Building a professional services firm requires a solid people base. Your people are your assets, without which, you have no business. To get your brand recognized by prospects, you need to draw an elaborate map to your firm using bait. In other words, get the people to come to you through using inbound marketing.
Before digital marketing, professional services firms were at a disadvantage because outbound marketing is both expensive and tedious. Outbound marketing was, however, effective because those were simpler times for business owners. Now, the same old methods won’t cut it since buyers are more informed and armed.
Any professional services firm that adopts and expertly executes inbound marketing has a great future ahead. In fact, the professional services industry is among the biggest beneficiaries of inbound marketing.
To help you better understand what this article is about. Let’s start by defining inbound marketing.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is about attracting potential buyers to your firm through compelling content offers. This normally takes the form of Blogs, Ebooks, white papers, checklists and video.
Inbound marketing uses a content-led approach to draw your dream customers to you and converting them into leads with whom you can build a relationship and then nurturing those relationships, closing sales and turning them into advocates and repeat customers.co
Put simply, when you implement inbound marketing, you don’t need to move an inch to look for clients. You lay the bait, which is valuable information, and they come to you.
As opposed to outbound marketing, inbound marketing is more customer-centric which is why it is very effective today. While outbound involves convincing clients to buy, inbound allows you to connect with prospects at a deeper level. This way, you can help address their problems.
For any firm to grow, it needs to generate a consistent flow of leads into the business. To do that, you need to market your services according to your buyers’ personas and their buying habits.
To succeed through inbound marketing, you simply create content that your prospects will find useful. Focus on trying to help your prospects rather than telling them what you’re selling. When you take time to build trust, your prospects don’t just become one time customers.
The internet has transformed the way people buy things. Today, every buyer has a journey before they settle on a product or service. Inbound marketing, therefore, helps you target these clients without seeming like you’re targeting them. You publish content that solves problems for buyers since they’ll be looking for solutions online.
VIDEO: What is inbound marketing?
What prompted inbound marketing?
One of the most admirable human traits is the ability to adapt to changing situations. In this case, business owners have to align themselves with how buyers buy and think. Marketing strategies stem from buyer behaviors. The minute buyers change the way they buy; business owners need to change their game as well.
In the past, professional services firms relied on networking and referrals to establish themselves. While these are still effective, they aren’t nearly enough to sustain a business. The little extra you need is inbound marketing.
So, how did inbound marketing emerge? It came from buyer empowerment through the internet. The internet gave the buyer the power to choose and stop settling. According to statistics, buyer behaviors change very often today as more information is available at faster speeds and multiple platforms.
To break it down; buyer behaviors have changed in the following ways:
At least 8 out of ten buyers conduct pre-purchase research.
The buyer’s journey takes a buyer through three stages. Today, customers complete 60% of their journey without contacting a salesperson.
Compared to referrals, in-depth research ranks higher. Put simply; buyers prefer getting their information from search engines than trusting referrals from friends and co-workers.
With this in mind, for your firm need to thrive, you need to buy into inbound marketing hook, line and sinker. The internet is your best bet since all your clients and prospects are online seeking answers to various problems that you need give answers to.
You may wonder why you need all his when you have a solid client base. Well, here is why, your clients are also on the internet, if they begin to see you stagnate while other firms move ahead, they’ll leave you for greener pastures. You need inbound marketing to keep your current clients and bring in new leads.
How inbound marketing helps professional services firms
Now that you’ve come to terms with inbound marketing let’s explore how it helps you thrive. Inbound marketing will help you get through to your clients even with all other businesses calling for them. It enables you to shine and stand out in the following ways:
Establish yourself as a thought leader.
This is probably one of the most important traits for a firm. Remember, what you’re offering people is knowledge, how then can they trust you’re an expert? You need to assert your authority in your niche.
The first step to becoming a thought leader is content. You need valuable information on your site that helps address customer issues. When it comes to content, emphasize quality, not quantity. Yes, you do need a consistent flow but ensure you only post valuable information. With this content, prospects will start looking to you for answers to more concerns.
Share your content to prospects
Valuable content is one half of the equation; the other half consists of discovery and engagement. Audiences need to know that the content exists. Through inbound marketing, you can attract them to your site. Use targeted inbound marketing to bring in the right audience to your site.
To achieve this, be active and share on social media platforms and engage with your audience.
Convert visitors to leads.
Having prospects visit your site is the easy part, the real hassle is converting visitor to leads or leads to clients. To do this, you need conversion pages on your websites. These need to have captivating information that will help your leads cross the bridge to becoming long term clients.
The first thing you need to do is increase the flow of traffic to your site by optimizing your website and your content. Make use of optimization techniques like SEO. Secondly, tailor your content around the needs of your leads. Find out their needs and address them. Next, get your leads to give you their contact information and in return you give them valuable and useful information in return. It’s an exchange or”barter”.
The bottom line:
All the clients you need for your firm to thrive are online; therefore, you have no business struggling to implement outbound strategies when inbound marketing is a sure thing. E&A digital republic is here to remind you of this and ensure you’re steering your firm in the right direction. Inbound marketing for professional services firms is perhaps the most effective strategy yet. Try the magical portion that is inbound marketing for professional services firms.
Don’t be afraid to contact us with questions and for more information. Also, take a look at our free marketing assessment for more on how to generate a winning professional services marketing strategy.