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Tips for growing your professional services business

by Michael Harrison

The ability to expand a business without limits is called scalability. In the traditionally bricks and mortar business this usually meant more staff, more physical resources and expansion via geographic, physical expansion.

Here are some ways to grow your professional services business without investing in bricks and mortar or more people and infrastructure.

1. Viral online marketing

One modern marketing process that makes scalability possible is viral marketing, the use of social networks to quickly and broadly increase brand awareness. Thanks to advances in online media technology, your professional services firm‘s marketing message can easily be spread far and wide. Partners and executives at a minimum should have:

 

  • LinkedIn membership
  • Facebook page

These will be platform for ‘spreading the word.‘

A number of progressive professional services firms now upload interviews and podcasts of their partners or subject matter experts. Online videos and viral e-mail can be picked up and sent round the world, often within a matter of minutes if the content is evocative. Viewers will pass on to others, if the content is useful, entertaining or informative.

2. Email newsletter marketing

The professional firm‘s newsletter should not be an excuse to release the latest tax changes or legal precedents. They should have a strong emphasis on the needs of the clients; their aspirations and concerns. In the areas of financial services, for example there are few things more concerning than building a nest egg for the future, so current thought ‘leadership‘ here is an imperative. A newsletter which reflects this will have its own response with the clients but more importantly if it works for them they will invariably flick it to a friend or colleague. That means, potentially, a new client.

3. Online offers

Forward thinking professional services today offer top-quality e-books through their web site so that visitors will willingly pick up a marketing message and pass it on to others. These free materials contain hyperlinks that will draw more prospects to your web site. The e-books can have subjects that extend behinds the immediate professional‘s services.

For example a financial planner may offer a book on the challenges facing migrants and in that book reveal how a financial planner fits in to the picture. The audience picking up the book can be an entirely new source of clients that would otherwise not have come across the services of the firm.

4. Make presentations to network groups

There are innumerable opportunities for a professional services firm to make presentations to groups. Indeed Many such networking groups exit to enable cross fertilisation between the members. Make a point of having someone articulate to make a presentation.

A successful presentation is not about the presenter. It‘s entirely about the target audience, fulfilling needs and helping improve their future. People trust people. Test the value of your content by asking the question: ‘Does this have value in the prospect‘s mind?‘

5. Delegate and give power to young professionals

It is one of the key platforms in growing a business: delegate responsibility; free yourself up for more strategic time and at the same time give a younger professional more responsibility. Including the capacity to source clients.

The role here is for mentoring and coaching. No matter how thorough you‘re training process or how engaging your workplace, younger professionals are often overwhelmed. You can ease the way by assigning seasoned staffers as coaches.

Basically, coaches work shoulder-to-shoulder with younger employees ‘" fielding questions, adjusting workloads, and walking them through the basics of their jobs.

6. Finally: If you want to grow your business don‘t lose valuable clients

Clients can leave for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which is poor service. But poor service does not necessarily mean poor technical service. More often it means that the client didn‘t feel valued; hence they didn‘t feel that the service met their perceived needs.

It is often one of the most challenging things for a professional to do, but it is one that can result in a steady growth of a client base is to ask for feedback:

  • How did we do?
  • Are there any areas you can suggest that we can improve in our service to you?

 

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