Marketing professional services online: How to get it right.

Avoid online marketing pitfalls

I recently attended a presentation by Drew McLellan, author of 99.3 Random Acts of Marketing, the Drew’s Marketing Minute blog and agency principal of McLellan Marketing Group in Des Moines, Iowa.

Drew shared his insights on how to succeed with online marketing and lead generation for professional services organizations today.

Drew’s experience is backed up with some impressive statistics that demonstrate he’s not just posing as another new media expert.
His chops include:

  • Nearly 7300 subscribers to his blog
  • Each posts receives on average 9-10 comments
  • Thousands and thousands of backlinks gained over 5 yrs
  • Recognized top blogger by AdAge Power 150, Content Marketing Institute, SmartBrief, Alltop and more
  • And most important, he can attribute revenue growth to his consistent and frequent blogging activity

By his analysis, 34% of Drew’s agency revenue over the last 20 yrs can be directly attributed to the content created for his blog. As Drew explains, how you market a professional services practice online today is everything.

Even the best don’t always get it right.

While his blog’s metrics are impressive by any measure, Drew acknowledged one critical flaw in his online marketing strategy. He created his blog under a separate domain that was different than the domain of his company website. Who cares and why does this matter?

All of the SEO value that his targeted keywords, comments, backlinks, domain authority, and search results that his blog generates actually link visitors to a different website that Drew had intended. How is this possible?

Even recognized experts mess up. Especially when they’re experimenting with and adopting the new and continually changing requirements of today’s online marketing.

In Drew’s case, if he ever attempted to export his blog’s data and put it under the domain of his agency website, all of the search results that are delivering the high traffic and amazing statistics that he claims would vanish in a blink.

A checklist for Content Marketing success.

What best practices can you follow if you want to market your professional services online without getting tripped up?

  • Stop, step back and define a clear strategy on what you want to accomplish online
  • Focus on generating leads, shortening the sales cycle, and reassuring clients with your unique expertise
  • Start measuring business goals and not social goals (such as likes, re-tweets, shares, etc.)
  • Build your web site AND your blog under one domain
  • Blog regularly and frequently
  • Integrate a Subscribe link to your blog—Not just an RSS feed
  • Have social icons that link to your unique social channels with content that’s relevant and current for your prospects + customers
  • Avoid creating or sharing content that’s all about you
  • Don’t just curate and share content from others
  • Start the heavy-lifting and long-term process to carve out your thought leadership niche and the value that you’ll deliver to your clients
  • Demonstrate the walk you talk by example
  • Don’t repeat yourself with one great sentence, theme or thought and then paste it into your social dashboard over and over
  • Integrate a subscription to a your email Newsletter in your blog

Like never before, the Kimono is always open.

Make no mistake, prospects and potential client’s will give you a serious look over online before they ever consider you or reach out to connect with you. Today, you’re exposed like never before and everyone can judge and evaluate your online presence virtually everywhere. So if you’re not continuously delivering help and value online, you might as well hand over opportunities to your competitors.

It’s time to consider an online marketing hub and how to spread your unique value through the many online platforms where your customers hang out.

All of this effort should focus on driving prospects back to your integrated website + blog. The result over time becomes a two way pushing out and pulling in process of attraction and credibility building to increase the perceived and monetary value of your business.

Marketing online today is a long-term marathon, not a sprint. And for every day that you wait to begin the journey, your competitor will pull further ahead of you.

So if you want to help and inform your website visitors, then convert them into qualified leads to grow your business, you need to create and consistently publish quality content to get there.

And you?

How’s your online marketing working for you? Are you realizing success? Or is there room for improvement? Let’s hear from you.

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