I recently conducted a workshop for Women in Consulting (WIC) entitled, “How to Position Your Consulting Business into New Markets” and learned a lot from the attendees. I enjoyed the experience and we did some great brainstorming at the end for everyone’s businesses.
Most of the attendees were either consultants or entrepreneurs, contemplating a new market. Some were interested in biotech, or Green and others were deciding between several markets. In general, the group needed a process to help them begin marketing their skills to a new market that they hadn’t tried before.
Overall, these women had incredible skills ranging from project management, marketing, training and development, HR, copywriting, engineering and even web development. Here’s some tips and tricks for entering new markets for the first time that were discussed at the workshop:
1.) Find your focus: Although it may seem easy to say “I’m entering the Greentech market” you still need to determine a target audience and companies that you’d like to work with. Many of the people in the workshop I conducted were still unsure if the market they were going after would really be best suited to their skill sets and meet their expectations. Research, research and research! Once you’ve found your focus, make sure you do your homework to find out about the top 2-5 companies you may want to work for and find out what they’re doing in their market.
2.) Determine your unique selling point – what makes you unique? Positioning yourself in a new market is critical. If other people have expertise in a specific market and you are competing with them, how can you add your value? The answer is to re-position your skills so that you are solving problems for the new market you want to enter. Find ways to address what makes you unique. Ask yourself how can you solve problems for this new market using the skills you’ve acquired in different industries?
3.) Update your image online to reflect your new market interest: Once you’ve re-positioned yourself, update this online! Use LinkedIn and other online vehicles to show your interest in new markets. Updating your resume and profile to indicate your new interest will make it clear you’re ready to work in different industries.
4.) Find a market that suits your interests, passion and long-term goals: If you’re not passionate about a company’s cause, you may want to re-consider working in that market space. What moves you, what products are you passionate about and what business matches your own long-term goals? Ask yourself what industries match who you are as a person and as a professional.
5.) Network using your own rolodex: Chances are that someone in your own network knows someone in the market you are about to enter. Whether it’s a coffee meeting or lunch to get better acquainted, find a mentor or networking buddy who can help you learn more about the market you’d like to enter and research what that industry is looking for in this economy. Make sure you get a greater understanding for their pain points right now, what types of people they like to hire and learn how their values match up to your own.
I will post more later on this topic, as I have compiled more notes on this workshop.
I will be conducting a webinar in December for People OnTheGo with the topic of “Top 5 Tips for Entering New Markets” and will post the registration link for everyone soon!