You have probably heard the saying that you can’t see the label from inside the jar; in other words, you can’t honestly see yourself the way the outside world does. That’s why an impartial outside perspective is so important when positioning your firm to the market. I’m sure you all understand that, but there is another layer beyond the jar …

By Jim Thompson

What level of control do you really have to attract and win new work, the right kind that makes strategic sense for your firm? Like most consultants it’s a waiting game, hoping for new work (and the right amount of it) to come to you. Having built up good networks over time, hopefully you don’t do much waiting, but ultimately …

By Conal McClure

Perhaps the best way to show you how to market a Management Consulting firm is by showing you how NOT to market a Management Consulting firm. All tongue in cheek of course, but the underlying message for management consulting firms is the inability to clearly articulate what they do and for who and therefore who the client is and what …

By Jim Thompson

There are many traditional ways to dissect and segment the professional services market, but regardless of what you do or who you sell to, there are four fundamental segments that you wont find in a marketing textbook – not yet anyway. One of these in particular (the last one on my list) is completely counter-intuitive. If you want to gain …

By Jim Thompson

If you couldn’t operate a successful business without any real meaningful market differentiation, most management consulting firms, accountants and lawyers would be out of business. Build a decent referral network and assuming there’s enough work going around, new business will somehow arrive at your door. Differentiation is a marketing 101 concept. Without points of difference between your firm and competitors …

By Conal McClure

Don’t expect a client to be brave if you’re not… fear is the enemy of differentiation We’ve all heard the comment “No one ever got fired for hiring IBM” although perhaps some should have. But let me throw this one out there… Perhaps it’s not their fault – perhaps it’s yours? Funnily enough over half our clients are ex Big …

By Jim Thompson

I’ve lost count of how many clients we’ve had and how far they went on the journey with us, but some have thrived, and others haven’t and that’s not a factor of the quality of work we did for them.  They all had a similar level of enthusiasm as we worked our way through the positioning process and got them to the point …

By Jim Thompson

Marketing B2B professional services, relies on pain to motivate and push people to buy whatever it is you are selling. The more you can draw it to the surface of your target audience and decrease their tolerance to put up with it, the more successful you’ll be at triggering and moving them along the buyer’s journey. If you’ve got your …

By Conal McClure

Yes you’ve heard it all before but online marketing is a different kettle of fish and the rate of change while exciting can be daunting. Before you worry about your new website or whether you should be on Twitter there are some fundamentals to get right. After working with and in the professional services industry for nearly 20 years I …

By Jim Thompson

Developing personas is one of the most critical pieces of work we undertake while developing a content marketing strategy. If something isn’t quite firing in your marketing, chances are there’s something in the persona that has been missed. They give you a clear picture of your target audience by personifying their characteristics, buying motivators and insights into their buying journey, making them …

By Conal McClure

Yes, your clients all have a secret – they would rather not have to buy what you are selling. In an ideal world, they would prefer it if they didn’t need you. All things being equal they would prefer that the problem they needed you for didn’t exist or they could resolve it on their own. Fortunately for us, those …

By Jim Thompson

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about why word of mouth is still the main source of leads for so many firms. Back in the days before electronics let alone the internet, word of mouth was the only way to find help, so why do we still rely on it so heavily? From a professional services perspective, I think …

By Jim Thompson