Many professional services firms are reluctant to get involved in marketing, implement ‘new ideas’ and are afraid to steer away from traditional behaviours.
Marketing in the professional services sector is nowadays a necessity. Competition is fierce, the market is full, and the younger ones are off setting up on their own.
A simple enhancement to daily routines and processes can have a huge impact. Here are some ideas which keeps the tradition at heart, creates a valued client service and a drive for new and repeat business, AND ultimately enriches your longstanding reputation.
Use your traditional values to your advantage
Whether you’re an accountant, solicitor, surveyor or financial advisor, having traditional roots is at the core of your business, giving power, strong values and longevity. This is at the heart of your business but it is for so many others, just because you have been around for years doesn’t mean you will sell to clients. Think about what is it being around for so long brings to your clients, service and offering…what’s your benefit and promote it.
Focus on a specific target and position yourself as a thought leader
Think about your specialisms, niche, a stand out sector, industry or demographic of clients you have. If your firm appeals to a wide audience it can sometimes be harder work. Start with a specific target that you can build on, making you the ‘go to’ expert for the target audience. Start with setting yourself the task of a monthly article/blog that you can share to a relevant audience and stand out as the industry expert.
Go through your client’s journey
Put yourself in your client’s shoes, go through the journey of calling the office, walking through the door and the process from then onto providing a service. What’s it like? Do you/they feel valued? Returning calls, clear communication, no jargon and transparent billing - little things like this can make such a difference through the customer journey and it doesn’t cost you anything or very little to do it.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
How often do you ask a client how happy they are with your service? Can you do anything differently or improve? Client feedback, case studies and testimonials all add to your credibility. A simple call, email or online survey once/twice a year can capture persuasive quotes to showcase. Online business review platforms such as Feefo and Trust Pilot can be another option of gaining valuable feedback for the outside world to see. Make sure you promote your client feedback as much as possible. Social media, your website and marketing materials should include these. It’s important to showcase your memberships, directory listings, accreditations and industry awards too.
I’m doing it because everyone else is…
With 3 billion worldwide social media users, it is no wonder businesses feel the need to be on social media. What is important though is what are you trying to achieve from this? There’s no point in being on all platforms if it isn’t achieving anything. Using social media properly and to its full potential can have huge benefits to a firm. Start off with one or two platforms where your target audience will be. Really focus on that platform. Don’t just post and share what others are doing. Use your knowledge and expertise to promote educational content. Tips, facts and links to blogs can make a huge difference. Including imagery, infographics, video and GIFs makes you stand out. Don’t underestimate the power of social media advertising, if positioned correctly and highly targeted you can drive brand awareness and new enquiries. And think about platforms you wouldn’t normally consider, for example, Facebook and Instagram can be used very cleverly to target a specific audience.
This might seem like common sense but if you think about how many of the above you are doing and if you are doing them, how well and effectively are you doing them?
It’s also making sure that they are implemented properly and not rushing. Your day job is your priority and time is always a problem.
Select one or two to start off with and build this into your daily/weekly routine and see the reaction. It doesn’t always entail huge amounts of time and cost to make your business improve, stand out from the competition and make your clients feel valued.
These are just a few ideas. There are endless opportunities from small to longer term strategic marketing and business development solutions for firms in the professional services sector.