Michael Zipursky posted this infographic about consultants' marketing strategies (among other things), and gave us permission to repost it here:
Source: Business Consulting Buzz
This represents the results of a survey of over 10,000 consultants. The first section compares marketing strategies against one another, showing both the amount of time spent on each one and the percentage of respondents who said that each strategy made them the most money. Unsurprisingly, the types of marketing on which people spend the most time are also perceived to generate the most revenue. As pointed out in the discussion at the original post, it would be difficult for any activity that most people ignore to have much of an impact on revenue. Blogging, for instance, might have the potential to be one of the more effective means of marketing, but if nobody is doing it well, then we'll never know.
Another important caveat is that the "makes the most money" is a subjective self-evaluation. It's unlikely that every one of these respondents asked every one of their clients which one of their marketing efforts led them to their door. I would venture to guess that a guess was the source of most of these answers.
More interesting to me are the categories in which the respondents spend less time for a greater (perceived) income, relative to other categories. Those are Presentations/Seminars and Referrals. Consultants appear to consider these big wins. Networking, although it seems to bring in a lot of business, appears to require even more time.
Even though 61% of the respondents claim an annual income of $71,000 or more, 78% report spending $6,000 or less on marketing efforts. It would appear from those numbers that most consultants are not aggressively marketing themselves.
Some other interesting observations: 61% of the respondents have been consulting for five years or less. Half of them have no employees — which I would probably attribute to all of the legal hassles of having employees in most countries.
What does this data tell you? What do you think is missing?
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Chip Camden has been programming since 1978, and he's still not done. An independent consultant since 1991, Chip specializes in software development tools, languages, and migration to new technology. Besides writing for TechRepublic's IT Consultant blog, he also contributes to [Geeks Are Sexy] Technology News and his two personal blogs, Chip's Quips and Chip's Tips for Developers.