The wonderful folks at Hinge recently announced findings from their annual research study of online strategies for professional services firms. Part of the study identified 5 trends that will shape the future of professional services firms including (we paraphrase here):
1. Clients want more. They want experts. Today’s buyers of services want more than just a big brain to solve their problems. Specialists will rule.
2. Clients are changing how they search for solutions. Referrals matter, but not just from friends. Clients are increasingly using Google and other search engines to find YOUR firm. SE0, particularly in your bios is more important than ever.
3. Your website can make or break you. We’ve said this for years, especially for firms that are itching to build their expertise in specific areas. If you confuse a visitor with mixed or unclear messages, they’ll click off.
4. Trust is being built differently. We’re all crunched for time and spending four hours on a golf course is a little ‘old school’. TRUST IS BEING BUILT THROUGH EDUCATION AND SHARING EXPERTISE ONLINE! We couldn’t agree more.
5. Geography is collapsing. For firms that have done an excellent job of building expertise within practice groups or within the professionals they hire, clients no longer view a bricks and mortar solution to their business challenges. While face-to-face is important, firms are turning to video to help connect visitors emotionally with their firm which, in turn, builds trust.
We have a couple more to add to the list.
6. Know thyself. If your firm professionals cannot clearly articulate how your firm serves clients, you had better fix it.
7. Great lead development means creating a better lead generation machine. Chucking out an occasional newsletter doesn’t cut it anymore. Your firm needs a coordinated effort with your website, a blog, newsletter and original content to connect with a prospective client.
So what does this all mean? There will always be a place for the generalist. The marketplace is favoring firms that have a clear message and well articulated market positions. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. To read the entire study click here>