Four Tips Keep Consultants' Pipelines Full

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Consulting firms can avoid "Feast or Famine" Syndrome by following four simple tips.

Most consultants would love to be so busy that clients are lined up waiting for their services. The reality is that many consultants are likely to experience, at some point, the feast or famine syndrome: streaks of challenging, profitable work, followed by stretches of the doldrums with little paid work in the pipeline.

In the July 2005 issue of e-newsletter The Guerrilla Consultant, Michael W. McLaughlin, the co-author of Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants and a consulting industry veteran, has identified four simple steps consultants can take to keep work flowing at an even pace.

1. Focus your resources – “Your best source for new consulting work is from your existing clients and the referrals they can provide,” says McLaughlin. Allocate 60% of your marketing resources to current clients, 30% to convert prospects to paying clients, and 10% to maintain visibility in the broader market.

2. Create a 7-sentence marketing plan – Take a step back from day-to-day work to create a marketing plan that answers these questions: Where do you want your practice to go? What clients do you want to work with? What sets you apart from other consultants? Consultants who need help getting started can view the page Sample 7-Sentence Marketing Plan for a sample plan and a link to a free download with more marketing plan information.

3. Create a marketing roadmap – A marketing road map spells out the details of how and when you will implement your marketing plan. It sets a schedule for when you will implement each marketing activity.

4. Dedicate time to marketing your firm – Marketing success is about creating momentum through consistent action over a sustained period of time. Schedule at least 20% of your time for marketing your practice.

The consulting business doesn’t have to be a roller-coaster ride. For more information on maintaining a steady flow of consulting projects, see “Beating Feast or Famine”.

About The Guerrilla Consultant – a complementary, online newsletter dedicated to applying the principles of Guerrilla Marketing to the work and lives of professional consultants. Editor Michael W. McLaughlin is coauthor, with Jay Conrad Levinson, of the book Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants (Wiley, 2005).

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Andrea Harris
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