The ultimate marketing framework allows service-providers to focus on the three key strategies that make the greatest contributions to generating more new business successfully and continuously.
Ultimately all other marketing strategies will contribute to one of more of these three key strategies.
The single biggest marketing problem for service-providers is their inability to distinguish themselves from the competition.
As a result, many are unable to attract enough ideal clients, the kinds of people they love to serve and are good at satisfying.
Distinguishing one service-provider from the others is an ongoing challenge. Personal branding is the key to distinguishing ourselves from others.
It’s what makes us unique in a world of copies.
Good branding will also help us attract and satisfy more of the kinds of clients we need want and deserve.
As a component of the marketing framework, your brand distinguishes you and your service. It defines:
• your personal and professional distinctiveness
• articulates your brand promise — the benefits that clients enjoy from those factors that distinguish you from all others.
Your brand also ensures the consistency of all marketing communications, online and off.
Unfortunately many brands fail. And many more never achieve success because they can’t compete in a crowded marketplace.
To increase the likelihood of the success of your brand, check out Ignore the Myths — Professional Service Branding Helps You Succeed.
Branding is the cornerstone of a marketing framework. It supports the next element of the marketing framework — content strategy.
2. Content Strategy
This element of the marketing framework delivers and enhances your brand in the marketplace.
In the simplest of terms, content strategy is about to the right people at the right time in the right manner.
In practice, this means applying the principles of strategic planning to create and deliver content that effectively connects with the target audience.
The purpose of content strategy is to achieve business goals by maximizing the impact of content that can be found, read, understood acted upon and shared.
Content strategy is the ideal approach for professionals to build upon their brands to stand out from the competition and attract more potentially ideal clients. As service-providers, we all possess a vast store of knowledge and know-how, which represents valuable raw material for informational marketing content.
As the strategic basis for content marketing, content strategy is about creating, publishing and managing useful, and sharable content.
The strategic element includes the necessary research to identify the right people for your content.
Obviously, the right people are your ideal clients, others just like them, referral sources who can refer potentially ideal clients and anyone one else who can contribute to your success.
Possibly unaware of it, you probably already have a rich content inventory.
Ideally your research will also have identified the best ways to put your content in from of the right people: web content, blog posts, social media or other content such as email newsletters or special reports.
Content marketing is the action or application component of content strategy.
It allows you to showcase your professional expertise, positioning you as an expert in your field. Invariably, experts in their fields attract the most ideal clients. It is the most visible element of a marketing framework.
In effect, the combination of your professional expertise and personal likability offers potential clients a compelling reason for hiring you. This will increase the probability of clients’ choosing you over the competition.
If you have a website, you already know that content is king. Among other things, our content defines who we are and how we help our clients.
However, in and of itself, continuously generating quality content is not content marketing. Effective content marketing is a strategic marketing approach to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience and drive profitable client action.
Great content is the key to stimulating clients to take the action you want. Great marketing content is inspirational in nature. It’s the kind of inspiration that helps readers feel good about themselves, which in turn increases your credibility and liability.
Participation marketing makes great content even better. Engaging content can help generate positive experiences that your audience has about you and your brand.
Certainly, preparing content for purposes of content marketing with require more time and effort than preparing more of the same old blogs and social media posts. But the payoff is worth it. The return on your investment in producing great content include increased website traffic, ranking for target keywords, and domain authority & backlinks.
A final comment on content marketing.
It’s not just for established businesses with a huge inventory of content. For start-ups, a content marketing strategy is especially important. Content marketing is a powerful tool that marketers are utilizing more than ever. Given its increasingly important role in marketing, it only makes sense that all businesses include content marketing in their initial business and marketing planning.
Sharing content is the strategic application of social media sharing of comments, images and audio.
Our interconnected world makes it easier than ever share content. As a result, content distribution ranges from sharing among local groups of interested like-minded people to international reposting on global networks.
Social media is the most obvious channel for content distribution. Most, if not all blog posts include buttons that encourage readers to share the content on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. These simple buttons represent the minimal level of content sharing on social media.
Of today’s billion plus active websites, many offer valuable content sharing opportunities.
3. Client Service
This is the component of your marketing frame work that keeps clients coming back for more service and referring new clients to you.
Through content marketing, service-providers can attract new clients.
Once added to your roster, new clients deserve the highest quality of service that you can deliver. There is no better approach to satisfying them, which in turn will encourage them to hire you again and refer others to you.
What is quality client service?
Quality is what your clients say it is …nothing more, nothing less.
Despite everything that has been written and spoken about quality. there are 2 fundamental elements of quality service:
1. meeting your clients’ needs and wants
2. meeting … or preferably exceeding … clients’ expectations
Quality service starts with identifying ideal clients and developing a buyer profile that describes these clients. Guided by these two factors, you are better prepared to apply your expertise and resources to satisfy clients.
One of the best ways of exceeding expectations is by re-framing your routinely good services as memorable experiences for your clients. These experiences help satisfied client become delighted fans, eagerly promoting those professionals who continue to exceed their expectations.
Marketing Framework Sub-Strategies
In combination, branding, content strategy and good client service comprise the ultimate marketing framework for service-providers.
As outlined above, our personal brands allow us to differentiate ourselves and stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Marketing strategy focuses on getting the right content — our great content — to the right people. These people include potentially ideal clients, actual clients as well as others who can contribute to our success.
Once potential clients have made the decision to become actual clients, it is high quality service that satisfying them, encouraging them to hire you again and refer others to you.
Virtually all other marketing strategies, which might be referred to as Sub-Strategies contribute to the the overall marketing framework strategies…your Super-Strategies.