When is the last time you read a helpful blog article that gave you actionable advice to improve your consulting business? Did you know that there are consultant-specific blogs that host such advice?
Although books are a fantastic way for consultants to learn how to run a more profitable business -- blogs can be just as helpful. They may lack some of the staying power and authority of books, but they make up for it with their ease of access, interactivity, and updateability.
You can Google any question related to your business or industry and find an answer in seconds. Chances are, this answer would be found in the form of a blog article.
These best consulting blogs offer bite-sized reads packed with actionable tips and strategies for consultants.
This article lists what I consider to be the best blogs on consulting. Rather than blogs focused on a particular consulting industry, I'm listing blogs that are focused on business development, marketing, and sales for consultants and independent professionals.
Whether you are a management consultant, sales consultant, or design consultant, reading these blogs (and most importantly, taking action on their advice) will help you improve your consulting business.
Think of these writers as your virtual "board of directors", or your consulting mentors. Whenever you are a stuck in a rut, or looking for inspiration, visit one of these consulting blogs and read an article or two. You'll be sure to find some help.
Best Consulting Blogs
If you're looking for expertise on every aspect of business development, sales, or marketing for consultants -- look no further than the best consulting blogs.[The websites featured in this post are listed in no particular order]
Consulting Success, which is run by Michael & Sam Zipursky, will be one of the first search results that comes up with any query related to marketing and selling consulting services.
With a fantastic design and superb content, this comes as no suprise. The Zipursky cousins are marketing masterminds, and have a deep expertise in how consultants can build a thriving consultancy. Marketing is perhaps the most crucial component of consulting, and Consulting Success has you covered in that regard -- and many more.
I asked Michael to give me the insider scoop on Consulting Success, and what he hopes to achieve with it:
"Consulting Success is a comprehensive learning platform for serious consultants and skilled professionals who want to grow a stable and reliable consulting practice that attracts high-value clients time and time again.
We believe in the transformational power of consulting that creates real results for clients, and enables you as a consultant to do your best work, enjoy more time with your family, and achieve your desired income level and lifestyle.
Consulting Success has over 900 articles and resources to help consultants grow their business and increase their fees. Join over 23,000 consultants who read the consulting newsletter here: consultingsuccess.com
Must read articles from Consulting Success:
Best Questions to Ask Your Consulting Clients
Want to Get More Clients? Focus on High-Value Work
David Fields - Irresistible Consulting Moments
David's vast experience as a consultant shines through his relatable and easily digestable content. His blog, written for independent consultants, feels as though David is talking directly to you as a mentor or consulting coach.
The content found on David's blog is remarkably consistent and approachable. They include cartoons (drawn by him) that provide much needed humor in an often stiff, dry industry. They also help solidify the ideas and concepts he writes about in his blog.
I asked David about his blog and what drives him to publish content so consistently:
"Put simply, I passionately believe clients should be turning to independent consultants (i.e., solo and boutique firms) most of the time they need a consultant. Therefore, I work hard to support the independent consulting community.
My articles focus primarily on how independent consultants can win more projects from more clients at higher fees, and how they can provide more value for clients while simultaneously generating more profit.
I like to think my articles are the right marriage of practical and a fun read. The drawings are the height of my artistic talent… which is why I’m a consultant, not a graphic designer!"
Must read articles from Irresistible Consulting Moments:
How to Be Audacious: A guide for Prudent Consultants Like You
5 Online Tools I Use to Grow My Firm
Betsy Jordyn - Consulting Matters: Mastering the Art & Science of the Business
Betsy's blog is one that is fairly new to the scene — but has already become one of the most consistent, quality blogs online for consultants.
Inside, she shares various articles, podcasts, and other resources that help you run your own successful consulting business.
Betsy's content comes from her own experience transitioning from 20 years of consulting to world class organizations like Disney, Wyndham and AAA, and 9 years of running her own profitable consulting business.
Here's what she said when I asked her how her blog stands out:
"It is designed to transform high-achieving professionals into world-class corporate consultants AND sustainably profitable business owners. It’s designed to equip really smart people with the knowledge and skills to confidently leap into full-time consulting, launch a strengths-based consulting business, attract and land high-paying corporate clients and deliver results with excellence. Through a combination of business, relational and marketing savvy, my readers will have the guidance they need to begin cultivating authentic consulting confidence that will make all the tasks of running a consulting business almost effortless.
How my blog is different –
- I think I am the only woman (or one the few) in the consulting mentoring space
- I offer step-by-step guidance to create and implement systems (NOT scattered tactics)
- I provide whole person support for each part of their consulting business growth journey – heart, mind and tactics
Must read articles from Consulting Matters:
5 Effective Content Marketing Tips for Consultants
Why Your Client Doesn't Care How Smart You Are (And What They Really Want to Know)
Hinge - Professional Services Marketing Today
If you are looking for thought leadership on marketing for professional services firms (consultants included), look no further than Hinge's blog, Professional Services Marketing Today.
Hinge offers marketing services for professional services firms. Their articles on branding and marketing for consulting firms are in a league of their own. Their research on marketing and branding for professional services firms are also especially impressive, and are leading the way for all of us to make better, more informed decisions in our businesses.
Here's what Aileen, Senior Marketing Strategist at Hinge, had to say about their blog:
"Professional Services Marketing Today is the only research-based blog designed exclusively for professional services firms. PSMT provides the latest knowledge, insights and tools to market any firm the high-growth way."
Must read articles from Professional Services Marketing Today:
2017 High Growth Study - Research Summary
Top 10 Marketing Techniques for Professional Services
Chad Barr - Chad's Blog
Chad Barr is one of the premier thought-leaders in the digital media space as author of Million Dollar Web Presence and The Bridge To Web Success.
His blog covers what he's learned from working with the world's best and brightest consultants and business owners -- as well as his own stories. Chad's posts are easy to read and you'll always come away with actionable from reading his content.
Here's what Chad had to say about his blog:
"The greatest leaders and organizations are prolific publishers of remarkable content and they never stop creating and innovating. My blog focuses on sharing innovative ideas to improve your life and business. It is dedicated to helping you increase your global web presence and reach and strengthen your digital empire by leveraging powerful business, Internet and marketing strategies."
Must read articles from Chad's Blog:
The Biggest Impact You’ve Created and Experienced
Are You Strengthening Your Thought Leadership?
Jacq Hackett Consulting Blog
Jacq Hackett is a consultant who helps solo consultants working in the public sector start and develop their consulting businesses.
Jacq dedicates much of her success to one of her mentors early on her business, and this mentorship and guidance is what she wishes to bestow among up and coming consultants with her blog.
Here's what Jacq told me about her consulting blog and what she hopes to achieve with it:
Must read articles from Jacq's blog:
How to create your consulting brand
Overcoming the fear of marketing yourself
MBO Partners - MBO Blog
MBO Partners offers software and business operations solutions for independent professionals and consultants.
Their blog covers everything from marketing and sales to the legal and financial aspects of building your own business as a solo practitioner. The breadth of the blog will blow you away, and it's one of the most consistent and high-quality blogs you'll find as an independent consultant.
"MBO Partners® has the industry’s only complete business operating system for independent workers, offering technology solutions that make it easy for self-employed professionals and their clients to do business.
By re-envisioning and streamlining the entire contract talent acquisition and engagement lifecycle, MBO improves how independents operate and succeed while helping enterprises reduce risk and get the best return on their contractor investments.
MBO publishes content daily on its blog on a variety of topics that are of interest to both independent professionals and the enterprises that engage these workers. Key features include content on starting and running an independent business as well as ways to manage and optimize an independent career."
To learn more, visit www.mbopartners.com/blog.
Must read articles from the MBO Blog:
Testing the Waters: Moonlighting as a Part-Time Consultant
6 Tips for Building and Maintaining Client Relationships
Actionable Consultants is a blog that is leading the way in how business is changing for consultants. It's one thing to know your industry -- and it's another to know where it's headed. Actionable Consultant helps you stay on top of your business and the future of the industry.
The articles on Actionable Consultants are well written and researched. They prompt you to think about the most critical questions for your business. When I'm looking for new ideas, their blog is one of the first that I go to.
I connected with Sara, their managing editor, to learn more about their blog:
"Technology, Millennials and a focus on context over content are just three of the factors leading to a seismic shift in the world of professional coaching and consulting.
The Actionable Consultants blog addresses the rapid shifts in the learning and development industry, provides resources to help consultants and coaches grow their business, and insights into how consultants are providing value to their clients.
Actionable is on a mission to improve the world of work by partnering with consultants and coaches what want to make meaningful, measurable impact in the organizations they work with."
Must Read Articles from Actionable Consultants:
Build Your Brand - Social Media for Consultants
Building Your Business: Creative Approaches to Growth
Rattleback has an excellent blog that I read frequently to validate many of my own strategies for marketing my consulting business.
Jason, the founder of Rattleback, does an amazing job of covering all things marketing for professional services firms, including consulting firms. He ties content marketing, branding, and digital marketing together in a way thats easy to understand and immediately applicable.
I reached out to Jason to ask about his companies' blog, and how he uses it:
"The Rattleback blog is written exclusively for professional services marketers. While we primarily write about digital marketing, we also cover upstream issues such as positioning, branding, and thought leadership marketing. It is intended to be highly practical and actionable rather than overly research-oriented. Our website is our primary form of marketing; we use it to attract and inform potential clients on substantive issues that matter to them."
Must read articles from Rattleback:
Your 3 Phase Marketing Model to Deliver New Clients
3 Website Best Practices of the Leading Thought Leadership Marketers
Action Plan Marketing Blog
Action Plan Marketing, run by Robert Middleton, is one of the top blogs on marketing for independent professionals. After struggling as a small business consultant early on in his career, Robert "cracked the code" to successful marketing, and shares what he's learned freely throughout his blog.
The Action Plan Blog is packed full of years of content to help independent professionals market themselves, build a brand, and get more clients. Robert's decades of experience and practical, easy to understand marketing strategies make his blog a must-read for independent consultants.
I connected with Robert and asked him about ActionPlan, and the story behind it:
"Before I had a blog, I had an email newsletter that I started sending in 1997. I wrote one article a week on the topic of marketing for independent professionals. As a result of writing so much, my knowledge of marketing, the clarity of my ideas and my overall confidence as a marketing coach soared dramatically.
A few years later I started posting my email newsletters on my blog. The extra advantage of this was that because of the extra content on my site, more people and potential clients found me on the web. Since 2002, virtually all of my business has come as a result of my email newsletter and blog. I've built a brand, credibility and trust with tens of thousands of people with this medium.
People often ask me how I find content for my writing. It's easy; it's all based on problems and challenges my clients have faced. As I'm working with them and sharing ideas and strategies, I frequently think, "that would be a perfect topic for an article." So, although I write an article every week, I have even more ideas to draw from. My editor taught me an important lesson: Start your articles with stories as they grab attention and increase readership much faster than just conceptual ideas."
Must read articles from the Action Plan Blog:
8 Steps to Creating New Clients
No Marketing Ideas More Important Than These
Consultant Journal is a helpful collection of posts, articles, books, and courses related to all aspects of consulting. It has no fluff and is full of answers to the common questions that consultants have about their business.
I enjoy reading Consulting Journal because it is straightforward and too the point. You'll waste no time reading through it, and every post is written to help you with one particular aspect of your business. I guarantee you'll come away with tips you can apply immediately to your business from browsing the blog.
Here's what Andrea Coutu, founder of Consultant Journal, had to say about the blog:
"Consultant Journal helps independent professionals survive and thrive in the world of consulting. Turn to Consultant Journal for more than a thousand articles that can help you with setting fees, managing clients and dealing with sticky situations. Get Six Tips for Jumpstarting Your Consulting Business free when you sign up for the newsletter at consultantjournal.com."
Must read articles from Consultant's Journal:
Consulting Fee Rates
Finding New Clients
Thought Leadership Resources
As consultants, we all want to become thought leaders and influencers. The best of the best at what we do. If we position ourselves as thought leaders, the feast-or-famine cycle ends -- and instead, we'll be booking clients months in advance.
I enjoy reading Thought Leadership Resources blog, Your Expertise Edge, because it helps consultants through the process of becoming known for the expertise they have spent years cultivating. Carl Friesen, founder of Thought Leadership Resources, does a superb job of laying out how you position yourself at the top of your industry. His vast experience in marketing and consulting makes every post a worth read.
I asked Carl about his blog, and what he hopes to achieve with it:
"Your Expertise Edge is a blog is for business professionals — consultants, lawyers, accountants, engineers and other subject-matter experts — who want to build their professional profile. With what they can learn through this blog, they’ll be able to get noticed by potential clients, stand out as offering extra value, and get more of the work they love to do (and at higher rates).
Topics include publishing articles in client-read media, getting speaking engagements, effective use of social media, and effective blogging. It’s based on the author’s experience as a journalist, education including an MBA, and over 15 years of experience helping business professionals get known for their expertise. To enroll, click here: http://bit.ly/1UEgqZD"
Must Read Articles from Thought Leadership Resources:
3 Reasons Your Thought Leadership Ideas May Get Ignored
How You Can Show Your Clients "I'm on Your Side"
Kai Davis' Blog
I consider Kai Davis the "friendliest guy on the Internet", and his marketing tips for consultants are among the best you can find.
His work on doing direct outreach, or the "cold email", is world class. His blog is full of immediately applicable and effective strategies for consultants looking to get more clients. His laser-like focus on the marketing channels that are actually effective for consultants are what make his blog critical reading.
I connected with Kai to ask him about his blog and what he offers:
"My blog is the best place to find actionable marketing strategy for consultants and freelancers on how to get more clients. From FreeOutreachCourse.com, a course on how to make sure that every email you send is important to the person receiving it, to articles on actionable marketing strategies like creating referrable moments (https://kaidavis.com/referrable-moments), my blog acts as home to articles, resources, and products that teach consultants how to get more clients. On my daily email list (get it in your inbox at kaidavis.com!), I send out daily articles on how to get more clients. On my blog, I syndicate the most popular articles and resources to help consultants get more clients."
Must read articles from Kai Davis' Blog:
Building Your Consulting Pipeline
Writing 'You' Focused Emails
Consultant's Mind is minimalist, simple, and straightforward. It's written for consultants, by consultants.
Despite it's simple design and short, punchy blog posts, Consultant's Mind has some of the best content from consultants on the web. It's focused on management consulting, but many of the posts are great reads for consultants in any industry. Consultant's Mind gives you an everyday insight into the industry and how to succeed. The content on the blog is unique, and there is no other blog on consulting quite like it.
I asked the creator of the blog what exactly Consultant's Mind is:
"I write about management consulting - business concepts, lifestyle, tips, tricks, and ruminations. Stuff I talk with other consultants, clients, and students in airports, hotel bars, and classrooms."
Must read articles from Consulting's Mind:
Consulting Skill: How to Build Rapport Quickly
"There is no substitute for work" - Vince Lombardi
These blogs listed in this article have helped me run my own successful practice, and are the blogs that I look to for inspiration. Reading them consistently strengthens my own services and helps me provide more value for my clients.
Instead of reading only books on consulting, try and read a few articles from these websites each week. Write down one action you can take from each article, and work it into your routine.
The quicker you can execute on the ideas that these influencers freely share through their blog, the faster you will improve your consulting business.
Just like these websites, you can [content_upgrade id=1262] learn how to write content for your consulting website[/content_upgrade] that generates leads for you while you sleep. As a consultant, you are already sharing what you know. My cheat sheet will give you some tweaks you can apply to drive more action out of what you share.
What's one blog on consulting that I missed -- that you read and have found helpful for your business?
Share one of your favorite consulting blogs (or articles) in the comments below.