Most public affairs advisors will be well aware of the importance of publishing articles to attract clients in the internet age. I’ve previously outlined the benefits of publishing articles to client development efforts for public affairs advisors – and the risks those advisors face if they are slow to adopt social media.
But beyond publishing, those advisors should also seek to merge content production with business development efforts to maximize results from a co-joined content and business development strategy.
To that end, here are 5 ways public affairs advisors can maximize their new client development efforts by closely merging their content efforts with their business development efforts:
- Research your market on a day-to-day basis — The needs of clients and the opportunities and dangers they are presented with change on a daily basis. Therefore, it is important for any public affairs advisory firm to closely monitor events not just as a means to serve existing clients – but also to help direct new client development efforts. Whatever your public affairs market and specialisms might be – there will be numerous opportunities and dangers for your prospective clients which change frequently – each presenting you with a new opportunity to reach out to discuss with that prospect how you might help them. Make sure your research reflects the newest developments and you’ll be as well prepared as possible to produce timely content and reach out to discuss these issues one-on-one.
- Use a variety of sources from which to glean information — Timely information about opportunities or dangers which are of importance to your ideal prospective clients will be available in a variety of places. Among the most important will be the public affairs specialists within your own firm. Ensure the firm regularly generates updated information from your own specialists to assess what they see as most important to your new prospective clients. Other sources include news, social media feeds, press releases, trade shows, actions by governmental bodies (legislative, regulatory, etc) — which will have an impact on your prospective clients. Turn this information into action items within your firm for the creation of custom blogposts, proprietary briefings for unique potential clients, talking points for firm specialists at industry events, and more.
- Use content for dual purposes — Many utilize blogposts or articles as a means to generate attention and interest from prospective clients. But go one step further. Utilize these articles to directly email prospective clients – or phone them – or seek them out in person at industry events – to initiative one-on-one conversations around how you might help them achieve their objectives with your help. Include the articles in those emails and using them as talking-points for calls.
- Always follow-up, often-times more than once — It’s vitally important to maintain a lead list of potential clients or existing clients you might seek to cross-sell – and don’t allow that lead list to be neglected. Review it internally on a weekly basis and commit to follow-up with potential clients you’ve already contacted – or are contacting for the first time. Persistence will pay off here – as you’re utilizing your up-to-date research to identify real client needs. And remember: contacting them is as much a help to them as it is to you..
- Join your business development lead list and your publishing calendar — Many firms bifurcate business development and content marketing when in fact these efforts should be as co-joined as possible. Write blogposts only when they are informed by research that indicates there is an existing or emerging client need that justifies it. Also, where you are or will reach out to a client via phone or email – use notes or memorandum from these outreach effort to create new articles for your firm blog.
By staying up-to-date on research and merging content production with business development, your firm will save time and effort in the client development process, and realize a greater return on these efforts with more new client engagements.
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