In the past, professional services were usually marketed through a network of personal relationships and word of mouth referrals. They thrived in a friendly world where networks of personal relationships and word-of-mouth brought them enough new clients to grow a profitable business. These techniques still work, but not like they used to. To stay competitive, professional services providers need to consider more strategic approaches to marketing.
Great Work Speaks for Itself Delivering outstanding results in the present is the foundation of a successful marketing strategy. That is, if you do great work, your client will hire you when new needs arise and will send you valuable referrals for new business. To get the word out, you need client-level communication plans for your current clients. You also need to integrate the details of the successes you have helped clients achieve into your overall marketing plan..
Even with a referral in hand, the majority of prospective clients head straight to your web site before they call you. Your site has the power to create a positive first impression that can mean the difference between getting a follow-up call from the client and losing that opportunity.
Follow the Leader
Most professional services marketing follows a predictable strategy—a series of marketing decisions based on what’s being done by others. There is value in learning from the success of others. Many firms face similar marketing challenges, so this can be a good way to accelerate the development of your marketing strategy. However, try to mimic only the market leaders in your sector – after all, they are the best for a reason.
Remember, your business should not limit itself to simply imitating the activities of the market leading firm. Copy the best bits of the leading firm’s marketing strategy and add other really good initiatives in order to make your strategy even more successful.