The world of professional services is highly competitive. Making a firm – irrespective of industry and size – stand out is not just increasingly important but also challenging. You, therefore, need to use every tool you have to distinguish your firm and show why businesses should turn to you rather than a competitor for services.
Businesses-in-need locate thought leaders industry events, recommendations and publications primarily online. That’s where online branding comes into the picture. Branding is about using the right voice consistently whilst staying on the message you want to convey.
Deciding what kind of approach you want to follow – formal, inspirational, semi-formal, etc. whatever it may be, stay with it. Your audience will come to expect a certain and consistent “voice” every time they come to you.
The following are the platforms on which you can get started:
While you may not have the following of the biggest of influencers from your industry, LinkedIn is a great platform to position yourself as a thought leader – or at least to get started in that direction. Make sure that your profile is professional and includes consistent messaging.
Start your own group, or actively participate in groups and engage yourself in relevant discussions. Don’t forget to be professional and informative at all times. Write a blog once or twice in a month, and publish it on your public feed.
A website is the first step towards having an online presence. If you don’t have one, then perhaps you should design a one-pager website for free. Include podcasts, share industry updates and publish your blogs. Encourage other accountants to contribute to your blog by writing guest posts. It builds their professional brand and helps market your site.
Writing a blog is no rocket science however, knowing how to promote your blog is the key. Understanding about search engine optimization can be a big plus factor. Don’t forget to share your blogs on social media platforms.
While LinkedIn is a great platform for promoting your content, so too are Twitter and Facebook. And since Google+ is Google’s product, the content gets indexed quickly, so sharing your blog posts or updates on Google+ can be a great way to get them on top of the search results.
Once you’ve established a baseline reputation, reach out to other thought leaders in your industry - perhaps you can publish a guest post on their blog (if they have one), or they can publish one on yours. Also don’t forget to attend seminars and industry events. Meeting new people personally adds value too!
To read the first part of the blog, please click here.