Do you struggle to generate quality leads for your business? While many of us in the B2B consulting space rely on referrals and word-of-mouth, at some point the well dries up or our business lives too much in the feast and famine cycle.
For your business to be successful, you can’t be on the constant lookout for the next project or client. You need to have enough leads in your sales funnel so that your conversion percentage results in a more predictable, consistent revenue stream.
So how do you effectively fill this funnel?
Many of us in the B2B consulting industry provide a service or services that benefit a wide variety of companies and markets. Name a business that doesn’t need a marketing strategy. Does crisis management only impact certain industries? How many companies that have a workforce, don’t need HR advice or support? You get the picture.
While it’s often said, “you can’t be all things to all people”, many of us take this approach in our business. One of the hardest exercises I go through with new clients is defining their target audience. Identifying that ideal prospect – or persona – down to the level of type of company, specific industry, location, age, personality, etc. can feel far too limiting to many. “But my services apply to all industries!” “I work with all sizes of companies.” “I don’t want to limit myself to only one market.”
The idea of identifying a niche doesn’t mean you are setting limits around your potential sources of income. In fact, the opposite is true. Identifying a niche and focusing all your marketing and sales efforts on that niche can help you establish a position as the go-to company in that market.
To succeed in this new world, you have to sell yourself. You go to a brand-name college, not to imbibe the wisdom of its professors, but to make impressions and connections. You pick a niche that can bring attention to yourself and then develop your personal public relations efforts to let the world know who you are. – Alan Wolfe, New York Times Book Review, 7 Jan. 2001
By establishing yourself as an authority in your niche, you can dominate your market; leads will come more easily. You can even charge a premium price for your services. And by focusing your marketing spend you get a much higher return on investment than you would by spreading your budget too thin.
Picking your niche
- Be as specific and narrow as possible, focusing on what you do best.
- Do your research to ensure there is enough opportunity for business.
- Try it.
Sometimes a niche doesn’t pan out – leads may be taking too long to convert or your interest in it wanes. If this happens, try another one. It may take a few tries to get it right but in the end, the effort will be worth it.
And just because you have a niche doesn’t mean you turn away other business. You may still get leads outside of your niche – and you probably will as your reputation and awareness grows.
About Catherine Willems
Catherine is the Founder and Managing Partner of Crimson Leaf Studios, a boutique digital marketing agency helping B2B business consultants and entrepreneurs get more clients through targeted online marketing. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn.