New Research on the Visible Expert℠ Advantage in Management Consulting
As a management consulting firm, you’re constantly navigating the challenges that come with a continuously changing industry. These challenges and the marketing initiatives you prioritize in response shape the entire trajectory of your firm—but what if you could address all of your challenges and priorities with one major change to your firm’s personnel?
That’s where Visible Experts come in. But before we get into the benefits of becoming or developing these experts in your firm, let’s back up and showcase how we came to this conclusion.
Breaking Down Challenges and Priorities
Recent research from the Hinge Research Institute identified three top business challenges that management consulting firms are currently facing:
- Attracting and Developing New Business (81.1 percent)
- Dealing with a Difficult Economy/Competitive Marketplace (25.2 percent)
- Finding/Keeping Good People (24.4 percent)
“Attracting and Developing New Business” was the most popular answer by a wide margin. Not surprisingly, generating new business was a top challenge for professional services firms across industries. However, management consulting firms identified it as a top challenge as a higher rate than any other industry.
When asked how they planned to address these challenges, management consulting firms reported these four marketing initiatives as their top priority:
- Try to Generate More Referrals (47.6 percent)
- Increase the Brand Visibility of Your Firm (43.6 percent)
- Increase the Visibility of Firm Experts (42.7 percent)
- Develop a More Compelling Message to Potential Clients (42.7 percent)
All four of these priorities can be met with the expanded credibility that comes with becoming or developing high-visibility experts within your firm. However, while our research clearly demonstrated the importance of Visible Experts across all professional services industries, there were a few standout differences for management consulting firms.
The Visible Expert Advantage in Management Consulting
Management Consulting Visible Experts Can Command Higher Rates
Top level Visible Experts in management consulting can succeed with higher billing rates than other industries. Here’s the breakdown comparison for what top level experts charge in comparison to other average professionals in other industries:
- Technology services: 9x the billing rate of average professionals
- AEC: 8x the billing rate of average professionals
- Accounting and financial services: 14x the billing rate of average professionals
What about the management consulting industry? 17x the billing rate of average professionals. This suggests that Visible Experts are even more highly valued and sought after in the consulting field than they are in other professional services.
Consulting Experts Generate Leads From Multiple Sources
Our results showed that, in most other professional services industries, Visible Experts relied heavily on traditional referrals to generate leads for their firms. However, the top lead sources for management consulting experts were speaking engagements and book publications.
This directly highlights the marketing tools that management consulting experts find the most impactful—like books, keynote addresses and other speaking engagements. By seeking out leads from various sources, high-visibility experts in the consulting industry are bringing in a great deal of new business for their firms, while increasing their personal visibility.
The Accessibility of High Visibility Expertise
Management consulting experts are well-positioned to succeed at reaching Visible Expert status. Our research found a subset of experts who rose to high visibility at a much faster pace than other experts. These Fast Trackers’ journeys were distinguished by three key characteristics:
- They focused on a niche
- They embraced content marketing
- They wrote a book
With these three approaches, experts in the management consulting field are able to get on the fast track to enjoying the benefits of Visible Expert status. This shows that, while building a reputation as an expert in the management consulting field certainly doesn’t happen overnight, it is more accessible to those willing to commit to a systematic process. Firms that take the time and put forth the effort to cultivate experts can reap the rewards of increased growth and a strengthened brand.
To learn more about cultivating Visible Experts in the management consulting industry, get our full research study here as a free download.
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