How do you evolve your consultancy expertise?
Having recently successfully delivered our first Consultancy module of the Level 7 CIM Marketing Leadership Programme and reading a range of current books around the subject, it seems timely to reflect on what it takes to be a successful marketing consultant.
Consultancy isn’t for the faint-hearted. There is no guaranteed salary, and one of the most challenging things in business is to put a price on your own head and know how to charge yourself out.
Of course, understanding how a Chartered Marketer should market themselves is key to becoming a successful marketing consultant. The first drawback is knowing what and how much to invest. Having your own brand is critical, with a recognisable company name/persona that positions you as an experienced and qualified person with street credibility. For me, it has always paid to think and behave like a company rather than just an individual, to the extent of using the royal ‘we’. All of this has evolved into what nesma is today.
The next critical thing after having a personable brand is dependable networks. Networking is not just about identifying new clients but finding a network of trusted associates who can help you with projects and deliver some reciprocity.
We all know prospecting for clients is an intricate art. In the early stages of your consultancy career, you always find more time to go to fruitful events, but you need to have ongoing strategies in place to stop your network growing cold.
Having secured the work, scoping the project, outlining the client’s objectives and metrics are essential along with having clearly defined budgets and timescales. Don’t forget to include preparation time and report writing in your budget proposal.
But above all managing the relationship is vital. You need to keep on track and keep everyone involved to ensure you get that lovely testimonial at the end. (Which you must share for all to see). After all, that’s how you will get your next recommendation…
If you would like to learn more you can do an introductory day or the full consultancy module from Sept and January.
An article for Northern Insight Magazine by Veronica Swindale
Director, Chartered Marketer, FCIM and CIM Ambassador of the North 2017
Whether it’s working on your current skill set or exploring a new area of expertise nesma has all your marketing and communication know-how covered.