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How To Market Professional Services In 2024 [Guide]

In a world of cold hard convenience, people still want reliable and excellent services offered by experts and professionals. 

Why? Professional services businesses do not just offer services, they offer peace of mind, compassion, understanding, and nuance in their dealings with clients.

The best way to communicate this value to existing clients is excellent service. But, how would one do the same for a business or person who has never met your company? We would argue that there is only one way. 

Marketing that:

– Differentiates your service offering from larger players and low-cost alternatives.
– Highlights your company’s strengths and expertise, and builds trust.
– Organically attracts your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile).

Which brings us to the question – How do I market my professional services? So without further adieu, here are three things you can do to improve how you market your professional services.

Better Copywriting: How To Market Professional Services With A Clear Value Proposition

A big issue in the professional services industry is the tendency towards complex writing. The outcome of this is branding/marketing that misses the mark and subsequently blends into the background. 

The worst place for unclear, fluffy writing is when presenting your value proposition to potential clients – i.e. what does your business do (and what can it do for me)?

If a person comes across your website or LinkedIn page and sees a generic/fluffy description of what your business does, you have got to ask yourself – Why would they stick around if they cannot quickly tell if you can help them?

The answer to solving this is clarity and conciseness. The hallmarks of effective copywriting.

A Framework For Writing Your Value Proposition The Right Way

“What, Who, End-Result/Desire” is a simple method of creating a value proposition that succinctly states why someone should care about your business. 

This approach has three assumptions – you offer a specific service to a specific type of customer who wants a specific outcome.

  • The What: The product or service you offer your customers
  • The Who: The customer or potential customer group you help
  • The End-Result/Desire: The end-state or “promised land” your clients get with your services.

Note: You can change the order of this depending on your writing style and preferences. (e.g., Who, What, End-Result/Desire)

A Good Value Proposition vs a Mediocre Value Proposition

Here is a comparison of two hypothetical value propositions for a transport insurance business.

Option 1 – Generic but okayOption 2 – What, Who, End-Result
Tailored, swift, transport insurance to help you plan for life’s unpredictable moments.Flexible short-term business insurance for transport companies that want to grow with confidence.
❌ Vague and fluffy.
❌ Says a lot, doesn’t say much.
❌ Unfocused.
✅ Clear and to the point.
✅ Says little, but says a lot.
✅ Focused.

Some More Examples/Variations:

Financial Planning

Experienced financial planning for professionals who want to build their wealth and prosperity.

❌ Your partners in financial service planning excellence.

Property Valuations and Advisory

✅ We help commercial property funds and developers confidently assess, manage, and grow their asset portfolios.

❌ Bespoke property professionals with a track record of exceptional service.

Tax Consultants

✅ The experts in simplifying and optimising tax planning for medium and large businesses.

❌ We take the guesswork out of your tax planning with our comprehensive services.

Value Proposition Checklist:

✓My value proposition has a what, who, and desired state/result.

✓I have updated my website, LinkedIn page, and other social media channels with my new value proposition.

✓I have checked my writing with a tool like Hemingway Editor to ensure it is clear, concise, and fluff-free.

Better Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): How To Market Professional Services Online (And Get Noticed)

In 2024, a professional services website needs a professional website that works. Some might think people do not care about that – however, they do. 

The last thing you want is to derail a sale because your website is not working or there are typos on the home page. Or, click on a competitor’s website because yours is not appearing in the search results for a particular keyword on Google.

At a high level, there are three components to any professional website:

Design: The look and feel of your website, namely the layout of content on a page, colour choices, placement of images, and your logo.

Technical Performance: Your website load times, how fast images render, and the stability of your website hosting.

Content: The words, images, videos, and infographics on your website.

These 3 components are the building blocks of SEO along with other best practices (see below). 

You need good design, technical performance, and content to have good SEO. If one is lacking, then your website will suffer in the search results.

A simplified growth formula for professional services to increase their website traffic and conversions.

Good SEO Practices

Here are three SEO practices you can implement to improve your chances of ranking for search terms that are relevant to your business.

Keyword Targeting

If you want to rank for specific terms in Google’s search results (for example, short-term insurance or estate planning), these words and variations of these words need to be included in your website content.

However, this should be done naturally. If you “stuff” keywords into your content, your website will be penalised in the search results.

Sort Out Your Linking

One of Google’s factors for ranking pages is how many other pages link back to your page. Think of this like a referral system. If 100 other pages say people should check out your pages, then your website should rank higher.

Each link has a bit of referring power which it passes on to a page. The more authoritative the website, the stronger any links will be from it. 

For example, if CNN links to your website page, that will be more powerful than a link from a local accounting firm. This is because CNN is seen as an authoritative source of information online. Therefore, if they are linking to your website, then your content must be worthwhile.

How you can influence this ranking factor:

  • Implement Internal Linking: Try to aim for 3-5 in-text links per page to other pages on your website or blog.
  • Backlinks: These are other websites that link to your content or website. You can actively build backlinks through outreach or let it organically grow with good content.

Page Titles & Meta Descriptions

A visual description of what a page title and meta description are.

A good SEO practice is to update your page title and meta description to include your targeted keyword. Keep in mind that your meta descriptions should be 150-160 characters long, while your page title should be 30-60 characters.

Most website platforms allow you to customise the page titles and meta descriptions of your website pages. If your website is built with WordPress, you can use a plugin (Yoast SEO) to allow you to edit your page titles and meta descriptions easily.

Website Checklist:

✓My website’s design has been updated in the past 2 years.

✓My website passes the page speed test. (Test here)

✓My website is usable on mobile devices.

✓My website is indexed in Google Search Console.

✓My website is secure and I have access to the backend.

✓I have implemented good SEO practices on my website.

Better Professional Services Marketing Strategy: How To Market Professional Services With Content

How does a website increase its number of monthly visitors and use it to get more clients? Content.

Why? Because Google ranks your pages based on the relevance and quality of the content. 

Consistently creating valuable and engaging content can improve search engine ranking, making it more likely that your website will appear in relevant search results. 

The Benefits of Content Marketing

Grows your inbound sales pipeline.Builds trust and authority.More cost-effective than other marketing channels (PPC, Facebook, PR, Print Advertising) in the long term.Improves brand awareness and conversions.Cultivates brand loyalty.Can be repurposed to other marketing channels.

This increased visibility can attract more visitors to the website. On top of that, informative and compelling content can also establish your brand as an authority in its niche, building trust with visitors and encouraging them to become clients or customers.

For example, here is a comparison of two legal firms competing for new business.

Company ACompany B:
They have a boilerplate 1-page website from 2010 that tells people about the company, its services, and a contact number. They do some marketing now and again. However, it is not a priority for them.They have a recently updated website and blog that they actively work on and publish content on.

For example: 

Is a witness signature required on a contract or agreement?

POPIA is here – now what? The questions to ask

Data protection law’s impact on marketing

They also have thought pieces, interviews, and templates readily available to help potential and current clients with their legal needs and questions. 

It is pretty clear which business would attract more clients and grow its client base in the long term. The first business might be “stable”, however, in fact, they are losing market share to businesses like Company B.

Example of Content Marketing Success in South Africa

Here is an example of a professional services business doing a superb job of content marketing in South Africa –  Michalsons Giles Inc (https://www.michalsons.com/).

(Source: Ahrefs)

They are getting between 27,000 and 28,000 monthly visitors. If 0.005% of these visits convert into inbound leads for their business, that works out to 135 – 140 people each month who are reaching out to them based on their content marketing.

What is even better is that content creation is not a recurring cost. They do not have to spend money each month to reap the benefits of their efforts as you would with Facebook marketing, PPC Ads on Google, or LinkedIn marketing.

Once they publish a solid article, the most they will need to do is update it each year to remain relevant. Each month, that article could bring in tens, hundreds, or thousands of visitors directly to their brand.

Content Checklist
✓I have reviewed and updated the existing content on my website.
✓My website has original and unique content that displays Google’s principle of EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust).
✓My website content is customised to cater to location-specific searches.
✓I have chosen my content marketing channels (A blog, LinkedIn, YouTube).
✓I have conducted keyword research using SEO tools to identify topics/ideas that have business-generating potential.
✓I have created a content calendar to publish at least one 1,500-word article or 1 post on LinkedIn per week.

There’s A BETTR Way To Market Your Services In 2024

If you’re wondering how to market your professional services business, we are confident that if you do these three things, your marketing will be ahead of the majority of professional services businesses in South Africa.

If you have any questions about how you can practically implement better copywriting, SEO, and content marketing into your business strategy, please reach out to us.

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