by Lee Frederiksen
You already know . With buyers becoming more likely to take their search for service providers online, many firms have responded by focusing their marketing efforts on content creation and strengthening their online presence. In a study of 500 professional services firms across five different industry groups, we found that firms generating at least 40 percent of their leads online were growing nearly four times faster than firms that didn’t generate any leads online. Not only were these firms growing faster – they were also more profitable.
Top Marketing Techniques for Professional Services Firms
- Content Production
Creating content is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website, improve your firm’s visibility in search engine results, and establish your firm’s expertise and authority within your industry. Content can take on a number of formats, including blog posts on your website, articles in prominent industry publications, books, research reports, best practices guides and more. The content you produce works to educate your audience, while also building confidence in your firm’s ability to solve prospects’ business challenges.
- Cultivate Visible Experts
When your firm staffs well-known, high-visibility experts in your industry, you can attract more clients based solely on your experts’ star power and reputation. Not only can having a Visible Expert in your firm help generate more leads, it can also allow your firm to command higher billing rates — up to 13 times higher, according to .
- Target Your Niche
In order to find online marketing success, your firm doesn’t have to do it all — in fact, you might find even more success if you specialize in one area of the industry where you excel. Differentiate your firm from the marketplace by embracing your niche and targeting a very specific demand. Through specialization, you can attract more of the “right” audience who are interested in exactly what your firm can provide.
- Network on LinkedIn
Social media as a cultural phenomenon isn’t going anywhere, and LinkedIn is the premier social network for professional services. LinkedIn allows your firm and employees to connect one-on-one with other industry leaders and potential clients. LinkedIn can yield major benefits for firms that invest time and effort into the social network. Develop strong individual profiles, build a robust Company Page and encourage active participation in LinkedIn Groups. Having an active social media presence can build authority, drive website traffic, and positively impact search engine optimization (SEO).
- Utilize Online Video
Videos have the ability to make the world seem very small by creating a personal connection with people, no matter how much distance separates you. Video tutorials, webinars, and case studies can give prospects a look into how you do business. By embracing different content media, your firm can reach a wider variety of preferences and interest levels. You can even use video to communicate more effectively with distant prospects by scheduling meetings through FaceTime, Skype or Google Hangouts.
- Using Online Marketing to Address Your Firm’s Biggest Business Challenges
In a recent research study, the Hinge Research Institute surveyed 530 firms to understand what they were planning to prioritize in 2015 and what they foresaw as their biggest upcoming business challenges. Firms’ top business challenge (with more than 72 percent of respondents citing it) was “Attracting and Developing New Business.” This response was more than twice as common as the second most common challenge (“Finding and Keeping Good People”), suggesting that generating new business is a particularly urgent challenge.
Figure 1. Professional Services Firms’ Business Challenges
Online marketing and lead generation has a direct impact on growth and profitability. For firms looking to attract and develop new business, implementing some of these top marketing techniques can help you do just that. As buyers’ preferences and purchasing behaviors change, firms that can adapt accordingly will be better positioned for success in 2015.
Lee W. Frederiksen, Ph.D., is Managing Partner at Hinge, a marketing firm that specializes in branding and marketing for professional services. Hinge is a leader in rebranding firms to help them grow faster and maximize value. Lee can be reached at LFrederiksen@hingemarketing.com or 703-391-8870.
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