Image courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo
Are you future-proofing or already in panic mode?
Working with a lot of professional service brands in accounting, finance, law and business and management consulting, I constantly observe what companies are doing to build their online presence and create a strong brand that is top of mind, therefore building on the business they already have and providing a safety net for the future… in case referrals don’t continue to roll in the old-fashioned way.
It is no longer the case that professional services like lawyers and accountants are relying solely on word-of-mouth referrals.
While these industries used to be notorious for having a poor online presence, with websites created in the mid-90s and not a social media profile to speak of, it is now evident that there are a great many savvy businesses coming up to speed with digital marketing.
I research and work with these industries every day. And this is what your competition is doing right now:
- Taking time to fine-tune the details of a clear brand profile – not just your logo and colours, but a comprehensive document explaining your brand values, key services, target market, key messages to that market, and so on
- Updating to a contemporary website (and the definition of what is relevant right now changes at an alarming speed – a review of your website should be happening at least annually, with a full update every 3-5 years)
- Ensuring the website includes compelling bios and professional profile photos of staff, along with imagery across the website that is real, personal and professional
- Writing and using a digital marketing plan and social media schedule
- Creating regular, high-quality content that considers brand and is written for the target audience
- Fully reviewed and optimised LinkedIn profiles for – at a minimum – the management team
- LinkedIn strategy for exec team’s personal brand development
- Training team on how to use LinkedIn effectively to build networks and generate new business
- Using media presence, public speaking, or running in-house educational seminars to build expert profile and be a go-to resource
- Working with a consultant to create a strategy for their online presence and positioning, then either continuing work with a consultant or employing a marketing coordinator to implement the strategy
In the current climate, people aren’t waiting another day to get on to building an online presence that supports what they are already doing in their business – and it’s likely that those who haven’t realised this will be left with a very small piece of the market pie.