I had a call this week from an accountant who wanted my help to improve his rankings and get more customers. It did not augur well when he introduced himself as a “contentious nightmare” but still hoped that I would be able to find a way to help him!
What we had here was a great accountant who had some previous experience of building and managing his own online presence... so he had some very specific ideas of what he wanted me to help with.
I was reminded of Steve Jobs’ famous saying:
“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”
Naturally, representatives of professional services companies like solicitors, insurance, financial advisors, funeral directors and accountants tend to be very traditional. But this can shoot you in the foot when that outdated thinking controls the tools for growing your business.
Invariably, it means that you are the last industries to adopt any new ways of doing or thinking. And, when some firms are more intransigent than others, they start to slip in the rankings and notice the resulting decrease in new instructions.
In this case, every suggestion I made of ways to move forward was shot out of the water because “it would not work for his industry…” except for social media – and he “wouldn’t have time” to be involved with that.
I talked to my business coach, the delightful Mr Rick Roberge and we came up with
5 things that you and your partners or directors in professional services need to understand.
1. The world is changing – whether you want it to or not.
You need to keep up… or get left behind! No longer can professional services companies hide in their ‘traditional’ bubble. Millennials have been brought up on techno gadgetry and instant gratification. They aren’t interested in the dusty old family retainer their parents have always used!
2. Prospects don’t want you to come looking for them, they want to be able to find you!
People searching for help with accountancy, law, financial services, insurance or even burying their loved ones behave no differently to those searching for commodities like websites or shoes! Across the globe, everyone goes to the nearest computer and asks Google! Be there when they are searching for answers or they will go to a competitor’s website.
“…since I started using the words and phrases identified in the Keyword Research Report in the content on my site, the telephone has started to ring frequently…” MJD Solicitors, Brentwood, Essex
3. Your potential customers view the internet as the real world!
When they do find you online, they immediately develop an opinion about you and your business. But is the opinion they have formed correct? If they arrive on a website or social media profile that has not been updated recently, that information may not be representative of the perception that you want to project.
So, when was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile or About page? Are your fee earners and support staff embracing online networking or standing in the corner watching the world go by?
“My law firm recently had the benefit of Jo’s expertise in business through LinkedIn training.I found the training extremely helpful to develop my LinkedIn profile, to understand what you can do to get the best out of LinkedIn both as an individual employee and for the business as a whole“ Harriet, Mullis & Peake, Solicitors, Romford, Essex
4. Blog posts by professional services companies can be very boring!
I have been told this by a number of lawyers and accountants recently. Really?!!! The majority of you write for the approval of your peers, not in the language of the people that you profess to want to help. If YOU think these exercises in legal gobbledegook are dull, how do you think any reader views them? Worse still, what does that do to their perception of the experience that they will get if they call you?
5. There is still room for traditional but modern quality.
Small, old firms across the country are being swallowed up by modern businesses who want to grow through acquisition of customer databases. Fast growth often equals a drop in customer service and quality. Are you in the right place with the right marketing message to take advantage of this gap?
Time to call in the digital marketing professionals?
Even though, by his own admission, he would have been a very difficult client, I felt bad that I could not help him! But he didn’t want to go where I could take him. If we couldn’t agree on our goal at the outset, we were going to be pulling in different directions.
If you are ready to accept my help to smash your business growth goals click here to book a time