The 3 Biggest Mistakes Professional Services Companies Make Online

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Professional services companies have a massive opportunity to expand their businesses online. Lawyers, accountants, wealth managers, health practitioners and other professionals must embrace digital marketing practices in order to grow their client base.Relying purely on referrals is no longer a viable option in today’s highly competitive market place.

Despite this, the majority of firms employ the wrong strategies, and fail miserably at generating new leads online. As a professional, it is not merely services that you are offering, but solutions. Clients come online looking for a firm they can trust to solve their problems. Unfortunately, many companiesare not focused on the needs of their visitors as they should.

These are the 3 biggest mistakes professional services firms make online:

1. No Online Strategy

Majority of professional services companies rush to build websites and social media profiles simply because everyone else has them. They are advised to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and many other social networks. When used well, social networks are powerful tools for generating new business, and a unique method of engaging and interacting with potential clients.

However, most firms have no expertise or clear strategy to use these channels to attract clients.Instead, theyadopt a “build-and-they-will-come” attitude, which inevitably fails. They then blame social media as ineffective for growing their business. Without a well defined strategy and game plan, these networking tools are totally unproductive.

LinkedIn in particular is indispensable to your marketing strategy. It is the world’s biggest platform for professional networking. Your LinkedIn profile should be fully optimised in order to draw leads. A poor LinkedIn strategy will harm your reputation on the one social network that matters the most to professionals.

2. Talking Only About Themselves Online

Many professional services company webpages read like an old CV. The content is mostly about themselves, their history, service spectrum etc. While it’s important for clients to know who you are, this should not be the main focus of your site’s content. New prospects are first and foremost searching for a solution to their problems.

Visitors do not care about youuntil they are certain you can solve their problems.  You therefore need to identify the problems that your target audience is trying to solve, and then position yourself as the solution. This can be done by directly addressing the problem, and offering solutions in your content.

For example a dentist can target people with stained teeth by offering options for “restoring your teeth to a shiny white colour within hours,” rather that saying “we provide teeth whitening services”. Once visitors know you can solve their problems, they will be ready to engage with you.

3. Having No Logical Next Step Other Than “Contact Us”

Despite giving the right information and well tailored content, companies fail to provide a logical next step for taking the relationship withprospects to a new level. The only call to action provided is a “contact us” request or link. Unfortunately, many clients are not yet ready to commit at that stage of the relationship.

Instead, it is more fruitful to give them a few more easy steps to take at first, such as to download a free, report, eBook or checklist. This will build trust and confidence in new prospects, while offering them valuable content. Only then can they have faith in your abilities as a professional, and feel comfortable to engage and pay you as a trusted advisor.

While solving these issues is not a recipe for success in itself, adopting these suggested solutions will start you down the right path for online success.

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