In a recent post, I raised the question How Many Marketing Strategies Do You REALLY Need?

2009_bestWith the answer leaning to less is better, the obvious next question is what are the best strategies for marketing professional services? In the simplest of terms, what strategies will generate the most new business?

Sources Of New Business

Regardless of the service that we provide, there are only two sources of new business:

  1. new clients
  2. more business from existing clients

In order to attract more new potentially ideal clients, it is important for to offer them a compelling reason for choosing you instead of the competition. One element of this compelling reason is our personal brand, which helps distinguish us from the competition. The second element is our brand promise, which helps prospective new clients understand how they will benefit from our services.

Similarly, to generate more repeat business from past clients, it’s important to offer a compelling reason for hiring us again.

What value will they enjoy from more of the same type of service that they received in the past? Or equally important, what value would they receive from one of the your service areas that they have not yet experienced? (As a side note, helping clients enjoy services they have yet to experience, raises the question of how much clients know about your entire range of services. Concentrating only on those services that clients normally need could represent a huge lost opportunity).

Pull Marketing

Offering compelling reasons for potentially ideal choosing you or current clients choosing repeat business are examples of pull marketing. According to marketing-made-simple.com, “A pull strategy involves motivating customers to seek out your brand in an active process.”

In other words, it’s about “Getting the customer to come to you”

From the perspective of marketing professional services, the best pull marketing strategies include:

  • referrals
  • user-friendly information-rich websites
  • blogging
  • social media
  • public relations activities such as writing for publication and
  • public speaking

Given that marketing services marketing is about attracting more new clients and repeat business, the best marketing strategies for professionals get the clients to come to us. And that’s the magic of pull marketing.

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Marketing professional services is more than self-promotion and advertising. It’s all about generating more new business.

There are many ways generate more business from selling commodities.

However, professional services are not commodities.

For professionals, there are two fundamental techniques for generating new business:

  1. repeat business from current and past clients
  2. referrals from friends and family, clients and contacts

If you want more new business, you will need more repeat and referral business. It’s as simple as that.

The same approaches that help satisfy clients will also help generate more repeat and referral business.

Marketing Professional Services Is Like Serving Clients…Really!

Marketing is something that we all know we should be doing…but realistically few of us enjoy it, even a little bit.

Instead of trying to overcome whatever dislike of marketing you may have, let’s consider marketing as an extension of client service.

Here are five factors that help clarify how professional service marketing is like client service:

Client-focused

In serving our clients, a professionals we help identify and meet individual needs, instead of applying standardized ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions. Similarly, the best marketing illustrates how we help individual clients instead of trying to be all things to all people.

Relationship-oriented

The best client service is based upon mutually rewarding relationships between professional service provider and their clients.

The best marketing includes building and maintaining relationships between you as a professional and your potentially ideal clients.

Conversational

In-person conversations between professionals and their clients are conversational…not speeches, monologues, lectures or other one-way delivery of messages. Professional service marketing communications are also conversational.

Educational

For the most part, client service include elements of education.

Educational in nature, professional service marketing offers new information…not just repeating the same old same old message. From a marketing perspective, the business that educates the most attracts the most new business.

Your Best Stuff

Regardless of the nature of your clients or the help they need from you, as a professional you deliver your best service… not just a bare minimum. In marketing their services, successful professionals showcase their own best stuff, instead of accepting the lowest common denominator commonly adopted by others.

To learn more about generating more new business, click here.