Marketing Professional Services: Sell Smarts, Not Service
Promoting a professional services firm is one of the most difficult challenges in marketing.
Whether you’re selling legal services, marketing services, accounting, IT, insurance, benefits, payroll, or consulting, it can be tough to create a marketing strategy that differentiates your company from everyone else who does what you do.
Here’s the usual approach: “We have great capabilities and we deliver great service.” No offense, but you must, or you wouldn’t still be in business. Plus, all your competitors say the same thing.
Is that really what makes you stand out? Is that the real reason clients choose you?
I think not. In my experience as a marketing consultant, professional services firms can skip over most of the blather about what they do and how responsive they are.
The real value professional services firms sell is their expertise and their ability to use that expertise to solve clients’ problems.
Here’s how to create a smart marketing strategy for a business-to-business professional services company by selling your smarts.
Set Your Firm Apart by Showing What You Know
The knowledge you bring to whatever problems you solve for clients is what makes your professional services firm different from everyone else. You’ve acquired that knowledge through your education and experience, which is yours alone. You want to build a marketing strategy around the value of that intellectual capital.
The first step is to focus. Do you have unique experience with a specific industry, challenge, application, or situation that sets you apart? Are you an expert on this topic? Decide what you can talk about with credibility and authority.
Then, organize your content. What keeps your clients awake at night? Think about how to organize what you know into topics and content that will help prospects deal with everyday challenges or prepare for trends and issues impacting their business.
Finally, create the communication vehicles to share your knowledge. Here are some suggestions:
- Be a blogger. Blogging is the best way to regularly demonstrate your knowledge and your unique point of view.
- Create case studies showing real-life solutions you’ve developed for clients’ problems.
- Develop white papers that offer an in-depth assessment of a key issue your clients care about.
- Be a columnist or contribute feature stories in your industry media .
- Create and present original seminars.
- Speak at industry conferences.
- Conduct original research, share the results, and add your perspective on the findings.
- Create a video. Repurpose your seminar or presentation content in videos for your website or YouTube.
- Develop podcasts from your presentations.
- Write a book. If you’re truly an expert in your field, writing a book is the ultimate way to demonstrate your knowledge.
Sell Your Smarts for a Smart Marketing Strategy
Showcasing your expertise is the best way to differentiate your professional services company in a competitive marketplace.
By sharing the knowledge and insights you’ve gained from your unique experience, you can position your company as an authoritative resource that clients and prospects can trust. That’s smart professional services marketing.