How To Grow Your Consulting Practice Consistently

Dealing with the crazy-urgent—client emergencies, project deadlines, a last-minute media request—is easy for most entrepreneurial consultants and advisors.

We’re hard-wired to deal with the immediate and often take great pride in our ability to manage amidst chaos.

But focusing on the daily spadework of building a vibrant practice and business? Not so much.

Tasks like setting up marketing funnels to attract new clients; making a call to a future alliance partner; delegating administrative tasks so you can spend more time doing the work you love—all can slide to the bottom of your list.

And so your practice grows in fits and starts, never achieving the consistent growth you need to reach the full potential of your business.

Whether it’s being able to serve more clients, hire more staff, become a recognized authority or simply command a steadily increasing income stream, you have a dream for your business.

And getting there requires investing your time consistently.

But how are you supposed to fit these into an already jam-packed schedule?

Consider the “Rule of Five”.

Every day, you do one thing that will advance your business in five weeks, five months or five years.

Five weeks is where you pick the low-hanging fruit and plant a few seeds. These are the emails, calls, meetings and posts that get you connected to prospective clients and referral sources. It’s responding to those who ask for referrals to your network or social media shares. Making time to help someone else is just good business, not to mention an investment in both your futures.

Five months is marketing territory. It takes time to turn a new contact into a warm, connected client or future buyer. Digitally, we’re talking about building automated marketing funnels for your three types of prospects, those: 1) choosing amongst solutions, 2) looking for a solution and 3) who don’t yet know they have a problem.

Design the experience you want for your audience those first 90-100 days. Write content (think steady stream of emails). Develop connection points (webinars, social media groups, phone calls, texts). And as you build your automated sales funnel, keep investing in relationships that started with your five-week interactions. Forward an idea, continue the conversation, do a favor, stay connected. You know building these relationships takes consistent effort.

Five years is the big kahuna of your time investments. Here is where you dedicate yourself to learning, writing and long-term relationship and brand building. That book may not pay for itself in the first year or two, but by year five it could well be your primary calling card. Ditto that client relationship that was slow to start but has become your springboard to 10X your practice. What can you do today that is a small step toward your five-year vision?

I challenge you to start thinking in fives: what do you want to be different in five weeks, five months and five years?

Hint: if it’s vastly different than where you are right now, you may need to master some new moves.

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