It sounds funny right? What does your time and billing software have to do with marketing your professional services firm?
For many businesses, your time and billing software, as well as your accounting software, is an untapped resource for marketing. The best prospects are your existing clients.
Maybe now is the time to review your engagements from last year. See which jobs you enjoyed doing. I would start there, because of course, that’s what you want more of. See if the clients you did that work for, know of anyone else who can use that service.
You probably have a good sense of which clients were really happy with your work. Talk to them. Ask them for referrals, or a testimonial.
Your time and billing software is a treasure trove of opportunities. Use that. Run reports based on identifying the types of services you enjoyed offering last year. Run reports based on identifying the clients you enjoyed working with. Reach out. Communicate.
Marketing, selling, and advertising get a bad wrap. Or is it a bad rap? Whichever it is, the point is that marketing your professional services firm is about something much simpler.
This week I received a message from a prospect, who wanted me to take a look at a list of things. My initial reaction was that I didn’t have time for this. Then I sent an e-mail offering to review all of this together in a “paid” session. I was more polite about it, than that. The prospect got back to me, and said that he would do so.
Then I thought about it. This is about communication, and then building relationships. I looked the guy up on LinkedIn. He had mentioned that he was talking to me on behalf of a client of his. When I looked him up, I realized that he was a potentially good resource for on going referrals.
So I’m going to revisit his initial request, and prepare an e-mail to him, proposing a solution. Then I’ll propose options for how I can help.
My initial response to him, likely sent a message. Something like, “I can’t be bothered, and I don’t have time.” My next message to him will be very different. It will be more like, “Hey I’d really like to win your business, and I am willing to go out of my way to help.”
You don’t have time to go far out of your way for every prospect. You have to make decisions, about who may or may not be worth the effort. Pursuing referral relationships are much better than pursuing the end user of your services, because the same effort pays off many times.
This brings me back to your existing clients. You know them. You’ve worked with them. You know who will waste your time, and who will be happy to help.
Use that. Use your time and billing software to dig into the treasure there, and market your professionals services to people who are already sold.