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Launching a Consulting Business Part 2: Promoting Yourself

By Sierra Pawlak

In his 2023 TAA webinar,  “How to Leverage a Textbook or Academic Book to Launch a Consulting Career,” Bill Curry, a public procurement consultant and textbook author, details important steps you can take to promote yourself and your work, including creating your website, expanding your presence on LinkedIn, and writing your author page on Amazon and your publisher’s website. For resources on starting a new consulting business, read part one of this series here.

“I recommend that you not rely solely on your publisher’s marketing and sales efforts,” says Curry. “You will likely need to market your books and your consulting services yourself.”

Building a Business Website

An effective business website promotes your books and your consulting services, says Curry. He recommends including an About Page, a page dedicated to your textbooks, and links to any of your business’ social media, especially LinkedIn. Your About Page should include your contact information, information about you and the consulting services you provide, and summarized versions of each of your textbooks, he says.

Curry suggests that your page about your textbooks should include an image of their cover, their description, and any awards they may have. He remarked that his website only has the latest editions of his textbooks, but you can include older editions. He also stresses the importance of including links to where your books can be purchased. You can include links to Amazon, your publisher’s website, or other bookseller’s websites. Curry says he’s only included a link to his publisher because he makes the most royalties if someone purchases one of his textbooks from them, rather than Amazon.

Joining (Or Expanding Your Presence On) LinkedIn

Beyond including your name, job history, and other information LinkedIn requests in your profile, Curry recommends including “any research papers or articles [you have authored]… if they are consistent with your books or consulting business.” You can include them in the “add publications” section under the “add to profile” editing menu. He also suggests including posts that discuss some of the materials you’ve covered in your books as a promotion for them. In his webinar, he includes an example of one such post, and remarks how helpful some of the LinkedIn tools are that allow you to see how many people have viewed and interacted with each of your posts.

LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to not only promote your textbooks and your consulting services, but to search for and reach out to potential customers. Curry recommends going to the “My Network” tab, where LinkedIn shows recommended profiles that may have something in common with you or your profile. “What I do in order to evaluate who I want to invite to join my network, is I review their job title, their employer, any professional certifications, and number of mutual connections to determine whether they might be interested in either purchasing my textbook, teaching classes based on my textbooks, or being prospective consulting clients,” he says. When they accept his invitation to join his network, he puts their name and email in a spreadsheet to later send marketing emails to. Curry says he does this in groups of about thirty and it has been so successful that it has largely contributed to his number of past and current clients. When doing this, however, there are certain guidelines you should follow. According to LinkedIn, you should make it apparent that you are trying to sell something in your Subject Line, as well as include an unsubscribe option in your email. And, of course, refrain from contacting those with marketing emails that have already unsubscribed.

Writing Your Author Page

Your Author Page is where you can tell future readers, customers, and clients about who you are and what you do. It’s also a great place to link your website and promote your consulting services, bringing more traffic to your website. Depending on where you’re published, you could have an Author’s Page on Amazon, your publisher’s website, Barnes and Noble, and other bookseller’s websites. On Amazon, you can go here to write your Author Page. As for your publisher’s website, if there is anything you’d like to change or include in your Author Page, Curry recommends reaching out to them with requested changes.

Curry suggests including any ancillary materials for your textbooks on your Author Pages as well, such as PowerPoints, worksheets, and classroom exercises as “they’re a good selling point for a textbook because you have some materials that are already available for the Professor or the teacher.”

Bill Curry served in the field of public procurement as a researcher, author, practitioner, and consultant. Following his retirement as an Air Force systems procurement officer, Curry worked on NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and on Stanford National Accelerator Laboratory’s Positron Electron Project. He served as the purchasing services manager, deputy administrative officer, and general services director for Butte County in California. He was designated as a Fellow by the National Contract Management Association. He authored three editions of two textbooks in the field of public procurement. He earned an MBA from The Ohio State University and a BS in business management from Florida State University.

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