Tips for Turning Lofty Thoughts Into New Business
Recently, I reviewed and graded the website of a law firm that was making a substantial investment in using partner and associate unbillable time to develop and publish white papers and newsletters.
I was glad to see both the quality and quantity of the efforts across virtually every practice niche, they did a very credible job at optimizing the materials for inbound marketing purposes, but then….
… they missed the opportunity to convert an eyeball into a lead.
Thought leadership is one of the great differentiators that a professional services firm can employ in new business strategies. It not only serves a role in expounding upon topical issues, it builds the personal brands of authors. And since prospects go on-line to look for solutions to their issues or pain, thought leadership piece can be an important element of a firm’s inbound marketing strategy for getting found first.
The subject matter for thought leadership is endless; the tactical executions (white papers, webinars, seminars, newsletters, blogs, etc.) are finite; and for purposes of leveraging your firm’s thought leadership for ROI, highly effective, low cost strategies for promoting its availability abound.
But what about those eyeballs that this firm lost?
Here’s the issue: even after all of that investment of unbillable time, this firm had absolutely no idea of who looked at an article, and for lead generation purposes, depended upon a leap of faith that a reader would be so impressed by the lofty thoughts they read that they would be compelled to pick up the phone and ask for an appointment.
Of course this happens, and firms depend upon this happening.
But what if instead of giving a thought leadership piece away, it was the centerpiece of a lead generation campaign where the eyeball had to make a request, on line, to get it?
Filling out a form has the effect of actually capturing a lead while at the same time, separating tire kickers and competitors from those with an issue or pain related to the thought leadership piece. If their pain is strong enough, a prospect will fill out a form. A completed form is a warm lead.
This doesn’t mean that every single piece or execution of thought leadership needs to be put behind a form! There are clever and creative ways to offer a combination “form needed” thought leadership in conjunction with “immediate read or access” thought leadership.
The bottom line for CPA, consulting, financial services and law firms is that your thought leadership is an asset that can be used for more than just branding – it should and can be the focal point for lead generation campaigns that complement the great 1:1 marketing work you do.