Selling professional services is tough. With no physical ‘product’ to demonstrate it is really hard to prove your unique expertise and set yourself ahead of the competition. Just saying you are ‘market-leading’, ‘cutting-edge’ or ‘quality-driven’ is not enough. There are hundreds of other companies in your field pushing the same empty buzzwords. How can you go further and impress your clients?
One of the best and most cost effective ways to get your business noticed is through authentic, well-written content that demonstrates your expert ideas and informs your clients. Whitepapers, articles, case studies, newsletters or books – all these materials can earn you credibility and give you a far greater chance of attracting new business.
- White papers: persuasive documents which describe business problems and how to solve them. Somewhere between a magazine article and an academic paper, these contain useful information and expert opinions. A well-written white paper promotes your company as a thought leader, helping to generate leads and close sales.
- Articles: get your opinion and ideas in print – on the web, in magazines, newsletters and blogs. Compelling ideas command readership and generate great exposure for your business.
- Newsletters and opt-in blogs: inform and educate your clients on a regular basis with valuable content. Generate fans who will buy your services and spread the word.
- Business books: the ultimate thought-leadership tool. Hard work, but definitely worth every bit of graft if you want to improve your brand, generate more clients and charge higher fees.
- Case studies: powerful sales tools that help you to capitalise on past success. They turn your claims in to evidence and open the reader’s eyes to what is possible if they work with your company.
- Your website: this is where your buyers can find all this content. It is the place that brings it all together. Great content should be at the heart of any web site.
Your clients and prospects need to be confident that you know what you’re talking about before they will buy your services. Jargon-laden marketing phrases are just spin. These days I think people want authenticity, not propaganda. They want to learn something; something about the real personality of your organisation; about your opinions. They don’t just want a list of marketing messages – that’s just empty rhetoric.
Write something informative that your clients will value; something that shows that you understand their issues and can solve their business problems.
Ditch the hype, good written content sells.
Further reading: for an analysis of the most over-used ‘gobbledygook’ business phrases see this article by marketing guru David Meerman Scott: Web Ink Now: The Gobbledygook Manifesto.