The headline and subheader tells us what you're offering, and the form header closes the deal. Over here you can explain why your offer is so great it's worth filling out a form for.
2020 is almost over. "Thank God!" I hear many of you saying.
Indeed, it was a tough year for reasons I believe are no longer necessary to explain. I do hope that despite 2020 not panning out the way you wanted it to, you still found reasons to smile – whether it's because your child was born, you started your own business, adopted an animal from a shelter, read a really good book, spent the entire weekend relaxing and doing nothing, or improved your cooking skills.
My 2020 surely was a mix of amazing professional achievements and beautiful family moments, as well as interrupted plans, constant adjustments, and a never-ending worry for the well-being of my family and friends.
I've recruited new clients, spoken to dozens of consultants, and learned even more about what keeps the consultants up at night. I tried to address those concerns in my regular posts – blog articles, LinkedIn posts, and my newsletter.
If you haven't had the time to read all of them, here's the summary of my content between July and September 2020 (simply click on the title to read the full blog post):
Check out the past editions of my recently launched bi-weekly 'Think Piece' newsletter for consultants - The Authority.
'The Authority' helps consultants grow their pipeline by sharing intriguing educational stories. It’s my ultimate aspiration to create a bubble of calmness with this bi-weekly ‘think piece’, a place of stillness in the face of everyday stress. A chance to reflect on what really matters in your consulting work.
In each newsletter I address the following:
The big question I address is: "Luk, you teach 'narrow focus' and/or specialization as a consultant. But that would mean more income risk for me (covering fewer expertise domains). How to go about it?"
The big question I address is: "I work in a large consultancy firm and would like to get more support from marketing to improve my external visibility. How can I best collaborate with marketing?"
The big question I address is: "Could you give us a few ‘secrets’ how you are able to produce such a large volume of content?"
The big question I address is: "I’ve always been focusing a lot on expanding and building my relationships and network to grow my consulting business. I’ve read a few articles from you challenging such an approach. Why?"
The big question I address is: "How can we best protect our time to enable us to invest in getting more visible as a consultant?"
The big question I address is: "What are the common mistakes when developing content as a consultant?"
The big question I address is: "Luk, 2020 was a tough year. Do you see any future trends emerging from the challenging 2020 year, important for us to take into account in our work as consultants?"
In this article I address the issue that I see consultants struggle with daily – marketing. Somehow, marketing among consultants has earned a bad reputation. Many believe that it's the same thing as selling and selling is beneath them. I believe that marketing is not merely about selling stuff. Marketing in consulting is all about building long-term visibility and trust
More specifically, I explain how consultants from larger firms can work together with their marketing departments to combine the power of the brand with their own visibility as subject matter experts. My biggest message, however, is that if you don't put effort into your own marketing as a consultant, no one else will. Marketing is not separate from you. The sooner you embrace that fact, the sooner you can start marketing yourself strategically.
I produce content on a regular basis. Whether it's in the form of shorter LinkedIn posts or long in-depth articles on my blog, I am committed to consistently address the pain points of my target audience – the consultants. I'm often asked what my secret behind producing such volumes of content is. Well, in this article, I reveal it all.
I explain my 3-step approach to generating and promoting a large amount of content on a regular basis. I explain how I come up with ideas for my content, how I promote it, and how I maximize the impact of each piece of content that I put together. Finally, I offer a few suggestions that you, as a consultant, can start doing tomorrow – hell, why wait, today! – to create your own system of content production that will be efficient and will go to the heart of your readers' concerns.
"Why the heck are you openly sharing all your expertise and learnings? Aren’t you afraid that, by sharing your ‘secrets’, your clients won’t need you anymore?" I get this question a lot. A LOT.
No, I'm not. Not even a little bit. In this article, I explain my top 10 reasons for being so open about sharing my expertise, and why I recommend other consultants to do the same. Perhaps the biggest of them all is the fact that relevant, quality content improves your profile as an expert and builds up trust with your target audience. There are many other reasons, though, so make sure to read the article in full.
"Luk, growing my consulting business is all about my network and my relationships.” I’ve heard variations of this statement more times than I can count. However, in my experience, heavily relying on your network and relationships to grow your consulting business might result in an unreliable pipeline and unpredictable future. In an overcrowded consulting market, digital is how new business is won!
In this post, I list all the reasons why you should NOT rely on your network to grow your consulting business and, instead, offer an alternative model – one that creates a solid 4-pillar foundation and produces a stable pipeline of work.
Most of the clients that come to me are generalist consultants and, upon auditing them, I discover that they struggle with one or more of the following challenges:
When my work with a client comes to an end, I evaluate the progress we’ve made. In this article, I outline the nine things that I am proud to see my clients change about their behavior and start doing.
As I've mentioned earlier in this post, my newsletter features a number of sections, including 'The Big Question' – questions I receive from the consultants submitted to me via email or through one of my social media channels. In each edition, I address one such question with as much detail as possible.
The questions I receive give me a solid understanding of the pain points my audience experiences. Many of them are brought up by multiple consultants. You might be going through similar challenges, so make sure to go through this summary of my answers to the incoming questions. I'm sure you will find relevant information in many of the answers.
If you'd like to catch up on my content from the beginning of the year:
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Hello, I’m Luk Smeyers and I’m guiding consultants through the journey of growing their business by helping them transform into visible authorities. I have been in consulting businesses for almost 20 years, in very different roles: as European CHRO in a global consultancy, as a startup founder in an analytics consultancy, and as a leader in a 'Big 4' consultancy, post-acquisition of the startup. I had the privilege of achieving global visibility as a consultant and I never had to sell, persuade, or negotiate as a result. I have now bundled all those experiences, expertise, know-how, research, reading, successes, struggles, and failures from managing and growing that visibility in the past years.
The Visible Authority is a brand of:
Luk Smeyers BVBA
Offices in Leuven (BE) and Munich (DE)