Marketing Professional Services is Just Like Gambling – But Here’s How to Make It a Sure Bet

Posted by Greg Roworth on Jun 24, 2021

In my experience and the experience of my clients running professional services businesses, attempts to invest money and effort into marketing has ended up feeling just like gambling.

Most consultants, coaches or advisors selling high level services and wanting more high quality clients don’t have a system to attract their best clients, but are dependent on getting referrals or networking to get new opportunities.  Whenever I tried to break out of this cycle and pay to advertise my services, I typically ended up just wasting my money on a trickle of poor quality leads at best. 

Nothing seemed to work. 

In one year, I invested in upgrading my website, focusing on SEO, paying for Facebook ads and Google ads and even had a go at advertising on YouTube.  People told me to invest my time on social media and create content for regular posts. 

It was frustrating and exhausting, but I still didn’t get the results I was looking for.

That was, until I discovered a system that was focused on building relationships and creating authority and trust with my target market, rather than trying to sell them my services.

The system I’m going to show you has been responsible for the biggest turnaround in my own businesses and for my clients, and sets your ideal clients up so they come to you presold, already wanting to work with you before they come into a sales meeting because they see you and your firm as the authority in their market.

That may seem like a big claim and it may be hard to believe, but it’s the truth behind the reason I was able to start, grow and sell three high performing professional service firms over the past 25 years.

Before I developed this system, I struggled to grow my business consistently, just like most owners of professional service firms.  One research study found that 85% of professional service firms find attracting more high quality clients is the most challenging aspect of their business.

Are you facing these challenges?

  1. You don’t know how to find ideal clients other than through networking and referrals – which are not controllable
  2. You’ve tried “marketing” and maybe have even had help from marketing consultants, but your lack of results makes you feel that it’s just like gambling
  3. You don’t feel comfortable promoting yourself
  4. You lack confidence in making the sale
  5. Lack of results is shaking your confidence.

These challenges are common.  I was no different from you and almost gave up trying to find clients through marketing because I wasted so much money that it just felt like gambling.

I even sought help from marketing consultants, but they still didn’t get results.  All they could tell me was to give it time.

And the longer I waited, the more money I lost.

When I asked around, I discovered that many other consultants had the same challenge and had experienced the same disappointment when trying to do marketing to break out of the networking and referrals cycle.

So I applied my analytical skills to the problem and being the stubborn person I am, I stuck at it until I made it work.

I’m going to teach you what I discovered and why you too can use the same system I developed to get consistent & predictable results in attracting premium clients.

The first thing I discovered was that marketing professional services is different from normal marketing.  It needs a different focus.

The reason you don’t have more premium clients is that you have never operated your business strategically and have never developed effective strategies to proactively attract them.

Whenever we have tried the marketing tactics that I’ve talked about, it has been out of context of any strategy that would make it work.

Most marketing we see in contexts other than for professional services is all about making sales.  And that’s a logical approach.  But for professional services, it’s all wrong. 

Because for most people running a professional service firm the focus needs to be about attracting clients for the long term.  That means our marketing must not be transactional.  It needs to be about starting and building relationships on a know-like-trust basis. 

The other important point to note is that people don’t want our services. 

That may be hard to comprehend, especially when our websites and other marketing collateral feature our services front and centre.

But people don’t want our services.  What they really want is the results our services bring them.

So, trying to sell or promote our services is typically a waste of time for most professional service firms, unless you run a firm in a mature industry with a high level of demand.  But even then, the risk is that you are treated as a commodity.

The way that I discovered to attract premium level clients consistently and predictably involves working with a strategic approach and seeing marketing as a series of steps to build a relationship rather than trying for a transaction.  In other words, it’s about courtship, not seduction.

This system I have developed is called the Strategic Authority Marketing System.

Building your strategic authority marketing system requires three phases.

The first is about positioning yourself as the authority in the market. Most people, when wanting a problem solved, want to deal with the best.  If you feel that people want to deal with the cheapest, or if you are struggling to win work at the prices you want, it indicates that you are being treated like a commodity instead of an authority.  You have to stand out from the crowd to attract premium clients who are willing to pay what you are worth to have their problem solved.  That requires developing strategic assets that provide your ideal clients the perception that you are the person they need.

The second phase is about developing a focused specialisation so that your firm is positioned as the best at what it does, rather than being seen as a commodity because your services are exactly the same as all your competitors.  This means creating intellectual property and a business model that aligns your service with the exact needs of your premium clients.

The final phase requires building a strategic attraction system that attracts the attention of your ideal clients and step by step, brings them closer to you, educating them and preselling them on your value and elevating their awareness about the best way to solve their problem, so that your firm becomes the only logical choice for them to work with. When you build this system, you will have premium clients coming to your consistently, almost demanding to become one of your clients.

With a system like this, it is not only possible to change your investment in marketing from feeling like gambling to the position where every dollar invested is a sure bet on attracting your premium clients, who pay you what you are worth and are a joy to work with.

If you would like to learn more about this system, please click the link to download your copy of my ebook, Strategic Authority Marketing and access a video training on the process.

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