OUR BLOG

LEADERSHIP

Ten Traits Of Organizationally Healthy Professional Service Firms
To Grow Your Professional Service Firm, Prize Culture Over Strategy
TP35: The One Tipping Point Mid-Size Service Firms Must Address To Keep Growing
Seven Reasons Most Mid-Size Service Firms Don’t Grow Very Much
Five Reasons Mid-Size Service Firms Need A New Leadership Operating Model
How Leaders Can Address The Growth Tipping Point For Mid-Sized Service Firms
Five Reasons Professional Service Leaders Should Prize EQ Over IQ
Why Mid-Size Service Firm Leadership Teams Need Collective Objectives To Grow
How To Grow Your Mid-Sized Service Firm: Jealously Protect Your Focused Energy
Why Professional Service Firms Should Consider Circle Of Seven Mentoring Networks
How A Leader’s Energy Field Impacts Team Productivity
Don’t Trade Misery For Money: How Professional Service Firms Can Leverage The Great Resignation
Strong Personality Vs. Strong Person: The Makeup Of A Leadership Council
Custer Or Marshall: Why Mid-Size Service Firms Must Choose Their Leadership Model
To Grow Your Mid-Size Professional Service Firm, Define And Defend Your Values
If You Want To Grow Your Mid-Size Service Firm, Establish A Formal Leadership Council
Want To Grow Your Professional Service Firm? Focus On The One
If You Want To Grow Your Midsize Professional Service Firm, Align Your Leaders
Why Midsize Service Firm Leaders Must Think Like Entrepreneurs To Grow
How To Grow A Mid-Size Professional Service Firm Today
Why It's Important For Great Leaders To Tell Great Stories
How Great Leaders Persuade Using Word-Pictures
How The Say-Do Ratio Influences Trusted Advisor Status And Profits
Why Service Firm Leaders Should Nurture The Entrepreneurial Instincts Of Their Top People

SALES

Five Strategies For Midsize Service Firms To Break Through Revenue Plateaus
How Pro Service Firms Can Fix The ‘Drop Everything — Chase Money’ Problem
Prospect, Originate, Navigate: How To Fill Your Professional Service Pipeline
To Grow Your Mid-Size Professional Service Firm, Think Carefully About Your Promise
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 7
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 6
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 5
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 4
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 3
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 2
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 1
How Mid-Size Service Firms Can Acquire Great New Clients On LinkedIn
Five Ways The Consultative Sale Improves Profits
How To Win The Complex Service Sale Consistently
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
How To Break The Grip Of Rainmaker Culture
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
How To Know When Prospects Are Ready
How To Pull Prospects Into Conversations
Nurture Organic Relationships Online
How To Build Relationships With Jaded Prospects
Do Prospects Want To Buy Or Be Sold?
Close Deals Faster Using Proof Statements
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough

MARKETING

How To Market Managed Services - Part 3
How To Market Managed Services - Part 2
How To Market Managed Services Today – Part 1
Why Service Firms Need A Multichannel Digital Marketing Strategy
Does Your Website Attract Ideal Clients?
Why Service Firms Need The Ultimate Digital Marketing Stack
The Myth Of The Time-Starved Service Buyer
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
Why You Need A Generous Brand
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
Are You Measuring Your Time Funnel?
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Five Digital Marketing KPIs
Do Your Users Experience Content Regret?
Content Registrations Are Not Enough
Is Your Website Open For Business
How To Build A Great Digital Marketing Plan
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
The Value Of An Idea Driven Website
Who Benefits From Your Content?
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
How To Get The Greatest Value From Content Marketing
Why You Should Absolutely Give Away Your Best Ideas
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough
How To Nurture Ideal Prospects

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CONSIDER THE SOURCE: THEORIST OR PRACTITIONER

WHICH WOULD YOU BANK YOUR CAREER ON?

A lot of people are producing content these days. As an English Literature major, I am pleased to see that my writing colleagues have gone from under-appreciated to having a dearth of opportunities. But with so many people producing content, you have to wonder about something. Where do the ideas come from and what is the quality of these ideas?

I believe this is the new dividing line in content marketing: theorists and practitioners. This is especially true for professional service organizations. Please allow me to explain.

KEY TAKE-AWAY:

 

I BELIEVE PROFESSIONAL SERVICE BUYERS CAREFULLY CONSIDER THE SOURCE OF IDEAS THAT COME THEIR WAY. THEY ARE USUALLY ABLE TO SEPARATE PRACTITIONERS FROM THEORISTS.

What makes professional services people so special?

Professional services people are unique. What makes them unique? I believe it is knowledge, temperament and experience. Professional service people acquire knowledge through education and certifications. They earn advanced degrees in all manner of very complex fields of study. But degrees alone or not enough.

For someone to be a really good professional service executive, they must have the right temperament. Most of the better professional service executives I have worked with over the years are this rare blend of advocate, coach, motivator, therapist and guardian. They stand watch over the interests of their client and hold that client accountable to do what is in their best interest. They know what that client needs even better than the client themselves.

But even that is not enough. Why? Because professional service people have to produce results. They have to yield outcomes that matter to their clients. To do this, they must have experience.

Experience is the hallmark of a great professional service executive. I think of this as crossing a bridge. When people or companies hire a professional service firm or executive, they are trying to achieve a specific goal. Usually the client is uncertain about the best way to cross that bridge, to go from where they are now to where they want to be in the future. That client comes to rely deeply upon the experience of their professional service counselor to help them cross their bridge.

Think about how a person who is going to court relies upon their attorney. Think about how a struggling company relies on an accounting firm to help them maximize their cash-flows and profits. Think about how parents rely on a financial advisor to help them define the right strategy for retirement and college funding. Think about how a Chief Information Officer relies on a technology consulting firm to help control costs, reduce infrastructure and improve services. Think about how a coaching firm helps companies improve relationships and communication between their executives. Think about how a business consulting firm helps organizations streamline their operations and prepare for growth.

All of these are examples of how knowledge, temperament and experience come together to yield amazing outcomes that really matter to these people and these companies.

So why is it that most content marketing today sounds like it was produced by writers who have little actual knowledge of the bridges that people want to cross?

A quick story

When I was in my early 30s, I bought a house and my wife and I had our first child. I also bought life insurance, but I had some concerns. I didn’t want to lose everything if I got injured and was unable to work for a while. So I bought disability insurance from the same agent who sold me life insurance. But the disability insurance was rather expensive.

I met with another agent with whom we have our property insurance. I explained the situation and he told me his story. He and his wife had talked about this and decided that if he was injured and couldn’t work for a while, they would sell their home here in California, but a cheap property in the mid-west and live off his wife’s salary as a teacher until they could recover. He showed me the numbers in black and white and made a case for investing the money I was paying for disability insurance into other vehicles. I couldn’t argue with his logic or his financials.

This insurance agent helped me make a critical financial decision that I have never regretted. But here’s the ironic part. I get an email newsletter from this agent on a regular basis. It shows his smiling face and has his name on it. But I know he didn’t write a word of copy in that newsletter. I know his voice and his personality and they are not evident in the content.

I asked him about this and he said the newsletter is produced by a company that the corporate office hired. The content is so bland, so generic, so off-target that I don’t think I’ve ever clicked on a single article. I know that a bunch of content marketers sat in a room and brainstormed the topics they thought would interest readers and would help them sell more product.

Who do you trust – a theorist or a practitioner?

It’s a simple question really. If you had a big goal to accomplish, if there was a lot on the line for your career and your life, who would you trust? Someone who had already guided people like you to a successful outcome? Or someone who seemed to have a lot of good ideas but had never achieved the goal themselves? I know which one I would choose.

I also believe the buyers of professional services practice a lot of discretion in choosing a provider. They carefully consider the source of ideas that come their way. They are usually able to separate practitioners from theorists.

Practitioners and theorists need to connect

Don’t get me wrong. I live in the real world just like you. I know that most busy professional service executives don’t have time to become content marketers. They are busy serving their clients. I know that access to subject-matter-experts is THE critical bottleneck in content marketing programs.

But this is what happens when the real experts, the professional service executives, get pulled out of the content ideation and creation process. The topics selected end up being generic, applicable to almost anyone. The specificity of the counsel melts away. The rich experiences and insights of the practitioner sit dormant on the shelf instead of being pressed into service to inspire and attract new ideal clients.

A free resource

I know it’s not easy to build content marketing programs that pull prospective ideal clients into your sales funnel. I know it’s not easy to get mindshare with subject-matter-experts and harvest their insights. But it will make all the difference if you do this.

To help you get started down this path, I have a free resource for you. It’s called 7 Steps To A Content Marketing Program That Consistently Yields Ideal Clients. It contains 7 videos and downloadable tools that you can use to build a highly effective content marketing program. It’s free and it’s available right now.

About The Author

Randy Shattuck is a seasoned entrepreneur who works hand-in-hand with senior leaders of mid-size professional service firms to grow revenues, acquire clients, open new markets, increase profits and effectively position their brands.

OUR BLOG

LEADERSHIP

Ten Traits Of Organizationally Healthy Professional Service Firms
To Grow Your Professional Service Firm, Prize Culture Over Strategy
TP35: The One Tipping Point Mid-Size Service Firms Must Address To Keep Growing
Seven Reasons Most Mid-Size Service Firms Don’t Grow Very Much
Five Reasons Mid-Size Service Firms Need A New Leadership Operating Model
How Leaders Can Address The Growth Tipping Point For Mid-Sized Service Firms
Five Reasons Professional Service Leaders Should Prize EQ Over IQ
Why Mid-Size Service Firm Leadership Teams Need Collective Objectives To Grow
How To Grow Your Mid-Sized Service Firm: Jealously Protect Your Focused Energy
Why Professional Service Firms Should Consider Circle Of Seven Mentoring Networks
How A Leader’s Energy Field Impacts Team Productivity
Don’t Trade Misery For Money: How Professional Service Firms Can Leverage The Great Resignation
Strong Personality Vs. Strong Person: The Makeup Of A Leadership Council
Custer Or Marshall: Why Mid-Size Service Firms Must Choose Their Leadership Model
To Grow Your Mid-Size Professional Service Firm, Define And Defend Your Values
If You Want To Grow Your Mid-Size Service Firm, Establish A Formal Leadership Council
Want To Grow Your Professional Service Firm? Focus On The One
If You Want To Grow Your Midsize Professional Service Firm, Align Your Leaders
Why Midsize Service Firm Leaders Must Think Like Entrepreneurs To Grow
How To Grow A Mid-Size Professional Service Firm Today
Why It's Important For Great Leaders To Tell Great Stories
How Great Leaders Persuade Using Word-Pictures
How The Say-Do Ratio Influences Trusted Advisor Status And Profits
Why Service Firm Leaders Should Nurture The Entrepreneurial Instincts Of Their Top People

SALES

Five Strategies For Midsize Service Firms To Break Through Revenue Plateaus
How Pro Service Firms Can Fix The ‘Drop Everything — Chase Money’ Problem
Prospect, Originate, Navigate: How To Fill Your Professional Service Pipeline
To Grow Your Mid-Size Professional Service Firm, Think Carefully About Your Promise
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 7
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 6
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 5
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 4
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 3
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 2
How To Sell Professional Services Today – Part 1
How Mid-Size Service Firms Can Acquire Great New Clients On LinkedIn
Five Ways The Consultative Sale Improves Profits
How To Win The Complex Service Sale Consistently
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
How To Break The Grip Of Rainmaker Culture
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
How To Know When Prospects Are Ready
How To Pull Prospects Into Conversations
Nurture Organic Relationships Online
How To Build Relationships With Jaded Prospects
Do Prospects Want To Buy Or Be Sold?
Close Deals Faster Using Proof Statements
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough

MARKETING

How To Market Managed Services - Part 3
How To Market Managed Services - Part 2
How To Market Managed Services Today – Part 1
Why Service Firms Need A Multichannel Digital Marketing Strategy
Does Your Website Attract Ideal Clients?
Why Service Firms Need The Ultimate Digital Marketing Stack
The Myth Of The Time-Starved Service Buyer
Do You Choose Clients Or Do They Choose You?
How To Market & Sell Professional Services Today
Why You Need A Generous Brand
How Content Impacts The Service Sale
Are You Measuring Your Time Funnel?
How To Get Mindshare With Busy Decision-Makers
How To Get Great Prospects Leaning In
How Digital Marketing Creates Sales Funnel Velocity
Five Digital Marketing KPIs
Do Your Users Experience Content Regret?
Content Registrations Are Not Enough
Is Your Website Open For Business
How To Build A Great Digital Marketing Plan
Digital Marketing Perfect For Complex Sales – Part 2
Digital Marketing Is Perfect For The Complex Sale
The Value Of An Idea Driven Website
Who Benefits From Your Content?
Your Best New Client Is Looking For You
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 3
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 2
Why Service Firms Should Focus On Ideal Clients– Part 1
How To Get The Greatest Value From Content Marketing
Why You Should Absolutely Give Away Your Best Ideas
Do This to Fill Your Sales Funnel
What You Must Do To Acquire New Clients
An Audience Of One
How to Attract New Ideal Clients
Are You A Content Marketer Or A Thought Leader?
Consider The Source: Theorist Or Practitioner
Why Pain Points Are Not Enough
How To Nurture Ideal Prospects