Social anxiety drives many professional service firms to generate shallow content in search of clicks and “likes”. Equally influenced by the fear-of-missing-out and search engine optimization, the resulting content relies heavily on memes, trending hashtags and lists-based articles that carries the expectation of clicks and visits. I want to suggest that kind of content is fake and attracts fake followers — people who will never partner with your team, or hire your firm on a project.
Take just a moment and think about your past projects.
Think of all the projects your firm completed in the last year — both the great projects and the ones that caused too many late nights — and mentally put them all into a pile. Now sort them, one by one, into categories by the kind of work your firm completed on each project. Be as specific as you can.
Properly Positioned for Take Off
There are a few good reasons why positioning your professional service firm as “full-service” doesn’t work. For one thing, it is impossible to be everything to everyone. Not only is it exhausting for your technical team, but you’ll find clients are more often disappointed than delighted. Clients need you to define in very specific terms what your firm can do for them.
Describing your firm as “full-service” runs counter to how the rest of the consumer-driven marketplace works. Think about it. As consumers, we choose to buy the best and most reasonable option in the marketplace that meets our primary need all the time, several times a day, each and every day. I’ll use example as an illustration: airline tickets.
Yes, your firm should probably be on social.
But not without first knowing what personnel resources you have available, how you want your firm to be known, the kinds of messages you want to share, and which platforms are a fit for your firm and your audience.
Take it one step further: The only reason your firm should be sharing on social channels is to differentiate your people, your services, and your expertise from every other firm in the marketplace. If you can’t do that, don’t post anything on social channels. It’s not worth it.
A mission statement should clearly communicate the reason your team works together. If it doesn’t, it’s just a statement without a mission and you should stop using it.
Most mission statements, unfortunately, are a waste of time and energy. The overwhelming majority are devoid of personality or corporate strengths, and completely ignore the unique reasons a company is in business. It’s just a flat document; a collection of platitudes that only begin to hint at the personality of the team who crafted it. Furthermore, clients and customers are seldom acknowledged, which is a sad commentary about where they are valued as source of revenue.
It isn’t always easy to advise clients on smarter strategies to market a business. Sometimes tough love is necessary to stop bad habits, change poor planning, and start thinking about the business in terms of client value. Iron sharpens iron, to be sure. And it can get messy before it gets better.
Don’t let that discourage you. Hearing the hard truth can be indispensable in making better decisions on how you position services to clients. You may already know the truth, but it carries significantly more weight when others say out loud the truths you’ve been avoiding. As the saying goes, it’s difficult to read your own label from inside the bottle. The challenge is not only being open to hear what others have to say, but getting your clients to candidly reveal the transformational comments that can improve your business.