Many of our SMB (Small & Medium-sized Businesses) clients and colleagues sell professional services. Lawyers, accountants, medical practices and other service providers have a common challenge. Businesses and consumers buy their service based on the perceived credibility of the seller. “Are they an expert in the field?” “Do they have sufficient experience?” “What is their track record?”
When it comes to marketing themselves, many professional service SMBs often fail to start with the end in mind. Rather than build their brand of credibility, they fill their websites with the features and benefits of their services. Bland descriptions of what they do, instead of building a case for why someone should buy their service.
To get started in building and selling the brand of credibility, we often recommend these marketing tactics for individuals that provide professional services:
- LinkedIn: The digital revolution blessed professionals with the opportunity to project their brand through LinkedIn’s valuable tools. Build a summary that conveys credibility in your field. Connect with other credible professionals on the buy-side and sell-side of your field. This is often the first website considered by buyers in assessing a professional’s credibility.
- Thought Leadership: The best professional service providers are the ones perceived to be their profession’s leaders. Do you want an accountant who knows the tax code or do you want the accountant who wrote it? Probably the latter. Use blogs, social media and LinkedIn to share your keen insights with prospective customers, building credibility in the process.
- Networking: Connecting with other professionals in a variety of fields gives your SMB the leg up on building business. It keeps you current on events in your market, provides you with a corps of mentors and advisors, and connects you with potential opportunities. Most importantly, it exposes you and your company to a diverse business network of the movers-and-shakers in your field and community. However, remember a key to great networking: It is better to give value than receive it. Be ready to help anyone and everyone in your networking group.
- Personal Social Advocacy: Larger professional services businesses have a social media army at their disposal. An army that few businesses successfully deploy. If team members retweet, link or otherwise connect to company social media, that company social media gets 8 times more engagement than content shared by the company channel and is re-shared 25 times more frequently. Now, that’s a social media army!
Building the brand of credibility starts with employing these and other tactics. Over time, you and your business will be known as the go-to group in your field. A brand like this is destined for professional services success.
For more information on building your SMB brand and moving your business forward, contact Ken Ungar at email@example.com.