Are You Battling the Marketing Monsters?

   photo by DuckBrown 

It can be really tough to be in Professional Services – especially if you’re on your own. 

Lawyers, Accountants, Doctors, Chiropractors, Consultants – there’s a bunch of people that fall into that list and all of them go out and fight the good fight during the day and then you’re expected to put on your marketing and sales costume when you have some free time and generate new business.

Like most business owners,  you’re really good at what you do…your craft…but you’re not necessarily great at the sales and marketing game.  In fact if you’re like most of us, the idea or marketing kind of makes you uncomfortable and you would much rather spend your time doing what you’re great at and just have clients show up on their own.

However, unless that’s a particular superpower that you happen to have (“Captain Marketing?”) then you’re in the same boat as the rest of us in terms of needing to consistently generate new business and clients. 

The good news is that there are some great (and comfortable) ways for Professionals to market themselves very successfully.  Here’s one example below:

Get them to Know, Like and Trust you!

It’s no secret that people prefer to do business with someone they know, like and trust.  However if you’re in your office all day, that becomes difficult to do with new prospects.  So you need a strategy to get in front of people that will benefit from all of that great expertise  you’ve got.

One way to do this is to hold a workshop of some sort that illustrates your expertise.  You share your knowledge, you add value and you establish yourself as an expert that can help solve problems. 

Will people take the information you give them and go do it themselves?  Maybe, but for most professionals with years of training, someone just doing it on their own after an hour or two of a workshop is pretty unlikely.  Actually my experience is that those that try to do themselves have the potential to be great clients because they recognize how difficult things are.

Here’s an example!

I thought about this topic because I got a great email this weekend promoting an Estate Planning webinar from Barbara Rogoff – owner of Synthesis Inc.  Barbara’s company does a lot of things to help out business owners, one of them is promoting and holding professional webinars (workshops that are available only through the internet).

Here’s the email from Barbara (with her permission):

A colleague of ours – Leslie Corcoran of Family First Financial Planning – is holding the second of two Webinars next Friday, June 12th at 1:00 PM CT; 2:00 ET entitled Estate Planning – The Process. Leslie will be explaining in detail AND plain English what documents we need to have in place BEFORE the unthinkable happens.

Did you know there are two different types of Durable Powers of Attorney and that without a HIPPA release your family members may be restricted from learning about your condition if you should have an accident? Who will take care of getting the bills paid or the dog walked? Not to mention the children….

Anyway, she is AWESOME and had Gary and I getting our ‘estate’ in order after her first Webinar Estate Planning Essentials.  I urge you to sign up – it’s only $25.00 and includes a wonderful guideline for anyone faced with tragedy – Death of a Family Member Checklist.  This Webinar will also allow you free access to Leslie’s Financial Emergency Kit.  Sign up today – you will thank yourself when/if the time comes.

And here’s what I really liked about this email from a marketing perspective:

  • There’s a built in testimonial from Barbara that she and her husband used the service and liked it.
  • They are emphasizing the benefits of plain English and easy to understand / use.  (you could emphasis other benefits that really speak to your brand – i.e. completeness, expertise beyond your competition…whatever makes you stand out?)
  • They are painting a picture where an average person could have problems – causing anxiety and pain for those readers that aren’t prepared. 
  • There’s a clear call to action and an easy process to follow to sign up.
  • There’s a bonus give-away (free ‘kit’) if you sign up.
  • The cost is minimal but not free implying that it has value (even though it’s clearly intended as a marketing effort to get Leslie in front of prospects).

Now estate planning has the benefit of being a scary and painful subject for most people and a lot of people are unprepared, so it’s not too difficult to highlight reasons why the target audience should pay attention.  However other businesses may have to look a bit harder to find the right compelling reasons.

If you are a CPA, your target might be business owners and you could talk about the importance of being compliant with a certain part of the tax code (or else the IRS will get you!).  If you are a copywriter, you could highlight facts about the number of people making purchasing decisions based on websites these days (a lot!). 

Whatever it is that you do solves some sort of problem that needs to be solved or else there will be consequences (if that’s not the case, you wouldn’t be in business).  So the trick for something like this is to figure out your compelling benefit, the corresponding problem and how to paint that picture and make people a little uncomfortable.

What topic could you use to do a workshop or webinar on?  How can you share your expertise and make people realize they have a problem that you can solve?

Share your thoughts below – I’d love to hear them.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach