Companies are turning to online sources of information when seeking to be educated buyers of consulting services, according to an article by Braden Kelley. It is vital, therefore, as Mark Clemente details, for firms to seek to maintain a sophisticated online presence.
Power has shifted to the buyers of professional services
The reasons for this, as Kelley detailed, are rooted in how the internet has changed the relationship between professional services firms and their corporate clients. He explains that in the past — information “was scarce and external knowledge was valued by the client.” But now as information is so readily available — corporate buyers of professional services are – via their own research — amassing data and information once held by their professional advisors.
Companies have, therefore, “become less open to being sold consulting services and instead more focused on becoming buyers of consulting services”.
Thought leadership requires commitment and discipline
But as Kelley details — professional services firms are “struggling to identify and provide the content necessary to help them maintain (and possibly extend) their success in this new environment.” He argues that professional services firm tend to under-invest in thought leadership and consequently become vulnerable to competitors who do — missing out, therefore, on the revenue that would have resulted had that thought leadership been cultivated.
He argues that the value of thought leadership and those capable of creating it and facilitating the execution of a content marketing strategy — cannot be underestimated. And specifically — to do it well — as Carter Hostelley details — “treat your blog like it’s important” – “think like a publisher” – “make it about your target audience” – “blog often but keep quality high” — and “get other experts to contribute”.
Sophisticated thought leadership distinguishes professional services firms
With this information in mind, professional services firms can seek to distinguish themselves in a crowded marketplace of competitors by a commitment to carefully cultivating the best thought leadership posture they can.
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