Professional Services Marketing Overview

Marketing a professional services business is based on two things: relationships and emotions. Your services are not tangible, they may be confusing to your audience, and you may not be local to your customers, so you need to build relationships with your prospects and customers. This requires emotion-driven stories, transparency, and correct timing.

Timing is everything for service-based businesses. To connect with your prospects and customers in a timely manner, use intent-based advertising to target prospects that are searching for your services as well as marketing automation to target repeat customers based on the customer lifecycle.

To convey your unique services and industry expertise, it’s important to convey how you do things rather than just what you do. This also builds credibility with your audience in a variety of formats, from your website to content marketing, and from your online reputation to your referral program.


Physical Trainers


Legal Services
Real Estate


Tax Prep
Personal Finance

Continue reading to learn how you can use digital marketing to target narrow segments of your audience and inform them with quick answers to their inquiries while leveraging intent-based advertising, email marketing, blog articles, social media, online reputation management, a referral program, and more.

Professional Services Marketing Foundation

Many customers seek your services because of a specific and potentially urgent need. It’s important to draw them in with emotional storytelling that addresses their pain points and your simple solutions (services) that solve them. This is the beginning of your customer relationships.

Once you’ve drawn them in, you need to build trust with your customers by showcasing how your services are convenient and easy to use, and that your customer support team is ready to help. This further improves the customer relationship, which only improves as they use your services, reach out to your helpful support team, and establish your service as a routine for their everyday life.


Market Research

The first foundational marketing initiative you must complete is market research. By determining your target audience and positioning within the competitive landscape, you can better determine how you truly benefit the businesses you serve. Whether you are launching a new business or starting a new marketing initiative, creating or revisiting your business’s market research can help you better serve your clients.


Your customers are busy and, because they often need a quick solution, your customers may purchase your services within a few hours or days. This makes the customer lifecycle short and the need to build trust quickly very important, which means first impressions of your business really matter. This is why marketing and sales must work together from the launch of your business. The best way to ensure your entire team is on the same page for your customers is to develop positioning and messaging.

Before you can narrow your messaging, you need to establish your positioning. This means you must first know exactly what you offer and then research what your competitors offer. These competitors will primarily be national businesses that offer similar services as yours, but may also include local businesses.

When you have a few listed, review their positioning by reviewing their website, business listings, social media pages, and possibly speaking to people you know who have used their services before. The purpose of this exercise is to establish where the competitors are positioning themselves in the market.

From there, perform a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis about at least three competitors. Take your opportunities and your competitors’ weaknesses to determine your positioning in the local market. What can you offer that your competitors can’t? What can your business improve to compete with your competitors?

Learn from these analyses to create a positioning statement and brand pillars, both of which will help you know what to focus on in your messaging and marketing efforts.

Tip: Professional services businesses must promote how they do things more than what they do. Depending on your services, don’t lead with what you do as it may confuse your potential customers at first. Focusing on your how can also differentiate you from your competitors if your services are very similar. Also, promote your company culture and what sets you apart from other companies that offer your services.


Before you can sell and market your services, you need to determine the best prices to sell them for. You have two options: competitive or value-based pricing. Competitive pricing compares your services to your competitors’ services and prices them accordingly. Value-based pricing is determined solely on the value it has to your audience. We recommend value-based pricing for all professional services businesses because your services are unique. Even if you have competitors offering similar services, you likely offer a different amount of value to your customers through your competitive differentiators.

It’s important to start off with a good pricing strategy in the marketplace because customers often complain when businesses change their prices. You don’t want to price too low and be perceived as cheap and less valuable than your competitors, but you also don’t want to price too high and alienate your ideal audience.

To develop your value-based pricing strategy, you need to do the math on how much it really costs you to offer your services (including overhead costs) and compare that to how many service packages you plan to sell this month and this year. You also need to research what your primary audience segments are willing to pay for your services.

When developing a value-based pricing strategy, we still recommend that you review your competitors’ pricing. You don’t necessarily need to be comparable because your value is different, but it is good to know where you stand in the competitive market, especially when it comes to price.

Tip: Add convenience to your pricing. Bundle services for convenient solutions and/or offer payment plans. These additional options give your prospects more choices, letting them feel in control as they begin to use your services, which improves the customer relationship as long as you’re transparent about your pricing.


Strategic Branding

Utilizing your positioning, you can create your branding foundation, which includes messaging and a visual branding strategy. Developing brand assets, such as your logo, helps tie your business’s offerings together, but they offer limited meaning without developing messaging guidelines, so don’t skip any of these foundational steps.


Once you know your positioning in the market, it’s time to establish your messaging guidelines. These guidelines will help all content sound on-brand, no matter which team member is creating them.

First, narrow your audience into segments, as narrow as possible. Then, determine what those audience segments need. Some needs may overlap based on your business, but there will likely be differences.

Based on these needs, similar and different, determine the best practices for promoting your positioning to each audience segment and how you should communicate with your audience overall. This will depend on your audience, your positioning, and how your business wants to sound. If you need ideas, look up “tone of voice adjectives.” From there, use those adjectives to develop your content tone and style. Provide your team with the do’s and don’ts for your messaging guidelines accordingly.

Because your customers likely experience a short sales cycle, you need to build trust with your prospects and build a desire for your services quickly. You can do this by being concise in your messaging; add tactics on how to be concise in your messaging guidelines. For example, “Use short, concise sentences. Avoid creating long pieces of content for prospects, but increase content length for customers when appropriate.”

Modern consumers care about brand values. Part of creating your messaging guidelines is determining how to promote your shared values (between your brand and your customers) with your customers. What is important to your customers? Why? How can you make a difference? Answers to these questions can relate directly to your services, to charitable organizations you support, or to how your business is run. This is where promoting your company culture can often come in if it relates to how you serve your customers.

Remember: Avoid using industry jargon in your messaging. Your audience likely doesn’t understand or want to learn your industry’s jargon, so use simple, easy-to-understand language for all content.


Conveying brand personality is also important to position your business appropriately. To set your brand apart from your competitors, conveying your brand personality and values in your messaging is key. These pieces will help your prospects and customers remember you.


After developing your messaging guidelines, it’s important to create visual branding that will resonate with your messaging. Together, your messaging and visual branding create your brand identity, helping your audience identify you in the competitive market over time––as long as it’s consistent. Together, they tell the story of your business, but good visual branding doesn’t need many, if any, words.

Visual branding evokes emotions. Often, when a prospect views your branding and connects with it, they want more; or, they immediately can tell that your brand is not for them based on your branding. This is why having a visual branding strategy is so important. Not only must it match your messaging and audience’s needs, but it also needs to represent your brand fluidly, across all projects and platforms.

Developing a visual branding strategy is very similar to developing messaging guidelines. You need to consider your business industry, unique services, and brand personality with the emotions you want to evoke. For most professional services businesses, you will want to focus on conveying a reputable, reliable, and trustworthy image through your branding. This strategy focuses on determining the logo, color palette, fonts, and types of images used for online and print pieces across all departments, but don’t stop there.

If you plan on plastering your logo on the side of a truck, putting it on a billboard, posting it on a large light-up sign in front of your building, or decorating your office accordingly, it’s best to include where your logo and other visual branding assets will be published, so you or your graphic designer knows what color schemes and sizes to use.

For some professional services businesses, you will want your branding to promote experience and expertise, which may include elegant and simple lines and typography, while others will want to convey convenience, which may include more playful shapes, colors, and images.


Once you know your visual branding strategy, it’s time to develop your assets. Common assets include a logo, a color palette, fonts, and types of images, but you may require additional assets based on your unique business needs.

As you develop your visual branding assets, determine whether those pieces feel like your brand. Do they convey the message you want them to, even without words? Also, remember to specify what pieces are meant for online or print publication, as well as the rules of use for both.


Collect your messaging guidelines and visual branding assets in one place that is accessible to your entire team. Then determine what pieces of collateral need to be updated, including website pages, business listings, brochures, business cards, social media page details, and more. Then create a plan to update a page or a piece at least monthly, if not weekly, until all pieces are updated.


Online Foundation

Modern professional services businesses need an online foundation before beginning marketing initiatives. This involves having a website that is easy to navigate, a digital presence so your prospective customers can easily find you, business listings to expand your digital presence, and a plan in place to manage your online reputation. All of these pieces focus on helping your customers refer others to your business, directly and indirectly.


The website of most small professional services businesses should have a three-level hierarchy. This simple hierarchy helps you organize your website so your audience can easily navigate it. On the first level (homepage), you must convey your solutions in a clear and concise way. By showcasing your services as solutions to your audience’s problems, you’re drawing them in, making it about them and their needs rather than about your business.

On the second level, which is usually the top-level items in your menu, display the impact of your services. This is the ideal place to showcase your case studies, use cases, testimonials, and customer reviews, which helps convey the real-world solutions you provide with your services.

On the third level, which can be accessed from the second level, it’s time to convey how your business works. This includes processes and the technical approach used to perform your services. Just be sure to use your messaging guidelines so you don’t get too technical.

In order to limit your web pages to three levels, you must drill down your website content. This also helps your audience, as they are likely busy and want quick information to determine whether your services will meet their needs. Having your website follow this simple hierarchy helps your audience navigate not only your website but also helps them navigate through the customer journey with your business, which often begins when they visit your website. In this manner, as they click through each level, they are diving deeper into the customer journey.


In addition to having a solid website that your audience can use as a resource, it’s important to lead to that website from a variety of platforms. Social media and business listings are important (see Social Media in Lead Nurturing) to build your digital presence because your business largely serves customers outside of your immediate local area (or you’re a remote team).

Without a local community connection, you need to join and create online communities; however, having a digital presence is more than creating a profile or listing on every possible site available to your business and your industry. Instead, it’s important to use only the most relevant and essential social media and directory sites to showcase your business. These listings must be established and maintained over time, which will help create and maintain a positive reputation online.

Be careful not to spread too wide on this, since the role of the digital presence is primarily to convey a positive reputation, convey core messaging, and convey that the business is active. Having too many social media pages and business listings makes it hard to manage over time, which can negatively impact your reputation if prospects presume an inactive or outdated page means an inactive business.


One of the best ways to help your audience find your business and your website are through business listings. Popular business listings for most industries include Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. There are also industry-specific and location-specific business directories, most of which allow you to create a business listing for free. Having your business information listed on multiple business directories helps your audience find you when the listing matches the intent of the business directory.

Tip: For many business directories, you can showcase a service area instead of an address on your business listing.

To create your business listings, you first need to collect basic information about your business, including business name, business type, website URL, contact email and phone number, logo, and a basic description of your business. Then, you must distribute these across business directories that are appropriate for your business and industry. To do so, you can either use third-party businesses that offer citation building as a service or you can manually create them.

Which route you choose will depend on how many directories you believe would benefit your business (and what directories your competitors are already on) as well as how much time you have to dedicate to this process. Most SaaS companies that offer citation building are available on a monthly subscription basis, so choose one based on what other services you need. Or seek out a marketing agency, such as SharedTEAMS, to perform this task for you.


Customer stories, through online reviews, testimonials, and case studies, can help establish trust and an emotional connection with your prospective customers. This customer-generated content can change the opinions of prospective customers because customers trust other customers the most. This is why professional services businesses need to not only request testimonials and reviews but also need to manage their online reputation.

While anyone can review your business on most business listings or social media pages, most people only do so if they were really wowed by your services or were really upset with your services. Negative reviews happen to everyone, which is why it’s so important to develop a strategy to monitor and improve your online reputation. This strategy will involve two things:

  • A way to ask your customers to review your business
  • A plan on how to respond to negative and positive reviews appropriately

When asking your customers to review your business, you can do so in person, in an email, via text messages, or in other ways. There are also platforms that automate this process for you, sending emails and texts on your behalf.

Online Reputation management

ORM generally starts with your Business Listings. You will send customers to your Business Listings (Google My Business, Yelp, and industry-specific listings) so they can leave your business a review. Prospects will read these reviews, so you need to review them, too. When you do, respond to each one, whether it’s positive or negative. If it’s negative, try to take the conversation off of that platform by encouraging them to email or call you (or you can email or call them first). This way, even negative reviews can promote how customer-focused your business is by showing prospects how you resolve issues.

In addition to monitoring and responding to reviews on Business Listings, ORM involves managing your entire online reputation, which includes random posts and comments across the internet. Monitoring your online reputation gives you a sense of your overall reputation, online and offline, which can help you know how your services are benefitting your customers as well as opportunities for improvement.

There are many tools that can help you monitor your online reputation. One free tool that many small businesses use is Google Alerts; create alerts for your business name and service names, if applicable, to monitor your brand mentions on any platform.

Brand Sentiment

When reviewing your brand’s online reputation, it’s beneficial to view your brand sentiment. This narrows down to positive, negative, or neutral. The sentiment is the overall view of your brand from all online mentions. The goal is to have a positive sentiment, which doesn’t mean all reviews, posts, and comments are positive, but instead that most are. This positive view or sentiment shows that your customers and industry have a positive view of your business, which is critical to success.

If your sentiment is negative, then you need to resolve that with ORM, so start monitoring and responding to negative reviews, posts, and comments. If your sentiment is neutral, then your audience doesn’t really have an opinion about your business, which means not enough people know about it yet.

Your sentiment is heavily influenced by your social media program, so start there to improve it by sharing quality content that your audience cares about.

To begin your sentiment analysis for free, use Social Buzz (you need to pay to enable monitoring, but you can do searches for free) or Social Mention.

digital marketing

Audience Foundation

Connecting with your audience online is critical to your business’s success. To reach your prospects online, in addition to your digital presence initiative, you can leverage your happy clients’ experiences through a referral program, which helps you focus on your clients’ successes and stories above your business. If you do meet prospects, customers, and business partners in person, professionally, and informally, a collateral package can help you inform them on the fly.


Once you have your visual branding foundation created, it’s time to develop a collateral package for your business, including business cards, a brochure, and a flyer. These assets are critical for many professional services businesses because they help inform and connect prospects, customers, and partners with your brand and team, even if you send them digitally (see Partners).


Go one step beyond online reputation and further capitalize on the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing by developing a referral program. This can also be called a loyalty or rewards program, but whatever you call it, this program will benefit your customers and encourage them to inform their professional friends about your business and services.

A referral program largely offers discounts, free services, or another benefit in return for a number of customer referrals. For example, if you have high-priced services, then encourage a one-for-one referral program where if one of your customers refers one friend and they sign up for your services, give them both a discount on their next service or time period of service, such as a month. If you have lower-priced services, you could follow the same format but offer a discount after five referrals resulting in new customer acquisition.

If your referral program is not bringing in new leads, go straight to the source and ask your customers why they haven’t taken advantage of the offer. You might find out that the benefit of the program is too small, the effort it takes to receive the benefit is too great, or maybe they just didn’t know about the program. Whatever you find out from your customers, take the feedback back to the team and modify the program to better serve your customers.


In addition to receiving referrals from your customers, reach out to businesses you trust that serve the same audience but in a different capacity. Create a referral agreement with one or a few of them to say that you both will recommend the other when the need arises. Most agreements entail providing a recommendation with a business card, collateral piece, or email.

The level of effort the partner offers in the referral process (and you for their business in return) is minimal. This takes advantage of word-of-mouth marketing because it will help you reach people in certain circles in different locations, whether those businesses serve only one city or the entire U.S.

Tip: When you enter a referral agreement with another business or business professional, include your business card and collateral pieces. Then, when they provide you with theirs, be sure to have at least business cards on hand to give their potential prospects.

Professional Services Audience Targeting

When people have a problem, they often ask Google for the answer, as well as directory listings and social media. To let consumers know you have a solution to their problem with your services, you need organic strategies as well as advertising.

Advertising a professional services business combines brand awareness initiatives and brand promotion. Digital advertising leverages geo-specific targeting, which not only focuses on your target areas but also helps you gather data on who your ideal customer is. (This is really important because you can leverage both local geo-targeting [e.g. you know Seattle consumers love your services!] and national geo-targeting [because you sell your services throughout the U.S.]) Part of the strategy will be analyzing who is searching for your service and who might be interested in it as well. The majority of your advertising efforts will target people who are looking for a solution to meet an immediate need.

Over time, you will fine-tune targeting on all paid advertising platforms and researching your competition to understand why they’re successful or what they might be lacking that you could take advantage of. You will learn ways to lower ad spend and utilize the best keywords by looking at the search term query report to shape the correct traffic to the website, split testing ad copies to improve ad performance, and researching long-tailed keywords to compete with competitors’ ad spend. All of this is an effort to reduce cost, capture your competitors’ customers, increase ROI by zooming in on high-converting customers, and to further expand your business.

Advertising Crop

Advertising Channels

There are many advertising channels for you to consider, but it’s important to narrow in on the platforms that perform the best for professional services businesses. Overall, social media platforms are going to be great for brand awareness. Google and Bing ads are going to be your best option for attracting businesses who are looking to buy services.


Utilizing Google and Bing ads can help put your business in front of customers who are shopping with intent. To do this, use targeted keywords that have high intent and offer a solution to the user’s problem within the ad.

For Google Ads, you have the option to choose to use the Search Network or the Display Network.

Search Network ads can help you target high-intent keywords. They look like text ads on the search results page to help people go further in the buying cycle.

One opportunity for professional services businesses that is unique to the Search Network is to encourage your audience to reach out and contact your business directly through call-only ads, as well as call and message extensions. This is good for encouraging prospects to schedule appointments or consultations.

Display Network ads typically show ads to people who are still in the “research” phase of the buying cycle. They can show ads on other websites with a topic related to your business, or to people who show an interest in your product or service. They can also show ads to people who have already visited your website in order to bring them back while they are researching. Using the Display Network, you also have the option to create new audiences to show ads to people who have similar traits.

You’ll be able to easily remarket to any visitor who interacts with your business without asking for their contact information because you’ll be able to place your ad on other relevant websites that they visit.


If your business targets big decision-makers of companies, even outside of a work capacity, then your business may want to utilize LinkedIn because you can advertise specifically based on job titles, company size, industry, skills, and more. Professional services businesses in the financial industry will likely see good ROI here.

It’s important to note that since your audience is likely not actively searching for your services – as they would be on Google or Bing – they will be early in the buying cycle, and thus conversion rates are lower on LinkedIn than they are on other platforms.

However, LinkedIn has many unique benefits compared to other social media platforms. Not only can you target your audience by company, job title, industry, and more, but you can also layer multiple targeting options to reach the ideal customer.

LinkedIn ads are beneficial for lead generation efforts because you can collect prospect information directly on the platform as well as promote free estimates or consultations.

There are multiple ad types on LinkedIn:

  • Sponsored content ads are similar to “boosted” posts. They are made to feel like posts from the company’s own page, which are a good option for strengthening the company’s brand awareness.
  • Text ads are similar to the ads shown on Google or Bing and are featured in the sidebar. These ads are smaller and less prevalent than the other ad types but may provide a cheaper source of clicks.
  • Sponsored InMail ads are unique to LinkedIn. These allow marketers to send personalized messages directly to a person’s LinkedIn inbox. This ad type is not ideally used as the first touchpoint but is great for re-engaging prospects who’ve already interacted with the business.

When it comes to choosing which types of LinkedIn ads to use, consider your goals. Sponsored content ads and text ads are great for the initial outreach to decision-makers of companies in the industry you want to target but don’t expect many direct purchases from these ads. Sponsored InMail ads work best as part of a remarketing strategy.

LinkedIn advertising does come with a few minimums that all advertisers must spend:

  • $10 daily budget per campaign
  • $10 total budget per campaign (this is optional for Sponsored Content)
  • $2 bid for CPC or CPM on Text Ad campaigns

LinkedIn advertising also has a minimum bid for Sponsored Content campaigns, but the exact amount for this ad will depend on the audience that you’re targeting.

FACEBOOK & Instagram

Utilizing Facebook and Instagram ads enables you to spread awareness of your brand to virtually everyone in a specific location, if you want, and target people at a very granular level by leveraging Facebook’s robust demographic data of all their users. No other social platform allows you to target with this sort of sophistication.

Facebook and Instagram ads are beneficial for lead generation efforts because you can collect prospect information directly on the platform as well as promote free estimates or consultations.

web development

Targeting Methods

When it comes to targeting your ideal audience through advertising, you will want to use a mixture of demographic, keyword, geographic, interest, and device targeting.


If you don’t know the demographics of your audience, then you must first collect data. After you collect enough data, you can see which audiences (by demographic) bring in the most traffic and are fulfilling the current marketing objective. It’s best to have a diverse reach for your advertising while also having the highest spend (bid) on the audiences that are fulfilling your objective. Do this by lowering the bid significantly for the audience that is bringing only about 20% of the results.


Start with keywords with at least mediocre search volume and keyword difficulty, and have a low cost per click (CPC). If your business typically has a high CPC, like real estate, you may need to start with long-tail keywords to get results with a low monthly budget. Then, group all relevant keywords together in the same categorial ad group to facilitate a higher ad relevance score. Each ad group should have 5-10 keywords for small-budget accounts. In some rare cases, it might make sense to have 10-15 keywords in an ad group.

When using keyword targeting, it’s vital to optimize the keywords used on an ongoing basis to get the most cost-effective ROI. Start by updating the negative keyword list by viewing the search term report, search for keywords that are bringing in bad traffic (these are peripheral, low-intent, and irrelevant keywords), and utilize the keyword planner to add more high-intent positive keywords (these are typically best added as an exact word or phrase match).


For keyword targeting, you want to maintain a quality score between 7 and 10, ideally. However, in some rare cases, this is not possible due to some industries being blacklisted under Google’s hidden, strict guidelines. A quality score of 1-3 is only okay if it’s not for a high-intent keyword or one that is bringing in most of the good traffic to the business.

You can increase your ad rank for the most important keywords by increasing the quality score and max bid. You can increase the quality score by trying to increase the expected clickthrough rate (CTR), ad relevance, and landing page experience.

Pro tip: Google secretly keeps a blacklist of certain industries where the highest quality score you can get is 4-6. Sometimes you can get lucky to increase this number—say, for example, from a 4 to a 6 quality score—by talking directly with a Google representative to ensure that you’re running a legit business. An example would be the word “Botox.”

Search Impression Share: Throughout this process, you will want to keep in mind search impression share (IS) at the keyword and at the campaign level (budget search IS). Use data of “search IS” with data of “lost-search IS.” For example, low-search IS, high-lost search IS, and low-search IS (at the campaign level) are clear indications that your bid for the keyword needs to be higher to stay competitive. If this is a high-intent keyword with a high conversion rate, then you need to allocate your budget appropriately to increase the search IS for this keyword. Adjustments should be made on a case-by-case basis, but overall, you will want to pause lower-performing keywords and increase spend on high-performing keywords. Using this tactic, CPC will go up, but in the end, because you know that a high-intent keyword has a high conversion rate, the cost will be offset by the potential increase in profits.

Bad Actors: One last thing to consider are bad actors, which are people who purposely click on your ads to drive up the cost. This is typically coming from competitors. If this does occur, you need to speak with a Google representative to get these bad actors filtered out of your ad spend.


Try to avoid visitors “interested” in the location to prevent any traffic outside the country or unnecessary traffic. If the business covers all 50 states, then input all 50 states individually. If the business is local and has a physical location, then set a small radius around the physical store (about a 1- to 10-mile radius) and try to include locations individually at a granular level, such as cities, zip codes, counties, etc. Be sure to choose one type, such as zip codes only. Exclude locations in rare scenarios where the general population of a geographic location is negative towards your business or laws do not favor the business.


Start with the observational option to see the potential for an in-market audience. Don’t be afraid to split test targeting vs. observation.


Hour-Day Strategy: Adjust bids by day first, then by the hour. Increase bids where there is a higher probability of conversion to occur, and lower bids otherwise.

Ongoing Optimization: Make bid adjustments in increments of 5%. Justify bid adjustments with conversion data, at least 100 clicks, and at least 1-1.5k impressions. Depending on the business, you may want to exclude bids, if, for example, the business is getting phone calls at 3:00 AM, which is more than likely irrelevant to the business.


Users among various devices behave very differently. Increase bids where there is a higher probability of conversion to occur and lower bids otherwise.

Advanced Bid Adjustment Strategy: If the business receives calls regularly, then you may want to make bid adjustments for call extensions. Observe the data collected first before making any bid adjustments.

director and team developing a strategy

Campaign Optimization

Once you know what advertising channels you’re using, who you’re targeting, and how, it’s important to optimize your ads and strategy. You will optimize your first campaigns and continue optimizing campaigns as you continue your advertising program.


Understand the psychology of the customer and what services you can offer them. Mention the pain points or problems they would be searching for. Offer a solution that your service provides and the unique selling proposition for why they should choose you over your competitors. Act like you’re their best friend in the headline. Benefits should be stated first, then your features or free offer second. This will help build their trust and persuade them to click your ad on impulse. Be sure to use calls to action that are very specific to your business, such as “reach your financial goals now” or “protect your home from natural disasters.”


Since your customers are not making purchases directly on social platforms, ad copies must vary on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Use varying content to spread brand awareness and collect data. As you do so, you need to split-test various ad copies and pay very close attention to your demographic metrics to get a better sense of who your high-converting audience segment is.

With a larger budget, split test 3-4 ad copies. With a smaller budget, split test 2-3 ad copies to collect enough data within 30 days or so. Headers are expected to have the most impact but split test everything from ad text, phrasing (e.g. fun, catchy, negative first, cute, or emotional), benefits, offers, features, unique proposition, etc. It really depends on who your audience is, and that’s why you need to split test to understand who your high-converting customer is, and what they are likely to respond to.

Pause your lowest-performing ad copy (do not edit it!), and replace it with a fresh one that is modeled after the best-performing ad. I want to emphasize not editing the ad copy if it’s low-performing because you do not want to convolute the data when you try, or especially someone else tries, to analyze it.


Converting prospects who click on your ads will typically happen on your website, which is why optimizing your website is just as important as your paid advertising strategy. (50% of all searches are done on mobile, so your website needs to be mobile-responsive in order to optimize for more conversions.) If your business takes calls, then the landing page should have a big phone number at the top that is visible. Your website as a whole should be easy to navigate, even on your landing pages. Your website should mention testimonials, accolades, or any other kind of social proof that supports the legitimacy of the business. Each page of your website should state the unique selling proposition of your business. Make your contact information easy to find. Include social buttons to help build your organic ranking.

Remarketing is one of the most powerful tools that you can leverage in online advertising and it’s a feature built into all platforms. Building custom audiences and lookalike audiences is a must when extending your reach, and optimizing the conversion rate and cost. You need to have conversion tracking installed so you can analyze the data on behavior and website performance.

Also consider seasons and holidays that might offer great opportunities for promotions, discounts, limited-time offers, etc. However, holiday ad placement can be competitive, so it might benefit your marketing efforts to begin holiday or seasonal advertising before peak times.

Keep in mind that your conversion strategy should include not just your website and ads, but also your email marketing program, opt-in landing pages, and more.


Utilize remarketing for Google and Bing ads. You can build custom audiences based on prospect behavior on your website. After collecting data for a couple of weeks or at least until you have enough results, you’ll also want to optimize based on the hour and day of the week. Lastly, you’ll be updating your negative keyword list to refine that high-quality custom audience.


Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer the same features available on Google Ads and Bing, but the demographic and interest-based targeting on social media is a lot better. Split testing is key, especially for Facebook ads, because you’ll be able to take full advantage of Facebook’s algorithm when you split-test different audience groups to figure out the best combination that leads to the highest quality of conversions.

For LinkedIn specifically, target audiences at a granular level, such as by industry, job title, company, and more. The type of conversions will depend on the business marketing objective. Split test different demographics, geolocations, etc., to zoom in on the high-converting traffic.

Optimizing Facebook, specifically, includes swapping the ad copies, testing the ad copies, and testing the ad sets, as well as creating a custom audience or lookalike audience and continuing to track custom conversions.

Swap Ad Copies: Facebook’s algorithm favors ads with fresh ad copy, so be sure that your ad copy is consistently updated. Be sure to use a similar theme to continue to receive similar results. Overall, this will lower the advertising cost.

Split Test Ad Copies: Split testing ad copies is important for optimization.

Split Test Ad Sets: Use different segmented audiences to fine-tune and discover the best segmentation that is going to give the right balance between conversions and cost.

Custom Audience/Lookalike Audience: Analyze and make adjustments as needed to increase the performance of lookalike audience targeting and custom audience retargeting.

Custom Conversions: Keep tracking custom conversions to understand important KPIs of the business. Eventually, after analyzing the data and making performance adjustments for a few months, switch the campaign objective to optimize for conversions. You will need to justify this switch after analyzing and optimizing results (or conversions) and cost.


Pay close attention to your website performance because it’s as important as your Google Ads performance; website performance can refer to load time speed, bounce rate, time per session, etc. One of the most common mistakes businesses make towards digital marketers is wrongfully blaming them for poor performance on campaigns and advertising when their website is poorly optimized for conversions. You can bring the highest quality traffic to the website at the lowest cost, but all that doesn’t matter if they cannot convert due to the website limitations.

Professional Services Lead Nurturing

Professional services businesses need a strategy when they communicate with prospects and customers in order to build relationships with them in a consistent manner. This strategy should be centered around providing content that meets their needs. When they ask questions (via Google search or to your customer service team), what is their intention behind the questions? Creating communications assets (content, responses for your customer service team, etc.) that respond to their intent will help build relationships with them, often quickly. When customers trust you, they are more likely to purchase your services.

Many professional services businesses are tempted to focus on industry terms when they talk about their business, but this often confuses customers. Instead, it’s important to discuss the problems and challenges your business solves through your solutions (services). When creating content, it’s vital to speak directly to your audience and create content they will understand. Often, customers care about how your business works in addition to how your services work. This means your communications efforts must convey reputability and will focus on customer testimonials and reviews, complete business transparency, and easy-to-understand solutions.

The communications strategy for every professional services business should evolve with the business, the customers’ needs, and the industry. To do this, it’s important to monitor how prospects and customers interact with your content. This is where analytics comes in on all platforms—your website, social media pages, and email marketing account. Since lead nurturing efforts are primarily about content, it’s important to constantly monitor what content is read, viewed, and liked by your audience. When content is read and liked, take note for future social media posts, blog articles, emails, and more. When it doesn’t, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this content clear?
  • Is this content focused on one topic and purpose?
  • Is this content attractive? Consider the vocabulary, images, videos, etc.
  • Is this quality content?
  • Does this content benefit my audience in some way? Education, entertainment, etc.
  • Is this content served in a format that my audience prefers?

Email Marketing

Professional services businesses should utilize email marketing to personalize communications and automate processes. The best way for you to utilize email marketing is to create newsletters and automated email sequences. It’s also very important to segment your audience based on where they are in the customer journey in order to send the right message to the right people at the right time.


When you create your email address for your email marketing program, use your domain (this builds trust) and get creative, as long as it fits in your messaging guidelines. For example, try [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected]. The key is to create an email address for each section of your sales and marketing efforts, so your customers can keep each aspect of your business separate in their email according to their personal preferences. e.g. [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected]. Plus, if they unsubscribe to your marketing emails (or mark them as spam), for example, they’ll still receive transactional emails.

This setup is critical, so be mindful of this decision and get feedback from your team before setting up the email addresses and email marketing account. You want these email addresses to be used by your customers and prospects, so be sure to include that note in your emails, too. Then, be sure to assign team members (or add it to your to-do list as a solopreneur) to monitor each email account so you can provide customer service through these avenues.

Tip: Avoid using [email protected] or any free email address (e.g.,, as they reduce your overall trustworthiness to customers. They also show customers that you don’t want to communicate with them via email, showing them that email is only a one-way ticket for your sales and marketing efforts. Don’t make these mistakes. Make your email addresses friendly so your customers feel comfortable communicating with you via email if they need your assistance. (Most customers prefer email communications, so let it be two-way.)

As a small business, you will likely want to say that your emails are from your Business Name. Typically, only celebrities can get away with being recognized by using their First and Last Name or Name from Business Name. However, insurance agents and similar professionals may be the exception to this.

Tip: If you’re unsure of what sender name to use, A/B test. Then, once you have your winner, be consistent. Lacking consistency will only confuse subscribers and may lower your open rates.


Using an email marketing platform is important to organize subscribers, review analytics, and automate your business’s email marketing program. Email marketing cannot be done effectively in Gmail or Outlook. It’s best to start by using a free email marketing platform, such as Zoho Campaigns, Mailchimp, MailerLite, SendPulse, or Sendinblue.

There are also industry-specific platforms available. Strategically, there are no big differences between each platform. The important thing to do is to choose a platform and start creating and sending emails and gathering subscriber emails. Once you do gather subscribers, it’s important to organize them in some way, either in different lists or by tags. This will not only help you send better campaigns to each audience, but it will also help you transfer lists to a different platform if you decide to use a different one later on.


Professional services businesses should never pay for an audience. Instead, they should create a simple system to request a prospect’s or new customer’s email address. This includes lead magnets and sign-up forms on your website, appointment creations, and account creations. The key is to segment prospects and customers so you can send them different email content that relates to their unique needs. This helps you better serve them wherever they are in the customer journey.


Lead magnets encourage people to subscribe to an email list. Subscribers give up their email addresses, and in return, businesses give them a lead magnet, such as an ebook. The format of the lead magnet will depend on the business’s services and what its customers could benefit from having. Nowadays, people guard their email addresses, so businesses use lead magnets to encourage people to sign up for their marketing emails. If a subscriber is willing to do that to receive the lead magnet, they are already interested in that business.

Other lead magnet ideas you can utilize include:

  • Assessments or quizzes
  • Guides or reports
  • Checklists
  • Financial calculator
  • Videos
  • Template
  • Resource List
  • Calendar or Planner
  • Tutorial (PDF or video format)
  • Discount
  • Strategy session or consultation


Newsletters can be used by professional services businesses to maintain contact with customers, stakeholders, and partners. These are often used on a monthly or quarterly basis to keep your audiences in the loop about your business. The content included depends on the intention of the emails themselves. Each email must have a purpose; if an email does not have a purpose for your business and a benefit to your audience, it does not need to be created and sent.

Most emails are opened on a cell phone, which means campaigns developed solely for large computer screens are often useless on a small screen. Simple, mobile-friendly emails that are responsive are more effective than immaculately designed campaigns that aren’t responsive, so businesses should be sure to use a simple layout and test all emails on multiple devices (or use a service like Email on Acid) before sending them out.

Within most email marketing platforms, businesses can see what devices subscribers are using to view each email. Combined with testing, you can ensure that every email looks good on those devices.

Depending on the business and services offered, your business will want to showcase long- or short-form content within your emails. The length of the content depends on the intent of the email. If an email’s purpose is to provide a transactional purpose, such as confirming an appointment or sending a digital receipt, the content should be very short. If an email’s purpose is to provide an informative purpose, the content can be longer.

For example, a Welcome email with a lead magnet can be short, but a financial advisor’s year-in-review newsletter may be longer.


Newsletters primarily educate and engage subscribers on a recurring basis, such as weekly or monthly, to help keep your brand top-of-mind with your subscribers. Newsletters are a great place to showcase customer reviews, blog articles, service updates and launches, and more. Typically, newsletters are longer emails with multiple sections and calls to action.

Newsletters should follow the same format each time so subscribers can recognize them. Be sure to test frequency as well as send days and times to see what works best for your subscribers, and then be consistent for most of your newsletters.

To start, send a monthly newsletter after your audience has received a Welcome email (see Automated Email Sequences for more information on Welcome emails).

Tip: Make your newsletter about the inside scoop on your services. Let your email subscribers be the first to know anything about your services.


In addition to regular newsletters, we recommend sending promotional emails as needed. These are one-time emails that promote a product or service launch, company news, sale, contest, survey, or something else. Typically, promotional emails promote one thing with one call to action.

When sending promotions, you can increase the frequency (e.g. daily for three days for a three-day flash sale) and change the send days and times of the emails to align with your sale or launch.

When you do send promotional emails, you may benefit by using scarcity marketing tactics. This means you showcase a limited time frame of the sale. When using this tactic, only promote the limited time frame of a sale if you are not going to extend it. Scarcity marketing can increase the urgency and effectiveness of a sale when you do it with honesty and integrity.

Tip: When determining whether to include a promotion in a Newsletter with other updates or in a separate Promotional Email, consider how big the news is that you’re sharing. If it’s time-sensitive or you want to maximize click-throughs, send one or a few Promotional Emails. You can also tease a promotion in the Newsletter you send before the promotional email, if time allows, and on social media to drum up excitement.


Automated email sequences (also called sequenced email campaigns, email automations, and drip campaigns) are ideal for professional services businesses because you can create them in advance, turn them on, and they automatically send to your subscribers.

Automated email sequences can be time-based or trigger-based. Time-based emails are scheduled in advance at a specific time. Each email in the sequence is sent at a specific time interval. (For example, email 1 is sent immediately after a subscriber is added to the list, email 2 is sent one week later, email 3 is sent one day after that, etc.) This type of sequence is ideal for sending onboarding sequences to inform your new customers how your business works, what they can expect when working with you, and recommendations after your team performs the requested services.

Trigger-based email sequences are based on triggers, meaning when a subscriber opens an email or clicks on a specific link within an email, they are “triggered” to receive a specific email based on their open or click (or lack thereof). These triggers show your subscriber’s behavior, so it helps them see more relevant content based on their actions and preferences. Trigger-based sequences are often more complicated than time-based sequences because they offer more options within the sequence, but they deliver a more unique experience for each subscriber based on their behavior. Emails can also be sent based on non-activity. By delivering a more relevant user experience to your subscribers, open and click rates, and purchases or appointments are likely to increase.

Common uses for automated sequences are lifecycle emails, such as:

  • Welcome sequence with a lead magnet
  • New account confirmation with information on how to “get started” (also called an onboarding sequence)
  • Account anniversary
  • Lapse in activity
  • Upsell opportunities

Email sequences take the prospect or customer on a journey to better understand the business and services provided.

The length of an automated sequence depends on the content included in it. And the content in the sequence depends on the customer or prospect journey. Based on what they need to know, you can determine what content to include and link to, and how many emails to create.

Tip: Each email should have one call to action, so let your calls to action determine how many emails you create. Or, if you have one call to action for most of your emails (perhaps after a lead magnet), then allow your content to determine the number of emails.

The key is to integrate your other communications assets into your email marketing efforts. Use your ebook, for example, as a lead magnet on a landing page on your website. Then, in the first email in the sequence, give them the ebook as a download. From there, take them on a customer journey using your blog articles, case studies, and other content.

Tip: Creating fresh content is not necessary for your email marketing. Instead, repurpose other content, such as blog content. Your customers will appreciate the guidance in their inboxes.


Email Design: When a business uses both marketing and transactional emails, it’s best to have the same basic look for all emails to offer a better customer experience to each subscriber. It can be jarring if the latest campaign emails are on brand and inviting, and then the “Thank you for your purchase” email is colorless and stale. When beginning an email marketing program, you should unify the look of all emails. Yes, the look can change over time and adapt for individual campaigns, but there still needs to be cohesiveness among all emails so subscribers know it’s your business within the first one-second glance.

Segment Subscribers: Segmenting your subscribers is a great way to personalize messages to groups of your audience. Segments can be as simple as “prospects” and “customers” or far more complicated. Segments, however, can also be used with tags to increase personalization, allowing the business to send a specific message to a specific group of subscribers, increasing ROI immensely because the subscribers will find the email highly relevant based on their needs and place in the customer journey.

Segmentation ideas for professional services businesses include:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Stage in customer journey
  • Habits
  • Services used (e.g. home insurance vs. renter’s insurance)

These segmentation ideas can help you target the right people with the right messages at the right time. For example, an insurance agency may provide their clients who have renter’s insurance tips on how to buy a house (with a CTA to download a checklist that includes “call us to update your insurance policy” on it). To further personalize it, they can include housing market information for their state. Then, based on who downloaded the checklist, the agency could reach out again to see if those clients needed more assistance, such as a realtor recommendation (this is an intent-based recommendation; see Partners in Foundation). That same insurance agency wouldn’t want to send the same information to their clients who are already homeowners.

A/B Testing: Creating and sending content to subscribers isn’t enough for professional services businesses. Emails should be tested using the A/B method. Testing means taking a small portion of the business’s list, say 10% each, to send two versions of the same email to see which one leads to more opens, clicks, and appointments. Each test should only test one thing, such as:

  • Subject line
  • Sender email/name
  • Call-to-action button color
  • Plain text vs. HTML
  • Long- vs. short-form email content

After the test is done, the business can wait about 24 hours for the results to see who won. Which email led to more appointments? Then the business should use the winning email to send to the other 80% of the audience.

Testing should happen frequently and, if possible, for every email sent to increase conversions.

Note: Some email automation platforms, like Mailchimp, don’t offer A/B testing for lists that have less than 10,000 subscribers. This is because they recommend a test group of 5,000 subscribers each. (Mailchimp also does not offer A/B testing on their free plan.) However, if your list is small, you can still A/B test sequence to sequence or newsletter to newsletter. Just remember to only change one thing for each (except the content, of course), and test each change for a few campaigns rather than just one.

Personalization: Personalizing emails starts with using the subscriber’s name in the email and continues by using the user data to personalize each subscriber’s emails in an effort to improve their customer journey. For professional services businesses, this means sending customers the right message at the right time based on where they are in the customer journey. This is why segmenting your audience is so important.

This also means recommending services in an email after they received a similar service that is relevant. For example, a financial advisor who offers debt management may want to recommend emergency funds planning after their clients’ debt is managed.

Email Scrubbing: Even with professional services businesses, subscribers can become unengaged. When more subscribers than usual are unsubscribing or reporting the business’s emails as spam, it’s time to scrub the list because an email marketing program is only as effective as its lists. Before scrubbing a list, it’s important to attempt to re-engage the unengaged subscribers first. This can be done by sending a re-engagement campaign to try to get them interested in the business again. This campaign can include a lead magnet or special promotion from the business. Those who open the re-engagement campaign stay. Those who don’t will be scrubbed from the list.

Scrubbing an email list means deleting inactive subscribers, looking for and removing spam and duplicate subscribers, and narrowing down the list to active subscribers who are likely to benefit the business. Spam email addresses can be easily spotted by searching for letters and numbers jumbled randomly in an email address. Duplicate subscribers can be found using a spreadsheet. There are email scrubbing services, but a small business can manage these processes in-house better because they know their customers.

Resend to Non-openers: Email is effective, but subscribers are busy. To increase the performance of campaigns with minimal additional effort, you can resend campaigns to non-openers. This can be automated in most email marketing platforms by checking a box or copying an email and setting the trigger to “did not open” the initial campaign. However, this should only be used on the most important campaigns because some subscribers may see the duplicate content as spam. To mitigate this possibility, businesses can limit the use of resends and be clear in the subject line that it’s a resend. In fact, you can A/B test your resend subject lines to see what performs best.

design strategy

Social Media

Many consumers use social media to look up and research a business before they choose to purchase its services. These consumers want an inside look at your business before trusting you. Social media is a great way to build trust with your audience because of the variety of post options and the opportunity to dive deeper into your brand values.

The focus of your social media program should be on conveying reputability by encouraging customer reviews, which are connected to your digital presence, and showcasing your business offerings, values, and personality on a consistent basis. This will build trust with your followers over time, which will improve your relationships with them. The overall followers and engagement numbers are not as important as providing your prospects with another way to learn about your business from your team and your previous customers in an online social environment. Again, it’s important to only use essential social media channels to maintain consistency in posting and communicating with your followers. Having outdated social media pages can negatively impact your reputation and turn prospects away.

In addition to posting to social media, it’s equally, if not more, important to communicate with your customers on social media. Make it a two-way conversation. Listen to their needs and answer their questions when you can without being overly promotional.


Be specific when choosing social media platforms for your business. What do your customers use the most? Do they interact with businesses on those platforms? Asking them will reveal a lot about your opportunities with social media. Your customers can help you narrow down the platforms themselves as well as the content to share on them.

Generally, the best platforms for professional services businesses are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The key for each platform is to cater the content, image sizes, and hashtags for each platform. You want to set up each page to look similar (according to your visual branding), but each page should cater to the audience members who are likely to follow it.

For example, if your employees follow you on LinkedIn but your best customers follow you on Facebook, your content and messaging will differ for each platform. This takes trial and error, so don’t be afraid to ask your employees and customers what they think (and watch the data).


Social media pages should be consistently active. Daily posts or multiple posts per day are ideal, but unrealistic for many small businesses. Instead, focus on publishing three quality posts per week and scale from there if it benefits your business and you are able to do so.

The day and time you post don’t matter as much as being consistent because the algorithm for most platforms, such as Facebook, means posts are not seen right when they are published, but instead in the order the viewer is likely to want to see the posts based on interest. However, Twitter still shows viewers posts when they are published. Nevertheless, it’s best to post when your audience is likely to be on, which may be before and after work, and maybe even during lunch.

When you need to promote something timely, such as a sale or event promotion, create multiple posts on the same topic and spread them out in advance to give your audience multiple reminders.

To publish social media content, you can use social media scheduling tools, such as Hootsuite, TweetDeck, and Buffer, which include free plans, as well as Zoho Social, Oktopost, SocialOomph, Sprout Social, and more. We recommend choosing one social media scheduling tool based on your platforms, needs, and budget. This way, you can create posts in one sitting and schedule them to publish in a week, a month, or at a later time. This streamlines the time you spend on social media for your business, but don’t forget to check your pages, too.

Alternatively, you can publish directly to each native platform, but this often takes longer, especially if you want to share a similar post on multiple platforms, and most platforms don’t have scheduling options, limiting your publishing times to “now.”


Professional services businesses need to be authentic on their social media pages. Promotional posts have their place, but educational and entertaining posts should be the majority to build trust with your audience. Professional services businesses have a great opportunity to take photos and videos, and show the inside scoop of your company culture in real time.

Using user-generated content is a great way to show your customers what working with you is really like. Encourage your customers to share their experiences online in the format of a review, preferably with photos. When a customer is very satisfied with their experience, they are often happy to do so. Then the reviews benefit your online reputation (see Online Reputation Strategy in Foundation) and can be repurposed as user-generated content on your pages. (On Facebook, customer reviews are not shared on the business page like posts are; instead, they are located in a separate section.)

Video Content

Video content is powerful on most platforms, including social media and your website. Many professional services businesses provide unique services or common services performed in a unique way. The best way to showcase these services is through video. Not only are followers more likely to watch a video than read a block of text, but it may be the best way to inform your customers how your business works – by literally showing them. These informative videos can answer questions and calm nerves, depending on the service. Videos can be recorded and edited on a smartphone. Remember to use your Brand Guidebook when developing video content.

Creating and sharing video content also involves adding helpful descriptions (post content and captions), which help viewers understand the context of the video (beyond just the video title). Keep in mind that most videos are watched in silent mode, so ensure your videos make sense when silent.

To develop your video content strategy, you need to determine whether it will replace or augment other content you are sharing. Depending on your business and resources, your answer will vary; however, augmenting long-form content, such as blog articles, with videos can help showcase your industry expertise in a digestible format.


Social media is always changing just as your customer’s needs are always changing, which is why it’s important to review social media analytics for all of your active pages at least monthly. This will help you review the latest comments, messages, and reviews, as well as see what content received the most engagement (likes and comments). Engagement isn’t the top priority for professional services businesses, but it’s still a good practice to see what content your followers like and what content helps reduce common customer questions.

Since your social media pages are meant to inform followers and convey reputability, using the data to make changes to your social media program will only benefit your social media program and business all around because you will be helping your customers.


Social media is meant to be “social,” so professional services businesses need at least one dedicated team member to check each social media platform daily, minimum, in order to reply to follower comments and DMs.

If your team can manage it, set up and use Facebook Messenger bots for your business, which allows you to utilize the benefits of chatbots without any legwork. Messenger can benefit your business because it is likely that a large segment of your audience would prefer to contact you via Messenger than through other avenues. Once you set up your Facebook Messenger bot for your business page, be sure you have a team member who can check it and respond to it most of the time, especially during business hours. It’s also best to create automatic messages so your customers can see your business hours and receive answers to common questions, even if your business is closed.

Communications flip

Other Communications

Professional services businesses that utilize content marketing are organically listed higher on search engines. This means taking the time to commit to consistent blog articles with an SEO strategy on your website could be the difference between your prospects searching for your services and choosing you or your competitor.

Other content, such as website content, business listings, and social media, all benefit your business and prospects, but only the SEO-optimized content on your website that is updated often will help your business the most.

Blog content can help establish trust and an emotional connection with your prospective customers. This long-form content helps them see beyond the services and prices to learn about your business values and personality. It helps them choose your business because they see the humans behind the brand, personalizing their intended experience and helping them trust that you will meet their needs.

Note: Long-form content is generally 1,200 words or longer, so a long-form blog article isn’t necessarily the length of a novel, but it could be if it served a beneficial purpose for your audience.


When creating any type of content, professional services businesses need to focus on the benefits of your services (not the features). You will also need to create content that eliminates objections about your services. This means being transparent about your processes, developing how-to content to help them utilize your services, and making everything easy to understand for your clients (see Messaging in Foundation).

The most important factor when developing a content strategy is to determine who will be reading that specific piece of content, where they are in the customer journey, and what content will benefit them in that current phase. After all, content created purely for SEO purposes will fail because content needs to benefit readers in order to have a high search engine ranking. Plus, you want to create content specifically for your prospects and customers because those are the people you want to convert into customers and repeat customers. Not everyone will want to read your blog, which is okay because you’re not selling to everyone either.

One way to determine what content would benefit your prospects (so they can learn something of value, build more trust with your business, and eventually turn into paying customers) is to pay attention to your audience. This can be done online and offline. When customers speak to your team to set up an appointment, inquire about your services, or any other communication, what questions do they ask? Are there questions many customers ask? Are there questions many prospects ask before choosing a competitor? If so, consider sharing your answer in a blog article and/or through other content avenues (social media, newsletter, etc.) and formats (text, image, video, etc.).

After you create content, you need to share your content. For example, if you publish a blog article, repurpose it for your next newsletter and share the link on your social media pages with appropriate hashtags. Wherever you repurpose blog content, be sure to showcase the most interesting information so the reader is more likely to click the link to read the full blog article, which brings them to your website.


Content is more than just words. When we say “content,” we mean:

  • Emails
  • Social media posts
  • Blog articles
  • Customer testimonials, reviews, and success stories
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Infographics and other visuals, such as images
  • GIFs and memes
  • Webinars
  • Ebooks
  • Case studies
  • White papers
  • Interviews
  • Checklists
  • News releases and magazine articles

It’s not important to use every format listed, but it is important to use the formats that speak to your audience. When beginning your content marketing program, perform some mild research to see where your audience goes to find information. What social media platforms do they use? Do they read certain magazines or subscribe to specific blogs? Do they watch the news or binge-watch YouTube videos? Do they like receiving emails or do they prefer listening to podcasts? Knowing where your audience goes to find information will help you determine which formats to use. If you know how your current customers found you, you will be able to narrow your formats even more. From there, you can monitor and update your content marketing program accordingly.

Professional services businesses often do well with email marketing, social media marketing, customer reviews, videos, infographics, and blog articles. Depending on who you serve, you may be able to use GIFs and memes, though we recommend those for younger audiences.

There are two types of content: content you create and user-generated content. User-generated content includes pieces like customer testimonials, reviews, success stories, and social media posts. It’s best to use both types of content whenever possible to provide a variety of content for your audience. Plus, user-generated content adds legitimacy to your content and business. Always ask the user if you can share their content on behalf of your business before doing so.

Blog Articles

Professional services businesses can utilize blog articles to offer value to their prospects and customers. The key to creating blog content for your business is to create content that calms your prospects’ nerves concerning your services. What are they worried about? Address it in your blog articles. What are they debating about when they compare your services to a competitor’s? Address it. These types of intent-based content pieces that answer your prospects’ and customers’ questions are important to build trust with them, especially if you do not see them face-to-face.

Blog content, specifically, is long-form, informative content that will likely answer your prospects’ questions. This content can even give away some of your trade secrets because your customers are likely not willing to perform the services you do in a DIY fashion. In this manner, they will see how complicated your services are and how well your team fulfills those services. This type of content is informative while also being promotional.

Consumers who are searching for answers based on a non-immediate need can benefit from your blog articles, but so can current customers, so you should develop content for both audience segments.

Blog content can also touch on stories and information related to your industry. The key is to write content that answers your customers’ questions without mimicking your competitors’ content.

Text Marketing

For some professional services businesses, text marketing can augment your email marketing efforts. If you are in the travel industry or in events management, time is of the essence, which means texts may be necessary to update your clients. We also recommend implementing a text marketing program (once your email marketing program is solid) if you rely heavily on appointments.

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