Question: What is the best way for a new grant writer to promote his or her grant writing consulting business?
Below you will find 12 proven strategies for promoting your grant writing consulting business.
- Create a business card. Then, pass them out everywhere you go. On several occasions, while attending a meeting of local nonprofits, I noticed that my interns with business cards in hand got a significant number of business cards from nonprofits in the area interested in grant writing help. Make sure your card is professional looking with your contact information. Make sure to include “consultant” as your title.
- Add your business and contact information to your email signatures. This is a great way to brand yourself and what you do. Be sure to include your LinkedIn vanity URL.
- Create a LinkedIn profile and vanity URL. A vanity URL is one with your name in it, like LinkedIn.com/in/PhilJohncock. Include a professional head shot. Describe your current and past work, school and volunteer experience, as well as honors. Ask for recommendations from previous employees and individuals familiar with your work. Add and ask for skill endorsements, too.
- Subscribe to the most popular LinkedIn forums related to grant writing. When people ask questions, be amongst the first to answer from experience. Participate in group discussions.
- Ask previous employers and colleagues for referrals. Tell them that you have a grant writing consulting service. Ask if they know of a nonprofit looking for a grant writer.
- Contact nonprofits. Focus on nonprofits that you have been associated with in the past or in areas of interest to you. For example, if you are interested in the environment or education, identify and contact nonprofits who work in that area. If you are unfamiliar with nonprofits within your areas of interest where you live and work, try looking at the IRS master list of U.S. nonprofits.
- Locate and attend local events with nonprofit professionals. Look for local chapters of the Association for Fundraising Professionals and Grant Professionals Association, as well as your state association of nonprofits.
- Get listed on lists of grant writing experts, like those listed in #7. Become Grant Professional Certified (GPC) to be added to the GPC list.
- Create a website and blog. Use your name in the URL whenever possible to make it easier for search engines and potential clients to find you. For the last 5 years, I’ve used and recommend WordPress, which anyone can learn quite easily.
- Use social media. Set up accounts with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. As with LinkedIn (#3), find out if your name is available and set up your vanity URLs, like Facebook.com/PhilJohncock, Twitter.com/PhilJohncock and YouTube.com/PhilJohncock. Post on a regular basis.
- Use paid advertising. The greatest return on investment I’ve had with paid advertising are with Google AdWords and GrantStation partner program.
- Let someone else recommend you. For example, we have more inquiries for grant writing assistance than we can fill. If you are enrolled in our Monthly Mentoring Program and meet minimum Intern eligibility requirements, we will recommend you to agencies who approach us for Interns.