Simons Says

What professional service firms need to know about SEO

Professional service firms still don’t rely heavily on their websites for new business – though the trend is in that direction and some do better than others.  However, even today an investment in a professional looking and well ranked website should provide ROI for a firm for three reasons.  First, nearly every prospect will go to a firm’s website as part of their due diligence process when making a decision on what firm to hire so you want to make a good impression.  read more…

Frog Soup and the Case for Change

Have you heard the parable of the woman who wants to make frog soup? The problem is that the frogs keep jumping out of the pot of boiling water. After some thought, she decides to put the frogs into cold water and then turn on the stove. The frogs stay in the pot as the water temperature slowly rises and eventually boils, making frog soup. read more…

Answers to the most urgent networking questions asked by young professionals

I have been giving a presentation on networking to young professionals for a couple of years now. I always feel good about motivating young people to try networking by encouraging them to focus on building their skills and confidence first knowing that building their networks will naturally flow from their continued efforts.  If they attend events thinking new clients will flow quickly, they will get discouraged and quit because their discomfort isn’t worth the lack of benefit. read more…

Setting Expectations is a Critical Aspect of Onboarding Clients

Professional services firms dedicate significant time and effort to winning over each prospective client.  Every new client is important, so it’s important to make clients happy early in the relationship.  At this initial stage, each interaction comprises a large portion of the total experience with your firm.   Whether from your website, email exchanges, the proposal, your team’s pitch meeting, an engagement letter, the receptionist answering the phone, etc., every aspect of your pitch and onboarding communications matter!  Later, when you’ve “won over the client” with consistently high quality advice and timely responses to requests, you’ll have a bit of leeway if a mistake happens.  Early on however, every detail matters as the prospect or client forms and builds their impression of your firm’s brand. read more…

Firing Clients:  How To and Why?

derail-firing-clientsIt has taken you years to build your firm’s client base.  Some clients you had to work hard to win and some practically fell in the front door.  Some are an exact fit for what your team does best – and others are not.  Some pay your current billing rates without discounts or write-offs, and some quietly get the best deal in town (maybe too good!).   In the lifespan of any firm, there comes a time when firing clients is the right thing to do.  But how do you decide which clients to let go, and what process should you follow to communicate your decision?  read more…

Crisis management is like jumping hurdles

Young athletic man making an effort while jumping hurdles and looking at the camera.What will you do when something happens and it’s not “business as usual”?  You’re going to feel like you’re jumping hurdles… as soon as you’re over one, another one is right in front of you.  It’s exhausting!  Here are seven ideas for you to consider when your firm experiences some negative attention from a lawsuit, a client problem, an attack from a competitor, or something else unforeseen. read more…

4 things to consider when creating content

creating contentYou’ve been told you need to create content in order to compete in today’s market. “Content is king!” everyone says. That’s true, but there’s a catch. Not all content is king. In order for content to be valuable, you need to ask yourself the following questions, before investing time in creating content. read more…

Mea Culpa and baby pics

Niagara Maid of the Mist

My family on the Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls.

It’s time to start using the past tense when referring to the summer… as sad as that is.  But here we are on the doorstep of Labor Day.  Which is a reminder that I’ve let time slip by without a blog post.  All I can say is, I’m sorry, mea culpa, and I’ll be back on track for September.  Until then, I’ll distract you with the same thing that distracted me this summer… my son, Jack.  True to form he has something in – or going in – his mouth in half of these photos!


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What do you think we should focus on?

What should we focus on?I got asked the question this month “What do you think we should focus on?”

Of course the answer to this depends on what your goals are!  You’ll all remember the famous scene from Alice in Wonderland,



One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
“Which road to I take?” she asked.
“Where do you want to go?” was his response.
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”

Here are a few goals my clients are working toward and the roads we’re on to get them there: read more…

The importance of graphic design in winning new clients

graphic design blogAs I have written about and expressed many times in conversation, one challenge of professional services marketing is that most of your clients and prospects don’t understand what you do or how you do it.  If they were being honest, they don’t want to know, they just want to have trust that hiring you help them reach their goals.

Since they don’t want to become subject matter experts in order to determine the quality of your work on its merits, they are forced to make a partially illogical leap between what they can see and understand, your marketing, and the quality of your work.
read more…

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