Well-executed inbound marketing is certainly effective at generating leads for your consulting business. But it’s no magic bullet.
Consulting is a relationship business first. That means you need to go beyond the Internet and get in front of prospects. You need to “beat the bushes,”so to speak. This means you’re reaching out to potential customers, rather than waiting to hear from them.
And only going to happy hours sponsored by the chamber of commerce and trading business cards isn’t what we mean. These events typically involve meeting as many people as possible in a short amount of time. But you’re not speed dating –you’re looking for a serious relationship. And that means one-on-one communication.
You can attend your industry conferences – along with all the breakfasts, lunches, and dinners you can, and then follow through by setting up face-to-face meetings at a later date. (Read this for more old-fashioned lead generation tips.)
Social media tools like LinkedIn are also not a substitute for in-person meetings. LinkedIn just provides another way to make that initial introduction. You still need to communicate in-person and sell.
No message on LinkedIn or friendly chat at a networking event can replace the power of getting in front of a buyer and demonstrating how your expertise meshes up with their needs. So use those networking starting points and schedule some face-time. See how it pays off.