Editors' note: This post was originally published in February 2013 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
A “No Blog, No Bonus” Policy?
Warning: this is a blog post about a crazy idea, but in defense of being a crazy idea I offer the following quote from Arthur C. Clarke:
“New ideas pass through three periods: (1) It can’t be done. (2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. (3) I knew it was a good idea all along!”
Even More Content Marketing Challenges for Professional Services Firms
Anyone who has been paying any attention at all to what’s going on these days in accounting, consulting or other B2B marketing is running across the term “content marketing”. The rationale, value, and logic behind content marketing is undeniable, but according to CMI/MarketingProfs latest benchmark survey, challenges still abound.
Getting a partner or subject matter expert to write a whitepaper or put together a presentation can be , hmmmm, how shall I say this .. “daunting” , regardless of the potential ROI. For most CPA, consulting or law firms, the challenges identified by CMI are compounded even further by billable hour pressures – you can’t be writing content when your goal is to pound a time sheet!
Just to take these challenges even one step further is the belief held by many senior partners that the only way to grow a business is via networking and referrals. There’s no doubt that this is and will remain the most effective way of getting new business, but shouldn’t there be room for a strong content marketing program that complements your 1:1 marketing tactics?
But here’s the plain truth: your firm is full of technical partners and other subject matter experts who would rather poke out an eyeball than do sales or business development. How do you get them to step up to the plate?
Publish or Perish?
I want to pitch an idea for your consideration: install a content marketing program where your firm’s reluctant rainmakers and rising superstars are required as part of their partner or employment agreement to produce content for marketing.
Instead of using their business development time for sales and marketing activities that aren’t in their comfort zone, they would use their subject matter expertise to create content that will attract the prospects who need your firm’s services.
Sounds kind of like academia where in order to get tenure, you’re expected to publish, right? You bet it is … but then again, it’s just an idea.
Anybody Out There Doing it Now?
Frankly, I’m not sure if any CPA, consulting, law or engineering firm has a content requirement in their employment contracts. But here’s a last parting thought – why not bring a content development requirement down even further though the ranks of your firm. Should your seniors and managers be contributing to a content marketing strategy?
It’s likely that your firm could quite nicely populate a blog publishing calendar if all you required of younger staff was 4 blog posts per year of 400 to 600 words around a subject are they’ve been working on. That would help build your corporate brand, their personal brand, and contribute to firm growth vis associated lead generation tactics.
So, is requiring reluctant rainmakers and young professionals to create content an absurd idea?
Consider what Albert Einstein once said: “If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." I’m hoping that if nothing else, this post stirs a little debate in your firm!