Fear of THE COMPETITION is often one of the very biggest concerns for the new Consultant faced with the challenge of carving out a space in a crowded market.
How many other Consultancy Practices are there in my area?
How much are they charging for their services?
Why would anyone choose to work with a brand new, not yet established Consultancy Practice when they can go to an established, experienced one?
And so on….
The fact is that you can do something to stand out and be noticed and become the provider of choice even if you are totally new to the market and have not yet had a single client. Even better, it is something that will actually make the job of marketing your business substantially easier for you to accomplish.
Remember that your Business may be new – but YOU are its number one asset and you have spent years building up a substantial store of knowledge, skills and experience which is very valuable to your clients.
But you risk undermining that value if you do not leverage your experience in your early marketing decisions.
The vast majority of HR Professionals starting Consultancy Practices do the very same thing – the thing they would never dream of doing if they were looking for any other new role. They stop looking at the areas where they stand out in terms of experience and expertise and instead set up a ‘Jack of all Trades’ Consultancy practice. Instead of building on their vast experience and focusing on continuing to provide a service in that sector they try to speak to everyone who has employees and potentially may need HR Support.
You wouldn’t ever do this if you were looking for a new paid position would you? You would actively draw attention to your experience and target your job search to roles that were looking for your particular skill set. So why should looking for Clients be any different?
When you decide to do this you can largely forget about the majority of the Competition because mostly they will not be offering what you are offering, they will not be able to compete with your particular skill set and your industry, sector or service expertise. You will stop feeling like an apologetic newbie who has to start again and build up credibility with the market because you will be bringing that credibility with you. You can leverage your existing connections and ask for testimonials from people who have worked with you in your previous roles so you can start building up social proof right from day one. You will be speaking from a place of assurance and confidence from the very start and this will be magnetic for the right clients.
This is the number one most effective way to get your business to stand out in a crowded market and start to get traction and find clients quickly. And yet very few people set up their Consultancy Practice in this way – so why is that?
Sometimes it is a clear, strategic decision. They have considered specialising but have decided that they want to be a Generalist HR Consultant with a diverse client base – there is nothing at all wrong with that and I know people who have built highly successful practices this way.
However much more often it is a fear based decision – fear of missing out on a potential client, fear of appearing too niche and not being able to build up a client list, fear that employers that they could provide a service to will discount them and look elsewhere.
So they try to create a marketing message that says they can do anything HR based for anyone who has employees – but when you try to speak to everyone, it’s very difficult to be heard by anyone at all – your message gets lost in all of the noise around you.
So if you are starting out, or you are wondering how you can stand out in a crowded market then I invite you to consider this strategy – it will free you from the overwhelm of having to be for everyone and allow you to speak directly, clearly and from a position of authority and experience to clients who value you and need your specific skill set – and believe me, once you are in that position and you have started to build up that list of perfect fit clients – you really won’t be worrying about either your competitors or all of the other sectors you could provide your services to.