Do Australian Professionals Need An Online Marketing Strategy?

Do you have a social firm?

Brian Solis is a brilliant observer of all things social media and content marketing. He has co-authored a report into the evolution of “social business” for the Altimeter Group.

Here are some of the findings:

– 34% of businesses do not see the connection between their social strategy and their business outcomes;

– 28% of companies believe their business has a holistic approach to social media throughout the business functions work together under a common vision;

– Only half said that top executives were “informed, engaged and aligned with their companies’ social strategy.”

Could the same be said for professional firms in Australia? What this Report would raise for Australian professionals – lawyers, accountants and other financial advisers – is intimations of the same disconnect. This would be especially so for smaller suburban firms. Ironically, perhaps tragically, it is these smaller firms who would benefit the most from a holistic strategy. Why don’t they have one? Simple. They have no real idea where to go to begin, and fear spending big dollars on something they don’t really understand (in my opinion a legitimate fear). Let me be self indulgent for a moment – perhaps take a look at our MatureMedia Guides, you’ll find plenty there to get you started.

What is a social firm?

It’s not Facebook and Twitter and Linkedin (although any professional in Australia who does not have a Linkedin account would be foolish indeed). And it’s not a social media strategy, especially the grand plans that would be offered by high priced consultants. It’s the understanding that there should be a start – not a major overhaul of your firm’s strategy, especially if it’s functional – but a start, a couple of small steps, and the best place to start is to get a handle on a content marketing strategy.

In some sense what is required now is to develop a social business philosophy. Have you ever tried to follow a diet (I have, believe me). What is it that sends you batty and (unfortunately) headed straight back to the freezer and a few scoops of ice cream? It’s the rules of engagement, the technical instructions, the complicated recipes that seem to require a culinary degree and diminish a real desire to simply get on with it. Instead what you really need is a simple philosophical basis that underlies the process combined with straightforward principles – it’s no different with your firm. At this stage you don’t need convoluted rules to integrate into your thinking, you just need to make a start. My advice is to begin with the online content on your website, and make it more it attractive to clients, prospective clients and Google. If you don’t have a website, then the first step is to get one (if possible use one of the many available WordPress themes).

What’s stopping your marketing strategy?

Solis suggests that many businesspersons “…see social media as a novelty or a distraction for young adults and kids”. That rings true for me in my discussions with Australian lawyers, accountants and financial planners or brokers, especially those from smaller firms. It’s an understandable view, but it’s wrong. You don’t need to have a full working definition of social media or a comprehensive view of digital marketing. A social attitude towards your firm is just an acknowledgement that:

– consumerism has changed;

– people will gravitate towards better written online materials that use plain English and avoids hype; and

– you can make an easy beginning.

Where to start

All beginnings are hard. If you want a lot of ideas where to begin check out our MatureMedia Guides, or just get in touch for a chat (free) or ask a question.



photo credit: lastquest via photopin cc

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