Is a Brochure Essential for Starting a New Consulting Business?

The Series — Breaking Into Consulting

As a new consultant, you certainly have to consider what marketing collateral you need. In fact, we spend a lot of time of the whys and hows of marketing pieces – your business card, letterhead, website, etc.

The Wrong Brochure May Work Against You At This Stage.

You’re new in business and new to consulting as a professional pursuit.  You’re in a hurry to get up and running.  In consultation with your website designer, husband or marketing advisor, you may be asking:

“If I only had a beautiful brochure to give to people, wouldn’t I appear more professional? More established?”

The answer is, emphatically, “No.”  Too often, a glossy brochure meets the needs of the owner — but plays no role in meeting the needs of potential clients!

When you’re just starting out, you don’t know what you need.

As a problem solver, you don’t know what problems potential clients will be facing.  Your job is to uncover them after an introductory meeting  — and maybe, only through a thorough needs analysis. If your brochure says you solve “this sort of problem,” it may prevent that first meeting from even happening.

Later, if you find yourself specializing in solving certain types of problems, you will know how best to describe your process and results.  You may, at that time, even have case histories (carefully sanitized) to share as part of your marketing.

Therefore, the most effective brochure for the new practice may be a simple FAQ page on the website, or a typewritten list of your services on a single sheet of letterhead.

Flexibility In the Beginning Can Be Beneficial.

As you gain clients and experience and become comfortable with your “style” of consulting you will develop a better understanding of your target market’s expectations. At that point you will have a better idea of whether or not you need a printed brochure and, if so, what form it should take.

If you’re still making decisions about collateral, take another look at the suggestions here:

Day One of Your Consulting Practice

And take a look at the other posts in this series, Breaking Into Consulting.  Each has some good reminders and links to materials created by professionals and aimed directly at new consulting business owners.

The Breaking Into Consulting Series:

WARNING: While all the information mentioned here has value, I caution you about spending too much time on your marketing materials before you complete that essential first step — developing your Marketing Plan. When you’ve completed all the analysis for that plan — analysis of your own strengths and weaknesses, analysis of the marketplace and your competition, development of your strategies and even tactics, etc. — then decisions about marketing collateral will be simple and sound.

The Marketing Machine®

Take a look at our recommended guide to building a marketing plan for a professional practice. I think you’ll find it refreshingly straight-forward. And it will help you decide if and when to spend money on marketing collateral.



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