By Uju Obuekwe
A professional services company refers to businesses or services in professions such as architects, accountants, consultants, engineers, lawyers – some of whom are not allowed to advertise their services, yet they need a steady flow of clients to thrive.
They are so-called because they apply their specialist knowledge to create solutions to the client’s problems. They sell knowledge and expertise which are intangible.
The market for professional services is growing with innumerable companies to choose from. Clients often depend on the company’s credibility and reputation when making a choice.
One way professional service providers can approach selling their services, is by marketing themselves or their business. Most people tend to use both approaches. Marketing yourself means letting your professional reputation grow your business reputation.
Whichever way you choose, you need to position yourself as an authority. This approach will reflect positively on your company too. Through my four-step process using the four Cs approach you can start to position yourself as the go-to expert in your field.
Claim your calling – Define your niche. You may be a professional service provider like an accountant and thus an expert in accounting but you can choose to focus on a specific industry say agriculture, retail, or manufacturing or you can decide to work with SMEs – you have started to carve out your niche, by picking a specific area that you want to be great at and claiming it.
Those within that sector will be more likely to choose someone with expertise in the industry they are in. If you are a lawyer, you could decide to focus on Maritime law, Entertainment law etc.
Don’t try to serve everybody or you will have no defined niche and won’t be known for anything. Build your expertise in your chosen area, then package, and promote that expertise to the marketplace.
Communicate credibility – Professional Service providers are members of an established profession. They are presumed to have the expertise and know-how, still people want to know what sets you apart from others.
If you have certifications; showcase them, if you have given a popular talk or have endorsements, you’re likely to be seen as more credible because you have social proof.
Create content – The best ways to showcase your expertise is through – writing (articles or books), audio (podcasts), or videos and public speaking. Take advantage of social media to get your message across to your target market.
Connect with Community – We have heard that who you know is just as important as what you know. Meeting key people and building your network can be an invaluable investment in your expert reputation.
Give to your network by sharing resources and introducing people to each other. Collaborate with others and ask for referrals to your ideal clients. Be part of your professional associations and be active online.
To boost your business you have to boost your profile. Becoming known and respected in your field means having clients seek you out instead of the other way round. Till next time stay safe.