How Are Those Virtual Trade Shows Treating You?
If you run a professional services business, then you’ve likely been looking for a better way to power your business development process.
Networking, referrals, and industry events can only take you so far. You want to go further.
What if you didn’t have to hand out cards to get in front of potential clients?
What if the clients come to you?
Sound too good to be true?
It isn’t. It’s inbound marketing.
Ready to explore a new way of doing business?
In this article, I talk about inbound marketing for professional services firms and how to use it to drive demand for your services.
What Does the Inbound Marketing For Professional Services Look Like?
In many ways, inbound marketing works as it sounds.
Your first aim is to attract potential prospects to your website, social media profile, or landing page.
From there you engage with them through email marketing, social media content, or direct outreach.
Once they are ready for a conversation, you are better positioned to talk about your value. You have been nurturing them all along the way.
This process is extremely attractive to many professional services firms. It requires your prospect to make mini-commitments along the way.
From sending you a connection request to subscribing to your email list, your prospective clients become active participants in the sales process.
Clients are happy to be introduced to valuable new information along the way.
You may be thinking, “If it’s so easy, why aren’t all my competitors doing it?”
The truth is, inbound marketing for professional services firms is not easy. But it is better than relying on outbound activity alone.
Why is it better? Because it gives you a scalable approach for building a pipeline for your business.
It allows you to use content and thought leadership as your competitive advantage.
What Are The Most Important Factors for Successful Inbound Marketing?
The key variables for success in inbound marketing for professional services are, a) the quality of the content you create and, b) your ability to nurture your prospects once you have earned their attention.
Creating Quality Content
Content marketing is about consistently providing valuable information to your target audience. This can be done through a variety of channels.
Whether you have an active blog, company podcast, or YouTube channel, you can provide practical information to your potential prospects. Showcase your expertise long before you meet them.
Imagine the hours you have spent in the past preparing for community small-group presentations in your local area.
Now imagine if you could reach 20x that audience without ever leaving your office.
That would be a major difference!
How do you unlock this power?
Develop great content. Set-up a content distribution framework that will allow you to share your message with as many as possible.
The key is to provide insights that your customers may already be actively seeking.
Think back to what your clients focus on when they reach out to you. Are there specific topics or concepts that drive them to want to learn more?
Use the knowledge you have about your current clientele to begin creating content around their interests.
You will be able to use feedback from your audience to continue honing in on the best subject matter to share.
Nurturing Your Prospects
Your ability to create quality content and your ability to nurture your prospects go hand in hand.
Your content will be the spark that gets the conversation started. Your task from there will be to keep the fire going long enough to guide your prospect to the sale.
The term “personalization” gets thrown around a lot in marketing these days, but there is a reason for that.
While I look for ways to optimize my processes as much as I can, some things shouldn’t be automated or even scripted.
When you engage your prospects in conversation, it is important to listen to how they describe their needs before launching into any discussion about how you can help them.
Just like with content, your focus should be on pinpointing what information your prospects care about. Then deliver it in plain language they can understand.
A great way to get better at this is to connect with prospects on LinkedIn and engage with their content.
Whether prospects found you through your website or your social media content, follow them back to the channels where they are active. Gather insights about their perspective and level of understanding.
When you understand your area of expertise and what matters most to your prospects, you are in the best position to succeed.
Inbound marketing for professional services firms has great potential.
You are empowered to share what you know with the rest of the world and allow them to identify when the opportunity is right for a sale.
You can stop wasting your time trying to sell the wrong people and start generating conversations to attract the right ones.
The best thing is, this concept is just beginning to play out in the world of digital business.
Numerous tools and processes are being introduced every day to make this process even more scalable for businesses of all sizes.
Whether you have 10 or 100 employees, it is time to rally your team around content marketing and thought leadership.
These are your tools for pulling customers into your inbound marketing process and generating opportunities like never before.
If you have any questions about how to create an inbound marketing strategy for your business, please reach out!