Digital AF

Episode 13 - Your Guide To Digital Marketing For Professional Services


April Ford

In today’s episode of Digital AF, our Account Executives uncover their guide to digital marketing for professional services. If your business provides Legal, Accounting, Finance, Recruitment or Consulting services, this is the podcast for you. Listen now to explore the benefits of implementing a digital marketing strategy for your business within the professional service Industry.

In today’s episode of Digital AF, our Account Executives uncover their guide to digital marketing for professional services. If your business provides Legal, Accounting, Finance, Recruitment or Consulting services, this is the podcast for you. Listen now to explore the benefits of implementing a digital marketing strategy for your business within the professional service Industry.

Jessi (00:00):

Welcome to Digital AF. My name is Jessi. I'm the marketing manager here at April Ford, and today I want to chat about digital marketing for professional services.

Jessi (00:08):

Professional services include any business which provides a knowledge-based service rather than a physical product to their clients. Professional service businesses that we provide marketing to include legal, accounting, financial services, recruitment and consulting. As well as our marketing agency here at April Ford.

Jessi (00:23):

In this week's episode of Digital AF I have our two account executives, Madi and Kyle, joining me to chat about their guide to digital marketing for professional services.

Madi (00:33):

Digital AF, the digital marketing podcast that features real conversations from those who live and breathe the digital agency life. April Ford digital agency shares their tips, tricks, and exposes the truth about what works and what doesn't. Welcome to Digital AF. Let's get into it.

Jessi (01:01):

Thanks for joining me.

Jessi (01:02):

So Madi, as account executives, you both service a variety of clients from various industries. How important is it that you thoroughly understand the industry of the client you are working with?

Madi (01:12):

Hey, Jessi. So it's very important to understand the industry of any client we're working with, but I'll talk about it in the sense of professional services.

Madi (01:21):

So a part of the process that we follow when we're bringing on a new client, or even just when we're thinking about the maintenance of an existing client, is we do a pretty deep dive into industry research.

Madi (01:33):

The reason that we do this is because if you understand the business landscape that the business operates in, you can identify the different elements that might affect that business or impact that business, and also the things that might impact their customer's behaviour.

Madi (01:52):

So if we can understand those things before we work out a strategy, start doing copywriting, and start design, it means that everything we do can be really purposeful. So it's quite an important step in what we do for our clients.

Jessi (02:06):

Yeah, that's great. I think understanding your client's brand and target audience is also great, especially when you're delving into the industry.

Madi (02:13):

Of course.

Jessi (02:13):

So today we're focusing on professional services. Kyle, what are professional services and what are some professional services you have worked with?

Kyle (02:21):

Yeah, hey, Jessi. As you said earlier, professional services are any businesses or occupations that require specific and professional levels of training in order to provide a service to their clients. Previously, I've worked with professional services across the law and finance industries.

Jessi (02:36):

And Madi, what are some professional services you have worked with, either as clients or in previous roles you have worked within?

Madi (02:43):

I've worked with, again, the law industry, similar to Kyle, but more conveyancing. I've also worked with recruitment and also accounting.

Jessi (02:52):

Yeah, so it's great to see you've both worked with many different professional service clients.

Jessi (02:56):

Having experience with this industry is vital to understanding the marketing required. Even my experience working with accounting firms made me realise the need for a social presence and digital marketing strategies with the industry for bringing leads into the business and not solely relying on word of mouth.

Jessi (03:11):

Madi, how important is it that businesses within the professional service industry are implementing digital marketing to target their audience?

Madi (03:18):

Something that we've noticed or that we know about professional services is a lot of the time they might be stuck in a bit of a rut with traditional advertising.

Madi (03:28):

However, we think that it's quite important that they also consider other channels. We all know that the strongest marketing strategy is when you implement an omnichannel strategy because you're basically hitting your audience from different angles and different aspects and different channels. Which reinforces your messaging.

Madi (03:48):

Something that we find a lot with professional services is they've built a reputation based on word of mouth and referrals and all of that sort of stuff.

Madi (03:56):

But then we also find people are sort of missing out on that direct-to-consumer lead. We believe digital marketing is a really good way to generate those kinds of leads. So that's why it's quite an important thing for people to consider. You can't just rely on one channel.

Madi (04:15):

We see that a lot of businesses do consider digital marketing on top of word of mouth and reputation, maybe even some traditional advertising because it supports what they've already got. And we think that the foundation of having that really, really good reputation and then applying a strong digital marketing strategy on top of that is basically the best recipe to get the best clients, get the best leads, and keep the momentum going for a business in professional services.

Jessi (04:45):

Yeah, I completely agree with that because I find that a lot of professional services, well it appears that they're just relying heavily on word of mouth.

Madi (04:52):

The other thing is because there are so many established professional services businesses, there's a lot of newcomers to the game as well. And I feel like the newer businesses are of picking up with digital advertising to start with, which is great because they're obviously trying to get themselves out there and catch up to the big boys.

Madi (05:14):

But I feel like some of the more established businesses as well probably need to keep up, if that makes sense.

Jessi (05:22):

Yeah, it's like they're falling behind a little bit. Kyle, can you give me an example of where we've seen this before with clients?

Kyle (05:28):

Yeah, Jessi, I guess a good example of a professional service I've worked with is a criminal defence lawyer.

Kyle (05:33):

Without naming names this client needed a new brand as they'd recently taken over ownership of a firm and they wanted to establish their position in the industry.

Kyle (05:41):

We gave their brand a refresh that reflected the principal's new modern ideals while also keeping branding elements rooted in the industry's history.

Kyle (05:49):

We also developed a new website for them as they wanted to touch on all elements of criminal law that they focus on. So across like 15 pages, we created semi-sales-driven pages on drug offences, property offences, and violent offences that were both extremely informative while also acting as sales pages.

Madi (06:11):

That's a really good point you make as well, Kyle how this industry is so lead-driven. I guess that's what sets it apart from other industries where you know, it might be pushing a product or you could be pushing online products in an eCommerce store. It is what sort of sets it apart as you need that sort of relationship marketing that drives leads.

Kyle (06:31):

And I guess if you are presenting heaps of information but you're not doing anything to capture or qualify leads, then you're not really doing anything to cement yourself as a professional service provider.

Kyle (06:41):

Okay. Yeah, and obviously when you launch any new brand or business, you need to make sure that you've got brand awareness of the new name and then any services you provide.

Kyle (06:47):

So we developed a Google ad strategy that focused on a brand campaign while also focusing on specific keywords that would pull up qualified leads for them.

Jessi (06:57):

That's such a great way of creating awareness for the business through digital marketing to reach their desired audience.

Jessi (07:03):

Madi, following on from this, what are common marketing trends, goals or problems you believe businesses within the professional service industry are facing?

Madi (07:11):

I sort of touched on this before, but a trend that we see definitely is around all of the really established professional services businesses. Where they've always implemented a certain type of marketing strategy in the past but now they're needing to sort keep up with how consumers are searching for things and how consumers expect to do business with people and all of that sort of stuff.

Madi (07:35):

So a trend we're seeing is there are a lot of established businesses that are maybe rebranding to get with the times, or as Kyle said, people are not going out on their own but establishing their own name in the industry.

Madi (07:48):

A goal that a lot of professional services have is getting really good high-quality leads. So something that's a problem that might arise when we bring on a new professional services client, and this is something that we see in other industries too, but they might be getting lots of leads or lots of calls or something along those lines, but it's not high quality.

Madi (08:13):

So they might be spending a lot of time not converting them and talking to unqualified leads.

Madi (08:18):

Or the other problem that we see is that people aren't finding them for what they do. So they're sort of missing that piece of the market that could be looking for them, but they're not necessarily capturing those people because they don't have the strong digital marketing strategy behind them to actually capture those people.

Madi (08:40):

They are two really big problems that we see in this industry, basically, too many junk leads or people aren't actually finding them to get the leads in the first place.

Madi (08:49):

It's really important for us to understand the problems and the goals of a specific client because that means that we can address them.

Madi (08:57):

So if they are new to the market or they have rebranded or something along those lines, then we know that we need to probably do a little bit more with branding and all of that sort of stuff so people actually know that they exist.

Madi (09:10):

Second to that would be making sure they're found for the right reasons. So if you are a criminal lawyer for example, or if you provide accounting services for something really specific. So you don't want someone who could be searching for family law or something along those lines when you offer services that are specific to criminal law.

Madi (09:32):

Same with consultancies and accounting services, you want someone to actually find you for the specific services that you provide.

Madi (09:42):

And the only way to do that is for us to; first understand the industry, second; understand the business, and third; put together a really smart marketing strategy.

Madi (09:53):

And this looks different for everyone. It's not necessarily always Google ads. It's not necessarily always Facebook ads. It's not necessarily both or one or the other, but I mean we have so many different digital advertising tools at our disposal that we've been able to successfully roll out a lot of different strategies.

Madi (10:11):

The other thing is when we are looking at a business that is really established and they have built their business on reputation, we really want to drill down into how they got to that point and what makes them different.

Madi (10:23):

And that's how you really stand out in digital advertising with professional services. If you've got an amazing claim to fame or a really good unique selling point or point of difference, we need to hone in on that because if you're just going around saying, "Oh, I'm an accountant", but if you can go around and say, "I'm an accountant who can do X, Y, and Z specifically for you and no one else can do that", then that's obviously a really, really strong message to put behind the digital advertising.

Jessi (10:52):

Kyle do you have anything else you wanted to add to that or any other strategies you think could be implemented to prevent these problems?

Kyle (10:58):

Yeah, I think as Madi was saying, a really big component of professional services marketing is that you do want to capture and qualify leads.

Kyle (11:05):

But what I've seen a lot of professional services do is they forget that there's also still a consideration phase in the purchase making process.

Kyle (11:12):

So after someone's clicked on your relevant Google ad, gotten to your website, but they're still a bit cautious as to whether or not they want to choose to engage you or a competitor. As Madi said, if they have a really strong USP or anything that makes them stand out from the crowd, you can follow them around the internet with a strong remarketing campaign after they've landed on your website.

Kyle (11:32):

And if you are constantly being top of mind after they've gone to your website and they're considering engaging you as a service and they're seeing you across platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or even digital TV, you are obviously going to be at the forefront of their mind for when they do consider acting on their decision.

Madi (11:50):

That's a really good point and I guess we've spoken a lot about the preparation stage of working out someone's strategy and what we would actually roll out and why it's important. But the last thing that I want to touch on is also what you do with your leads.

Madi (12:05):

So this is also where we see some professional services businesses fall down. Is not having a strong sales process after the fact.

Madi (12:15):

So we are here and we are generating you really high-quality leads and obviously, if they're high quality and super relevant to your business, they're going to be easier to convert. But you do also have to have customer service, which is pretty much what you need to continue that relationship. And a lot of the time with professional services, you have to remember that if someone becomes a client of yours, that's a lifetime value. It's not a one-hit-wonder like some other services. If you need a plumber, you get the job done, you might not need them again. If you're buying a product, people do definitely have a multiple purchase cycle but often it's not a full lifetime value.

Madi (12:56):

But with professional services, when you're thinking about lawyers and accountants and consultants or even recruitment agencies, you tend to have that person for life if you provide them with a good service.

Madi (13:10):

So what happens after a lead is also just as important as what happens to get that lead.

Madi (13:17):

And that's something that we are also experienced in and it's the type of thing that we will always be really open with talking to our clients about because we know that we can't do our job properly unless everything is aligned and everyone's on the same page and there is someone there to sort of back up the marketing that we are doing.

Madi (13:36):

But vice versa a lot of businesses that we have provided marketing for have that really, really, strong customer service and sales process. And what they're missing is maybe the volume of leads or something along those lines.

Madi (13:51):

So we try to drill down into, okay, what's working really, really well with their sales process? And why are people actually doing business with them and staying with them?

Madi (14:01):

Because then we can replicate that in marketing and try and really highlight why you would want to do business with them and why you would stay with them for life.

Madi (14:10):

I think there are definitely those three components. They are really understanding the industry and the business and their customers. Working out the strategy and rolling out that marketing that gets the leads, but then also having that really strong internal sales process. That's the recipe, that's the key.

Kyle (14:28):

Makes the delicious digital marketing stew.

Madi (14:30):

Professional services-

Kyle (14:34):

Professional services stew.

Jessi (14:38):

If you are a business owner or marketing manager within a professional service business and you are experiencing any of the issues we mentioned, you need to consider updating your digital marketing strategy.

Jessi (14:48):

Well, thank you so much for joining me, Madi and Kyle, and thank you to everyone listening.

Jessi (14:51):

If you are interested in implementing digital marketing for your business within the professional service industry, please do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 004 777. Or jump on our website

Jessi (15:04):

We are always happy to have a chat and discuss how you can grow your business and improve your digital marketing. Thanks for joining me.

Kyle (15:10):

Thanks guys.

Madi (15:10):


Expand Transcript