Marketing Professional Services
Marketing professional services is more than promotional advertising and chasing leads.
Marketing professional services is about attracting ideal clients and also generating repeat business from past and current clients.
Many factors contribute to successful professional services marketing. Here are some of the most important elements.
Your Unique Personality, Skills & Know-How
In practice, marketing professional services is essentially an extension of applying our specialized skills and resources to help others.
Each of us brings our own unique combination of personality, skills and know-how to each client project. Our individual bundle of resources distinguishes us from everyone else.
It’s also the magic ingredient that allows us to serve and satisfy clients in our own way. In providing our services, as professionals we typically start by identifying specific issues that our clients face. This means understanding their individual needs, wants and expectations.
The more we know about our clients, the more we can help and satisfy them.
Similarly, for clients to benefit from our help, they must like us well enough to trust us and believe in the effectiveness of our competence. Our clients need, want and deserve to know who we are both as individuals and as professionals.
Mass Marketing Techniques Don’t Work
Given our own distinctive approach to serving and satisfying clients, as well as the individual nature of our clients and their issues, mass marketing techniques simply won’t work. These standardized one-size-fits-all techniques are more suited to promoting commodities and consumer goods than marketing professional service.
Instead of trying to mass market our professional services, we can do what we already good at–interact with other people.
Repeat & Referral Business
Regardless of what strategies we chose, like satisfying clients, marketing professional services is based upon establishing, maintaining and enhancing relationships with people who can help us generate more repeat and referral business.
Whatever we do to establish and maintain healthy mutual beneficial relationships with this group of people, it’s all good …it helps attract ideal clients and generate more new business.
The Basics of Marketing Professional Services
Marketing professional services can appear to be a daunting challenge for anyone new to the concept, regardless of one’s professional training and experience.
But relax…it’s not nearly as difficult as may seem. The following content will help you understand the basic essentials of marketing professional services.
With this basic understanding, you can draw on other elements of marketing professional services to generate more new business.
If the concept of marketing professional services is new to you, it’s tempting to consider it fairly narrow field. Don’t be misled.
Like most other areas of interest, marketing professional services is also subject to massive information overload.
To simplify the task of managing this information, the following outline will be used to organize web content and blog posts.
Ideally, this will make it easier to find what you are looking for and how to apply it to generate more business. As a perpetual work in progress, it will be updated regularly….so heck back soon and often.
These essentials are critical to successfully marketing professional services. They apply equally to self-employed individuals working on their own from home offices to members of professional firms occupying several floors in high-rise office towers.
The key is to customize them to reflect your unique situation.
Identifying And Serving The Right Market Niche
The right market niche matches what clients need and want with the services that you can and do offer.
Ideal clients face their own challenges or opportunities. They need professional help in addressing these issues.
You have the right stuff to help them overcome the challenges and maximize the opportunities.
Selecting the right target market is more than a good idea. It’s one of the key essentials of successfully marketing professional services.
Sending The Right Marketing Message
The purpose of each marketing message is two-fold.
First your messages should help potentially ideal clients understand how you help people like them.
What do potential clients need to know in order to decide to hire you?
Second, they also encourage these potential clients to contact you to learn more.
Establishing And Maintaining Effective Marketing Relationships
Effective marketing relationships help maintain a sustainable flow of new business.
Clients, network contacts, suppliers and competitors can all contribute in some way to successful marketing. The overall effectiveness of these relationships depends upon mutual respect and personal trustworthiness
Professional competence, as reflected in all marketing professional services activities, also plays a role in attracting and serving clients.
Establishing and maintaining effective marketing relationships contribute to both the content strategy and client service elements of your marketing framework.
How Market Development Generates New Business
Generally speaking, market development is about expanding the market for specific goods or services.
There are only four ways to expand the market for professional services. This means providing: i more existing services to existing clients; ii. existing services to new clients; iii. new services to existing clients and iv. new services to new clients.
Further, there are only two ways to obtain new business from each of these two sources: provide more existing services or provide new services.
Not only does market development help generate more new business for you, it also offers more services to more clients. This in turn will help increase client satisfaction, a feature of the client service component of your marketing framework.
Marketing wisdom represents the knowledge and information that owners of small businesses accumulate as they go about marketing their goods and services. It is also an element of marketing professional service.
In many cases this wisdom takes the form of insights and observations that arise when things work out well and also when they don’t work out so well.
The Art of Attracting Ideal Clients
However, when professionals want new business, they tend to chase after any clients who appear willing to pay the bill.
Instead of searching for new clients, attract the best, the clients who are ideal for us.
Keep in mind that marketing professional services is more about attracting clients than chasing leads.
The Science of Generating Repeat Business
Repeat business is the reward that businesses receive and enjoy from satisfying clients.
Consistently, the best way to serve and satisfy clients is to meet their needs and wants, while exceeding their expectations. How do you satisfy clients so much that they keep coming back for more of your service?
The most effective marketing professional services includes generating more repeat business.
Business Growth for Professionals
For many professionals, business growth and marketing are often considered to be one and the same.
Marketing professional services is about generating new business.
However, this is only one of the four elements of growing a professional services business. The other three components are i. Improvement; ii. Innovation; and iii. scaling
A good content strategy will help achieve your desired business growth.
Marketing trends are those series of connected, inter-related events that influence and shape the process of marketing professional services .
A single isolated event or occurrence does not constitute a trend. Nor is a series of seemingly unrelated developments necessarily a trend.
For the most part a trend happens outside of us, not usually the result of any action that we might have taken.
Developments That Enhance Business Strength
The best developments enhance business strength. They add to and build upon those things that you do well. And even better, they can also reduce the negative impact of those things that we do not do well.
These trends are like a gift from the universe to help you succeed.
Responding to Developments That Undermine Success
The most potentially harmful trends undermine success. They interfere with those things that you consistently do well and perhaps even worse, make any existing weaknesses more of a problem.
The best approach to overcoming obstacles that threaten success is the one that makes the greatest contribution to your ultimate goals.
Ideally, a strong marketing framework will help minimize the impact of potentially threatening trends and developments.
Developments That Offer New Opportunities
Many trends, whether market-driven or performance-related, offer new opportunities.
These opportunities could include any or all of attracting new clients, offering new or improved services and making more efficient use of existing resources.
Even developments that seem negative could represent opportunities in disguise.
All new developments are not necessarily negative. A good content strategy can help make the most of exciting new opportunities.
Developments That Create A Business Survival Risk
The most serious survival risk to your business is a reduced demand for services. If fewer clients want or need your services, your business won’t survive.
Defensive marketing is the best response to these risks. These strategies are intended to protect a client base from survival-threatening developments.
Once again, a strong marketing framework can help reduce if not totally eliminate survival risks arising from potentially harmful trends and developments.
Marketing success is not automatic. Nor is it always easy.
Successfully marketing professional services requires the balance of four factors:
1. overcoming the challenges that invariably arise in any human endeavor, including marketing professional services
2. developing and maintain the attitudes and mindset that support the process of working to achieve our desired results
3. learning and effectively applying the appropriate skills to skills to achieve our desired results
4. taking the appropriate actions to achieve our desired results as effectively and efficiently as possible.
A balance of all factors is necessary; not just choosing the ones you like best.
The Best Response To Marketing Challenges
Responding to marketing challenges requires more than performing routine marketing tasks.
Performing routine tasks requires an average effort.
Responding effectively to marketing-related challenges requires above-average effort. This extra effort minimizes potential harm from obstacles and maximizes the potential of new opportunities.
Maintaining Appropriate Success Attitudes
Our attitudes are defined by our thoughts.
As Henry Ford told us “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
If you think you can successfully market professional services, you are right.
Taking The Right Actions
The right actions contribute to marketing success.
They could be as simple as responding to phone and email messages promptly. Actions like this please clients, paving the way for repeat and referral business.
Actions might also be as complex as content-rich websites–what a great way to attract potentially ideal clients!
Applying Your Personal Know-How
Your personal know-how plays a major role in marketing success.
This know-how represents the total of everything you have learned from formal education and training and also from your life experience.
It is amazing how skills from one area of our lives can be used to serve and satisfy clients.