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5 Quick Tips About Inbound Marketing For Professional Services

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Posted by John Beveridge on Nov 21, 2016 11:49:02 AM

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Professional services business owners are facing an increasingly challenging path to growing their businesses. And they can't just take out the old growth template and cut and paste. Things have changed so much in the professional services world that last year might as well be 100 years ago. 

So here are 5 quick tips about inbound marketing for professional services that will help you figure out how to best hit your growth goals for next year.


Tip 1: Focus your marketing to sell more

The biggest marketing mistake is to try to be all things for all people. Those who follow this philosophy often end up being the jack of all trades and master of none. Rather than think in terms of what new markets you may want to exploit next year, think about getting out of non-productive markets and business lines and focusing on those in which you excel.

B2B buyers have clearly stated their preference for personalized marketing that addresses their unique concernsUnless you're an enterprise-level company, you're probably best off focusing on tightly-defined markets and building your marketing and service-delivery around those niches. The most common way to focus on a niche is to choose industries in which you have experience and develop marketing content and services that address that industry's unique needs.

Define who your ideal customer is - what industry, what size and what demographic characteristics - and figure out how you can better serve them. If you do decide to go after new markets, they should either be closely related to those you specialize in or ones where your team has deep experience and connections.

Tip 2: Implement an account based marketing strategy

Account based marketing is the ultimate personalization strategy. For old-schoolers like me, account based marketing is nothing new. You choose 20-30 target accounts and develop personalized marketing strategies for them. Obviously, these target accounts should meet the ideal customer profile you've developed. The person leading the pursuit of the account needs to do some deep research on the company - who, what, how, why, when and where.

What's new about account-based marketing is that technology will now let you get really specific with your marketing. For example, HubSpot's inbound marketing software includes a SMART content component that let's you personalize your website content based on several discriminators, including company or industry. Imagine one of your target accounts coming to your website and seeing content specifically targeted at them!

This is a joint sales-marketing effort, so get sales and marketing together to develop this strategy.

Tip 3: Redesign your website

If you haven't updated your website in the last three years, it's probably out of date and not supporting your marketing efforts. So consider a website redesign that focuses on user experience concepts that support lead generation

Here are some signs that you may need to re-think your website strategy:

  1. Your website is cluttered with content and doesn't use whitespace and contrast to focus users on valuable content that generates leads. The more choices you give someone, the more likely they are to do nothing.
  2. Your site is filled with stock photos of business people smiling and staring at the camera. This is a sure sign that your site is out of date and it is leaving visitors with an unfavorable impression of your firm.
  3. Your site talks more about you and what you do than about your customers and the problems they face.
Your website is the foundation of modern professional services lead generation. Don't be pennywise and pound-foolish with an out-of-date website.

Tip 4: Look at your data!

The first thing to look at is whether you have the tools and processes in place to collect and analyze data that will help you optimize your sales and marketing processes. If you're just getting started, try the free HubSpot growth stack - a free suite of marketing, sales and CRM tools. Google analytics is free too. There's no excuse for even the smallest firm not to take advantage of sales technology.

Some of the big picture data you want to take a look at are:

  1. Website Traffic - where is it coming from? Organic? Social Media? Referrals? Use the data you have to set SMART goals to get where you want to be.
  2. Leads - where do they come from? Online? Referrals? Networking? What do they cost? Which have the highest ROI? Which lead generation offers produce the most leads? What type of leads convert to customers? How can you qualify leads better?
  3. Customers - what's your average deal size? What's your Lifetime Customer Value? How can you upsell and generate more referrals from your customers?

Don't rely on vague feelings about how the prior year went - look at the data.

Tip 5 - Develop a content calendar and stick to it

Content marketing is a must for professional services businesses. It's basically a way to give potential customers a free sample of your intellectual capital.

Take stock of your analysis of your business and create a content calendar. Focus your content on your target markets and answer the questions that you hear from your customers on a daily basis. A content calendar lays out what you need to accomplish and structures how you will get it done. Make content creation a priority, don't forget about it when things get a little busy.

Review your content performance monthly and tweak your calendar to reflect what you've learned. The key to content marketing success is to consistently and persistently produce good content that resonates with your ideal customers.

These are 5 tips to help you figure out how to grow your business. Want some personalized advice? Schedule a free marketing consultation with us.

Topics: Professional Services

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