When a consumer buys a product, he has a number of ways to evaluate the product. He can taste it, touch it, take it for a test drive and return it if he doesnt like it. Moreover, when he buys the product, he takes control over it.
But when that same consumer buys a professional service, such as yours, he buys something invisible and intangible. He buys it from someone he may not know. He buys in a field he does not understand andworst of all, instead of taking control, as he does with any other producthe is handing over control in an area of vital interest to his life.
That means establishing a trusting relationship is the key objective in marketing professional services. Nothing will establish that trust more than credibility. And nothing will give you credibility like being an authority.
To position yourself as an “expert” and to enhance your credibility, there are a number of things you must do. Some of these items can be found in the list on this page.
Telling you how to do all these things would require a book, and there are plenty of them out there. I wont go into those techniques here.
I will tell you, however, what separates the marketing amateurs from the pros: Its the ability to leverage their public relations.
What does this mean?
Lets say you have an invitation to speak at the local Kiwanis or an investment clubor are giving your own seminar. Typically, you will give your presentation and the 25 or so people who are present will, we hope, be suitably impressed. You might get some business out of it, and a couple of them might even tell their friends about youand thats that.
But what if you took this a step further?
Heres what the marketing professional does. First, go to the yellow pages and look for a video-taping service. You often can find them under Wedding Photographers. Find out how much they will charge you to digitally record your presentation. A typical fee might be $250 to $500. (Too much? Get your brother-in-law to come with his tripod and his camcorder. Obviously, its better to have a professional, but do what you can.) Hire them.
After the presentation, take your recording to someone who does video post-production. Work with this person to edit your presentation down to about 7 minutes, highlighting the parts where you were most impressive or where your audience was most responsive (laughter, applause?). Insert title cards, transitions, maybe even some music. At the end, be sure to include information on how to contact you. This will cost you between $500 and $1,000.
Now, have the studio give you your presentation on a CD (DVDs are more expensive and will hold much more information, but this is not necessary). Take the CD to your office and download the file onto your hard drive. Now you are set to burn a copy of this 7-minute clip anytime you like. Not computer savvy? Just have the production studio make 100 copies for you. The CDs cost pennies apiece.