You don’t sell a product or a shiny new gadget that everyone is dying to get their hands on. You’re a professional service firm. You sell services. Your people are your greatest asset. Marketing a professional service firm is different than marketing for e-commerce or product-based businesses. But your website is still a key component of your sales strategy. Your site must help your target client understand you are the right fit for their needs. To do so, make sure it has these 5 key elements:
1. Straightforward Messaging
Be clear about who you are, who you serve, and what makes you different. Tell your prospects why you get up in the morning, why your organization exists, and what your employees and leadership believe you can accomplish. Do your due diligence and ask your existing clients why they work with you rather than your competition. You may be surprised by what they say.
Conduct internal interviews and compare those results to what your clients say. Check out our article on how to conduct a brand analysis. Once you know who your target client is, what you say becomes easy. Always write for your target client. It’s less about you, and more about them. Try to avoid industry jargon and talk to your clients like you would in a one-on-one meeting with them. Explain things in simple terms and make it easy for them to understand how you can help solve their pain points.
2. Clear Calls-to-Action
Be obvious about what you want your visitor to do when they get to your site. Ideally, feature a clear call to action prominently on each page, so people visiting your website know exactly what you want them to do.
Do you want them to sign up for your industry-specific newsletter? Add a sign-up form. Want them to reach out to your sales team? Put a photo and a button linking to the team member’s bio page. People don’t like to read, and they don’t like to guess what the next step should be. Don’t make it so that they need to sift through 10+ names of people and guess who to contact about their problem. Using key contacts can be extremely helpful in this regard. Don’t be afraid to have multiple calls-to-action as well. If you’re actively recruiting, put buttons and links in sidebars that go to the careers section of your site. Make it easy for visitors to apply by putting the form or button at the end of each job posting. Use the footer as an easy way to navigate to key areas of the site.
3. Obvious Expertise
Thought leadership content in the form of blog posts and whitepapers goes a long way to show that your people are the go-to experts in your industry. Be consistent in publishing valuable content for your target clients. Don’t be afraid to share answers to questions that your clients ask you.
Make a content marketing schedule and try and stick to it. Over the course of time, you’ll be building up a valuable bank of information that people will associate with your brand.
Highlighting projects that you’ve worked on in a case study format can be incredibly valuable. This allows you to tell the story of what problem you solved, how you did it, and the end result of working together. Using case studies can help prospects envision themselves in your capable hands. Many people visiting your site are looking to vet your firm to see if you’re a good fit. Case studies help people feel comfortable referring you and shortlisting you. For example, Bowditch’s practice pages include case studies at the end of the page as well as within the Experience tab.
4. “Social Proof” in Context
When you’re browsing a competitor’s website and see a testimonial from an industry expert you respect, or a CEO you’d love to land a project with, that’s social proof. If your prospects browse that website, they may be impressed by that testimonial. Essentially, social proof borrows third-party influence to sway potential clients.
Adding relevant testimonials directly into your service/practice pages helps prospects clearly visualize the results of working with you by building trust and showing value. We love to integrate testimonials in unique ways to help them stand out and be as eye-catching as possible. Here are a few examples: Homepage testimonial (see “What Our Clients Say” near the bottom of the page), a project page testimonial (see the red callout within the grouping of project photos), and a market page testimonial (see the green band near the bottom of the page).
Awards & Publications:
If your firm or some of your people have been nominated for awards, don’t be afraid to include them, tastefully, on your site. And write a post congratulating the winners, it’s nice to share and adds to employee morale. It’s really a win-win.
5. Your People!
As a professional service firm, you need to show your greatest asset, your people! The reason many people hire your company isn’t that you have the fanciest office building or a dramatic skyline view, it’s because of your teams’ expertise, professionalism, and genuine ability to care for their needs. When you showcase your people it serves 3 different audiences:
- Potential clients can see who they will be working with and can research individuals on your team to see if they’re a good fit.
- New hires can see if the firm values its people and has an open culture that they want to be a part of.
- Internally, people working at your firm feel valued as members of the team, and this supports a positive work environment and company culture.
To Wrap Up
The beauty of the web is that it’s always changing, you can always make adjustments as you go along. Here at Clockwork, we want to make sure you’re making the right first impression. How is your firms’ website doing with these 5 key elements? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram!