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Posts Tagged ‘professional service firms’

Social Media Metrics that Matter

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 14, 2014

social media metrics

Using the right metrics lets you track your social media campaigns and measure them against your business goals

My professional service firm and small business clients often ask me which social media metrics they should track. They often think that if they get a lot of Facebook “Likes” then their social media campaign was a success. Then they are surprised when “Likes” don’t turn into increased sales.

Hootsuite, a social relationship platform company, noted in a recent blog post that choosing the right social media metric can be a daunting task. They point out that social media can be used to achieve any one or more of these business goals:

  • Increasing customer engagement
  • Growing sales
  • Building brand awareness

Each of these goals has a different set of metrics associated with it. So, if you start by establishing your goal, you can then select the appropriate social media metrics as key performance indicators (KPIs).

Increasing customer engagement, for instance, requires that you track metrics for social media engagement. These include Likes, Shares, Comments, Retweets, Mentions, and Favorites.

If your goal is to grow sales by increasing customer acquisition on your website, then you will want to pay attention to URL clicks and traffic to your website from social media. URL clicks can be tracked by using a shortened URL such as the HootSuite default shortener. Bitly provides a similar tracking capability.

Traffic to your site can be captured using Google Analytics, which your webmaster should have already installed on your site. If not, get him or her to do it immediately – you’re letting valuable insights slip through the cracks.

Building brand awareness requires that you track Follower growth rate, percent change in Followers, Twitter Sentiment, Reach by region, and Clicks by region. Shares and Retweets can also be tracked.

Hootsuite and Bitly are two of many tools that can be used to track social media metrics and both offer free and paid options. This blog post has a good list of free and paid tools for tracking social media campaign metrics.

 

Which social media metrics have you found most useful? Tell us in this post’s Comments section.

Posted in Business, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, small business, social media metrics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How to Become the Expert People Want to Hire

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 7, 2014

content marketing

Your prospects will stick around when you give them the information resources they need to solve problems

Prospects Can’t Resist Sticky Content

When you give your prospects information that guides them to a problem solution – that’s sticky content!

When you use sticky content effectively, you become the expert people want to hire.

The Sticky Content Plan can help small businesses, consulting firms, and professional service firms build the information resources that bring customers to your door!

You get:

  • A 3-month content plan to rev up your sticky content creation
  • An analysis and suggested improvements for the “stickiness” of your website and two social media accounts.
  • An evaluation of your company’s brand messaging – does it compel people to stick around (and hire you)?

A $1,500 Value – Only $999!

Get Your Sticky Content Plan

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, content marketing, lead generation, Marketing, Marketing plans, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Thought leadership | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Don’t Miss Out: Read Our 7 Top Posts from 2013

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 15, 2013

most popular marketing posts

Did you miss these top posts for 2013? It’s not too late to check them out!

Did you miss any of our best posts during 2013?

You can catch up here – these seven posts were particularly popular with Marketing Advantage readers.

(And we’d love to know what your favorite Marketing Advantage post was in 2013. Just leave a quick comment below to tell us.)

7 Ideas for Attracting Customers

I gave a talk recently to the Just Think B.I.G., Bernardsville, NJ, group about marketing tactics that attract customers. Many of the women business owners present knew their product or service really well, but didn’t always know how to attract the attention of prospective customers.

Marketing is all about getting people to know, like and then trust you. There are many ways to do this; here are the seven ideas I spoke about… Read more

23 Sales and Marketing Ideas for 2013

At a recent Executive Exchange Inc. meeting, business owners talked about how they will boost their sales and marketing efforts in 2013. Here are some ideas that were discussed… Read more

How to Market Your Business with an eBook

Less expensive than producing a “traditional” book, electronic books (or “eBooks”) exist in various formats, including MS Word files, Adobe Acrobat pdf files (one of the most popular formats) and HTML files (which can be read using a web browser). You might even consider converting your book to the ePub format, which is becoming a standard for e-readers… Read more

Does Social Media Fit in Your Professional Services Marketing Plan?
“How can we use social media?”

That’s a question I often get from partners and owners of professional service firms. They think social media is something they should be paying attention to, yet they are unsure where to start, or even if they should start, using it.

For retailers and other businesses that market products entirely to consumers, social media marketing – through Facebook, Twitter or even YouTube – has become accepted practice. It lets them to get closer to their customers, provide better service and earn positive word of mouth.  But what about professional service firms? Is there value for you in social networking? If so, which of the many social media tools is relevant for you? Read more

How Professional Service Firms Can Get Started in Social Media

In my last post, I wrote about how social media can help professional service firms become thought leaders for their target clients. I also talked about how to choose the most relevant social media for your firm.

Here’s a simple framework for fitting social media into your firm’s marketing plan. Think of three interactive segments that build on each other to benefit your practice: tried and true tactics, conscious outreach, and cutting edge tactics. With this framework in mind, you can choose the tactics from each segment that fit your firm’s culture, level of marketing expertise, and target market… Read more

15 Tips for Creating Engaging Content

Content rules. Whether you’re tweeting, writing blog posts, or contributing to a LinkedIn group discussion, it is content that drives conversations and connects your professional services firm to its social network. But creating content that your audience will want to read can be challenging. à Read more

29 Marketing Tactics for Building Know, Like, Trust – and Try

Is summer a quiet time for your business? Then it’s time to rev up your lead generation machine! Put one or more of these proven marketing tactics to work now and start getting prospects to KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST your business and TRY your products or services.

Remember: marketing is all about making selling easier – if not almost unneeded. Effective marketing eliminates the need for that pushy selling that so many of us dislike. That’s what these tactics can do for you… Read more

Have we left one of your favorites off? Drop us a comment, below and let us know which one!

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, sales and marketing, small business, social media and phishing, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

November Is Now Small Business Month

Posted by advantagemarketing on November 12, 2013

Infusionsoft Thrive 365

Small businesses can get free resources to support their growth during Small Business Month.

You’ve probably heard of Small Business Saturday…it’s the day dedicated to supporting local small businesses by giving them the attention they need and deserve. The movement, started by American Express, has inspired thousands of Americans to shop local small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Small Business Saturday has had a big impact on small businesses since its inception. Last year, for instance, consumers spent an estimated $5.5 billion dollars with local retailers on that one day.

Amex isn’t the only one looking out for small businesses. Infusionsoft, a software company known for its dedication to small businesses, is doing something really big too. They’re naming November “Small Business Month”. And they’re backing it up with all kinds of giveaways throughout the month, starting with the Thrive 365 Movement.

Any type of small business – business-to-business firms, retailers, professional service firms, etc. – can participate in Thrive 365. When you join, you’ll get exclusive access to educational success kits, interactive tools, and special offers—all designed to help you succeed this month and beyond.

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the free resources you’ll get:

  • Whiteboard Videos
  • E-Books
  • Webinar Recordings
  • Campaign Templates
  • Case Studies
  • Expert Interviews
  • Interactive Worksheets
  • More!

There are also all sorts of promotions and special offers, so check out the Thrive 365 page at www.Infusionsoft.com/Thrive.

Posted in Business, Marketing, Marketing automation, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Join Me for a C2M Live! Webinar: Getting on Your Prospects’ Radar

Posted by advantagemarketing on July 30, 2013

Getting on Your Prospects Radar

Join me on August 15 or 27 as we explore how building a distinct point of view and reputation can get you noticed by prospects

I’m excited to announce that I will be the featured expert on the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC)  Consulting to Management (C2M) Live! August webinar series:

What Are You Known for?

How building a distinct point of view and reputation can get you on your prospects’ radar.

Dates:   August 15 @ 1:00pm EST & August 27 @3:00pm EST

Register for either session: August 15 OR August 27

Cost: FREE for IMC members; $19.00 for nonmembers

Are you a consultant who is just starting out who needs to find prospects? Or are you an experienced consultant who has found prospects, built your referral pipeline, but now finds your referral sources are gone? Perhaps the colleagues and clients who referred you have retired, or their companies have been bought by larger firms that don’t need your services.

Maybe you’ve tried to do some prospecting on your own. You’ve tried calling or emailing prospects and they don’t respond. You might as well be invisible – these prospects barely know you exist, much less want to take a call from you.

We all know that people prefer to buy professional services from other people, not companies. But how do you grab the attention of prospects so that you can sell to them?

In this interactive session, we will discuss how developing a distinct point of view and reputation can help you attract and build relationships with prospects so that you can then turn them into clients.

We’ll discuss:

  • The four steps that prospects must complete before they are willing to buy from you.
  • Why your reputation probably isn’t what you think it is – and what you can do to improve it.
  • How you can define your distinct point of view so that prospects will recognize your value.
  • How to establish deeper relationships by connecting with what matters most to your prospects and clients.

REGISTER NOW

How C2M Live! Works

Every month IMC hosts a live one-hour webinar on topics of interest to consultants. IMC know that your schedule is busy – that’s why they offer a live session at two different times during the month.

  • At the beginning of every month, IMC has a short survey on the topic for that month’s sessions to start the conversation
  • Each session features a seasoned expert discussing current issues that you’ll find practical, useful and thoughtful.
  • If you miss a session, just download the podcast!
  • Then continue in the conversation after the session on our IMC USA LinkedIn group, where you’ll get to chat with fellow participants and the presenter.

 

REGISTER NOW

Posted in Business, Consulting, Entrepreneur, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, Thought leadership | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tips for Building Your Email Subscriber List

Posted by advantagemarketing on October 18, 2012

Grow an email marketing subscriber list responsibly

Follow these tips and grow your email marketing subscriber list responsibly.

In 5 Email Marketing Traps to Avoid, I talked about the five ways you can mess up your email marketing. But what are some of the steps you need to take to get it right?

The first thing you need to do is to grow your email subscriber list. There are many ways to collect subscribers, and you’ll want to be creative in building your list. But, as I pointed out in 5 Traps, not every email address that comes across your desk represents someone asking to be subscribed to your list.

The folks at AWeber.com offer these tips for growing your list:

Be sure you have specific permission. Make sure that whether you are adding subscribers or they are adding themselves, it is quite clear to them that they’re giving you permission for you to send them email marketing messages.

Set up a website form. This allows people who visit your website to enter their email addresses to get the specific information that you’re going to be sending.

Talk up your emails. If you’re at a networking meeting or giving a speech, mention your email campaign and why it’d be useful to the person or group you’re speaking to. You might say, for example, “A great way to learn more about this service is my email newsletter. I send my clients and associates monthly messages with expert advice and special prices. Would you also like to receive them?” If there are particular incentives for signing up (e.g., special prices for subscribers), mention them also.

Set up a fishbowl.  If you’re working a trade show or have a store front, set up a fishbowl to collect business cards for people to subscribe to your newsletter. You can sweeten the offer, for example, by stating that each month one new subscriber will win a free lunch or t-shirt. Act promptly with these addresses. The longer you wait to start delivering value to them through your messages, the less likely they are to remember who you are, and to stay on your list.

Ask your social media followers. Ask the people who follow your company on Facebook, for example, if they’d like to get your email newsletter, and direct them to a form on your website to sign up. You can also mention your newsletter on your blog.

Run ads in print publications. Choose a publication with readership that fits your business’ niche, rather than a general interest publication. Run an ad that uses a few enticing words to hook the reader so that they want to know more. Instruct the reader to sign up for your email campaign and direct them to the form on your website.

Use confirmed opt-in. This protects your sender reputation and ensures that only people who want to receive your information are subscribed to your list.

These are two practices that you’ll definitely want to avoid, says AWeber:

Buying a list. Emailing to a list of “business opportunity seekers,” “fresh opt-in leads,” or any other type of purchased list is out-and-out spamming. Trying to send messages to addresses you acquired this way will get your email marketing account closed faster than you can say “and we won’t give you a refund, either,” says AWeber. (Note: this is true for most other legitimate email service providers.)

Ripping off an attendance list. Whether it’s from a trade show, networking meeting or conference, this is another big NO-NO. If people haven’t requested information from you, don’t add them to your list, regardless of where you met them.

For more help with your email marketing, register for a complementary marketing assessment from the experts at Advantage Marketing Consulting Services.

Tell us! What are some tactics you’ve used to build an effective email subscriber list?

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Email marketing, Facebook, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, small business | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Speaking that Connects: Decent and Excellent Are Not the Same

Posted by advantagemarketing on February 24, 2012

My colleague Eileen Sinett is an expert at helping professionals develop as public speakers. In this post she shares best practices from her book, “Speaking that Connects”. If you are a professional who wants a marketing advantage, says Eileen, become as skilled a presenter as you are an expert in your field.

by Eileen Sinett

public speaking

Create a buzz about your business by following these public speaking tips from expert Eileen Sinett.

The best way to create a buzz about yourself, your business or your product is to get in front of a group and talk about what you know.   And because public speaking can influence many at once, it is the marketing tool of choice for many businesses – better than video, pay per click, or a blog post.  Public speaking provides a dynamic and energetic connection between you and your existing and potential customers or clients that no other medium can touch.

Of course this is only true if you are a speaker who is:  (1) comfortably authentic (true to yourself and not oozing anxiety), (2) focused and clear (you know how much or little to say) and (3) engaged and connected (aware of and able to navigate the invisible thread between you and your listeners).

Many business owners and professionals have told me that they do speak publicly– to rotary groups, Chambers of Commerce, trade organizations, etc., and have done a decent job.  But decent is not excellent, and it is excellence that drives a competitive advantage for you and your business.

To reap the marketing benefits of speaking publicly, you will want to capitalize on these best practices:

1. Begin your speech without words. Experience three seconds of silence! If you think this is crazy, think again.  All communication begins from silence.  On the page, it’s white space or margins; with speaking, it’s not speaking. Look (without saying anything) before you speak.  Like a conductor of an orchestra, you are in charge and set the tone. Allow yourself a few seconds to connect inwardly as you look out at the crowd.  Your listeners will appreciate this “verbal white space.”

2. Know how you will start.  Learn, (not necessarily memorize) how you will start your talk.  Try on a new way of opening, i.e., a rhetorical question, striking fact, or personal story, rather than the usual, bland, “I’m So and So and I’m going to talk about “X.”  Reveal yourself through an anecdote or short story that allows the audience to know you as a person and bridge this story to your focus.  Commit to practicing this opening at least once, aloud, sometime before your presentation to minimize “start-up” anxiety!

3. Stand still for your first two or three sentences. You will look in control, maximize your image and presence and project strength (even if you feel nervous).  Reducing movement at the beginning of your talk also helps your audience to listen with focus. (By the way, standing still does not mean standing stiffly at attention.)

4. Build your talk around 3 ideas and limit your speech to 20 minutes. The average person remembers 3-5 ideas plus or minus 2.  By batching your concepts in threes, you facilitate and sustain audience interest.

5. Embrace less is more, when it comes to visual aids.  Reduce text, read less and be less slide-dependent.  Be able to overview your presentation highlights without a single slide!

6. Hear yourself as you speak!   You will become more conscious of what you say and how you say it.  As a result, your self-awareness, presence and connection will grow.

7. Stop worrying about your hands! Let them be! Focus on your passion and your hands will gesture in a way that is natural for you.

8. Control-Alt-Delete any negative self-talk. Eliminate any judgmental inner chatter to create space for something neutral or positive.

9. Refrain from running “off-stage” if you ask for questions and you don’t get any (a very awkward moment indeed). Start the question-ball rolling by saying something like, “Sometimes people ask me…” Then answer that question and ask the audience again if they have any questions (usually they do).

10. Have the final word! After the Q & A, close your presentation by reiterating your key message – what you want the audience to most remember.  These will be the last words they hear, so make them clear and concise and deliver them with confidence!

Continue the conversation. What else can a speaker do to connect with his or her audience? Please tell us in the Comments section below.

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe and get The Marketing Advantage by email. Just click on the Subscribe today! link in the right sidebar.

Eileen N. Sinett, author of “Speaking that Connects,” is a coach-consultant and keynote speaker whose knowledge spans several cross-functional disciplines: the speech arts, communication sciences, psychology, career management, and training and development. She is committed to promoting confidence and clarity in speakers worldwide, enhancing personal and business relationships through communication improvement, and raising the bar on speaking performance with her unique presentation training brand, Speaking that Connects, www.speakingthatconnects.com.

Posted in B2B marketing, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, Public speaking, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

15 Tips for Creating Engaging Content

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 22, 2010

social media conversations

Write as if you were having a conversation with the reader.

By Loraine Kasprzak, MBA

Content rules. Whether you’re tweeting, writing blog posts, or contributing to a LinkedIn group discussion, it is content that drives conversations and connects your professional services firm to its social network. But creating content that your audience will want to read can be challenging.

Imagine you’re reading this paragraph in a consulting firm’s blog:

An organization’s business architecture revolves around five broad areas viz. the customer segment, scope of products or services, geographic coverage, strategic differentiation and profit pools. During the course of an M&A, organizations tend to alter one or more parameters of their business architecture which will impact their IT strategy needed to enhance customer reach, add efficiencies, reduce cost, add competitive advantage or enable business processes that could bolster any of the aforementioned.

Difficult to read*, isn’t it? Too often, B2B firms create excruciating content just like this and push it out to their social media channels. Then they wonder why they get so little engagement in return.

How can you write simply and well, so that others will want to connect with your company? These 15 tips will help you create engaging content:

  1. Before you start writing, decide the three main messages you want to get across to your reader. Stick to discussing these points in your piece, even if you find other ideas competing for your attention. Pack too much into your writing and you risk losing the reader’s interest.
  2. Write for the reader, not yourself. Be respectful of your reader’s intelligence and time by getting to the point quickly. Be sure to relate your topic to the reader’s needs.
  3. Write as if you were having a conversation with the reader. Avoid using corporate and technical jargon. Plain English is always best.
  4. Avoid, as often as possible, overused business words and phrases that can make your writing appear dated.
  5. The title of your work is important. It should compel the reader to want to know more and should include the most important messages you want to get across. If you were writing about a new information technology solution, your title might be, “New Info Tech Solution Reduces Risk, Increases Return on Investment”.
  6. Hook your reader in the first paragraph. You can do this by asking a question or sketching a scenario in a few sentences.
  7. Most readers will skim and dive in to read only if something catches their eye. Use a mix of short and long sentences and lots of white space to make your writing more appealing.
  8. Use bullets, checklists, and subheads to guide your reader through your writing and keep them interested. You can also bold your main points so that they are more obvious as the reader skims.
  9. Avoid using the passive voice. For example, say, “Joe saw him.” rather than “He was seen by Joe.” The first is short and precise. The second is longer and therefore harder to read. Too much passive voice puts the reader to sleep.
  10. When you do use technical terms or acronyms, define them on first use, even if you think your reader may be familiar with them.
  11. Make your points as simply as possible without dumbing down your topic. Don’t make your reader work too hard to understand what it is you’re trying to say. When reading gets too complex, readers find better things to do with their time.
  12. Support your points with relevant examples, analogies, or short stories. This brings your content to life.
  13. Declutter your writing. When you’ve completed your first draft, go back and read it with an eye towards using shorter sentences and fewer words. For example, use “our books” in place of “the reference materials that belong to us.”
  14. Proof and edit your work before publishing it. It’s easy to overlook this step if you’re on deadline. But rereading your work lets you to spot things that need fixing – poor word choice, passive voice, typos, etc. These often aren’t obvious in the drafting stage.
  15. Close with a call to action. What is it that you want readers to do? Offer comments on your blog post? Contact your company sales executive for more information?

There are many resources that can help you write compelling content.  I recommend my clients read On Writing Well by William Zinsser. Although not specifically written for social media, it is an excellent guide to the basics of good writing.

Continue the discussion. What experiences have you had creating social media content? What tips do you suggest for writing engaging content? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section.

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe and get The Marketing Advantage by email. Just click on the Subscribe Today! link in the right sidebar.

* If you like statistics, this passage has a Flesch-Kincaid reading level of 21.7 – well beyond college level – and a Flesch reading ease of 4 out of a possible 100 points.

Photo taken by Loraine Kasprzak at the Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ.

Posted in Business, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

How Professional Service Firms Can Get Started in Social Media

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 9, 2010

By Loraine Kasprzak, MBA

Marketing frameworkIn my last post, I wrote about how social media can help professional service firms become thought leaders for their target clients. I also talked about how to choose the most relevant social media for your firm.

Here’s a simple framework for fitting social media into your firm’s marketing plan. Think of three interactive segments that build on each other to benefit your practice: tried and true tactics, conscious outreach, and cutting edge tactics. With this framework in mind, you can choose the tactics from each segment that fit your firm’s culture, level of marketing expertise, and target market.

Tried and true tactics. These are the marketing tactics that most professionals already have in place and feel most comfortable using. They include email signatures, business cards, elevator speeches, white papers, and your firm’s website and brochure. Tried and true tactics can be used to call attention to your firm’s social media presence.

Conscious outreach. These take a bit more time and effort on the part of the individuals in your firm. They include attending and speaking at association and industry meetings, getting client testimonials, meeting one-on-one with prospective referral sources, and issuing periodic press releases about your firm’s activities. These efforts provide content that you can leverage via social media marketing.

Cutting edge tactics. Tactics such as blogging, tweeting, webinars, and podcasts may not be used by your firm and may not be in your comfort zone – yet. LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs are the three social networking tools that are commonly used by professional service providers to engage their target audiences. These are a good starting point for your firm.

Quick Start Tips

You can waste quite a lot of time learning the social media basics. These tips will get you off to a quick start:

LinkedIn

  • Set up your LinkedIn profile by following the on-screen directions. Upload your photo – this adds credibility to your online presence.
  • Click on the Contacts tab and add connections from among your business colleagues, acquaintances, etc.
  • Comment on your connections’ activities.
  • Join and participate in LinkedIn Groups – your goal here is to provide thoughtful commentary NOT to push your services.

Twitter

  • Set up your Twitter account and don’t forget to upload your photo.
  • Use Twitter’s Find People capability to find others to follow. If you follow others, they will usually follow you back.
  • Not familiar with Twitter terminology? This Twitter terminology post will get you started.
  • A good rule of thumb is five retweets – which is reposting someone else’s informative tweet – for every one tweet of your own.

 Blogs

  • Search AllTop.com, a curated list of blogs, for the topics that are relevant to your profession.
  • Pick five of the blogs that seem most relevant to you, and follow these. You can set up a Google Reader account to keep track of your selected blogs all in one place.
  • As you follow blogs, comment on posts to add insight and relevant information. As with the LinkedIn Groups, you aren’t commenting to push your services but to interact and get known in the community.
  • When you become more comfortable in the blogosphere, set up your own blog. WordPress is a good choice. It offers online tutorials, is easy to use and has decent tracking capabilities.

Pressed for time? Advantage Marketing consultants can help you get set up for social media and create valuable content to share. Contact Advantage Marketing today.

Posted in Business, Marketing, Professional service firm marketing, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Does Social Media Fit in Your Professional Services Marketing Plan?

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 7, 2010

By Loraine Kasprzak, MBA

social media for professional service firms“How can we use social media?”

That’s a question I often get from partners and owners of professional service firms. They think social media is something they should be paying attention to, yet they are unsure where to start, or even if they should start, using it.

For retailers and other businesses that market products entirely to consumers, social media marketing – through Facebook, Twitter or even YouTube – has become accepted practice. It lets them to get closer to their customers, provide better service and earn positive word of mouth.  But what about professional service firms? Is there value for you in social networking? If so, which of the many social media tools is relevant for you?

Thought leadership and social networking

If you run a professional service company, perhaps the greatest value in participating in the social media world is the opportunity to present your firm as a thought leader. You can do this by creating content that is useful to your prospects and customers – white papers, case studies, tip sheets, how-to videos, etc. When you share useful content in the social network, it helps your firm get known as the “go-to” experts.

I recently worked with D.G. McDermott Associates, a compensation consulting firm, to promote Bulletproof Your Compensation Plan, a white paper targeted at New Jersey middle market businesses. Our online campaign led to well over 40 white paper downloads, exceeding our goal. More importantly, over 40 companies became aware of McDermott Associates’ compensation plan expertise.  (What we did to keep these prospects engaged will be the subject of a future blog post.)

Engaging in relevant social media

It’s a good idea to do some research before selecting the social media tools you will use. You don’t want or need to be on every social networking site. According to David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, “For most people and organizations, it’s better to be active in a few social networking sites instead of creating profiles on dozens of them and being too busy to spend much time on any one.”

An easy approach is to ask your customers which social media they are using when they are buying or talking about services such as yours. Are they using Twitter? Reading blogs? Posting updates to LinkedIn or Facebook? Whatever they’re using should be part of your plan.

Professional associations often have websites with social networking capabilities and you should visit and evaluate these sites. For example, the Institute of Management Consultants has a members-only section where members can post profiles and share content with other members.

Although it might be considered heresy in the social media world, the truth is, some prospects and customers aren’t discussing your type of service online. It could be out of privacy concerns, or a lack of time or interest. For example, I have one client who offers executive coaching to Fortune 500 firms. Although there are countless Twitter and blog posts about executive coaching, it’s not the corporate HR Vice Presidents – who typically hire executive coaches – who are engaged on these sites. For this client, social media marketing is a much smaller component of his overall marketing effort.

In the next post, I will provide a simple framework for fitting social media into your firm’s overall marketing plan, and some tips for getting started in social media.

Does your professional services firm need help getting started in social media marketing? Contact the marketing experts at Advantage Marketing, we’d be glad to help.

Posted in Business, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Professional service firm marketing, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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