If you are stuck landing client projects that feel more like a 9 to 5 rather than the exciting work you imagined, you’re not alone. Most courses and books for starting a consulting business rarely consider your vision or mission. They often focus on landing your first few clients and lack guidance on finding the clients that are truly ideal for you and your business. This is one of the reasons why many consultants find themselves with a lacklustre business that becomes more and more difficult to sustain over time. So, if you find yourself in this situation, it’s not your fault.
I was talking to a client recently who had landed a contract with an organization that most consultants would be eager to serve. But, when I shared my congratulations, she seemed less than enthusiastic. The client was great, but they weren’t a good fit for her. Every moment she spent doing research into their problem and brainstorming solutions, was time she began to dread. Why? Because she was having difficulty landing her ideal client, she found herself continuing to serve clients that weren’t a good fit for the purpose and mission of her company. The work she longed to escape when she started her business was still what she was doing years later.
If this resonates with you, I’m sure when you desired to venture into the entrepreneurial space, you were searching to make a greater impact and build your business on your terms. But, without the ability to work with clients that align with your purpose and mission, you aren’t actively building a business you love and are passionate about. And, despite how you may feel, it’s not impossible. You can build the thriving purpose-driven business that you want.
Purpose-driven companies witness higher market share gains and grow on average three times faster than their competitors, all the while achieving higher employee and customer satisfaction.www2.deloitte.com
The same applies to your growth and personal satisfaction as a solo consultant or small firm owner. You deserve to love the business you created and generate the revenue you desire at the same time.
So, how do you get more client leads for your business that align with your purpose and mission?
- Clarify your vision. — This is a way of starting with the end in mind and mapping your journey to that destination. Understand what is most important to you and where you want to take your business in the future. Every decision you make will move you either closer to or further away from your goal. Choose wisely.
- Niche down. — The likelihood of your service being first or second to market in your industry is low. That means one of your most effective competitive strategies is to differentiate yourself from others in your market. You need to cut through the noise and create a stronger connection with the ideal clients you are trying to reach so that it is easier for you to serve their needs and stand out as the “go to expert” in that space.
- Create a clear and highly desirable offer. — The goal is to create an offer that is a “no-brainer” for your ideal client to take. That means they have to understand what you will provide, need the solution, desire the result, and see the value in achieving the outcome. The more aligned your offer is to the needs and desires of who you want to serve, the easier it will be to establish a formal consultant-client relationship.
- Build your expert brand. — Establishing yourself as an expert in your space will require you to share your thoughts, ideas, and unique perspective. Gaining influence requires a willingness to educate. You will need to generate awareness and demand. And you can do that by allowing your potential clients to experience what it would be like to work with you and feel the impact you can make on their lives. This is what evokes emotion and supports logical reasoning that enhances the conversion process.
- Develop a high-value attraction strategy. — Just because you build it, doesn’t mean that they will come. You still need a structured process and system to generate consistency and predictability in your business to continue to grow and make your vision a reality. When you have a formal process for attracting, nurturing, and converting clients that can be optimized and adjusted, it will allow you to circumvent extended gaps in revenue generation and remove much of the frustration that comes from navigating the ever-changing world of entrepreneurship.
Gaining more control over your business journey requires intentionality. You deserve to have the business you envisioned that helps you to make a more significant impact and fulfill a greater purpose. As you have learned, it can be one of the most profitable ways to grow. Your ideal client is searching for what you have to offer. Now, it’s time for you to get out there and find them!