If your firm is going to remain competitive over the next ten years, you need to embrace the online marketing tools that are redefining the way services are bought and sold, according to Lee Frederiksen, Sean McVey and Sylvia Montgomery in their book Online Marketing for Professional Services. The book attempts to provide a roadmap that any firm can follow to break into and master online marketing.
While personal referrals remain important, online searching and reviews have also become key ways in which people find suppliers. From the buyer’s perspective, online searches are fast and convenient while allowing greater variety and more geographic diversity in the selection of a potential supplier. From the supplier’s perspective, online marketing is flexible, measurable, less expensive, more automated, and with greater geographic reach than traditional marketing techniques.
So, how exactly do you get people to find your business online and decide to trust you to be their supplier? You need to provide content (blogs, whitepapers, videos, ebooks, webinars) that demonstrates your expertise and that potential buyers will find useful, you need to engage in search engine optimisation, and you need to nurture your audience until they are in need of your services. Of course, this is more easily said than done. The energy of most professional service firms is taken up in serving their existing clients, so that websites and online content generation are neglected, with the predictable result that online marketing brings minimal returns.
The authors’ firm, Hinge Marketing, has clearly taken its own advice seriously, and as a result they have experienced explosive growth. This is a short, attractive, entertaining and easy-to-understand book, and I highly recommend it to anyone in a leadership position at a professional services firm.
A free ebook version of the book is currently available for download from the Hinge Marketing website.