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RPCN Monhly Newsletter - October 2021

A monthly newsletter from the Rochester Phhrofessional Consultants Network.

On Wednesday evening, Sept. 22nd, RPCN held their Entrepreneurs Wall of Fame Gala at Glendoveers. After a fantastic keynote by Maureen Ballatori, we celebrated both the winners from 2020 as well as the 2021 winners. Congratulations to all our 2021 award winners: Laurie Enos, Tamara MacDuff, Kate Meddaugh, Lori Cohen, Bob Manard, Dr. Deanna (Dee) K., David Finger and Maureen Ballatori!

Who are Your Target Clients?
(Beware the “Everyone Myth”)

The “Everyone Myth”

It’s tempting to think that almost everyone needs your service. You have a wealth of expertise and skills to help clients. But, do you know which clients benefit best from your consulting service (and best benefit your business)? Whether you already have clients, or seeking your first consulting gig, “everyone” is a self-deluding myth. It distracts you from identifying, targeting, and acquiring those “sweet spot” clients who can make you a success.

Our time is limited and we need to spend it wisely. If we target “everyone” and use “scatter-shot” marketing, we waste much of our time and effort on the wrong people. Instead, we can focus our marketing on organizations, groups, and people who give us the best chance for success. Once we target our “most-promising” market segment, we can try our marketing methods, analyze the results, and adapt as necessary (until we find our “sweet-spot” clients).

Identifying Target Clients

This is a trial-and-error process that continually sharpens our business focus and helps us find our “niche”. Consulting author Bruce Katcher advises us to find as narrow a niche as possible. He says, “Focus your business. When think you’ve done it, focus some more.”

Target-Client Demographics (Business-to-Business)

Consider at least these factors to start narrowing your focus:

  • Type of Business (e.g. manufacturing, government, medical, education, software, nonprofit, etc.)
  • Annual Revenue
  • Number of Employees
  • Startup or Established
  • Current Problems or issues confronting them.

(Keep defining and narrowing the demographics “client-pool” you want to swim in. Dive down to identify them as accurately and narrowly as possible. Then, search for companies that match your requirements and, if possible, names within those companies. LinkedIn is a good place to start).

Marketing to Target Clients

Here’s a process you might follow.

  • Define your Consulting Service (something you're good at and like to do).
  • Define the Benefits to Clients your service provides.
  • Identify Potential Clients (prospects) who need and want those benefits. (See the Business-to-Business Demographics above).
  • interview Prospects to confirm your assumptions about their needs and the value your service provides. (Start with your “best-guess” prospects).
  • Discover where those Prospects “hang out”. (Social Media, Print media, Professional Organizations, In-person or online events, etc.).
  • Design & Implement a “sweet-spot focused” Marketing Strategy aimed at where they “hang out”.  (Network. Get their attention. Appeal to them. Contact them. Follow up)
  • Develop Sales Methods to persuade them to buy your service.

(During the above process, build your reputation as an expert in the benefits clients need, e.g. by Writing, Speaking/Training, etc. You might write articles, posts, blogs, books, etc. You could speak in-person or do on-line webinars, videos, etc.)

Adapting and Persisting

Yes, it is a trial-and-error process, and you need to continually take action, and analyze what works and what doesn’t. As you adapt your service, benefits, and marketing, you home-in on a successful “sweet-spot” niche. Often, the most active and persistent person wins out over those with more credentials. Questions? Contact me, Bob Lurz: RFLurz@ConsultantsAccelerator.com

Bob Lurz

Did You Know? Getting to Know RPCN Members

One important benefit of becoming an active RPCN member is how much interaction it brings between yourself and other members. The number of skills that this group possesses is phenomenal. You can tap into those skills to help you in a wide variety of your needs. It’s like having your own warehouse loaded with products – there is something for everyone.

Of course, you must know where to look. In RPCN there are three ways to find members whose skills and friendship you might find valuable:

  1. Attend RPCN events on a regular basis and network as much as possible. This is easy, since for now, almost all events are on Zoom.
  2. Actively participate in one or more of the 11 committees that make RPCN a successful organization. This can be especially productive when you attend regular committee meetings that interest you, and, remember, everyone is invited to Board meetings.
  3. Click on Find a Consultant on the RPCN website Home page. Options include:
  • Search by Business Focus Enter your interest (e.g. Marketing, Computers, etc.)
  • Advanced Search (a Search Box – enter a member’s name).This is especially handy when all you want is a member’s phone number, because it’s there after the first click.
In either case, what you will find are the names of RPCN members who a) have expertise in what you need it or b) provide profiles together with information about their consulting businesses.

Steve Royal

Downsizing

I’m in the process of downsizing – in other words, cleaning out my office.

One of the first steps is to rid the bookcases of tons of paper. Most of this is in binders. (Need to get rid of them, but that’s another story – or article)

As most of you know (or should know), I am a librarian – specifically, an independent law librarian.

I just cleaned out a binder full of newsletters from various publishers of journals, books, databases and other things I don’t need to read any more.  No reason to contact the publishers now. This stuff is old (July, 1987!) and the people I knew have left the companies. In fact, some of the companies have left.

So why am I writing this?  News and updates on databases that you can use today.

Expand your library with the latest publications – well, that depends on a lot of things – you, your business, the space you have, and oh yes, what you can find online. Just think of (parts of) the web as your own personal library. (There’s a limit here – don’t forget the public libraries in your area).

Finally, one issue from 1990 contained an article my sister wrote: “Looseleaf Filing” by Susan Rubinstein. I’ll keep this one.

PS: Now go look around your office and find stuff to: a) get rid of, and b) encourage you to write an article for the RPCN newsletter!

Ruth Balkin

RPCN Video


Watch the introductory video here.

Upcoming RPCN Events

Visit the RPCN website for a list of all upcoming events.

Technical Forum
Friday, October 1, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

Navigating Networking: Virtually and IRL
Presented by Sandy Sloane
Friday, October 8, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Business Forum
Friday, October 15, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m. 

RPCN Board Meeting
Everyone is welcome to attend.
Friday, October 15, 2021
10:00 - 11:30 a.m. 

Enhancing Human Capital Lunch N' Learn
Facilitated by Devin Floyd
Thursday, October 21, 2021
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Promoting Inclusive Workplace Communication
Presented by Sara Taylor & Tracy Boff
Friday, October 22, 2021
8:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Understanding Craft Beer and Financial Plans
Presented by Tina Rohring & Jim Ferrari
Thursday, October 28, 2021
5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Other events of interest

GRAR Reboot Technology Conference
The 2021 GRAR Reboot Technology Conference, brought to you by GRAR/UNYREIS and ESL Federal Credit Union, will be held in person on Thursday, October 21, 2021 at the DoubleTree Rochester from 8:30am-3:30pm. here will be fantastic national speakers to help inspire you to Reboot Your Business! Join us at 8:30 am for registration, coffee/tea and danish, networking with your peers and our sponsors (we will have time for this throughout the day), a program that includes seven education sessions will begin at 9 am sharp and will also include a boxed lunch which you can enjoy in your same spot. Stay until the end for door prizes as always!

COLLABORATE SUMMIT
Connecting Causes & Community
Thursday, October 14, 2021 | 9:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Don’t miss the first-ever virtual COLLABORATE Summit created to propel nonprofit and mission-driven organizations to their next level of success. We are excited to share that we have more than 30+ impactful speakers who will provide insight on resources, strategies, and tips to help you optimize, connect, and grow your cause or organization. Check out the speakers and their sessions, and be sure to register for your COLLABORATE Summit pass today!

Member News

RPCN member Margit Brazda Poirier tells us that her company has been in the news twice recently! Grants4Good has been profiled in the Rochester Business Journal here and was featured on Ben Albert's Rochester Business Connections podcast

From the Librarian,
Ruth Balkin

More treasures from KnowItAALL

GPO Digitizes List of Publications the Federal
Government Has Produced Since the 1800s

GPO: Government Publishing Office / 9.15.2021
The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has digitized the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, a historical list of publications the Federal Government produced from 1895 to 2004, as well as other historic government publication indexes. Librarians, scholars, students, and the general public can use these indexes to find historic publications of the U.S. Government.

(As if we didn’t have enough to read!)
And now for something fun!

The Best Three Ways to Scan
and Digitize Old Photos

(MakeUseOf / 9.14.2021)
What is the best way to digitize photos? Here are the various options available; find out which one is best for your needs. I would have used this a while ago. So many pictures, so little space. 

Jigsaw Puzzles Can Improve Your Quality of Life
More Than You Realize
 
(Lifehacker / 9.14.2021)
Excerpt: “Some  people started a podcast and made sourdough during the pandemic. We started a healthy addiction to puzzles. And with good reason: The act of doing jigsaw puzzles has myriad health benefits, some of which may surprise you.”

Membership Information

Not an RPCN member? You can join RPCN now to receive great benefits, including free admission to RPCN presentations, a listing in the RPCN Member Directory, and discounts to RPCN events. Click here for more information on joining RPCN.

Program Ad Sheets

At every RPCN meeting, and at our events and tradeshow booths, RPCN distributes the Program Ad sheets.

Ads are inexpensive and support RPCN. The cost for members to advertise is $20 for 2 months. For non-members, the cost is $40 for 2 months. The deadline to get your ad included in the November/December 2021 calendar ad sheet is October 22, 2021. Sign up for your ad here.

We want your news!

The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item to newsletter@rochesterconsultants.org for inclusion. 

Melanie Watson, Publisher 
Diana Robinson, Copyeditor

The deadline for submitting material for our next newsletter is the 21st of this month.


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