How to create a professional services marketing plan
- Choosing a few different marketing strategies will increase your brand awareness and allow you to reach more clients
- Don’t overlook the positive social proof you already have from customer reviews, case studies, and testimonials
- Keep your professional services marketing focused on your customer, not your brand
There’s no shortage of marketing tactics for professional services companies. From law firms to accounting firms to financial services companies and beyond, it can be overwhelming for small businesses to determine the right marketing techniques for their company.
If your small business doesn’t have a marketing team or you have a limited budget for marketing tools, there are still many ways to market and grow your business. As you start, the important thing to think about is where your potential clients are spending time online and how you can build metrics-driven online marketing strategies to match.
Simply showing that you can provide a service is not enough for your marketing efforts—it’s just the baseline requirement to grow your business. A professional services marketing plan must include your unique value proposition. Distinguishing factors—like speed, pricing, customer service, years of experience in the field, and successful results—help your small business stand out from the competition. Once you can clearly state what makes you different, drive results with these seven marketing ideas.
1. Commit to a content marketing strategy
Tailored to the needs and top concerns of your prospective clients, content marketing involves the production of free material to showcase your expertise. You can increase brand awareness and customer trust through content marketing deliverables like:
- Guest posts
- Blogs written with search engine optimization (SEO)
- Podcast episodes with show notes
- Organic social media posts
As you develop your content marketing plan, don’t feel like you need to do it all at once. Instead, pick one thing and be consistent, like posting a blog every other week. Once you’ve mastered your process for publishing, think about adding or refining other content marketing elements, such as defining your target audience and setting clear, measurable marketing and business goals.
2. Reward your referral sources
Thank your referral sources for their efforts, and then take it a step further by generating new business with a structured referral rewards program.
If you can, offer incentives to current customers for new referrals. Incentives for your top referral sources could include prizes, coupons on future services, quarterly lunches, and/or annual holiday gifts.
3. Host expert webinars
Getting the same burning question from every new client? It might be a great topic to feature in a free webinar. With webinars, your target audience learns from you, which helps build your reputation as an expert. Here are some ways you can make your webinar successful:
- Power up your marketing with paid social media ads aimed at your target audience before the webinar
- Do a trial run with a colleague to ensure things go smoothly
- Offer to take questions live
- Use a webinar tool that’s easy for you and your attendees
- Limit any sales pitches to the last few minutes of the webinar only
- Use the email addresses you collect to send personal thank you emails after the event
- Send registrants a recording of the webinar, but limit how long it’s available to encourage people to watch it before making it gated content
Once the webinar is over, don’t forget to repurpose the content for social media in the form of short videos, quote posts, or even branded PDF checklists. Remember, not everyone will attend your webinar, but you want your followers to know that your expert events are loaded with helpful information.
4. Take advantage of past reviews
Reading reviews is a great way to see where you’re performing well and to repurpose that information for marketing collateral. Reviews tell the story of what customers find unique and helpful about your company. In fact, 91% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Don’t hesitate to share customer reviews far and wide. Customer quotes can be used:
- In graphics on social media
- In email campaigns sent to those who signed up to receive outreach from you
- Directly on your website, with statements that support your reliability, core values, or expertise
By repurposing reviews into marketing materials, you can build a trustworthy and authentic brand for your business. Search for new reviews each month to keep on top of popular opinion and discover unique self-promotion opportunities.
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5. Build a client-centered website
Your professional services firm‘s website should do more than just list your services. From a content perspective, include details about how your specific approach yields an optimal experience (or better results than your competitors) for clients. Write client-focused website copy (i.e., written content on your site that tells your target audience how buying from you will benefit them). From a technical perspective, ensure each page follows small business SEO best practices.
The website should be easy to navigate, simple to search, and tested regularly for things like site speed issues.
6. Leverage podcasts
In your niche, you’re the subject matter expert. What better way to claim that authority than appearing as a guest expert on a podcast? This strategy is also known as “renting your audience.” It’s simple: Find a podcast whose listeners are similar to your target audience. Send a customized pitch to the podcast owner, offering to come on the show to cover talking points relevant to that audience. Show up to educate and inform, not sell.
7. Get talking on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the best social media channel to communicate with business people. It’s also the most trusted social media network. For your professional services firm to see marketing ROI here, you should:
- Optimize your profile with keywords related to your industry
- Rewrite your profile tagline to read: “I help (people you serve) achieve (result you get them).”
- Include LinkedIn in your content marketing strategy by writing unique content at least one a week
- Connect with 10 prospective clients or other thought leaders each week to grow your following
A clear professional services marketing strategy can maximize your budget as you invest in getting the word out about your business. Now that you’re armed with eight ways to showcase your unique value proposition and edge out your competitors with a professional services marketing plan, learn how to grow your business with the four Ps of marketing.
The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.