Professional Services Practice Marketing
Developing Your Niche and Your Brand
Marketing a professional services practice has always been tricky, for at least two reasons: (i) as a service-based practice, your product is intangible, and (ii) for B2B professional practices, your clients tend to be sophisticated and knowledgeable. Additionally, with the evolution of the Internet, effective marketing for professional services is changing so rapidly that no solution is permanent — what works today might not work tomorrow.
Creating and Maintaining a Comprehensive Online Presence
The concept of a comprehensive online presence attempts to take a “big picture” look at your firm’s online presence. A comprehensive online presence might include your company’s website, social media sites, your firm’s presence in online directories, guest blogging, podcasting, email marketing, online advertising, and other platforms and pathways.
Anything you put online is going to have to be SEO-optimized, and it will have to generate enough data to allow you to measure your success and fix anything that is not working right. Certain lessons can only be learned through trial and error, while others can be mastered by learning from other people’s mistakes.
Time: The Limiting Factor
You might not have time to develop all available online options, and you might not have the money to outsource them all. In fact, it is almost inevitable that you will have to pick and choose. A certain amount of education, however, goes into developing the understanding necessary to pick and choose wisely.
In social media marketing, you might choose to focus on LinkedIn, for example, because of its B2B focus or, if your practice is consumer-focused, Facebook. Likewise, you might choose guest blogging over Quora marketing for reasons that are particular to your practice.
Nothing sells like word of mouth, especially the word of a satisfied client. It makes sense. After all, who should you trust–a salesman who stands to make a profit if you buy, or a client who is simply sharing their experience?
Word of mouth remains the most powerful form of marketing of professional services. A client referral program is simply “incentivized word of mouth” that provides your customers (or other potential recommenders) with something of value in exchange for their recommendation. To set up a referral program you will need:
- A quality brand that sells itself;
- An appropriate incentive to motivate referrals; and
- The right software to make it easy for your clients and other sources to generate referral leads for you.
To the extent that you have already created an online presence, you can use it to operate and promote your referral program. Another effective promotional strategy is to include information about your referral program in a post-purchase confirmation page or after-sales materials.
How Success Working Solo Can Help
Success Working Solo has distilled the knowledge and skills you need to jump-start your professional services practice marketing into well-organized, digestible, bite-sized online courses that you can absorb in your spare time. These courses will give you the foundational knowledge necessary for you to create a practice marketing plan for your business.
Some of our more relevant titles are introduced below.
Total Competitive Advantage
Total Competitive Advantage shows you how to create a unique identity for your practice in a manner that will appeal to potential clients. It is based on the concept of the UVP, or Unique Value Proposition, that has taken the marketing world by storm in recent years.
Total Competitive Advantage shows you:
- The three elements of a great UVP;
- How to identify what’s unique and exceptional about your services;
- The steps to building a UVP;
- How to brainstorm your core message;
- How to write an effective UVP that will draw clients to you; and
- How to effectively integrate your UVP into your professional service marketing strategies.
Jump Start Success: The Simple, Lean Marketing Plan for Solo and Small Firms
When it comes to professional service marketing, size matters–the size of your business, that is. Marketing a solo practice is fundamentally different from marketing a big company or even an SME. This course covers:
- The basics of solo and small firm marketing;
- How to conduct market research;
- Effective SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis;
- How to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) marketing goals;
- Understanding the 4 P’s (product, price, place, and promotion) of professional service practice marketing;
- Creating an effective marketing for professional services budget; and
- Putting it all together to create a comprehensive marketing plan.
Referral System Tuneup
This course teaches you how to supercharge your referral system. Some of its components include:
- A comprehensive explanation of referral marketing;
- The difference between leads and referrals;
- How to develop a referral formula;
- How to cultivate an atmosphere in which clients understand that they are expected to provide referrals;
- How to reward those who provide referrals; and
- How to manage your referral program over the long term.
Ultimately, a UVP is designed to function as the core idea behind your entire marketing plan. The better you understand and formulate it, the more effective your marketing efforts will be in every aspect.
Action is What Separates the Winners from the Losers
As a solo practitioner, you have a choice–invest your own precious time into marketing your services, or outsource it to someone else for a price. One option takes too much time, and the other option takes too much money. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an option that was affordable in terms of both time and money?
Well, now there is–because that is what Success Working Solo is all about. Sign up below for free updates and access to exclusive training, with no obligation. Explore your options, formulate a plan of action–and make it happen. To learn more, you can contact us.