If you’re in a professional services industry – such as a lawyer, accountant, financial adviser or management consultant – then a social media presence is a great way to network with potential clients and show your expertise.
The level of trust a client puts into their professional services firms can be extensive, from their finance dealings to incredibly sensitive company information. It is essential that your social media profile reflects your professionalism and knowledge.
Best Social Medial Channels
I suggest you start with two channels at the most (either LinkedIn and Twitter or LinkedIn and Facebook) then experiment as you go along.
- LinkedIn – I’m going to start with this one as it is absolutely essential for anyone within a professional services industry if you have/want business clients (B2B). The channel is used in a different way to many of the other social media networks, it tends to be much more straight-laced and business orientated. It’s not the place to post pictures of what you had for dinner, it should be used to show your professionalism. Complete your profile with information about your career and who you are (you can inject some personality, it shouldn’t be bland), write insightful articles on your profession and share useful information.
- Twitter – If you are aiming to acquire clients that are larger businesses then this is probably the best social media for you to choose. Twitter is a great place to follow others in your industry, clients (or potential clients) and news sources. It has a wide reach and can allow you to access those big businesses, but it’s easy to get lost in the sheer volume of posts, so it needs a fair bit of work – but the effort will pay off.
- Facebook – If you’re looking for local clients, this is a good place to start. This channel can be used to leverage your local network of people to help spread the word. You can use your own profile to promote your business page to your friends and family around you, and then encourage those people to promote it to others in your local area. You can promote yourself more as a local, friendly accountant/lawyer etc.
- Google Plus – You should at least have a profile on here, it’ll help your search engine rankings. Also, if you’re aiming at local clients you’ll come up in the Google local listings and maps (see image to the right)
Your social media profiles are going to help get you business so they shouldn’t be neglected. They are how you prove to a potential clients that you are even worth contacting, if you don’t make the effort then neither will they.
What you should include in your profile:
- Make sure your company information is complete and up-to-date. Spend time setting up your profile and fill in the sections as fully as possible. For ‘about us’ sections make sure you include a list of what you do, how you can help, what types of clients you have – e.g. if you only do legal work for businesses then mention this as will stop individuals contacting you.
- Show a portfolio of clients if possible, this will give the audience a reassurance that you are working for others and genuine.
- Information on qualifications and achievements.
What to Post
- Knowledge based articles – your top tips for keeping track of expenses, how to cope with a custody battle, signs your business is in need of a a shake up etc – something that shows you have knowledge in your area and can advise clients
- Industry news, a great way to show clients that you are up-to-date – e.g. dates for pension auto-enrolment, changes in laws, announcements in the Autumn Statement that will affect your clients etc
- Results of surveys or industry facts/figures
- Any testimonials you receive from clients
- Videos case studies of how you have helped others
- Any events you (or your team) are involved in, if someone is doing a sky dive for charity then include it – people like to see that you’re human
- New qualifications and awards – clients like to see that you are actively learning and improving yourself. Also, if you’ve been given any awards then post about them too so clients can see how well you’re doing
For LinkedIn you’ll want to do a little extra too:
- Make sure that as well as passively marketing yourself on this channel that you also pro-actively do so. You’ll find that you have a great network of 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree contacts that you can approach. LinkedIn also has a great search facility for finding the right staff to contact at the type of businesses you want to target
- Read my blog on How to Use LinkedIn for Business Development for more tips – it’ll give you advice on how to contact potential clients and what you should say
The ideal balance for your social media is professional but with personality. Clients want someone who can do the work they need, but they also want someone who they can see eye-to-eye with. You need to convey these attributes via your profile text and postings.
It will take a little while to build up your profile and content on your chosen social media channels, but if you keep adding to them at least a couple of times a week then before you know it you’ll have a fully formed business development tool.