By John E. Anderson, MS Management
There’s something magical about publishing a book, then giving speeches.
Presto, you are recognized for your thought leadership and you are now seen as an expert. Consulting industry leader Henry DeVries says a consultant’s number one marketing tool is a book and the number one marketing strategy is a speech.
The topic and content, combined with your writing and speaking style must match the needs and interests of your consulting audience. DeVries calls this your “marketing DNA.” Before a consultant can begin attracting clients with books and speeches, a consultant needs to create a marketing genetic code that is attractive to clients. “All your marketing messages, from networking discussions to speeches, will contain the elements of this marketing DNA that positions you as a thought leader,” he says.
DeVries, author of “Marketing With a Book: The Science of Attracting High-Paying Clients for Consultants and Coaches,” speaks to thousands of consultants each year on the best ways to attract clients. He is current chairman of the annual Institute of Management Consultants’ national conference.
DeVries says there are nine steps for improving your market appeal:
Name your business without your name.
Create a business name or a website name that gives potential clients a hint at the results you can produce for them. The worst possible business name or website name is your name. “I know, I know, Ford, McKinsey and Price Waterhouse are named after the founders,” says DeVries. “But you are not them. At least, not yet. Sorry to say, clients don’t want us — they want results.”
Name your client’s pain.
What are your client’s worries, frustrations, and concerns that you help solve? This is also called the FUD factor: fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Describe your solution or methodology for resolving these concerns.
Give it away.
Create a website with free tips, articles on how solve their problems. Each article should be between 300 and 600 words. Each tip can be numbered so it can be read easily.
An offer they can’t refuse.
Offer prospects a free special report on your website. You are offering to trade them a valuable piece of information for their e-mail address. Tell them they will also receive a tips e-newsletter from you. Assure them you will maintain their privacy and they can easily opt out of your list at any time.
Since publishing my book Smart Exit: Steer Your Business to Success, I’ve spoken at Washington State University’s Alliance, lead a panel discussion of professional associations and next week will speak to therapists at a Portland-based international psychological graduate school on organizational development. Recently, I was asked to speak at a trade group’s Las Vegas national convention.
When speaking with business owners about their needs, they seem more receptive to my suggestions and reasons why I believe a particular course of action will help their business.
I’m working on a workbook to provide an easy-to-follow, step-by-step procedure for how to implement the ideas in Smart Exit. I’ll produce an inexpensive pocket book to sell in quantity to groups hiring me to speak. Everyone attending will take home an introduction to the basic issues.
I now have a 20+ page white paper started. It’s my next book, designed to interest readers finishing the first book. My printed books and ebooks are available now on Amazon.
Writing, editing, deciphering the complexities of online publishing, printing, getting reviews and then giving speeches does take many hours. Oh, and did I mention selling the books?
It’s a steep, twisting route but it is easier marketing everything if the basic book and speech are designed to fit your audience’s needs, interests and style. As a consultant, when you write and speak, you’ve now begun a new business. Wow, I’m published, I’ve got a book.
DeVries and fellow consultant marketing expert Mark LeBlanc, author of “Growing Your Business,” will lead an Institute of Management Consultants (IMC) workshop titled “Building Your Consulting Practice: Marketing With a Book and Speech” on Feb. 3 from 9 am to 3 pm. in Portland at the Residence Inn Downtown/Pearl District and Feb. 4 from 9 am to 3 pm in Seattle at the Courtyard Seattle Federal Way. John Anderson is president of the IMC Oregon & SW Washington chapter.