In today’s economic climate, it’s more important than ever that all of a consultant’s marketing materials be as effective as possible. But, if you’re just starting your consulting practice, it would pay off to know exactly which pieces you’ll really need to have for your business.

Here’s what I recommend:

  • A logo. Having a logo quickly takes a consultant from having an image of being a person working at home in their pajamas to looking like a real business. It shows your potential clients that you’re serious about running your business like a business — and that can give you a boost in credibility that can mean the difference between a client trusting you with their project or walking away.Be sure to get your logo in a variety of file formats, so you’ll be able to use it in your Word documents, on your invoices, and upload it to websites like Facebook.
  • A business card. You need to have something to hand out at the networking meetings you’ll be attending. Handing out a business card that looks unique can help your new contacts remember meeting you.  Make sure your business card also includes your full contact information, and some basic information about what you do, so that your new contact will have a point of reference.
  • A (small) website. Your website gives those new clients that you’ve just handed your business card to some place to go to follow up and learn more about you. If you create your website with this “job” in mind, then you can make sure that it will answer the first questions that your prospects typically have after meeting you. This is the most basic function of a website — and if yours can accomplish that, then it’ll truly be an effective tool. Having a website of about 5-10 pages should be plenty of space for you to accomplish this goal.
  • A blog or newsletter header or some other branded way for you to get your ideas out into the world easily. One of the most effective ways for a consultant to market is through thought leadership — sharing your thinking on your area of expertise. In order to take advantage of this marketing form to its fullest, design some sort of branded template that you can easily modify and publish to your followers with each installment — whether that’s weekly or monthly with a newsletter, or more often with your blog.

These are the most basic tools that you’ll need to market your consultancy. In future posts, I’ll talk in more detail about how you can make each of these tools as effective as possible.