Marketing is one word that means a lot of things. And marketing takes on a lot of responsibility in a professional services firm from branding to online marketing to coaching to revenue generation and client retention. Some marketing activities take a lot of time but don’t cost much money and some are expensive but are easy to execute. This latter bucket is where a lot of professional services firms get into trouble. Don’t fall into these five traps that will spend-down your marketing budget without much to show for your investment. (more…)
Next month I’ll be presenting on the topic of How the Fastest Growing CPA Firms Spend their Marketing Dollars at the MSCPA’s Practice Management conference. If you’re a CPA, I’ll hope you attend!
While the research this article (and presentation) is based on is from CPA firms, I believe the basic principles are true for all of professional services firms, so everyone, please, read on!
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
It 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? (more…)
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: (more…)
As a (new) working mother, I have a new appreciation for the value of time. I know you all do too, so this month I’d like to share one of my favorite ways to use LinkedIn to make your next one-on-one networking meeting a valuable use of your time. (more…)
It’s Thanksgiving week. A time for reflection and gratitude. I often use this week to begin to think back upon the past twelve months.
What was life like in November 2014? For me, much has changed! I am living in a new house and am only a few weeks away from welcoming my first child into the world. Professionally it has been an amazing year as well. I am grateful for all of my clients and supporters!
After a relaxing long weekend, I encourage you to think forward to November 2016. What do you want to have accomplished by then? (more…)
Recently I was reminded that sometimes I (we?) take for granted our understanding of a particular topic and think everyone is on the same page. When that topic is the work that we do, it can be confusing to hear it described incorrectly and, worse, it can lead to missed referral opportunities. For example… (more…)