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6 Ways to Show Clients Appreciation

Building a Brand

Gratitude. It may be in short supply in your life, or you may wake up each day with a thankful heart. Nevertheless, showing appreciation for others is a rare but powerful opportunity to build a relationship…and a brand.

Here are six creative ways to show your clients a little love and gratitude. The idea is to plant a seed that communicates how much you value them. The harvest might come later with new work or a referral.

1. Handwritten notes

Handwritten notes and letters experienced a positive rebound during 2020 when people had time to reflect on the relationships that matter most to them. If you were one of the lucky recipients, you know the warm fuzzies that it delivers. Someone took time to write about their appreciation, send their greetings or just say “hi, how are you doing?”

Don’t let this art die. Be the rare person who reaches out with a branded card and personalized note. For an extra gesture, include a coffee gift card.

A handwritten thank you note next to a cup of coffee.

2. Active Listening

Short attention spans are rampant, but active listening is an art. Can you keep your mind quiet and focus on the words of the other person without judgment or thinking of what you want to add? Can you then paraphrase and repeat back what you just heard?

One of the best ways to build a relationship is to hear someone out; share and acknowledge their excitement or their upset. Practice active listening with your clients to hear their words, but also the meaning behind them.

3. Introductions

Within your network, are there people who should meet each other? You probably have clients right now who could refer business to each other or be strategic partners. Being a matchmaker can be fun, and it’s as easy as emailing your contacts for a virtual introduction or drawing them into conversation at an event.

It goes beyond professional. Perhaps you can refer a professional musician to a client whose child is getting married. Maybe you know of a volleyball league looking for new players. Show interest in your clients’ lives and hobbies, and then listen for opportunities.

4. Go the ‘extra mile’

Going the extra mile matters — even when the client doesn’t notice. Handling panicked client requests is an easy way to show that you care. Just as important, though, are the ways you deliver a high quality product day in and day out because it’s the right thing to do. When you consistently dot the “i,” and cross the “t,” you build a reliable and trustworthy reputation that reflects highly on your firm’s brand positioning.

Bring your best self to the work, and you will sleep well at night while also demonstrating client appreciation.

5. Small gifts

It’s always fun to receive a gift. It should not be extravagant, as some clients may not be able to accept large gifts. But gifts such as gourmet food, wine, a gift card or tech gadget are often appreciated.

As a special touch, you can sometimes personalize these gifts with the client’s brand colors, logo or an individual leader’s name.

Two wine bottles sitting on a desk with a card that says "Cheers"

6. Compassion, pass it on.

If your clients are showing signs of stress or not responding in a way that is familiar, do not shy away from asking how they are doing. Some of us have been taught to separate our business lives from our personal lives, but more often it’s better to ask after a client’s welfare than to stay silent.

Compassion is showing concern without assuming that you know what the client is going through. Offer encouraging words or genuinely say, “thank you,” to help strengthen your relationships. Asking how you can help is another way to show your support.

In this season of giving, take time to appreciate your clients as much as your loved ones. After all, your clients help you make a living, which supports your loved ones!

More Insights: Four ways to enhance client service

 

What Do Your Colors Mean?

Professional Services Branding

Your color palette can communicate the promise you make to clients in professional services marketing. It is important to choose colors that match your professional services branding messages. Use your color palette consistently to strengthen brand awareness.

Design Consultant Robert Wasiluk talks about how to choose the right color combinations and why you need to pay attention to how colors affect readability, such as on your website. A good understanding of color theory along with ADA compliance standards can help you get started. See more tips in our video.


If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

Adding color is a great way to help your proposals, your presentations or your website stand out.

But too much color can take away from your messaging. It can get distracting instead of helpful. 

It’s important to understand how each color complements the other colors. You also want to have some white space and neutral colors to give your eyes a rest! 

When I design a color palette for professionals, I consider their industry but also the industry of their clients. A color like blue is associated with trust, for example. But a touch of orange adds energy. 

The same goes for a primary color palette of green, which is associated with wealth or growth. You could add fuchsia as a secondary color, which means that you take action. But a little goes a long way!

To get some inspiration, start with a color wheel and see which colors work well together. 

As a designer, I also use online resources like the Adobe Color website, where I can start to create my own color palettes or be inspired by palettes that other users have uploaded. 

Once you have established your color palette of primary and secondary colors, use them consistently in your marketing and sales. 

For example, include color in your proposals for subheadings or a tinted box to emphasize certain information. 

Use bright colors to grab the eye. You should also keep your paragraphs short, because black is also a color. It can make your information feel heavy when it’s in a long block.

And finally, check your website for any color combinations that make your information hard to read. This often happens when text is placed on top of an image like a slider or call to action. This can adversely affect your site’s ADA compliance.

As you can see, there is a lot to think about when creating a branded color palette and using it well for professionals. If you have any questions, I’m happy to help here at Ingenuity.

See more ideas to refresh your brand with color.  


 

Close up of a rooster

When is it Time for a New Website?

Close up of a rooster

Online Content Marketing

Your website is your 24/7 communications hub. What happens when your communications hub is not functioning the way you would like? It can result in higher bounce rates, that is, people coming to your site and leaving again. It can also affect your brand positioning when visitors have a frustrating experience. Most importantly, an older website has a greater chance of security breaches because it has a higher degree of security flaws.

Chart indicating top reasons to leave a website

The average website today lasts about three to five years as security enhancements come along to improve the security of websites, but also as website designs change. After that amount of time, you should start planning for a new website, but most companies wait far longer until there is a problem. Assuming that you have kept your website theme and plug-ins up to date, here are three hints that it’s time for a new website.

1. Your design looks outdated compared to other sites.

When you look at your website on your desktop or mobile device, does it function well? Does it look modern and inviting? If not, it’s an easy sign that you need a refresh or a whole new website theme or customization to stay current with your website users.

People are looking for bite-sized pieces of content to engage with, which means less copy and more visual cues. Grid or gallery design, “card” layouts and introductory videos will improve your visitors’ experience and keep their attention.

Example of card style web design layout.
Card-style web design, similar to Pinterest or Instagram

2. Your site has poor navigation.

If you were to use a heat map tool on your website to identify how people navigate through it, you will probably be surprised at what you see. You may notice that visitors don’t scroll down far enough on a page to find your call to action. You might notice that they pay attention to numbered subheads and pretty pictures more than on your messages in the body copy.

Example of Hotjar heat map on a website.
Source: Hotjar heat map example

3. You can’t easily update the site yourself.

Today’s new website design should make it easy for someone within your company or organization to add copy or videos, to change headlines, to add new pages and anything else that helps you share new information.

You should not have to request changes from a web programmer.

 Investment in a new website will be well worth the daily efficiency for your marketing strategy and communications in the long run.

Plus, you will be able to increase visitors to your site and attract new business and recruits. That’s the whole point, right?

If you are wondering if you need a website design refresh or a whole new website, ask yourself the following questions:

When was our site launched?

If it was a couple years ago, you could do a refresh. If it was three to five years ago, start planning and budgeting to launch a new site.

How easy it is now to update information on the site?

If you go to an outside source to update your site, is it because you have outsourced marketing? That’s great. If it’s because your current platform requires a degree in coding, then you should consider a new site.

Is the site design still modern looking or is the structure feeling outdated?

Sometimes you can refresh your home page to improve the visitor experience. If your site is copy-heavy, contains old stock images or lacks options for video or podcasts, you probably need a new site.

How long are visitors engaging with our site overall?

If your bounce rates are high on just a few pages, redesign those pages and monitor them. If bounce rates are creeping up to 70% on most pages, you probably need a new site.

Are we getting requests for information or leads through our site?

Sometimes you need to improve your content marketing calls to action by moving that information to a higher or more visual part of the page (e.g. subscribe buttons, demos, applications, etc.). However, if your website isn’t a lead generation funnel, then you are working too hard and you need a new website.

SEE OUR PORTFOLIO FOR DESIGN IDEAS


 

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Proposals Copywriting and Design Tips

Person making a hand frame composition in a field.

Business Development Strategy

Professional service firms have a renewed focus on proposal copywriting and design. There are a few reasons for this:

    • Rebranding proposals with the firm’s new logo, updated colors and fonts
    • Differentiating messaging and visuals in a competitive market within strict RFP or LOI limitations
    • Streamlined processes and templates to deliver proposals quickly and with high impact

Ingenuity’s communications and design team has worked with several clients to improve and update their proposal copy and design. Due to client nondisclosure, we can’t discuss the clients or show examples of these projects. But we can share approaches that will help you pursue a great first impression with your proposals.

1. Rebranding Proposals


When a firm has completed a visual rebranding with a new logo, style guide and color palette, it is important to consistently represent the brand across all materials, including proposals.

Strategy

Look at the current proposal layout and the elements that are common for most proposals: cover page and cover letter, logo, headers and footers, headlines, graphic elements, bios, etc.

After identifying those common elements, concept a template that incorporates the new logo and font along with a color scheme using refreshed brand colors in headlines, charts, header and footer design and any callout elements such as client testimonials or statistics.

If your firm has branding messages, weave those into the cover letter and firm profile content. The template should be designed in a way that prevents static visual elements from being changed, but allows template users to customize the copy and edit it.

We recommend a customized Word document or PowerPoint file if InDesign or Adobe templates are not as easily edited or accessible to everyone in the firm. Using a proposal software solution can support accessibility as well as design consistency (e.g. Proposify, RFPIO, Qvidian).

Results

The new proposal template offers a consistent way for anyone creating proposals to focus their efforts on personalizing the content, with confidence that the first visual impression will be positive and professional.

2. Differentiating Proposals


When clients are limited in the way they can submit proposals, such as through government or public entities, there are still ways to differentiate your content and presentation of information. Many firms are moving toward a simplified and more visual display of information, especially when page counts and word count are restricted.

Strategy

When you have proposal restrictions, including page dimensions, try switching to a landscape layout rather than a profile layout of your pages. 

Differentiation can also be achieved by creating a “key issues” section in your executive summary. This shows that you read and understood their request and unique needs.

Other tips for differentiation include showcasing client testimonials, awards, industry involvement and diversity, equity and inclusion measures. Recent studies have shown that including specific DEI measures as part of your firm profile or differentiating information, even if not asked, is recommended.

Results

A subtle change of view through a landscape layout or a box highlighting your insights about the prospect can go a long way in helping your proposal stand out from the rest. We have helped clients improve their scoring with government or public agencies by making the most important differentiators stand out with clear writing (less jargon) and strategically colored elements on the page.

3. Streamlining Proposal Templates


One of the biggest branding problems for larger firms is maintaining consistency in their proposals. Even with proposal software, someone needs to be in charge of updating template pages as things change in the firm. That person can have a full-time job when there are multiple divisions, disciplines or practices and services to track, not to mention changes in personnel.

It is also difficult to develop a strategy if you have competing voices and goals for business development. Add in knowledge of design and what’s truly possible for streamlining your template, and it is little wonder that most marketing leaders need the help of a specialist.

Strategy

Before bringing the copywriter or designer to the table, the biggest hurdle for streamlining your proposal template is to understand which elements can be universal and which elements will change with every proposal. In our experience, static elements include the cover page, the firm boilerplate (who, what, where, why) and bio layouts. Besides those elements, everything else can be customized, and every firm leader is very passionate about how their services should be portrayed. This is what makes complex proposal templates such a monumental task. But never fear! Discuss this order of planning before you even begin to discuss copy or design:

    • Identify areas of the firm that actually require RFPs for business development
    • Prioritize each area based on greatest overall business need and schedule out proposal updates accordingly
    • Design the overall firm proposal shell visually without content
    • Discuss with select subject matter experts the most common RFP questions and elements to include in ‘most proposals.’
    • Determine with subject matter experts the elements of the template that will need to be customized every time, and make those sections easily customizable without losing design integrity.
    • Develop the template outline to integrate easily with your chosen proposal software
    • Roll out the templates with training and buy-in for consistent use
    • Maintain an owner or owners in the firm for regular or needed updates over time

There is no shortcut to developing a proposal template for complex organizations. The pre-planning and strategy piece are vital to a successful workflow and end result.

Results

We have seen proposal projects get delayed for many reasons, ranging from leaders getting busy to those larger priorities popping up to a complete change in project ownership. Delays can be unavoidable for a project of this scope, and that’s why approaching it in planned phases or by practice or discipline can help you manage it under other inevitable pressures and deadlines.

Your result is a streamlined proposal process across the firm. Regardless of where your template(s) exist, you need ownership and maintenance for continued success as well as a rollout that gets everyone excited and comfortable using it. Handled with patience and care, you shouldn’t have to worry in the future if someone is using the most “up-to-date” proposal information for your organization. And you will put your best foot forward to win new business.

Let us know if we can help.

SCHEDULE A CONVERSATION

Quick Read: Boost your market position with partnerships and referral programs.


 

Proactive Association Member Recruitment

Recruiting new members to a professional services association can be difficult. Ingenuity Marketing Group is here to help. Watch our video or read the transcript below to learn how to maximize your leads for new members and grow your organization.

We talk about creating a sense of urgency, personalizing your approach and more. Happy hunting!


If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

Associations are always on the hunt for new members. It’s a long process, but proactive recruitment can support your success.

Here are three ways that you can achieve more success and value from your recruitment efforts.

My first tip is to narrow your focus. Member marketing is very personal. Whether you use a lead qualifying service or do the prospecting on your own, your list should be highly targeted and well researched. Then start with 10 to 20 specific prospects for your strategy.

Next, develop a personalized approach to your communication. Potential members want to feel important. Your association should feel VIP to them.

For this strategy, don’t send a generic postcard or email to everyone at once. Instead, a handwritten note or a personal invitation to an event is much more successful.

And finally, once you have made contact, don’t wait more than a week or two to follow up. Create urgency for their response with a follow-up email that communicates your desire to have them as part of the association and how it will benefit them.

You can even leave a quick voicemail to make sure they received your personal invitation.

This is only the beginning of proactive recruitment. Then comes the hard part, getting them to join!

This can require several check-ins, little tokens of appreciation and ready-to-send resources. Set up these touches on your calendar so you don’t forget. Remember people like to be wooed.  It’s just like dating.

One more tip. Don’t be afraid to opt out if the lead isn’t going anywhere. You will know within a few months if it’s an opportunity or not. If not, add a fresh prospect to your list and move on.

In other words, don’t wait for potential members to come to you. Get out there and show them how much your association can help them.


Click here to find out how Ingenuity can market your Association.

 

Green coffee cup leaking on a white background.

3 Marketing Mistakes Engineering Firms Make

When creating an elevator speech for networking purposes, we were taught to say our name, our role, the company and the services offered. Unfortunately, this habit of focusing on services has leaked into every area of marketing. Especially in professional services marketing, many firms end up looking and sounding the same.

Consider engineering firms. They can describe their engineering, design, surveying or consulting services, but that doesn’t give a potential client much differentiating value. Offering service descriptions is the number one mistake when marketing for engineering firms. This mistake is also why firm leaders don’t believe that websites support leads and business development.  

Digging into this mistake further, it’s not wrong to describe your services. Just don’t stop there. Collect and show evidence for your best-in-class services as part of consistent outcome-based research, strategic marketing and messaging.

Let’s look at two other mistakes that lead firms to fall back on service descriptions as their only form of marketing.

Mistake #2: Inconsistent Marketing

Inconsistent marketing can mean two things. It can mean that your marketing messages don’t match your actual deliverables and results. It can also mean that you only pursue marketing when you’re not busy with client work or chasing proposals.

Solve this mistake by investing in marketing with a designated budget that includes an in-house or outsourced marketing professional. In addition, this professional will focus most of the time on marketing with only a portion devoted to developing proposals. Following a consistent marketing plan tied to firm business goals is a great place to start.

To create your marketing plan, discuss your best-in-class results. Where do your clients derive the most value from your services? What problems and challenges do you solve regularly on projects? Who are your superstar professionals whose technical and management skills are lauded by clients? What are those skills?

Read: Competitive research for differentiation

As you look at what your firm does best beyond delivering projects on time and on budget, your messaging will emerge to support web copy, advertising and differentiation in your proposals.

In a recent series of client of client interviews we conducted, we heard competitive themes about the firm’s reputation among key government agencies for bringing stakeholders together on a project. That message certainly goes beyond service descriptions.

You can identify competitive differentiatiors when you invest in consistent research, marketing strategy and messaging that describes the outcomes you achieve.

Mistake #3: Not Tracking Project Results Along the Way

Because projects take months and even years to complete, it’s important to document positive outcomes throughout the project and keep your marketing professional in the loop. Too often, marketers are left trying to catch up at the close of a project when some of those amazing solutions and experiences are forgotten.

In the early stages and middle stages of projects, put your marketing hat on. You are listening for repeatable experiences that are unique to your team. Ask about ways that your team went above and beyond to solve a challenge or when they utilized a new process or material to manage the timeline or project budget.

Tip: Prepare your questions for a project debrief that include marketing questions.

Tip: Prepare your questions for a project debrief that include marketing questions.

Ideally, your marketing professional can brainstorm with project managers and technical professionals on challenges overcome, solutions delivered and new technologies utilized. Down the road, these progress reports will support a strong project case study, award submission or testimonials. In the meantime, progress reports can fuel stories for social media or blog posts! An in-progress image coupled with a short story about how your team is moving a project forward can provide the real-life evidence that enhances your traditional service descriptions.

For more tips on marketing for engineering firms, contact us at Ingenuity.

For more tips on marketing for engineering firms, contact us at Ingenuity.

IF YOU NEED SOME RESEARCH DONE, WE SHINE IN PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. SEE OUR SERVICES.


 

Ingenuity Marketing Group Creative Consultant Christine Nelson smiling in office setting.

Marketing Content and Sales Content: What’s the Difference?

Professional services firms and associations create marketing content and sales content to reach their goals. Marketing content builds credibility while sales content persuades and asks for new business. When should you use marketing content? When should you focus on sales content?

Communications Consultant Christine Nelson gives examples of marketing content and sales content in this video. You need both types of content, but learn why marketing and sales content are not the same thing! 


If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

What is the difference between marketing content and sales content? It is sometimes confusing to tell the difference, but there is a difference.

Marketing content is written to educate and interest your potential clients. It should offer a glimpse of your knowledge, your approach, and even your firm’s personality. You will see marketing content in blog posts and social posts, on your website’s homepage, and as part of your public relations.

When should you use marketing content? You should educate and engage your audience with marketing content when they are new visitors and as they begin to consider becoming a client or a member. Sales content, on the other hand, is about influence and persuasion. It’s written in a way to get your potential clients to take action. Sales content should share the features and benefits of working with your firm or association and then ask for a conversation, a download, or attendance.

Persuasive sales content is for prospects that are deeper into their consideration. It can be in the form of sales sheets that discuss the features and benefits of your service or an assessment for a nominal fee. While marketing content establishes your credibility, sales content gets specific about your desire to work with new clients and why you are the best option.

Often marketing content and sales content work together, especially when you can’t talk to your leads in person. For example, a blog post can educate a visitor about new legislation, but at the end of the blog post you can include some sales content to invite the visitor to have a conversation or to explore your services further through an assessment. After you host marketing events such as a seminar, your sales content could be the carefully-written emails that encourage a conversation with your team.

As you can see, marketing and sales content should work together, but they aren’t the same. If you have questions about how to create the right balance between marketing and sales content, contact us at Ingenuity.

Here is an example of branding messages woven into an ad campaign for credibility and prospecting.


 

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Accounting Marketing Campfire: Content Marketing Trends

Recently, we served as the subject matter experts on a virtual networking call with the national Association for Accounting Marketing.

We picked up some tips and trends for accounting firm marketing to share with you. Here they are in no particular order:

Use content marketing scheduling tools.

Many of the accounting marketers discussed their approach to scheduling content and making sure they have a plan each month, especially when last-minute content is added.

Tools mentioned included a separate calendar in Outlook to coordinate their team and to plot in content deadlines. Others use project workflow tools such as Monday.com and Airtable.

For some marketers, it helps to create a theme for the month or quarter, tied to your marketing keywords or to the firm’s business goals. Then address the types of content you will create and how often each month.

How many blog posts is the right amount per month? We advised that frequency of any content is less important than the quality of content and your firm’s marketing goals. You will learn how frequently you should post and promote new content by what your analytics are telling you through the year. Let that data inform how you schedule content for the coming year.

Plus, it’s ok to repeat content for people who may have missed it the first time!

Make content creation competitive or required.

Marketers still struggle with the age-old challenge of getting their practice leaders or technical experts to help them develop new content, let alone write it, create a video or participate in a podcast.

The Association for Accounting Marketing members had some great answers for that issue. One idea is to make it a competition and instill the fear of missing out (FOMO) among different practice groups. Another is to request content from directors or managers rather than busy partners, those in your firm who are eager to establish their own reputations and books of business.

A final idea is to have content creation required. Top leadership can direct this activity as part of the firm culture. If each leader contributed an idea or article a month, marketing would be a whole lot easier.

Repurpose. Repurpose. Repurpose.

Once accounting marketers get ideas and/or content from the subject matter experts, they all agreed that their job is to use that content in as many ways as possible. A blog post can become a speaking topic or magazine pitch. A video script can become a blog post. A longer video can be mined for micro-video clips to share on social media, and the audio portion can become a podcast.

When practice group leaders realize that one small effort can produce massive visibility for their team, they may be more willing to offer ideas and keep the party going.

Be mindful of the experts’ preferences because some of them are better at writing while others have a great personality for video and presentations. Play to their strengths, and they will gain confidence.

Hire a business ghostwriter.

It was interesting to learn that most mid-sized accounting firms have a ghostwriter on call to help them produce the volume of content they need each month. It makes sense from a capacity standpoint, but also for the ease of interviewing subject matter experts.

The accounting marketers said that you need a professional to draw out the ideas and key points from the practice group. Your technical experts have the knowledge, but an experienced ghostwriter is focused on the marketing angle and your audience.

READ: How to develop a content marketing strategy

The Association for Accounting Marketing is the principal organization for accounting firm marketing in the U.S., and their annual conference is anticipated and actively attended. It was a privilege to participate in their “campfire” conversation about content marketing for accounting firms.

Your content marketing approach can benefit by taking time to network with other marketing leaders. At the very least, you can learn what other marketers are doing to solve common challenges, such as getting your practice leaders to create content!

Take time for networking opportunities, and let us know if you have any questions about content marketing or ghostwriting services.

You may also like our blog post about virtual networking.


 

A large sandwich with lunch meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato.

Social Media Marketing That’s ‘Snackable’

We don’t know how your schedule looks lately, but it seems to be heating up around here. That means less time and attention to posts and emails that aren’t directly tied to work or families. 

It’s the perfect time to reinvent your social media marketing strategy. We have these trends and tips to help you grab attention as prospects scan your channels. 

‘Snackable’ Social Content

‘Snackable’ is the marketing term for 2021. People are tired of being online, and they want quick, clear content that is easily consumed and shared. We’re talking about inspiring quotes with cool images, posts that include animation and short video clips that take seconds to view. 

To apply snackable social media to engineering firm, accounting firm or other professional services marketing, here are a few tips: 

Tip #1: When creating social media posts, build your image in an app like Canva and make use of their free library of animated gifs to add to your post.

Woman smiling with her arms raised in a sea of confetti.

Example: We added a confetti gif image over the static best workplaces image to catch attention.

Tip #2: Use inspiring quotes as part of your weekly social posting to showcase your firm’s core values or culture.

An example of a inspiring quote.

Here at Ingenuity, we liked this quote because it spoke about intelligence and relationships which are part of our firm’s core strengths.

Tip #3: Include snackable video clips edited down from longer videos with a quick message that people can consume and use right away.

In this example, we took a longer video with five tips and focused on the color palette tip. The shorter clip can play live over and over on social channels. It promotes services in a new way, and it re-uses content you have already created. 

Other Social Media Marketing for Professional Service Firms

Of course, your posts are only helpful for professional service branding and marketing if people actually see them! You need to focus on your number of followers, how often they like or comment on your posts and if they share them. 

Start by encouraging your own team members to like and share your firm’s content. This expands your social media reach by getting in front of the networks of each team member. That can represent thousands of new possible connections and followers on your company pages. This works because your team members probably have connections in target industries that could use your services. Plus, personal posts get better social media ranking than your company page posts. 

You can also boost your social engagement by mentioning or “tagging” a client, a referral source or your connections. Just make sure the tagging relates to the social post. People don’t want to be tagged if the post doesn’t relate to them. 

For example, in the Best Workplaces post we showed you, you could tag the media company that gave your firm the award. The media outlet will appreciate the shout-out, and they might even like, comment or share your post!

Increased likes, follows and comments – engagement – with your posts helps your firm or association rank higher on social channels as an influencer. When those busy potential clients flip through their social feeds, they won’t pass you by!

Learn more about Ingenuity’s social media strategies and creative insights. You may also be interested in How to Use Social Media for Leads.


 

Male hand holding a small block with the words "Strategy" on it.

Strategic Marketing is Not Administration

Professional service firm leaders who choose to outsource their marketing can fall into the seductive trap of hiring agencies that don’t know the first thing about marketing professional services — or the sophistication of your firm’s clients. What’s worse, larger agencies may assign a junior account manager who doesn’t understand proactive marketing consulting.

On the other hand, many firms that are heavily dependent on billable hours may choose to invest in marketing at the entry level. They hire someone with two to five years of experience. Without an experienced marketing professional driving the approach, your strategy and planning lose ground to urgent administrative tasks like assembling proposals or taking random pictures for social media.

We’ve also worked with firms that delegate marketing oversight to their firm administrator, operations executive or a partner/principal. These professionals are amazing at their core jobs, and they may even be interested in marketing. But they can’t prioritize marketing due to time constraints and a lack of knowledge about creative marketing strategy.

Marketing Solutions for Professionals

Here is why strategic marketing is not administration. A full-service marketing department should be able to accomplish the following things:

  • Senior-level consulting, design and writing, digital marketing, advertising and social skills
  • Effective and proactive project management with timelines, accountability and communication
  • Support for hiring new staff at the right time with proper job descriptions
  • Consulting with owners/partners regularly to develop a marketing/sales culture
  • Liaison with vendors to streamline and/or automate your marketing strategy
  • Market research to understand how your buyers buy
  • Industry-wide view of marketing trends to expand your options and creativity
  • Alignment of marketing activities with sales goals
  • Consistent branding on all materials and channels
  • Consistent lead generation and nurturing activities and monitoring
  • Coaching to build in-house marketing skills
  • Proactive consulting on next steps to maximize marketing efforts

A firm with limited in-house marketing support or an executive who is managing marketing will need to seek other solutions to deliver these full-service results. To continue with the status quo will lead to frustration, loss of visibility or scattered business efforts.

Marketing is not about the leads and new business you have now. Just like project planning and accurate financial statements, marketing planning is vital for attracting future business. Can you afford to just hope that leads and referrals appear in your competitive market? Stay visible with consistent marketing strategy and professionals who specialize in it.

LEARN MORE ABOUT INGENUITY’S OUTSOURCED MARKETING SERVICES