There are so many different ways to market your IT consulting firm that, on occasion, it probably feels inevitable that you will make a mistake and waste some of your marketing budget!
Admittedly, there is a certain amount of experimentation involved in marketing, and it will take some time to find the marketing methods that really work for you and your business. This article is designed to give you some general ideas - and the best part is that some of them only require you to invest time, rather than money.
Traditional advertising. Though nowadays people are seemingly obsessed with social media and other types of engagement marketing, traditional advertising is far from dead. This is especially true when it comes to marketing your IT consulting firm locally. Individuals still take notice of the companies in their region, and there are no end of places you can advertise, from local free papers to business directories or even local radio stations. The good thing about local advertising is that it’s relatively affordable, especially when compared to national alternatives. While this is certainly one of the types of marketing that may require you to “gamble” some budget to find out what works, there’s no doubt that it can still be effective – hence it’s place at the top of this list.
Social Media. Social media marketing is popular for two key reasons: first, it really can work if done correctly, and second, it doesn’t cost anything to get started. It’s so easy to build an effective presence on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter that there’s really no excuse not to be active on all three. And being active on the platforms is the key. By working with friends and associates to build “likes,” “followers” and “connections” you can begin to interact with current and potential customers on a daily basis. Merely maintaining a regular presence is enough to ensure constant visibility to your clients, but it’s even better to consistently engage with people via the platforms.
Networking. “Networking” is a word that makes some people cringe, but many businesspeople make it a key part of their marketing strategy. Networking doesn’t mean attending organized networking breakfasts and similar events, although this is, of course, an option. However, you can network equally effectively at local business group meetings, conferences and seminars. Networking is also another one of the marketing methods on this list that doesn’t cost a substantial sum of money.
Web Advertising. There are many ways to advertise your IT consulting firm on the Internet. The first and most obvious is to use pay-per-click search advertising, such as Google AdWords, that can ensure your business appears at the top of the sponsored search results when individuals search for certain relevant phrases. One downside to this is that the IT services marketplace is a busy one, with large companies happy to bid significant amounts for each click. This can potentially make this form of advertising quite expensive unless your niche is quite narrow. Alternatively, you can think about placing banner ads on other websites that you think will be frequented by your potential client base. Perhaps consider local community portals, where advertising for a fixed period can be very affordable.
Cold Calling. Guaranteed to send a shiver down the spine of all but the most enthusiastic sales people, cold calling could hardly be described as enjoyable, but it is a tried and tested sales technique and often a quick way to qualify leads and set up sales meetings. There are various ways to access lists of contact details. You can use specialist companies who compile lists of decision-makers or new startups, or alternatively there’s always the option of just grabbing a local business directory and taking phone numbers from the advertisements within. One inexpensive way of beginning a cold calling campaign is to search for a freelancer who’s willing to accept payment for results. This way, you will only pay when the salesperson lines up a meeting or a follow-up call. Just make sure you are confident of their manner and abilities, after all, they will be on the phone representing your brand and image.
These five marketing methods are just the start: there’s plenty more you can do to market your IT consulting firm. The key is to gradually experiment with all of the methods and be sure to track what works and what doesn’t. This is why so many companies are keen to ask “how did you hear about us?” It’s how they know which of their marketing methods are working. In time, you should learn the perfect strategy for your business.
Which other ways of marketing an IT consulting firm should have been on this list? Share your thoughts in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to watch the recording of Inbound Revenue Acceleration Webinar for Managed Services & IT Consulting.
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Topics:- Computer Consulting Business