Expertise-based firms face unique challenges. 80% of professionals don’t fully engage with marketing and business development. You may not like doing it, feel you aren’t very good at it, or simply not know what you should be doing. Nevertheless, creating and maintaining relationships is the foundation of your business, but neither the old ways of marketing—lunch and golf at the Country Club—nor the new ways—online ads and social media—are enough to put, or keep, your firm on an upward trajectory.
Thinking like everyone else is risky. It means you don't control your own destiny. Your dreams are likely to remain dreams. Your firm's profitability, long-term health, and even survival are not assured. When you struggle to explain why your firm is a better choice than other often excellent options, rest assured your clients and partners are struggling even more. If your business is referral driven, this is an enormous problem—or opportunity.
Beyond the long-term danger, it's no fun thinking like everyone else.
If you answer "yes" to any of the following, your firm can benefit from thinking differently about your marketing:
Burdened by marketing: you don't like doing it, don't feel you are very good at it, or hesitate because you don't know where you should focus.
Mislead into believing that "superior work," "better value provided" and other generic platitudes differentiate your firm from similar firms.
Frustrated because you aspire to serve more clients than you're able to win.
Dismayed by how much you spend on marketing, but lack the confidence to stop hedging your bets.
Are you content with the marketing you have because that's all you've ever known? Marketing that does more, costs less and feels natural to professionals stretches what seems possible.
It's impossible to focus when you lack confidence in what you are doing. Most consultants try to sell you on a specific, pre-determined course of action. A better approach is to jointly chart the best course to where you want to go based on your firm's available resources and capabilities. Marketing is like everything else in life, doing a few things really well outperforms trying to do a bit of everything. Because everything that doesn't fit can be eliminated with confidence, your firm likely has the resources to do a very good job on what really matters.
If only you had confidence to know what really matters...
If you’re like most professionals, you’d like to think great work at a fair price is all you have to do to get clients. In the past, that might have been enough. Not anymore. Times are changing, and there’s no shortage of conflicting advice driving fear, uncertainty, and doubt about what to do.
Confidence frees you to focus on executing your plan without the need to hedge your bets about where you are committing resources. Time is often more precious than money. Confidence comes from knowing you have right priorities, not from some expert telling you what everyone else is doing.
Your perspective changes dramatically when your marketing and business development rows in perfect sync and operates at the same high level as your firm’s professional work. Clients and prospects welcome conversations about doing business together. My yardstick is how much clients want to hear about your firm.
Most consultants try to scare you with tales of how you’re falling behind what everyone else is doing. I focus on action, not reaction. My clients learn to think differently about marketing by identifying and focusing on why customers select their firm over other, often excellent, options. My process is straightforward, yet powerfully different.
Clarity, Cohesion, and Credibility together form a robust, three-legged platform supporting your firm’s Growth.
Clarity distills why clients chose your firm over other options.
Cohension brings everything you do together and guides you toward the right activities—and only the right activities—for your specific situation and resources.
Credibility expands the impact of your existing resources and now-more-efficient efforts.
Firms that execute with Clarity, Cohesion, and Credibility outperform their peers. Those that don't, get stuck. Three common reasons for getting struck are:
Firm leadership is too close to the situation to set aside their own biases, forcing action based on incomplete or inaccurate knowledge and insights.
The firm defines its positioning as either too-wide (we do everything) or too-generic (we do what everyone else does). “Good enough” positioning really isn’t. Extra work here pays off handsomely.
No process guiding them to a successful result.
The answer gives you confidence to stop trying to be like everyone else.
"What are the real reasons your best clients hire your firm?" This is not the same as why they ought to hire you or why you'd hire your firm. The real reasons often surprise even successful and well-run firms. Your best clients think you're a better choice than other, often excellent, options. Together we will build a marketing strategy that is efficient, effective, and that seller-doers can implement with utter confidence.
Why clients select your firm is much more than words or messaging. It's who you are, how you act, the people you hire, where you focus. Over time, it'll change the way you look at nearly every facet of your firm.
Confidence. Marketing that can be executed with confidence. It's less mysterious and easier to understand.
Revenue. Marketing that generates more revenue and better clients.
Marketing and business development resources focused where they generate the highest returns.
Real savings. When you actually stop doing low-return and non-strategic activities, the savings drop straight to the bottom line.
Alignment. Align with sales and business development in turning leads into clients.
Integration. Your existing sales methodology and organizational structure are assets, not stumbling blocks.
Observable increases in other parts of your firm, from sales training to new offers.
My clients benefit from my fresh perspective, depth of experience and best practices gathered from a variety of industies, and passion for helping other professionals build stronger, more resilient businesses. Together we can slay the dragons keeping your firm from achieving its potential—all while making it a better place to work.
Using the budget and resources you have, I put your firm's marketing on par with the expertise and service your clients expect from the rest of your firm. Read Bruce's story.
Up to three-quarters of all new businesses fail to survive five years. While some succumb to poor execution, many offer a good solution, and yet still fail. These companies die unnecessary deaths due to congestive marketing failure. Read about what you can do.
Assess what's working and what's not to see if your marketing is working at full power.
Drive more revenue, better clients, higher profits by focusing on what really matters.
Hit your target with a Strategic Marketing Plan boosting not just marketing, but your entire firm.