Marketing your professional services firm is more important and valuable than ever before.
Because the competition for engagements is fierce, technology has lowered the playing field and price of entry, select profitable assignments are becoming few and far between, customers’ journeys are evolving and differentiation and promotion are not luxuries; they are necessities.
Here are six of the most rewarding values of successful professional services marketing:
- Breeds new opportunities – widely exposed expertise is THE strategy for growing new business leads business leads. When you have a stellar reputation, you can more easily attract numbers of high-quality leads. An excellent reputation that is widely known is THE most effective way to generate new referrals.
- Makes closing new clients faster and easier — buyers believe that a known and respected expert is the best high-reward and low-risk choice to solve their problem. Typically, buyers have established preference for a recognized firm before ever contacting them.
- Enhance your firm’s brand – your professional brand assets are about your firm’s awareness, credibility and energy around a specific expertise, knowledge and skills. That brand expertise enhances your ability to attract new business and charge premium rates in the process while increasing the overall value of your firm.
- Secure higher fees – the top service providers usually secure premium rates because who else would you consider than the most renowned expert on the latest, hottest subject matter? They might charge more but they know how to solve your problem fast and can use their savvy market insights and ingenious interpretations to have you succeeding efficiently and effortlessly.
- Recruit top talent almost effortlessly – it may seem marginal, but a powerful value of a known firm is how it helps attract exceptional talent. The top candidates long to work with a recognized and leading expert and desire the association with such firms. Organizations with stellar reputations and greatest exposure can attract and hire the premier candidates.
- Engage solid, exceptional partners – not only clients but also potential business partners are attracted to respected and recognized firms. They will hire your firm as a subcontractor on a bigger project or ask you to partner on joint initiatives. Your organization’s stature, awareness and reputation make a potential new partner’s job easier. A partner firm will be more respected for collaborating with a highly-regarded firm like yours on client opportunities.
Now that you can appreciate the values of professional service marketing, what tactics are most successful?
Successful marketing today whether it’s professional services B2B or traditional B2C is about these five strategies:
- Story – what makes your story relevant and timely and that resonates with your buyer’s persona on their buying journey? What is storytelling and why is it so important? The basics of your story are the 5Ps of your firm – people, processes, products, promotions and principles to discover your stories. Use this system to evaluate what will appeal to your target market. Consider these guidelines for stories are that are shareworthy. Great stories are relatable, relevant, emotional and engaging.
- Storytelling – what channels can be most powerful for sharing your stories. What channels attract your buyers? Yes, your personal LinkedIn and other channels are invaluable for businesses but be mindful that your website and company LinkedIn page will come alive with stories about successful solutions, testimonials and case studies for highly satisfied clients. An interactive website for clients and prospects seeking more information in their qualification and eventually buying decisions is very impactful. Consider investing money to feature testimonials in videos. Nothing says satisfaction like a client willing to appear on video. Also consider describing your processes and insights and ideas on a video blog. Video improves SEO and the future of search will be about video. Here are Digital Marketing Institute’s great video tips and insights like using a DSLR camera and some simple studio lights, along with a white background for a more professional look. A basic DSLR cameras capable of shooting in 1080p are available from $500, while lights and a white screen background are even less expensive. Curtis Judd has a fantastic tutorial here for shooting against a white, “Apple-style” background.
- Conversation – what are you doing to stimulate conversation about your firm? Are you posting relevant content on your multiple social sites, staging webinars or you speaking at industry conferences? How are you establishing you and your firm’s colleagues’ successes and experience as subject matter experts in multiple media from trade shows to classic traditional (e.g. PR and proprietary industry research and presentations) and online media (webinars and forums). Here’s a twisted but provocative perspective on becoming a subject matter when you are clueless. That post can be helpful for real subject experts learning how to promote their expertise.
- Listening – when you’re an expert in your marketing place, you will undoubtedly benefit from listening and understanding what’s going on in the marketplace. The old-school way was to just track trade publications and industry research. Nowadays, you’ve got to be much more current in a timely manner. The benefits are tangible – identify new prospects, track your competition’s moves and embrace product and services’ feedback. Jay Baer recommends for more values about social listening for businesses.
- Measures — what are you measures for marketing? This can be simple and powerful. Like any business, professional services marketers should be measuring website page views, unique website visitors, traffic sources, referrers, content produced in social media likes among many other things such as these typical measures.
This Rapidan site for some powerful marketing strategy insights and ideas.
Ready to go? I would hope so because if you’re not marketing your professional services firm, you will be left behind.
Mind sharing what marketing strategies you are using to drive your professional services firm’s growth?
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