People buy from people is the bedrock that professional services have been built on and why word-of-mouth marketing and referrals continue to drive sales, even in this digital age.
Companies are all trying to solve the age‐old issue of how do we stand out in a market space where numerous brands have similar or relatable valued propositions without re‐inventing the wheel. Be that through creating unique services, sector‐specific knowledge or large campaigns.
We tend to ignore that the online and offline world is becoming synonymous with each other.
Personalities or personal brands - however you define them - have always been essential to building trust offline. Now, with the world seemingly being more online than off, an understanding of personal brands is sought online.
Have you ever researched or seen someone online before you met them? Have you considered that others show the same intent as you when online?
We are seeing web visitors demonstrate that they are four times more likely to visit a ‘persons' profile’ within a professional services website than a service/sector page. This raises the question of why we spend so much time making sure the content reflecting our services is correct when not spending equal or more attention on people profiles.
Even Google has its own algorithm for the professional services world that encourages people to promote expertise, authority and trust online. For example, if a cowboy builder trying to masquerade as a lawyer appears on page one, position one, on Google, for divorce lawyers, a lot of damage could be done. Google has tried to mitigate this issue with their algorithm focusing on a person's EAT (Expertise, Authority Trust).
We have seen professionals adapt and evolve their marketing during the lockdowns, and the people who did it best were the ones who focused on "people doing business with people they know, like and trust".
With this in mind, we saw people building relationships as a significant part of most professional marketing campaigns. Whether through networking, supporting local businesses or other ways people find themselves helping people. Yes, the firm newsletter is a fantastic way to engage with audiences, and the company's marketing efforts are integral to business development. Still, personal relationships will always be a driving factor in professional services.
A professional service can only be purchased meaningfully from someone capable of rendering the service. Selling ability and personality alone are meaningless, and building relationships online and offline can also give an individual the opportunity to promote expertise.
The conclusion is, people buy from people and this should always be reflected within your marketing.
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