Consulting has the reputation of being time-consuming. Therefore consultants usually don’t have a lot of time to focus on their marketing plan. Even though marketing is the best way to attract more and especially the right type of clients.
In this blog, we discuss the (important) role of personal branding and outline how social media relates to that.
What issues are you facing?
Are you offering consultant services, then you are probably a busy bee. You spend a lot of time in your car, work long hours and often have to be available outside of office hours.
In addition, you have to be very flexible. You are hopping from project to project and company to company. Each time you have to learn the ropes - all over again, sometimes without proper guidance.
All this takes up a lot of energy and time. As a consequence, things like marketing drop drastically on your to do list. This is simply not a priority for you.
Furthermore, you probably wonder what you could (or should) share on social media or via other marketing platforms or tools. You lack a framework and guidelines, both on a visual, as well as on a content level.
In short, you don’t have time or inspiration.
What is branding and personal branding?
While branding in general is focused on the branding identity of companies, organizations and people, personal branding is about the individual. It is about a person as a managing director, manager, owner… of a company or organization.
A personal brand is a personal trademark, so to speak. It encompasses everything that can be found online and office about a person, both visually and content-wise.
Personal branding for you as a consultant is THE way to share your unique characteristics, ambitions, goals, interests and passions to your audience. But it is also the way to share and showcase your values, knowledge and skills.
Committing to personal branding is not only important for big consultancy companies. Every consultancy firm or consultant, of any age, has to make time for it. Let’s explain why.
Why is this important for consultants?
You may be wondering why you particularly - as a consultant - should care about personal branding. Isn’t this rather something for creative freelancers, influencers and the like?
Here are three reasons why personal branding is crucial for all consultants.
Solving problems for clients is the main goal of any self-employed consultant. These clients are often big companies who are looking for specific expertise that they don’t have in-house.
But before these companies choose to work with you, they want to make sure you are the right partner for the project at hand. Because most of the time, there is a lot of money involved. This is why it is very important to gain the trust of those in charge.
A key way to build trust is personal branding through a consistent presence on social media. This is a great and accessible way to show that you’re capable, follow relevant news, are aware of trends in your domain…
According to numbers from Statista, about 75% of the population in the United States is active on social media.
In conclusion, building trust starts and ends with personal branding, with social media as a crucial component.
Distinguishing yourself from the competition
According to research by Statista, the number of management consulting businesses increases every year, with a number of 831.621 consultancy firms in 2020. The inference is obvious: the market competition is high and rises every year.
Personal branding helps you set yourself apart from the competition, since it is a great way to make sure you get noticed within a large group. You can do this by using and sharing attractive visuals and content, by sharing your opinion, powerful values, and so on.
Generating more organic traffic to your website
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) entails techniques and methods to increase the position of your website on Google. The more optimized your website is, the more people will end up on your website. Which logically means more clients.
To increase the organic traffic to your website, you can use personal branding, for example via social media. The number one reason is that the ranking on Google is (in part) based on the number of links and referrals to it.
How to use social media for personal branding
So how exactly can you use social media for personal branding? And how should you get started? Some basic steps:
- You want to target your audience, and your audience only. A straightforward way to do this is to match your content and images with your buyer persona. This is an ideal customer from your target audience, of a certain age, gender, interest fields, and so on. Define this buyer persona as detailed as possible.
- Determine the social media channels of your target audience, then focus on these. Don’t waste time posting on other platforms. Tip: for consultants and other B2B companies, LinkedIn is an important platform.
- Work on a branding package. Implementing this will increase recognizability. Graphic designers with a marketing background can help you with this.
- Create social media templates in your branding identity (or ask a graphic designer). By using templates, you don’t have to start from zero for each and every post. A useful tool for social media template design is Canva.
- Start creating a content calendar for the next months. Simply put, this is a timeline with social media posts. By making this type of planning, you can generate content in a focussed manner, and schedule posts at fixed times, for example at the beginning of each week. This way you will have more time and energy left to focus on your projects.
- Share a mix of informative content (such as via content curation), insights into your domain, content that showcases your values and company culture, witnesses and reviews. By doing that, you are building your reputation as an expert.
Curious to know more? In this blog we dive deeper into the practical implementation of these tips.
Need help? The coaches from Willow can help you in defining your energy boosters, passions, struggles, and so on. In a series of brainstorming sessions, we achieve this together. The result of these sessions will be the basis of your personal brand. Afterward, you will get started with tips and tricks, for example on how to use tools such as Canva.
More about the services offered by Willow can be found on the page ‘Coaching’.