Three Ways to Attract New Clients
Identifying the Subject Matter that You Will Speak, Write, or Talk About
Finding new clients is the work nobody really wants to do. Nevertheless, it is essential for survival. Since you have to do it anyway, how can you optimize your return on effort? In this article, Dr. Frederiksen shares what the research reveals.
Hingeâ€™s newest research study, 2016 High Growth Study Research Summary, identifies three methods for bringing in new business that should be at the top of your list.Â Our findings indicate that these methods work for any size practice, and also provide the best return for the amount of effort.Â The common thread among these methods is they are all proven ways to demonstrate your expertise on matters that are important to your prospective clients.
1. Public Speaking. Public speaking can take many forms, such as workshops and presentations, addresses at conferences, or even webinars. Each of these speaking situations is a little different, of course, and requires its own tactics and preparation.
Some tips for effectiveness: First, try to find an audience representative of your target market.Â This may be easier said than doneâ€”and may even require a little thinking outside the box.Â Industry trade associations are usually a good bet.Â A second key is to speak about something you know your audience wants to learn about.Â In the process of teaching them about a subject they find important, you can demonstrate your expertise.Â Demonstrating your expertise by making a complex subject understandable is a sure sign of an expert.
2. Writing blog posts and articles. Like speaking, this method can also take many forms. If you do not have a blog on your own website, that is not a problem.Â You can look for opportunities to write articles or blog posts on websites, business journals, and publications read by your target audience.
Tips for success: First, make sure you are writing for a publication or platform that speaks to your target audience and folks that influence themâ€”not your colleagues.Â This may mean you are writing content for a journal in an industry completely separate from yoursâ€”which can actually be ideal.Â By writing about topics you know are important to that publicationâ€™s readers, you will have a unique platform on which to demonstrate your expertise.
3. Social Media. For generating business leads, LinkedIn is by far the most effective social media platform. The site includes a variety of groups and opportunities to share your expertise about topics of interest to your target market.Â It is a great place to share the blog posts and articles you have written as well.
Tips for success: Make sure to update your own LinkedIn profile to highlight the areas of expertise most meaningful and helpful to your target audience.Â Again, one of the best strategies for success is to find LinkedIn groups dedicated to an industry you serve.Â For example, if your marketing focus is a certain element within the technology sector, you should search for LinkedIn groups focusing on that aspect of technology.Â As is the case with blog post writing, one of the most successful strategies is to find a niche in which you are providing expertise that members do not have themselves.
Leverage Your Website
There is another finding from our research worth noting.Â Up to half of all companies referred to professionals end up ruling them out, before they have even talked to them.Â Why? Â Because they could not understand how you could help them.Â The culprit is a website that does not reflect your true level of expertise.Â This means it is important to make sure your blog posts, news about upcoming and past speaking engagements, and social media links are all up-to-date and easily visible on your site.
Choosing Your Topics
One broad recommendation that applies to all three of the techniques described above is to choose carefully the topics you are going to write or speak about.Â To do so, start by finding out which topics your potential clients want to learn about.Â To gather this insight, you could contact some of the people to whom your clients turn for advice and referrals.Â You could also read some of the trade publications that your clients read, and see which topics are being addressed there.Â Or you could simply talk directly with a few clients and ask what types of issues they are interested in learning more about.
Whether you share your expertise in public speaking situations, in blogs, or through your involvement on LinkedIn, the main point to remember is that you are trying to help clients gain greater understanding of some topics that matter to them.
Despite what you may hear, no type of marketing is both free and effective.Â Effective marketing requires some type of investment, whether financial or your time.Â And remember, even a marketing initiative that requires only an investment of time and effort, such as the three techniques described above, could still take you away from billable hours.Â That being said, you need new clientsâ€”so some type of investment, whether in time, money, or bothâ€”is prudent.
Want to go deeper? Â Explore how Hinge can help your firm through our special services designed just for NACVA members.
Lee W. Frederiksen, PhD, is Managing Partner at Hinge, the leading branding and marketing firm for the professional services. Hinge conducts groundbreaking research into high-growth firms and offers a complete suite of services for firms that want to become more visible and grow.
Mr. Frederiksen can be contacted at (703) 391-8870 or by e-mail to LFrederiksen@hingemarketing.com.