Lead generation is undeniably important to marketers, and that makes it important to solopreneur consultants too because they need to wear multiple hats, acting as everything from a finance manager to a marketing manager.
Unless you’ve somehow discovered some sort of mythical bottomless well of potential customers, the chances are that lead gen is pretty high up on your list of priorities.
In fact, 91% of marketers say that lead generation is their most important goal, while 53% of marketers spend at least half of their budget on lead generation. This is true for big multinational companies, but it’s also true for consultants, solopreneurs and small businesses.
One of the biggest challenges – for everyone, but for consultants in particular – is knowing how best to spend their money. Marketing can easily become a money pit with you throwing cash at everything in the hope that you’ll get results. You can monitor the performance of your campaigns and do more of what works and less of what doesn’t, but you still need to spend a lot of money in the first place to gather data.
So what can you do as a consultant to do a better job of lead generation? Let’s dive in and take a closer look.
What You Need
For your lead generation to be effective and to make a tangible difference to your business, it needs to be predictable. You need to be able to rely on it and to ramp your lead gen campaigns up and down as needed.
One of the most common problems that consultants have to deal with is what we call the consulting trap. This happens when you get trapped in a vicious cycle where you carry out marketing campaigns to bring new customers in, then pause your marketing as soon as you get busy and before long find yourself running out of business.
This kind of inconsistent and unpredictable approach to lead generation is damaging at best and in extreme cases can be enough to derail your business altogether. There are many ways to combat it, but not all of them work – you can read all about that in our latest ebook.
The real solution – the one that will solve the problem for good and allow your business to grow – is to establish a steady flow of qualified leads. We’re going to dedicate the rest of this article to showing you how to do that.
We all have to come to terms with limitations in the workplace, and solopreneur consultants are no different. The key to success is the way in which we face and overcome them. Some of the most common limitations that solopreneurs face when it comes to lead generation include:
- Budget: Even the most successful solopreneurs don’t have huge marketing budgets at their disposal. Every penny has to count, and so they need to find effective and efficient ways to generate leads without spending a fortune.
- Lack of Resources: Solopreneur consultants have a team of one, and so it’s not as though they can delegate marketing to another employee. They also don’t have access to in-house graphic designers, copywriters and videographers, like their larger competitors.
- Time: Solopreneurs are busy with client work – or they should be, if they want to be successful. That means that they have to find an effective way to generate leads without being able to spend hours every day on lead gen campaigns.
So what solutions do we have available to us? Let’s take a closer look.
We see a lot of different solutions being touted as a potential way for solopreneurs to overcome their limitations and generate leads, but there are two in particular that we see all of the time.
It’s no secret that a lot of people hate networking, in part because it can often feel forced and transactional. Still, it’s an important part of business that isn’t going to go anywhere, and consultants in particular can do pretty well out of networking.
But there’s a problem. While networking might be effective, it’s also inefficient. It takes a huge amount of time to pay dividends, and it can be difficult to find the right opportunities, especially during a pandemic.
The statistics don’t lie. Nearly 70% of survey participants say that digital conferences lack good networking opportunities, while 95% of people agree that better business relationships are built through face-to-face meetings. And yet despite that, 40% of people network more online than in person.
The TL;DR is that networking can be a great way for solopreneur consultants to generate business, but it’s so inefficient that it’s often hardly worth doing.