These days, most have an expert opinion to share about online marketing. Many have a product for sale to prove it. What works for a $27 item, though, rarely leads to online marketing success for professional services.
When you’re billing your time at $100, $300, or $500 an hour, email sequences and landing pages aren’t very important. Attorneys, financial planners, doctors, coaches, consultants and those in other confidential fields need to build relationships. It takes personal time to establish the kind of trust people seek when they’re sharing confidential information.
Things like Facebook likes, Instagram shares, and retweets don’t do much to build business. That doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from online strategies. It just means you need to be smarter about how you implement your approaches than someone selling products on Etsy.
Online marketing success for professional services providers isn’t hard. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make all the difference.
5 tips for more meaningful online results
- Focus on a couple of social media platforms. Don’t feel like you need to be everywhere. Your clients probably aren’t hanging out on TikTok or looking at Pinterest boards for legal or accounting services. You’ll probably want to at least check in where most people in your area are sharing. Pick another one or two places where your prospects, not peers, are congregating.
- Market to centers-of-influence when possible. These are people in a good position to refer business to you. When you focus on getting friendly with these folks, you can reach more potential clients faster. Group moderators, business organization executive directors, academic leaders, and media personalities are good people to consider approaching.
- Focus on quality over quantity. Blogs, newsletters, LinkedIn articles, and group participation are all good places to apply less is more thinking. Resist the temptation to put out sub-par material just to be seen. Instead, create excellent content less frequently. Write tight so your readers don’t have to struggling through rambling prose. If you’re providing useful information to the reader, they’ll remember you.
- Access the media for more credibility and a bigger reach. Almost all major newspapers, trade journals, magazines, and broadcast stations have an online presence. Assignment editors and reporters are always looking for colorful comment from professionals. Build a relationship with a reporter or freelancer by providing great soundbites for a variety of stories. They’ll come back to you repeatedly, particularly if you save them research time.
- Delegate marketing and copywriting tasks to someone talented and personable. The right fit will be able to create messages that sound like you (or your business personality/brand). An experienced professional can do it faster and better than you for less than your hourly rate. Look for someone who has marketing expertise, industry familiarity, and an ability to speak in your voice.
As you see courses advertised, get pitches from vendors, consider investments in social media, and think marketing strategy, be different. What works for a cheap product or online course isn’t usually effective for specialized service providers. Professionals who bill by the hour for their knowledge require unusual approaches. Starting with the right strategy and message makes spreading the word to convert ideal prospects to clients a lot easier. It also pays to be smart and picky about where you focus your time and attention. After all, time is money for professional service providers. Doesn’t it make sense to use it wisely when you’re diverting billable hours to efforts for online marketing success?