You’re a professional services firm. Are you aware of the number one criteria your prospective clients use when they’re selecting a firm like you? It’s expertise . So today, I’m going to share the top most effective ways for demonstrating what’s most important to your audience, which is your expertise.
1. Direct Contact
First is direct contact. What I’m talking about here is being seen as an advisor to your clients, being seen as a mentor to your peers or colleagues, or even another expert in your field. Now, why is it so important to have this direct interaction, as an advisor in particular?
Well, we all know in professional services, how important referrals are to helping us secure new business. And referrals come from a couple of ways. One is through experience-based, so people who have worked with us, those are our clients. But another way is through our reputation as an expert. So that’s why having direct contact, specifically as an advisor to demonstrate your expertise, is so effective when it comes to referrals.
Second is writing. Now, in a body of research that we conducted where we explored how our prospective clients are looking for professional services firms and looking for experts, we found that the top way is through online search. So if your expertise is not visible digitally, you’re really capping your ability to be visible for the thing that matters most. Now, there are a lot of different types of writing that you can use to demonstrate your expertise. You can write white papers, you can write guides, you can write blogs.
I want to talk a little bit about blogs, since that’s what so many professional services firms do. A blog on its own is not going to do much to demonstrate your expertise. Look for things like, does your blog have a well-researched keyword that is in the title and the body? Is it about something your audience actually cares about? Is it substantive? Does it have a thousand words or more? And finally, does it have cross-links to other related content that has been written in your firm? All of those things, not only help demonstrate your expertise, but make it visible.
Third is speaking. In a body of research we conducted this year where we studied the habits of high-growth professional services firms, we found that speaking was the top most effective technique when it comes to balancing effort with impact. So what is it about speaking that puts it at the top of the list when it comes to most effective ways to demonstrate your expertise? Well, if you think about it, when you’re speaking, you are literally demonstrating your expertise, and strengthening the reputation you have, and the personal brand that you have for that expertise. Second is, the audience is unique in that it’s a captive audience. They are there for a reason. They’re there to listen to you speak. And lastly, you have the opportunity to make personal connections with these folks, in the way you don’t have when somebody downloads something or reads something that you have posted digitally.