“If a firm is publishing, speaking or sending alerts, posting these
products online in your LinkedIn profile only takes about five more minutes,”
says Fisher. “The return on five minutes of posting may result in hundreds
of views and a few inquiries. Similarly, if the content is on the company site,
adding social widgets to retweet the page or link the URL into a social status
can result in rapid viral exposure of the content. Ask your webmaster about
dropping the code and icons to your existing pages.”
With a very crowded marketplace, especially with professional services firms, Fisher says marketing requires a greater focus and value proposition than in recent years. Buyers are seeking more from their firms, so firms need to look inward in order to better understand what value they can offer or package.
“Recently a client of ours with depth in business sales/valuations was
able to build an index that did not previously exist in the marketplace from
past transactions it handled,” noted Fisher. “Through packaging
the index data and promoting it on Facebook, in e-mail and on the firm’s
website, they built an opt-in database of thousands of contacts and prospects,
raised traffic to the website, garnered key speaking engagements on the index,
grew a fan base on Facebook and built attendance at tradeshows.”
Consequently, Fisher says firms should leverage what they don’t know.
“With regulatory changes on the minds of many business owners, legal counsel and CFOs, compiling executive reports on impending changes and planning preemptive market strategies for your client with contingencies is nothing new, but leveraging social media and blog sites to solicit input on the option is.”
Fisher likes how free products, such as Intense Debate (www.intensedebate.com), enable readers to vote on comments or opinions, thereby creating viral marketing exposure campaigns. The best opinions can be vetted. Other social media sites, including LinkedIn, allows users to post questions and gather market data and intelligence quickly to expand perspectives and awareness of the firm’s thought leadership in business networks. “Just the act of posting the question is an awareness strategy,” he says. “After compiling the feedback data with the firm’s input, you can hang the findings report on everyone’s profile along with presentations for download. The posting of the report further drives exposure and viral opportunities.”
Getting started in the branding and marketing process is a hurdle Fisher hears about every day. His advice: As you move beyond leveraging current activity, consider anything more as a pilot. “Start with a simple short digital or qualitative customer survey using an experienced third-party branding firm,” he says. “The marketplace will be more open and honest if they are speaking with a neutral party. The act of reaching out to your customers for continual improvement is tremendously impactful, resulting in new service offerings, cross-selling gaps, customer vulnerability and realignment of critical selling messages.”
For more than 20 years, Scott H. Cytron, ABC, has worked with tax and accounting professionals, providing public relations, marketing and communications services. Author of The CPA Technology Advisor’s MarketingWorks column, he works with firms and companies in professional services, in-cluding accounting, healthcare, legal, financial planning, collections and debt, and high-tech. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.