How Do I Find Clients For My Consulting Business?

Whether you are just getting started or have done consulting for many years, the best way to find new clients is through referrals. If you have been in business for many years, satisfied customers are a great source of referrals. However, if you are a new consultant, you may have yet to satisfy customers but instead reach out to people you have enjoyed working with.

Why do referrals work so well?

A referral is an introduction to a potential buyer with an endorsement. Referrals come from past shared success with your customers or former co-workers, who know your potential and can vouch for you or your team’s ability to deliver. Because they understand what you deliver, they can match it to an active need. As a result, referral deals often close fast.

Referrals spring from an ongoing relationship where your customer wants you to prosper because you have helped them and believe that you will continue to be able to help them.

Here are a couple of things you can do to activate your network and generate referrals to find clients

Tell your network that you are looking for your next project

This advice seems obvious, but most people don’t do it. Let everyone in your personal and professional network know about your new line of work and that you’re eager for referrals. Attend business events targeted toward executives at firms that could benefit from your services. Equip your network with who you are looking for and what type of projects.

A simple LinkedIn or email post saying I am looking for my next gig may be all that is needed.

  • Here’s what I have been up to … Here’s what I am looking for. Please feel free to pass on my name and phone number if you ever hear of an opportunity.
  • I am wrapping up my latest project … add a few details about the project.
  • I am looking for my next gig. Please let me know if you hear of anything.

In the article Best Way to Get Leads is Referrals, we share example emails and post to LinkedIn.

In the video snippet below, I share a couple of ideas of LinkedIn posts.

Full video is found at Lead Generation for Consultants

Share case studies

It is far easier for people to pattern match and refer you when you share concrete examples.

For example, one simple case study might be…

In my last project, I developed software for a handheld device that used light to analyze blood. This story equips your network with key information; you do software development for medical products.

Make a list of thirty people that you have enjoyed working with

Reconnect and offer to meet for coffee or a meal. Suggest an event that would be of interest to both of you. Write a recommendation on LinkedIn for them to let them know how much you appreciated working with them. See what you can do for them and tell them what kind of firm constitutes a good prospect for your products or services.

Grow your network

Reach out to partner networks and professional organizations. Give a talk or write an article for them. Join professional organizations like PATCA and WIC. These organizations can help you meet other consultants and swap job leads with one another through email lists.

How SKMurphy can help you find clients

SKMurphy offers a 90-day Getting More Customers Bootcamp that covers a variety of proven marketing techniques for growing your business, and attendees will select one or two that fit their style and develop a plan to implement them in their business in the next 90 days.

We examine the four main ways to find customers and demonstrate your expertise.

  1. Speaking – webinars, small groups, large groups, conferences, …
  2. Writing – blogging, newsletters, articles, …
  3. What other people say about you – referrals, testimonials, case studies, …
  4. Getting found when and where buyers are looking: AdWords, trade shows, SEO/SEM, –

The cost is $110 for this 5 week course (Special pricing as we debug the course)


Books Recommendations

Below are two excellent books for guidance on doing a business and marketing plan for a consulting practice.

  • Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants by Michael McLaughlin
  • Rainmaking by Ford Harding

Related Blog Posts


Five Reasons Companies Hire Consultants


Lead Generation for Consultants



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