When It Pays to Advertise

If you aren't going to make a case for profound, dramatic superiority, NEVER advertise.

—Dan Kennedy1

When we hear the word advertising, we tend to picture glitzy, highbudget television commercials for cars, beer, or movies, or full-color print ads for pharmaceuticals. Such advertising seems extravagant for consultants and questionable at best. While mass media advertising (for example, television ads) can help build brand awareness and may be effective for large, multinational firms, it isn't a good investment for most consultants.

Most consulting practices build their brand identities on the strength of their performance for clients, and referrals for new work follow. If word of mouth and your networks are not enough to sustain your practice, some paid advertising can help. But, instead of throwing around huge sums of money for splashy, expensive ads, consider using an assortment of affordable advertising programs that reach your desired clients, not the universe. Remember, the primary purpose of guerrilla advertising is to generate leads for new consulting work; brand building is a secondary concern.

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