I interviewed Allison Semancik, a marketing consultant in Miami, and asked her questions about marketing principles for CPAs and other professionals. This entry is the 2nd in the series.

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Me: Allison, your Twitter profile lists inbound marketing, pay-per-click, social media, and email marketing as areas you deal in. Are any of those more critical for professionals trying to expand or bolster their markets?

Allison: Everything works to a degree, but you shouldn’t rely on any one method to grow your online presence. Each of these techniques works in a different way:

Inbound marketing: The idea behind inbound marketing is that you are drawing visitors to your site instead of pushing out your sales message.  So you want to ensure your site is properly optimized to be found in search engines, get involved in social media and forums and consider starting a blog.  All of these tactics will start a flow of traffic to your site.

Pay-Per-Click: Work with a PPC specialist (or learn on your own) to run ads on Google AdWords or even Facebook (if it fits for your business).  It’s a quick way to drive traffic to your site.

Social Media: With all of the knowledge service professionals have, they should get out there and share it.  On LinkedIn, people ask questions on LinkedIn Answers.  Start answering questions that you have expertise in or create your own LinkedIn group.  Get involved on Twitter by sharing great articles and listening to what your potential clients need.

Email Marketing: A must for any business.  Again – you have knowledge that others would love to tap into.  Share your smarts with others in a newsletter.

  • Next blog entry: Social media goals for accounting and other professional firms.

Allison Semancik can be contacted through her blog.

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I interviewed Allison Semancik, a marketing consultant in Miami, and asked her questions about marketing for service professionals. Her answers are worth a few blog entries. Here’s the first in the series.

* * *

Me: Allison, first of all, how did you get involved in marketing consulting? What about it appeals to you?

Allison: I have been involved in internet marketing for 9 years now.  I love that it is an ever changing field – there is always a new software, website or company that makes marketing fun and exciting.

Working as a consultant, I have the opportunity to work with many different types of businesses in various industries.  I love helping a business grow their online presence and seeing the results that come from the work I put into it.

Me: Let’s talk about marketing for professionals – accountants and IT consultants particularly. I deal with these professional communities a lot. What are some of the marketing challenges that professionals in those areas typically wrestle with?

Allison: One of the most important thing service professionals can do is distinguish their services from others.  There are many IT professionals out there, but an IT professional who caters to cosmetic dentists is much more specialized.   When you develop a niche and cater to that niche, you’ll be sought out.

Another issue I see is that service professionals tend to be more formal in their online presentation.  Websites tend to be more like brochures when they should be more personal.

With blogs, forums and social media sites, you now have an opportunity to be more interactive and share your expertise with others.  It gives professionals a chance to have dialogue with potential clients before you even meet in person.

  • Next blog entry: Which marketing and social media channels work best for service professionals?

Allison Semancik can be contacted through her blog.

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