The Unorthodox Approach To Consulting Marketing That Will Supercharge Your ROI
There’s a key mistake that most Consulting firms are making in their Digital Marketing. It’s an easy mistake to make, but thankfully it’s even easier to fix. In today’s post, we'll tell you what that mistake is, why it’s a mistake, and what you can do to fix it.
Digital Marketing, for many Consulting firms, is focused on corporate presence. Almost every Consulting firm you can think of will have a blog of some sort, and it’s usually a mishmash of posts from different thoughts and insights from the firm’s team. Some firms will even have a corporate account on Twitter and LinkedIn to repost these blogs on those platforms.
Most of these blogs will get little engagement and generate no new leads.
If this hits close to home for you, then it’s likely that your Digital Marketing isn’t getting the results you want, because you’re making a key mistake.
The mistake is focusing your marketing on promoting your firm at the expense of promoting your team.
What to do instead
Consulting is inherently a people business. Our customers aren’t buying widgets off a shelf. They’re hiring a team to execute on a project that is important to them, so it’s crucial they are hiring people they like, trust, and can rely on.
Marketing your team's individual expertise and capabilities - effective personal branding - is how you build that initial trust, credibility, and perception of excellence with your potential clients.
Think about this from a client’s point of view. If they're looking for help implementing a Finance transformation programme, for example, who are they more likely to get in touch with? The firm whose website has a nice logo and a half-hearted blog post about the challenges of SAP, or the Consultant whose LinkedIn profile lists five successful projects, and three insightful posts on what they’ve learned about successful SAP implementations over the course of those projects?
If you’re like most people, you’ll much prefer the latter. In fact, research from Nielson suggests that only 33% of buyers trust messages from a company while almost 90% of customers trust recommendations from someone they know.
Putting your team at the forefront of your Digital Marketing turns them from capable employees into fantastic lead generators for your Consultancy. When your prospective clients are looking for the thought leaders in a given area, you want them to find your team. That will ultimately lead them to your company.
In other words, in today's world your customer’s sales journey is not:
Prospective client has a problem
Prospective clients finds a firm to solve that problem
Prospective client engages firm
Instead, the journey looks like this:
Prospective client has a problem
Prospective clients finds thought leader in that space
Prospective client discovers who that thought leader works for
Prospective client engages firm
Tactically, it’s also a lot easier for an individual to build a following on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter than it is for a company. On these platforms, the focus is on connections and dialogue between individuals, not firms per se.
LinkedIn needs firms on its platform (mainly because they’re the ones that pay for advertising and job postings), but individuals are the main focus of the site, and LinkedIn wants to promote and encourage interaction between individuals to keep users engaged and visiting the site. So building the audience of your employees will be much easier than trying to build an audience around your firm.
As an added benefit, by building your team’s personal brands you’ll be able to reach more of the right people. As each of your team members has expertise in a different area, they’ll naturally attract a more focused audience who are interested in that topic, which will lead to greater engagement. You’ll also be able to reach more people in total as you’ll be able to cross-post and share content across each of your team members.
Lastly, building the personal brand of your team will help you to attract the right talent to your firm. In a competitive job market, it’s a key differentiator to be the firm that will put the employee front and centre, and help to build their online reputation as well as that of the firm.
Making the change
If your firm is one of those that has been making this key mistake, that’s OK. Thankfully, it’s an easy mistake to fix if your team is already producing content.
Here are three steps you can take:
Let your team be the first to share new content on their own individual social media accounts. Use your corporate accounts only to cross-post, share, or re-tweet the posts first made by your team. That allows your team members to take the lead on sharing content, and helps to establish them as thought leaders.
Identify the key experts from your main industry verticals or service line horizontals. Then put together a plan to help them produce more content and promote it on their social media accounts (and if they don’t have social media accounts, sign them up today!). Again, this helps to establish these individuals as thought leaders and build credibility in the industries/service lines your firm is targeting.
When anyone in your firm has posted content on social media, make sure it is liked, shared, re-tweeted and cross-posted by as many people as possible in your firm. This will give those posts greater reach, build social proof and help your firm’s content reach a much bigger audience.
You might be making a big mistake by focusing your Digital Marketing around your firm. Switch your focus to showcasing your team instead.
Remember, people buy people. Consulting is a people-centric business. This is just as important in your Digital Marketing as it is in your delivery work.
Building your team’s personal brands turns them from capable team members into crucial lead generation sources. When people are looking for an expert on a topic, you want them to find your team.
To begin building your team’s personal brands, make sure they are a) producing content, b) posting that content themselves on social media and c) that your team are liking, sharing, and cross-posting that content to maximise its reach.
If you want to develop a Digital Marketing strategy that drives results for your Consulting firm, feel free to get in touch - we’d love to talk to you!
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