Let‚'s be honest. it's not enough to just be great at what you do. Whether you‚'re a lawyer, an accountant or a financial services professional, today, you need to establish yourself as an expert, and create a brand that sets you apart from the competition. This is especially true for professional service firms who offer intangible services, such as consulting, coaching, or financial planning.
Positioning, or the way you present yourself and your services, can make all the difference in attracting the right clients. Let's explore how leveraging your expertise and focusing on your unique value proposition can help you elevate your professional service marketing strategy, and build a strong brand that resonates with your ideal clients.
What is positioning - and why is it important for professionals?
Positioning is the process of defining exactly how it is you want your target audience to perceive your brand. Positioning is important for professional service businesses because it helps you stand out in a crowded market, gain work through referrals, and command higher fees.
When you position yourself well, you become known for a specific area of expertise, and clients seek you out for that expertise. This allows you to differentiate yourself from competitors who offer similar services, but may not have the same level of expertise or unique value proposition. Moreover, brand positioning is the way we can establish you as a thought leader in your industry.
A great example is one of our clients Shaw & Bunner Legal. As a firm they started as a personal injuries practice without a clearly defined brand positioning. As much as they were successful, the team ultimately wanted to attract more of the ‚Äúright‚Äù type of client, which for them are people injuried in the mining industry. By embracing a clear focus to their brand positioning they have been able to clearly differentiate themselves from competitors and attract more of the clients they want to grow their business.
Understanding your ideal clients
Before you can effectively position yourself, you need to have a firm grasp on who your ideal clients are. This involves identifying their needs, pain points, and challenges, as well as their goals and aspirations. You also need to understand their buying habits, decision-making processes, and preferred communication channels.
The goal is to identify buyer personas or profiles that represent your ideal clients. These personas should include demographic information, as well as psychographic information, such as values, interests, and behaviours.
Conducting a competitor analysis
Once you understand your ideal clients, you need to analyse your competitors. Who are they? What services do they offer? How do they position themselves? You also need to analyse their strengths and weaknesses, as well as any gaps in the market that you can fill.
Start by identifying your top competitors. Look for their unique value propositions, messaging, and branding. Identify what sets them apart from other similar businesses, and what gaps they cater to.
Developing a unique point of difference
Based on your market research and competitor analysis, you can start to develop your point/s of difference. By this we mean the aspects of your services that set you apart from your competitors, and resonate with your target audience. Your point of differences should be based on your expertise, as well as your ideal clients' needs and preferences.
You want to identify your core value-adders. These are the skills and knowledge that you possess that are in high demand and that you enjoy doing. This could involve offering a specialised service, targeting a specific niche, or using a unique methodology.
Crafting your brand messaging
Brand messaging is crucial for positioning your brand. This means the language and tone that you use to communicate your value proposition to your target audience. Your brand messaging should be clear, concise, and compelling.
We like to help our clients to start by developing a positioning statement. This is a short statement that summarises your unique value proposition and target audience. From there, you can develop key messages that support your positioning statement.
Creating a visual identity
Now we get to the fun part! You need to create a visual identity that supports your positioning strategy. This includes your logo, colour scheme, typography, and imagery. Your visual identity should be consistent across all marketing channels, from your website to your social media profiles.
Implementing your positioning strategy across all marketing channels
Once you've developed your positioning strategy and visual identity, it's time to implement it across all marketing channels.
Make sure that your messaging is consistent across all channels, and that your visual identity is used consistently. At Beyond Billables, we always make sure our clients are given a style guide and are totally across their visual identity. You can then develop content that supports your positioning strategy, such as blog posts, case studies, and testimonials.
Measuring the success of your positioning strategy
It's important to measure the success of your positioning strategy over time. This allows you to make adjustments as needed and ensure that you're achieving your marketing goals.
Start by identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your marketing goals. Then, set benchmarks for each KPI and track your progress over time. Use this data to make adjustments to your positioning strategy as needed.
The impact of strong positioning on professional service businesses
By leveraging your expertise and focusing on your unique value, you can elevate your professional service marketing strategy and build a strong brand that resonates with your target audience.
Remember that positioning is an ongoing process that requires continuous refinement and adjustment. As your business grows and evolves, your positioning strategy may need to evolve as well.
Is it time to position your brand expertly with Beyond Billables?
If you‚'re keen to figure out your brand positioning and have your clients see you as the expert authority, drop us a line!