Marketing Professional Services Is Getting Tougher! What’s to Be Done?

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It gets tougher and tougher by the year, what should be the business development or marketing priorities for business owners of professional service firms?How do you come to stand out?The answer is to start communicating in ways that the modern market wants to be communicated with; its them not ourselves as professionals that are in charge. This guide to internet marketing takes you through some of the important considerations and those areas where you really should focus.Given the high level of failures of professional firms, we must assume that only the best will win out as quality is driven up and evermore market savvy competitors enter the field. As such professional service business owners must benchmark against exceptional standards and start doing things differently; if not they simply will not get noticed!Good enough rarely is!So what should we be doing to stand apart?The answer: is to start communicating in ways that the modern market wants to be communicated with; its them not ourselves as professionals that are in chargeNow I know this might go against the grain but as Confucius said:To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.Now I am not saying is that its all change; those activities such as maybe PR, referral marketing, local networking and speaking that are still working and give a good return on your investment then of course you’ll keep on doing these.But the modern day message is that by developing your communications in ways that mirror the way prospects now choose to source information means that you are more likely to win out as opposed to the competition who are slower on the uptake.In this regard the priority must be on using on line marketing to full effect, especially online video and the social media, where currently few professionals are to be found doing anything more than working at a very superficial level.But as Dee Hock said:The problem is never how to get new innovative thoughts into our mind, but how to get the old ones out”The future direction of your use of social media & online video must go beyond just communication; you need to be thinking in wholly new ways.Done well your use of the new media will change the very essence of the way your business is conducted and the results you attain. For most professionals this requires a paradigm shift of such a scale its akin to Doctors being told to stop using leaches to bleed people,But dare I say, the old school marketing paradigm you’re still working on is just as outdated.The priority is to start to take action; start to use the many online tools that are at your disposal. Start to think in wholly new ways. Be bold. And yes this does mean starting to make mistakes and my advise is to do so as quickly as possible, start making mistakes,, it’s the fastest way to learn and thereafter to succeed.Having committed to communicating in new ways that mirror the way your prospects want to be communicated with it then requires action and sustained commitment to invest the necessary time and resource to make things happen.This is not a quick fix arena; it takes time it will require a top down, bottom up approach across the whole of the firm;It will require the bringing onside and the gaining of commitment and participation from all your people to all that needs to be done, you, or a marketing appointee, can’t do it alone it will require using the social media, making videos, contributing to forums, monitoring and feeding back results etc.
I reiterate, all this will be a team effort if everything is going to work out for the best; it will require well focused intention and attention at both the strategic and tactical levels to make the most of the opportunities that are afforded; by this I mean there has to be absolute clarity of where you’re going, and which tools are you going to be using to get there, this is the strategic element, but as well you need to be clear as to how you’re going to use those tools at the tactical level, each step along the way. It will require clarity of focus in terms of the levels and nature of interaction that you plan to engage.
Never forget the priority in this new era must be wholly focused on the building of relationships and the securing trust; getting to people to know, like and trust you.
The monitoring of results – It will require: in particular are the objectives sought those that are being achieved; and
It will require feed back of results to all participants in your plans of action so as to keep them motivated, up to speed and focused on what works.Jim Rohn said Life responds to deserve, not to need. It doesn’t say “If you need you will reap” It says “If you plant you will reap”.The guy says ” I really need to reap”. Then you really need to plant.At the end of the day its about getting out of the old school ways totally rethinking your approach; it can be summed up by contrasting old school and the social media era arguments:Its about getting lots of prospects into a sales funnel.No: its Quality not Quantity that is the key to prospecting and building the firm’s client base.Its about focusing on the firm and its services.No: its about focusing on clients, their problems, their issues and responding appropriately to them in ways they appreciate.Its about keeping coming up with new services ideas and opportunities, shaping these up then marketing them.No Its about Focusing on service quality & execution and listening to emerging client needs.Its about having a solid business plan then sticking to it.No its about talking to clients and shaping ideas based on their needs, then, taking them to market & testing then adapting as quickly as possible to what you learn.Its about getting messages out into the marketplace.No its about developing a dialogue.Its about building the firm’s brand.No its about Building your personal brand this is a service industry and people buy people 1st.Its about promoting the firm.No its about Building trust based relationships.Its about being promotions focused.No its about being campaign focused.Its about focusing on getting the contract.No its about seeing the lifetime value of a client.Its about focusing on selling the firm’s services.No, first and foremost, its about Focusing on being seen as a respected & trusted advisor.Its about focusing on finding prospects then pitching and having a great close.Absolutely No. Its about focusing on value and building trust and letting the close take care of itself.Its about spending more on advertising be it online or off line.No Its about using videos, forums, blogs, video & the wider social media to get people into you dialogues.Its about spending more to make more.No The more you inform the more you give, the more you teach the more you earn.Its about employing PR and Marketing specialists to get messages out.No Its about using free video series or great value ebooks or people who know about your service offer to spread the word using the social media.Its about continuing to use the firm’s established web site with its focus on self aggrandisement, we do it better thinking, telling and selling.No Its about Using web 2.0, social media video, podcasts, audio, webinars, blogs, social book marking with focus on getting people to engage and participate.I’m sure that You get the point.You can see many more articles like this at our Online Video for Professionals blog.

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