The old saying, “get rich with a niche,” is extremely limiting to growing a business as a professional consultant, coach or speaker. Why? Because when you limit yourself to only working with one industry, or providing one service around one pillar of expertise, you are limiting your opportunities to work in corporations that need your expertise.
Think about how a niche works in the corporate world. When you meet with a corporate decision-maker, and let’s say your niche is diversity and inclusion, if the company doesn’t need that topic right now, you’re escorted out the door faster than you can blink an eye. Or let’s say you only work with one modality, like one-on-one executive coaching, when the company needs a group training session, they won’t hire you! Or what if you’re a speaker and you land a workshop for a high-end corporate client, but once it’s over you have nothing to offer.
This old-fashioned thinking that you have to stay in a narrow niche, leaves you with one-and-done corporate clients. Once the training, coaching, or workshop you were hired for is over, you have nothing to offer this client. So, you have to go out and start over searching for another new corporate client.
I’m grateful that long ago, one of my business coaches helped me see how to build a sustainable business model with an unlimited income ceiling. Today, when I work in multi-national Fortune 100 organizations, I’m providing them with an array of pillars of expertise, as well as various methodologies and service offerings.
Are you ready to stop being seen as the one-trick pony and expand your service offerings to get a larger piece of the corporate consultant/training pie? I teach my clients how to have an “evergreen” status by offering a multitude of topics along with a variety of service models, so their corporate clients keep coming back to them. They go from having a one-and-done client to 6 -figure client.
Here are three ways I advise my private clients, who are looking to position their service offerings to corporations, to expand their reach and level up their profits.
1). Claim Your 5 Areas of Expertise.
Can you broaden the areas of expertise you provide to your corporate clients to at least five? I’ve found that there are often topics similar to your main area of expertise that you can claim and showcase to your corporate buyers. Start thinking in terms of an umbrella of topics that you specialize in. As your business morphs and grows, you can always expand your umbrella by moving into new areas that you enjoy teaching, while letting go of topics that no longer have traction.
If you offer a stair-step system, like my Predictable Promotion® system, use the same step-by-step process but cover it in different topics of what it takes to get to the top. For example, if you teach professionals how to master their personal image with a 3-step approach, could you add mastering their online brand with these same three steps?
2). Stop Limiting Your Expertise to Specific Industries.
99% of the time when I’m working with my clients the areas of expertise that they focus in are not industry-specific. Most solo-consultants who are offering services to solve employee or leader challenges with real solutions aren’t limited to the financial, IT, law, or retail industries. Every one of these companies can benefit from implementing their expertise to help their overall condition. If your marketing has been stuck on one particular industry, think seriously about how you can broaden your reach.
3). Step into New Roles that Are in High-Demand in Corporations.
Think about new roles you can play to expand your work beyond what you are currently offering. Let me give you a few examples of various roles I’ve filled in working for large organizations that has helped me achieve higher revenues while doing longer-term projects, all with low labor intensity.
Become a Dynamic Facilitator: If you work as an executive coach, can you also be a facilitator of a corporate mastermind group or a team strategy session? Could you lead a focus group of company clients to determine customer service issues impacting sales or employee groups to determine issues impacting morale?
Move into Executive Coaching: Can you provide private individual coaching or group coaching in organizations? Can you claim a spot on their internal coaching roster of trusted partners so that when the need arises, you’re the first person they call? Companies are spending more today than ever before on outside executive coaches who can help their leaders at a higher level.
Advance as an Expert Speaker: Can you be the keynote speaker or guest speaker at an organization’s leadership development training program or company kick-off meeting? Could you be the main speaker at the CEO forum to kick-off a company leadership program? This is how you think bigger and move away from one-hour lunch-and-learn sessions. You’re the expert! Consider a variety of ways you could speak through ½ day, a full day, or even multi-day programs.
Evolve into a Strategic Consultant: As the expert, can you get yourself invited to attend strategic internal meetings to learn about corporate challenges, new initiatives, or their talent strategy? This is a great way to get insider access to what’s really going on. You now have a front seat at the table so you can showcase your solutions to help them achieve the results they are looking for faster. By understanding their real issues, you will have the insight you need to write winning proposals and get hired over and over again.
These three suggestions have you leveraging your time, energy, and expertise so you stay on top as a leading corporate consultant. Instead of exhausting yourself by trying to constantly find the perfect client that fits within your narrow niche, you will cast a bigger, broader net to attract more clients and more profits.
Sarah’s Predictable Results Insights
- How can you broaden your areas of expertise?
- Which new industries could you target that would benefit from your current services?
- Which new role are you ready to step into that will allow you to showcase your expertise?
If you are looking to enter the corporate market as a beginner, or are already working with corporate clients at an intermediate level and want to accelerate to more clients and higher revenues, please contact me at 1-800-267-3245 for a complimentary strategy session to see how we may be of service to you.