The biggest stressor for self-employed management consultants is business development: how to cultivate meaningful regular work. It’s vexing for a variety of reasons. First, consultants are good at helping clients solve problems but usually aren’t trained in sales or marketing. Second, when knee-deep in projects and facing deadlines, consultants are hard-pressed to find time to publish thought-leadership articles or create, launch, and manage marketing campaigns.
To meet the challenge I recommend changing your frame of reference. Instead of thinking of how companies or consulting firms typically handle business development, use an approach more like how we work as individuals and soloprenuers. Take for example real estate agents, who are experts at keeping their names fresh in people’s minds:
- At least once a week I get a postcard listing recent home sales in my neighborhood.
- Once a week I get an email with an interactive map showing which homes in the city closed escrow and at what price.
- Once a month I get a memo pad with the realtor’s name, photo, and area of expertise.
- Once a quarter I get a postcard of upcoming social and sporting events in the city.