Marketing is usually the aspect of self-employment prospective HR consultants are most concerned about. And naturally so – it’s not something most HR professionals have done a lot of, if any at all.
But your most powerful sales tool is actually something you already have. Authenticity. Being who you already are. Communicating things that are genuinely true and real.
If you’re trying to sell a version of yourself that isn’t real, that will not work, or not nearly as well. If you’re trying to sell a brand that doesn’t ‘fit’ who you really are, that will impede your success.
What you want is for potential clients, and those who might recommend or refer you (sometimes without having used your services), to feel confident in what they are getting. To feel ‘safe’ and reassured that everything you say is real, and that promises you make will be kept. That what people see is indeed what they’ll get.
You want the impression you give through all the different means people might come across you to be consistent. You’ll be meeting people in person, at networking events and meetings. You’ll be meeting people virtually in video conference calls. You’ll be meeting people one-on-one and in group settings.
You’ll have a social media output consisting of a variety of different formats, perhaps articles, links to a website, comments on other people’s posts, videos, and your own simple written posts.
You might appear in other places such as on radio shows, in publications and even on television.
You’ll have a website or web page, perhaps business cards, brochures or other marketing materials, all giving an impression of what you’re all about.
If people who are thinking of either working with you or recommending you to someone else feel that everything that is supposed to represent you ‘ties in’, and ‘matches’ – that the values you talk about in person are in line with your marketing materials and of the brand you are representing. If the services you provide seem to clearly be provided in the way you describe. If testimonials describe you in a way you naturally come across, then they will relax. They will feel more confident in you, and that they are getting the ‘real deal’. Then everything else you say will come across as credible, and the idea of working with an HR consultant in the first place, or recommending one to someone else, seems a bit less risky.
So make sure everything reflects as accurately as possible who you are, what you do, and most importantly, how you do it. That way you’re being authentic, your credibility goes up, marketing is easier (because it’s much easier being you than trying to be something else!), and business improves.
If you’re thinking of starting your own HR consultancy and would like to discuss becoming a partner, do get in touch.