It’s tough to stand out from your competition and keep great clients plus attract new ones. And it doesn’t help when professionals so often put their marketing communication efforts – and dollars – into making themselves part of the crowd rather than standing out.
Our recently released bench marking research found for a second year running that “competition” and “differentiation” were the top two challenges faced by Australasian law firms and the same holds true across other mature professional services segments like accounting and financial planning.
Too often, professional services firms build their marketing campaigns around “sameness” messages that do nothing to help you stand out professionally:
- we’ve been doing this a long time
- our people are highly qualified
- our professionals are friendly and helpful
- we are big, successful, and growing
- we have a great reputation
- we give great service.
Even if these communications get through and their messages make any impact, they only serve to make you and your firm part of the crowd of equally competent professional sources of advice, rather than stand out as a first choice.
Think about it:
- many firms and professionals can claim long histories in practice
- size doesn’t matter to everyone, and there are many big and successful firms around
- no professional would ever boast inadequate qualifications or a poor reputation
- who would offer unfriendly, unhelpful, sloppy service?
How to stand out professionally
If you want distinguish yourself from capable competitors, think about how what you do makes a difference to clients. Focus your messages around standout themes like:
- business problems you solve
- business opportunities you realise
- risks you reduce
- unique experience you offer
- your techniques or technologies which differ from alternatives
- return on investment in your services which you deliver
- results you promise
- differences your clients will notice in dealing with you
- value you create.
Avoid sameness with messages built on these themes which help prospective clients understand why you stand out from the crowd.