So, you want to be a Safety Consultant?! Before you continue to read this post, check out my two previous posts on My Safety Consultant Story and some of the first Safety Consulting gritty details that you should consider.
I’m a safety consultant who conducts a lot of work in the insurance industry, yet I have not mentioned insurance yet! A safety consultant should have some level of Professional Liability insurance. When I first started out, a lot of my work was done for consulting groups in which I was under their insurance policy, not my own. I worked about 50% of the time with clients completely on my own. As my business has grown, so have my Professional Liability insurance needs. I have used two different carriers during this time, and I recommend them both in addition to checking with your favorite insurance broker for quotes!
If you want to read more on Professional Liability insurance, I suggest this ASSP whitepaper.
I touched on the topic of “getting clients” in the gritty details post. There’s a lot of info there and it may take you a few reads to grasp what I’m saying and formulate your own plan. For the purposes of this post, I want to talk about marketing of self. You might have heard this described as “personal brand.” This is especially important if you are a sole proprietor. You are the face of your company! People will equate your company’s name with YOU.
As of 3/3/2018 when I originally posted this blog, I had not worked for a company other than my own for over five years. I have made it a priority to ensure that I keep my name out there in the safety industry as well as the industries I serve (construction, brewing, beverage, manufacturing, insurance, etc). I do this by blogging, posting frequently on LinkedIn, and staying engaged in industry groups.
The cool thing about working for yourself is that there is no HR, marketing, sales, or other gatekeeping department. I can put out content on my blog, in webinars, and in person at conferences and industry association meetings. This is also a bad thing… no one is looking at my content before I put it out into the world! This is where personal branding comes into play – who are you?
To teach you about personal branding, I will tell you a quick story. My concept of my own personal brand was reinforced just yesterday in a call with a prospective client. After some discussion about a potential project, the person told me they follow my blog posts through LinkedIn and asked just who, exactly, The Ferri Group is. I often laugh when that question comes up. I talked about the name in the gritty details post. I explained that the “group” is me and my happy clients! Infrequently, that “group” will include another trainer if I’m unable to geographically fulfill a task for a client. The person went on to say that they think I’m “groundbreaking and unique in creating a niche” for myself.
That comment made me really happy because it demonstrated that I’m getting my personal brand across! A safety colleague described me as “practical and creative” a few years ago, and I’ve stuck with that as the short version of my personal brand. It encompasses my approach with clients and marketing of myself.
As you’re starting your safety consulting business, or even if you’re full-time employed and happy, think about what other say about you. Have you received complimentary emails or other accolades? Listen to that, and let it guide you in your personal branding.
Noodle on that a bit, then add it to your About Me page, here’s mine as an example.
My favorite marketing tools
I love free resources! I use the free version of each resource below and level up by paying for some additional features as I see fit.
Moo for creative business cards, I get comments on mine all the time!
My Facebook business page is the start of my social media “campaign” for each new blog post. I started the page a few months ago because I was reluctant to use Facebook for business. But now I get it! It’s the only social media platform I use that let’s me schedule posts ahead of time. Right now, I have 4 posts scheduled for next week, each has a link to my blog and a fresh Canva image. When the scheduled post goes live, I get a notification on my Facebook which prompts me to post the same content in different ways on LinkedIn and Twitter. I sometimes use Instagram, but not much yet for business. I also like to use Snapchat, and you can find out more about how I use it for business by reading this post and this one too.