Word of mouth is the undisputed heavy weight champion of the world (in marketing terms). It has been the same for millennia.
If you’re a new consultancy (or new product or taking a new direction) in the market, you can’t rely on how good people say you are, you’re largely unproven. On the first step towards reputation.
In this situation the prospective client, if they’re interested, has to rely on research. What can they find out about your offer? Who is going to tell them about your offer? In the absence of any advocates, it’s down to your marketing.
Where are they going to look? All the obvious places. So, you have to be visible and appear professional. But anyone can be visible and appear profressional. What matters is visible + valuable. To present as valuable, your communications need to be clear, credible and compelling. Using that mix to create something distinctive and scarce helps to form a solid connection and opens your door of possibility.
To really standout the new player has to grasp their opportunity and demonstrate clearer thinking, greater strategic purpose and sharper execution. That’s how they get picked, the first time.
How good you actually are comes into play later.