I'm looking to do a very niche consulting business and want to develop a local client base from scratch. Any advice on how to begin finding clients in addition to joining chambers, local clubs, and going through current contacts?

Personally I would stay away from those groups. In my experience they've been full of broke business owners trying to sell to everyone else. Big waste of time.

Money-making business owners are...guess their offices! Being tied up by employees coming in and asking questions for them to resolve!

The idea of making a customer avatar, in contrast, is a good one. You need to know who you're looking and filtering for. Not everyone qualifies to be your client. They need three things:

* Need or want for your help

* A problem large enough that it warrants your involvement in fixing it (Budget)

* A Personality that you can get along with. No amount of money is worth a bad personality fit.

Once you understand your avatar, you can start filtering for it. You can ask business owners, "Do you know anyone who has these kinds of problems?" You can pre-qualify a list by industry type, number of employees, recent events in their world, and so on...and then connect with the principles of those businesses.

Yes, you have to get out there and meet people. But a huge factor in success or failure is picking a target market who can afford what you have to offer...not just those who have a need or problem you can fix. Lots of people are out there who have the problem, but can't afford your help.

So in summation:

* First pick a target market that can afford your help, so that you have a chance of hitting your money target

* Filter further in that target market by those who have need, budget, and personality fit

* Go meet them in their offices, because that's where they are.

Answered 3 years ago

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