Learn the fundamentals of finding your ideal client. HR consultant, Kate Marchant shares her knowledge on how to find and attract your ideal clients as a freelance HR consultant.
How to define your ideal client
Think about your own values and what you would like to see reflected in your potential ideal client – this may involve going into specific detail – for example it could be someone who is a business owner, with up to 100 employees, who wants to bring out the best out in their employees, increase their engagement levels and be known for being the best employer in the local area. On a personal basis it could be someone who has a personal interest in sport and keeping fit. This might sound a bit detailed and personal, however, if you don’t drill down into this level of detail you may never find out where to go to reach your ideal client.
A very important next step is to understand what specific pain points your client has – this is key in order for them to buy your services: they need to know what you are going to resolve or help them with. So, consider these questions:
- What pain points will you resolve?
- What typically gives your ideal client the most headaches?
- Can you quantify this cost – so they understand how much the issue is costing them currently and, therefore, the money you will save them by resolving?
- What are the benefits of working with you – what USP do you bring to the table (what makes YOU different)?
How to attract your ideal client as an HR consultant
You’ve got this far and still determined to press ahead in the freelance HR consultant world. Well, the first thing you need to realise you will not suddenly get a load of clients knocking on your door as soon as you launch! Unless you are very lucky. The other, really important aspect to consider is how to market yourself as an HR consultant. Although there are many different ways to do this, HR Consultants need to start to get themselves ‘out there’ through networking and using professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn.
Learning how to network effectively as an HR consultant can lead to an increase in brand awareness and ultimately getting in front of potential clients. But how should you network effectively as an HR consultant?
So many people make the mistake of telling people what they do at networking events as opposed to how they help people. If you have done your homework around your ideal client and their pinch points, you will hopefully be attending events you know they hang out at. Not only that, by telling them how you can help them and how much money you can save them, is much more likely to get their attention than reeling off a list of all the HR stuff you can do or have experience of – it will not resonate with them, and they may well not even understand what you are talking about!
Choose your networking groups carefully – check the types of businesses that attend – are they the type you are looking for? Do not be tempted to scatter gun as this can be costly and a waste of time. Do your research!
Many HR consultants can build up a good network on LinkedIn and this is also a great way to build your own brand. Learning how to maximise your LinkedIn as an HR consultant can ultimately be a great way to showcase your expertise. Again, if you have done your research on potential ideal clients, LinkedIn can be a useful platform to reach out to them and talk to them in a way which strikes a chord. But you need to be in it for the long run – one or two posts won’t cut it. Keep showing up and get your brand in everyone’s face – consistency is key.
Many HR consultants feel nervous about doing this however, your efforts will pay off over time as you will be appearing in peoples feed and when they do need help you may be the first person they think of! Posting regularly allows you to establish yourself as the expert in a certain field. But always keep your brand in mind – if you want to be known as a no nonsense, straight talking and humorous HR expert, then make sure your posts reflect this. Use humour and emojis to get a sense of who ‘you’ are. Sure, not everyone will like this, but you can’t please everyone, and you are not trying to get everyone to buy your services – just the potential clients you want to work with!
And finally – you will see there is a lot to consider behind the scenes before you even look at whether you set up as a sole trader or Ltd company and even before you start to think about pricing. My advice is to consider all of the above and clarity on the more technical aspects will follow!
Read more from the myhrtoolkit blog
6 social media steps to grow your HR consultancy
Written by Kate Marchant
Kate Marchant is an experienced HR professional and CIPD Associate Member who offers straight talking HR solutions for SMEs with friendly and jargon free advice through her consultancy Running HR Ltd.