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How To Market Your Professional Service Business Using Social Media

Jun 23, 2008
In recent years, Social Media has become an effective way to promote your professional service business. Building a brand has never been easy, but it is vital for the long term success of your business. Accounting, marketing and management consulting professionals must establish a brand of trust and professionalism to succeed. Mass marketing techniques are generally too costly or do not effectively reach the targeted decision makers. In the past, effective marketing options for professional service firms were limited to referrals, writing journal articles and networking at professional association meetings. These options are still used but the limited audience makes it difficult to reach new clients. Social media is a new and exciting way for accounting, marketing and management consulting professionals to reach decision makers.

Social media websites (Facebook, Linkedin, Schmoozii, etc.) provide accountants, marketing and management consulting professionals a new way to reach potential clients. Branding in this type of media outlet must be done correctly. Here are five tips to building your brand using Social Media.

1. Pick the correct site. There are hundreds of networking sites online ranging from special interest, to social, to professional. You want to pick a site that focuses on your profession to increase your chances of reaching your target client.

2. Establish yourself as an expert by providing free information. Most networking sites available today have discussion forums. These are areas where prospective clients ask questions, read the questions that are asked and answer with an expert opinion. When participating in a discussion forum, do not promote your business, but instead present yourself as an expert. You will not only establish credibility with the person that asked the question, but also with the others reading the question.

3. Maintain a complete and up to date profile. This is your business card and your resume presented to prospective clients. Prospective clients will see your activity in the discussion form and visit your profile. If there was ever a time where first impressions matter, this is it.

4. Join groups and create groups which allow you to network. Five years ago, networking on social networking sites was a waste of time unless you were 14 years old. Times have changed with the invention of professional networking sites. These sites are filled with decision makers ranging from CEO of SME to Vice Presidents of Fortune 500 companies. Joining online groups is a fantastic way to bump into one of these major players.

5. Have fun! Most of these sites have professional level content (articles, blogs) to help you learn about your profession. They are meant to be fun and engaging with maximum participation. Do not be afraid to voice your opinion (in a professional manner of course).

Give it a shot! If you are an accounting, marketing or management consulting professional then try Social Media marketing. Next time you are looking for new customers, join one of the social media/networking sites that focus on your profession. Establish your brand name and do not be surprised when you have customers knocking at your door.
About the Author
Theron Nolen is the founder of Schmoozii ( www.schmoozii.com ), a portal for accounting, finance, marketing, sales, and small business professionals, complete with articles, discussions, groups, jobs, and networking by profession. Members from AMA, Chamber of Commerce, & AICPA. Join 4 Free!
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