Why Your Technology Services Firm Can’t Rely on Word-of-Mouth for New Business
As a technology services firm, you’re probably always looking for ways to acquire new clients. Although it’s not surprising that an existing relationship with a service provider is often the deciding factor for clients, too many firms are relying solely on word-of-mouth from current clients to bring in new business.
Recent research from the Hinge Research Institute shows that 81.5 percent of professional services firms have received referrals from people they have never even worked with. This raises the question of how? By building an online brand that focuses on high visibility and a solid reputation.
In fact, establishing a strong online presence can also have a big impact on your firm’s ability to convert those referrals into new business. While 70 percent of buyers in the technology sphere tend to find service providers through recommendations from friends or colleagues, that doesn’t mean those recommendations are based solely on their personal experience, but also what they know about a specific firm through their online presence. In fact, once a recommendation has been made, 80 percent of buyers report visiting a firm’s website to check them out before contacting them. If your online presence doesn’t give credibility to who your firm is, then those referrals aren’t likely to call.
So, what can your technology services firm do to build your credibility in the places where today’s buyers are seeking information? From your website to your social media accounts, here are a few tips to help your firm convert more new business.
3 Tips to Build Online Credibility
1. Showcase your expertise
Technology services buyers aren’t going to select a firm that they don’t trust. So, using online platforms to demonstrate your expertise and thought leadership is a must. In our research, we found that 47 percent of buyers find expertise to be the most important selection criteria when deciding on a firm. Further, 33 percent identified having a good reputation as an important criterion.
Technology services firms that showcase their expertise on their website and social media accounts through educational content and thought leadership are more likely to reach more potential clients and convert more referrals.
2. Earn the trust of your prospects
One of the key ways to demonstrate your expertise is to produce content that addresses your prospects’ biggest pain points. Not only is this information useful for the prospects, but it also illustrates that your firm is aware of and in sync with what is happening in their industry. Keep in mind that this is not the place to talk specifically about how your services can address their problems, but rather a means of sharing the knowledge you have gained from your experience in the industry that is relevant to the issues they face. By sharing this type of information with your prospects, visitors will start to look to your website, and in effect, your firm, as trusted resources.
3. Optimize your content
In addition to having content that highlights the depth of your knowledge, that same content needs to be optimized so that it can be easily found on search engines. Utilize keywords and phrases that your clients are likely to search for to make your blog posts rank higher in search pages. When prospects start finding you online because your content is optimized, there is no need for a client referral in the first place.
If your technology services firm can prove its credibility and build a trusted relationship with prospective buyers, the chances of those buyers deciding to use your firm or positively refer you in the future grows exponentially. When asked, 37 percent of tech buyers stated that the real benefit they receive from sellers is that they became a trusted team member. This benefit was reported even more frequently than the quality of the work produced, which 26 percent of respondents identified.
However, simply relying on word-of-mouth to bring in new clients won’t help technology services firms achieve this end result. In order to become that trusted team member, firms need to demonstrate their expertise and credibility across their website and social media platforms. Don’t sit back and wait for word-of-mouth to spread—let the strength of your brand carry the conversation.
- Learn marketing strategies that will generate more leads and increase awareness of your firm in Hinge’s Online Marketing for Professional Services book.
- Download a copy of our Visible Expert℠ Research Study: Technology Services Edition to learn how to become a thought leader, all based on research.
How Hinge Can Help:
Effectively marketing technology services to reach today’s buyers is essential for firms looking to grow. Hinge’s Visible Firm℠ Program is the leading marketing program for delivering greater visibility, growth, and profits. This customized program will identify the most practical offline and online marketing tools your firm will need to gain new clients and reach new heights.
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