Professional services marketing requires atargeted, three-prong approach: Authority, Connection and Education. Covering these three areas builds trust and establishes your business and you as an authority in the industry. A well planned marketing strategy will help you grow your business and increase your client base, but it takes commitment to make it work. Use these online selling tactics to accelerate your professional services sales process.
Pillar 1 - Establish authority within your industry
Establishing yourself as an authority in your industry can go a long way in helping you get new clients. Consider conducting webinars and seminars for target prospects to educate them on industry topics that are important to them. Look for speaking opportunities for industry associations to help establish your authority.
Here are three other digital marketing tactics to establish your authority.
- Whitepapers - write whitepapers that provide information and research on relevant industry topics and offer them for download on your website. Don't just parrot statistics, offer your unique take on industry happenings.
- eBooks - an eBook doesn't have to be an extensive treatise; cover a problem that your business solves and provide useful advice on how to solve the problem. Use graphics and break the eBook up into digestible chunks.
- Email Newsletters - publish an email newsletter for your opt-in leads. Content can include your popular blog articles, useful third-party content and your position on industry events and topics. Segment your email lists and customize your newsletter for each segment to maximize engagement.
Pillar 2 - Connect with your target audience
People respond well to companies that engages them. These tactics allow for a broader marketing scale, but you should promote your products and services without sounding ‘salesy.’ Another way to describe the connection pilar is a conversation with your target audience.
Here are three ways to connect with your target audience.
- Social media - use social media networks that your target audience frequents. For my inbound marketing business, we focus on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. The key to your social media scheduling is consistency and frequency. Mix up your own content and third-party content so that you don't sound like an annoying salesperson. Remember, social media is a two-way street. In addition to posting helpful content, you should be answering questions and promoting your prospects' and customers' content.
- Business blog - blogging is a part of all three professional services marketing pillars, but it is great for connecting with potential clients because they can comment on and share your posts. Try and write posts that are 600 words or more - evidence suggests that Google considers longer posts that contain useful content more relevant for search engine ranking purposes. Include a conversation starter at the end of your posts to encourage comments among your readers.
- Email marketing - email marketing is a successful connection strategy when used correctly. Make sure to respect your audience and not spam them. Include helpful content and offer easy unsubscription options. Include a call-to-action in your email marketing that drives readers to your website for lead generation offers like eBooks, whitepapers and webinar registrations.
Pillar 3 - Educate your target audience
An educated prospect is more likely to buy from you. You've demonstrated that you care about them by educating them and you've gained their trust. Your educational content will not only be appreciated, but shared with other potential customers.
Here are three tactics to educate your audience.
- Marketing content - as the saying goes, content is king. Providing solid, informative and authoritative blog articles using SEO fundamentals will draw people to your brand, increase traffic to your website and help produce new clients. If you don't have time to write all your blog posts yourself or don't have staff on hand to write, there are many sources to outsource content creation. It may take some time to find writers that you like, but it's time well-spent. Post your articles to industry sites, trade journals and content-syndication sites for maximum readership.
- Video - creating how-to and opinion videos will draw attention to your business. Use well-written scripts and storyboard each scene of your video. Keep the focus of your videos narrow - videos longer than 2 minutes often fail to keep the viewers attention. And above all, let your personality show through in the video.
- Email courses - create a five or seven part email course that teaches customers and prospects something about your industry. Include a call-to-action strategically placed on your website for visitors to sign up for the course and offer it to your existing customers and leads via email marketing. Keep each lesson brief but make sure it has good information that the recipient can actually use.
Marketing your professional services company doesn't have to be involved and complex. Keep it simple and relevant. Your professional services inbound marketing strategy should be tailored to your client, but still reflect and promote your corporate personality. Brand everything and keep it professional, but most of all, don't let your marketing be an afterthought. Make it a priority - your business depends on it!