In today’s competitive professional services marketplace, having a digital and online presence will help your business meet more consumers directly when they are searching for answers.
After talking with a colleague last week about what I have done online, I decided to share with other professionals my belief that today’s smart digital marketing strategy needs to be geared towards becoming an industry resource, to create unique opportunities and gain new clients by being helpful.
As Brian Gardner discussed in a recent article, your site needs to reinforce your knowledge, mastery and authority. People are looking for useful articles… that’s the opportunity!
How to start the conversation
Your in-house marketing person may be talking about Facebook and social media, but you really need to have all those platforms focus attention back to your website. Your site needs to be the core of a digital marketing strategy to demonstrate your professional experience through articles and helpful information.
Putting all your efforts into a Facebook business page is especially risky since Facebook can change the news feed rules, like they did in January 2018.
Sharing specific knowledge on your website may seem counter-intuitive, but your ideal client is using Google to research your specialty and she will find you immediately. Facebook is for advertising, but consumers turn to Google for answers and searching for professionals who they can hire.
Over the last five years, I have consulted with professionals in many industries to help them grasp the concepts that have helped my business attract new clients through helpful information. This strategy does require work and patience, but ultimately generates a consumer interface that will have a profound impact.
A commitment to have 25 pages by year’s end
Having a site like this, a StudioPress design
Writing for your ideal customer
Demonstrating knowledge in three specific topics
To demonstrate your knowledge or command of a topic, your core website needs to have some heft to it. Google will award you considerably more authority if you have written a number of articles on specific topics.
Having a target of 25 pages will hopefully give you some structure, or at least an achievable target. As a full-time professional myself, finding time to write new articles is challenging but ultimately fulfilling.
Listening to common questions from my clients gives me the majority of the ideas. It can be an easy assignment especially if you have answered the questions before. Keep everything well written and make sure you answer the question to the best of your knowledge.
Understand that your next client may have read two or more pages while sitting at the airport waiting for a flight or drinking coffee at Starbucks.
Having a Modern Site
I believe the major obstacle for most professional service providers when it comes to picking a website design, is that everyone in your particular field has a similar looking site. In my profession, as a Realtor in Vienna Virginia, almost all of the 3,800 agents have boilerplate sites.
With a little outside help and research, it was easy to recognize that StudioPress themes could help me build something original that would stand out in search results.
Adding pages, or content, allows my site to turn up in a broad number of real estate, mortgage, relocation, and community searches.
Modern design includes readable fonts, and the ability to look good on an iPhone, desktop, or tablet. Over the last two years, I noticed that more than 50% of the traffic to dougfrancis.com is using mobile devices. Test out this site on multiple devices.
Who is Your Ideal Customer?
Adding new clients is the immediate goal for every business.
This step may require some thought over the weekend, take a close look at who you enjoy working with, and who is the most profitable client to work with every day. While sites like Amazon use the lowest cost model, remember that you only want to work with people who will value your service.
What I believe consumers are searching for is a professional who knows their specialty well. It is up to you to meet and exceed that expectation on your website.
And it is essential that your Ideal Customer see instructions on your website how to take the next step contacting you for an appointment to answer their questions.
Focus on Three Specific Topics
Selecting your three most common topics will also help in producing 25 articles, or pages of content. Create a series on a specific topic. That simple focus will help you and your readers.
The three topics should be services you have specific knowledge of and to share your unique perspective. A dentist, chiropractor, lawyer, accountant, landscaper or Realtor likely has a different view than competing professionals in the next building or across town.
In my real estate business, for example, I write about relocating to Vienna, provide guidance for home buyers, and current tips for home sellers. Although that may appear simplistic, it helps focus what I write about and works within the structure.
This strategy will also help Google recognize you as an authority in your specific niche. The digital marketing goal should be to turn up in the natural (organic) Google results. Paid results may drive traffic, but a professional service will look even more professional if it does not have the little green “Ad” box next to it.
It’s like an endorsement from mother Google!
Where should you Start?
Over the weekend, take a look at your current website with a clear head. Look at it on your iPad, and read it like you are searching for an answer.
Today’s smart consumer will not immediately trust your firm when they land on your site. Trust needs to be earned and your newest client can start that process reading your website.
I started to write this article because professionals have always ask me about my site. The original idea was to have a website that I would enjoy reading giving me specific, insider knowledge that was helpful and possibly entertaining.
The results have been new clients who discovered me through Google searches, reached out to me, and discovered that I am essentially the same person as my online persona.
Recognition – by Verisign
A few years ago I was contacted by Verisign and asked to be interviewed for a Verisign advertising campaign with a focus on small business. Yes, this 2013 video is real, and since then I have changed companies and updated my website.
In digital marketing, you need to stay current, relevant, and helpful.
If you have questions, go ahead and send me an email. Start this weekend with the central hub of your online, digital marketing website strategy to help your professional service business in 2018.
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