This is the time of year we tend to create wish lists and think about how we might improve the quality of our lives in the upcoming year.
Fortunately, for those of us involved in marketing and business development for professional services firms, there are a number of basic tools that can hugely assist us in our endeavours to attract not just more but better quality work.
Technological advancement has been huge in recent times and never more important due to the remote working situation forced on us by the pandemic. Many of you will already have these things in place and so may just need an upgrade or at least a commitment to make more use of them in the next 12 months.
Here are just 5 that should appear on your list of presents for this year.
1. CRM tool
The quality of your database and how you communicate with it will be paramount to your success. Too few firms dedicate sufficient time to maintenance and keeping lists of clients, prospects and referrers up to date. Many smaller firms still rely on a spreadsheet.
The biggest issue with CRM is having the discipline and accountability to input the raw data. I have worked with organisations who invested in excess of $100,000 a year on a Salesforce licence but couldn’t put in place the culture to reap the benefits of using it.
There are now tools available such as www.nexlcrm.com which do not require any data input but instead use the records from your email and calendar systems to give you the information you need. This program also has an Artificial Intelligence tool to help you find prospects. Recommended.
2. Video screen recorder
This has been my most recent find and has given me excellent results when reaching out to both existing and new contacts. The amount of noise everyone now has competing for their attention in their email inbox is huge and this tool www.vidyard.com can really make you stand out.
Rather than sending someone a basic email you send them a short video recording using your computer and I recommend that to get engagement you use their website or LinkedIn page as a background to gain their attention.
You can also use it to record educational videos for both internal and external use. There are alternatives but I have found this the easiest to use even though I use Apple products and had to download a Chrome extension. Give it a try.
3. Studio quality light & sound
Zoom and teams have become a way of life in recent times. However, there are still far too many people presenting a sub-optimal image when it comes to online meetings. All firms need to make an investment of setting up a pseudo studio with a ring light or similar and a good microphone. I can recommend Bluemic.
Whilst having a rant, can I also ask you to think about what appears in the background as busy bookshelves do not look great and raise your laptop onto the same level as the camera as I don’t wish to stare up your nose and the ‘double chin’ look is not very flattering. Do it.
Many of you shy away from recording videos and stick with writing blogs because you are scared of forgetting your words. You need worry no more. The Teleprompter app available in the Appstore can turn you into a news reader!
For roughly $20 you can then upload word documents onto your smart phone and with the help of a cheap stand to hold your device, you can make really great, professional video. Go on, be brave.
No wish list would be complete without the inevitable website upgrade. I don’t make the rules, Doctor Google does. When is the last time you bought anything over $500 without Googling it first?
If you want to be successful and improve your visibility and credibility to your target market, your website must do you justice. Many are still grey, vanilla and frankly boring. You also have to decide your strategy. Do you wish to have an online brochure or a lead generating site?
Here are a couple of hilarious examples of how NOT to do it with my thanks to One Rabbit who created them.
2021 has been a year like no other. We are all tired and ready for some rest. Use some of your downtime to assess what presents you need to give to yourself and your team when it comes to attracting more clients and winning new profitable business in 2022.
As ever, if you are looking to improve any area of your go to market strategy, marketing tools or wanting to convert more of your meetings into billable work, do get in touch.
Merry Christmas and enjoy your break from Alistair Marshall of Professional Services Business Development