Actionable tips to elevate your marketing efforts and drive business opportunities.

Professional services firms are different than typical retailers in that they do not sell a tangible product per se; you aren’t walking out the door with the keys to a new car or the latest designer suit. Instead, they provide customers with valuable services such as legal representation if you are going through a divorce, consulting as you start up a new business, or financial guidance to maximize your investments.

MindTools.com describes professional services as the following:

“Professional services firms exist in many different industries. They include lawyers, advertising professionals, architects, accountants, financial advisors, engineers, and consultants. They can be any organization or profession that offers customized, knowledge-based services to clients.”

These firms generate around $1.8 trillion in combined annual revenue and account for around 900,000 businesses. Professional services providers work with people from all walks of life, and businesses large and small. But depending on their geographic location and their specific offerings, they can experience fierce competition in acquiring and maintaining customers. Additionally, today’s consumers are technology-savvy and know how to research their options, turning to social media, industry-specific rating websites, and referrals from family and friends, before ever reaching out to a business.

Because competition is high within many of these services industries, professional services firms must have a marketing plan that clearly defines the essential components, including target demographics, competition, marketing and promotional strategies, budget, and a clear understanding of the customer’s decision-making process.

8 Tips to Take Your Marketing to the Next Level

  1. Embrace social media. Social media is no longer a new trend; it has become the norm. According to Statista.com, around 3.6 billion people worldwide were using social media in 2020. Facebook alone has approximately 2.5 billion monthly active users and reaches more than 60% of Internet users globally. Additionally, 80 million businesses maintain a Facebook business page. If your business doesn’t have a presence on at least a few social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn, now is the time to start. If your services lend themselves well to instructional or informational videos, consider hopping on YouTube or creating an informative podcast.
  2. Identify where and how your target audience searches for your service. Not every social media platform will provide the same “boost” when marketing your business. Familiarize yourself with each platform’s demographics to determine the best fit for your business. All professional services will benefit from a strong LinkedIn presence, but other media can also be useful in branding building. Facebook’s reach is universal, while Twitter relies on concise posts of 280 characters or less, and Instagram leverages the power of images, photos, and videos. As noted above, conducting market research about your target audience will provide valuable insight about which social media platforms are best suited for your marketing strategy.
  3. Get to know your audience through search listening. Search listening enables you to see how individuals are searching online; think keywords and phrases. Pay attention, then tailor your messaging to what customers truly want to know, rather than guessing or assuming you know their interests and concerns.
  4. Polish up your website. Think of your business website as the best representation of your company. Make sure your site projects a professional image, evokes confidence, and is easy to navigate. Post information that users want and need to know to not only position yourself as a leader in the industry, but to reassure potential customers that you understand their concerns, why they’re coming to you for service, and what you can do to solve their problems.
  5. Be genuine in your messaging. When content feels “salesy” and pushy, it is off-putting to customers. Treat your audience like you want to be treated. Build connections based on trust, honesty, and authenticity. Customers can see through an act, so provide a meaningful experience that motivates them to learn more about your services and continue the buyer’s journey.
  6. Incorporate infographics to explain how your service solves a customer’s problem. The adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” still holds true today. Engaging visuals capture the reader’s attention and are an easy way to describe a complex concept. Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter; have you heard of the 15-second rule? So give your audience a reason to stay on your site. Focus on your business’ value proposition. How will you save your customers time and money? How does your legal approach differ from the competition? How will your engineering software accelerate a company’s launch of new product lines?
  7. Always be networking. Attend professional association events where your target audience is likely to be. Make an effort to introduce yourself, then ask questions, and take the time to listen to their answers. Incorporate this feedback and make meaningful changes based on what customers want. Do they want the option of virtual consultations? A variation on a service you already offer, or a new one altogether?
  8. Recognize the stages of the buyer’s journey. A customer may not be ready to sign on the dotted line after the first time they meet you. They go through three distinct stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. Tailoring your marketing activities to each step of the journey will keep you top-of-mind when they’re ready to hire a lawyer, contractor, or accountant.

Customers have a wealth of information at their fingertips, so your business must clearly and consistently define and promote its unique value proposition through targeted marketing strategies. YGL Enterprises can help you ensure your marketing strategy is the best fit for your business goals and objectives, and that it targets your desired audience. Contact us today to get started!