now and will keep this article in mind. Cheers!

11 years ago

very nice article, useful information, congrats

Joyeeta Mookherje
3 years ago

Branding is a difficult process for all small businesses, especially in a competitive environment. Things are even more challenging when your business is “you.” Reading your blog gave me the feeling that with a bit of hard work, one can be on their way to cultivating a distinctive and respectable brand.

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