Rachel is Marketing Manager at Cal Partners and is a Chartered Marketer. She began working in marketing in 2007 and has a particular specialism in the professional services sector.
Differentiation in Professional Services - what’s your focus?
It can be a struggle to stand out from the crowd in the ever-growing and competitive professional services sector.
How can you make your firm stand out from the competition? Finding a strong differentiator can create competitive advantage but it is not easy to do, especially when there are so many firms offering the same or similar services. Many firms come up with a differentiator but it doesn’t actually differentiate them at all.
Examples of how to make your professional services firm stand out
1. Find your niche
If your firm appeals to a wide, more general audience, it can sometimes be harder work to stand out, so focusing on a specific target can reap rewards. Think about your specialisms, niche, a stand out sector, industry or demographic of clients you have. Start with a specific target audience that you can build on, making you the ‘go to’ expert for that audience whether this is age, location or sector based. Focusing on a demographic can differentiate you and help to grow your business.
2. Be a thought leader
Create content marketing, promoting regular educational content to highlight your expertise, establishing yourself as a thought leader and becoming recognised as specialists in your field. Speaking at events, conferences, webinars and live feeds, being active on social media, writing blogs, guides and whitepapers, all helps to generate visibility and build reputation.
3. Create partnerships
Finding partners that have a similar audience to you and aren’t competitors is another way to help differentiate and build your brand in a highly competitive market. Connect and collaborate with well-known and established businesses or relevant professional associations, for example, through joint events, projects or research.
4. Developing your online presence
Making sure that your website is at the top of its game is vitally important in today’s digital world. Being mobile friendly, having a good visitor experience and ranking highly on organic searches are all key factors. As well as having a strong social media presence and using a range of platforms such as video, webinars and other ways including chat bots and messenger, all help to make any engagement with you, from a range of channels, as user friendly and visible online as possible.
5. Client success stories
There is no better proof of your expertise than to get those you have helped to share their experience of working with you. Highlighting your successes through client testimonials and case studies and getting clients to sell your benefits is a great way to build competitive advantage. Make it easier for clients to refer work to you as well. Clients being able to share, comment or post through social media can all help to spread the word!
So, what is it that makes your firm stand out?