The Marketing You Absolutely Must Do. Or Not.

Wrong And Right
Listen long enough to consultants who advise other consultants, and you will hear some really crazy stuff about marketing.

Just yesterday, I was on a call and the expert we’d all paid money to hear said, “For consultants, LinkedIn is really much more important than a website. You don’t need a website.”

I was glad I was muted, because the PPPFFFT and WTF that involuntarily came out of my mouth were not exactly shareable on that particular call.

I am coaching a fellow nonprofit consultant now who was basically told email was dead and she needed to build all of her marketing in social media. In that case, I let the sounds and cuss words rip openly. I’m coaching her on building her email list, because I have never seen anyone successfully do what she is trying to do without one.

Here’s the thing (from a consultant who helps other consultants as a part-time side gig):

Nothing is dead, except for faxing. Faxing is dead.

Websites, email, print, phone calls, in-person networking, and yes, social media — all very much alive.

Are any of these absolute must-dos or your business will fail? Can you safely eliminate any of these entirely from your marketing?

It all depends on YOU, and WHAT you are marketing, and to WHOM.

One of my friends is a nonprofit consultant who is brilliant and busy with clients all the time and she has never had a website, blog or email list of her own. She doesn’t need those things, because she is a people-collecting, friend-making, natural-networking machine.

I, on the other hand, am not. I am an introvert who hates networking, and all the public speaking I do is learned behavior that still demands two ibuprofen and a glass of wine when I come off stage. But I am just as busy, because I have a robust content marketing strategy. That kind of strategy demands a website, blog, and email.

So what about you?

The best marketing strategy for you is the one that naturally comes to you, like content marketing comes to me and like networking comes to my friend. The very worst marketing strategy is the one you build around generic marketing advice, like you have to do this or that, or shouldn’t do this or that.

I’d love to hear about some of the “absolutes” you’ve heard about marketing your consulting practice. Share in the comments!

During the Get Nonprofit Clients Coaching Program, we help you figure out which marketing tactics really are best for you. The program starts October 5; early bird registration rates end September 19.




  • MLind

    Great post, Kivi – super relevant to use freelancers! One thing I will say is because LinkedIn is so popular and you can really build out your profile, I’m currently getting away with not having a solo website for my business. Since there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all the marketing I ideally would be, I’m happy to have one less thing to do… plus I feel like given what I provide consulting on (which includes websites!), my website would have to be AWESOME — and I definitely don’t have time for that. :) – Marta

    • Kivi Leroux Miller

      Hi Marta,
      Totally applaud you focusing on just a channel or two, and ignoring others! However, if you really are going to do website consulting maybe just having a basic one page site that linked over to your social profiles or pulled in some content from them would be good? Seems like there are a fair amount of one page splash-style sites for consultants these days.

  • Sandy Rees

    I completely agree Kivi! I’m so sick of those “gurus” telling us this is dead or that doesn’t work. There are lots of ways to market and it’s all about what feels comfortable for the marketer and what will accurately reach the target audience. One thing that I’ve had to come to grips with is that I can’t use ALL of the marketing tactics that are out there and do them well. So there are a handful of social media tools I don’t really use. I try to use a couple and do them really well.