Look, nobody - and no business - is perfect when it comes to marketing. There is always, and I do mean always, room for vast improvement. But these mistakes are not simply imperfections; when service-based businesses make them, they fundamentally undermine all other marketing efforts.
Yes, they’re pretty heinous. Read on to avoid them.
The website and other marketing material speak to the industry, not the clients
It’s easy to fall into the trap of using industry jargon when you speak it day in and day out. But your clients don’t, and industry-speak will only confuse them. Confusion leads to frustration, and frustration leads to your competitors.
We also see a lot of professional service websites that may have eliminated jargon, but the arrangement of content is still industry focused, rather than built around how a potential client would want to move through the site.
How to Fix: It’s important to note that the reason this happens so often is because it’s hard to spot if you’re an insider. Have someone outside your industry review your website (and any other marketing material) as a potential client and report how it works for them, then make changes.
The website and social media profiles are horribly out of date.
It’s pretty simple: Out of date assets make your firm look out of date. This is never good, and it’s especially bad in service-based businesses whose selling points typically revolve around expertise. In the client’s mind, out of date = out of touch.
So you have a good referral network - that’s great. However, even referrals will check out your website first. They will likely have more than one referral they’re considering, and if your website is dated and your social media looks like a ghost town, they’ll go with someone else.
What do I mean by horribly out of date? Well, that’s relative - how do your marketing assets stack up against your competitors, and to the web as a whole? As a rule of thumb, if your website is more than four years old and the latest posts on your social media are from over a month ago, you’re out of date. So just get right on that, right? Well, that’s a good attitude, but if we don’t fix why it happened in the first place it’ll probably happen again.
Even if you are doing some marketing in house, you should be working with a digital marketing firm that can not only guide you but take on tasks that your team no longer has time for as business ramps up. This creates a consistency that is much less expensive than the constant scaling up and down of internal effort.
Only the marketers are doing the marketing
No matter what type of service you offer, your team of experts has the potential to be a marketing powerhouse. Not directly, of course, but through everyday interactions with clients.
Most service businesses realize this on some level, but fail to capitalize on it. While their team might be fantastic at what they do, they aren’t trained to think like marketers. For example, does your team:
- Ask for referrals?
- Get reviews on social media?
- Get clients to follow the business on social media?
- Get shares and mentions from clients?
It might seems pushy when listed all together, I know. What we do is help our clients put together an overarching strategy with touch points and habits for each of these items and more. When followed, it’s very natural and, most importantly, very effective. These things not only bring in more business directly, they also boost search engine optimization and brand recognition.
Are you curious where you could use improvement in professional services marketing?
Take ten minutes to fill out our marketing audit and see where your business stands. Or, give us a call at 503 489 8819.