"Marketing To Service Professionals:  Dentists, Lawyers, Chiropractors – Oh my!"

By: Laura Lee Sparks

In the world of online marketing, social media marketing, and mobile marketing there is so much to learn.  Best practices are changing every day, and it’s something that those of us who love it, stay tuned into. Because of that, we have knowledge and skills that are hugely in demand in the offline world of professional service providers. 

Doctors, Dentists, Chiropractors, Veterinarians, Real Estate Professionals, Financial Advisors, CPA’s (and the list goes on) know that they need to be found online.  They know they need a presence that is rockin’ on page one of Google.  Yet, for the most part, they are clueless on how to make that happen. 

They also know they need consistent marketing happening, but unfortunately, they don’t know how to stop the marketing merry-go-round.  Business gets slow, they brainstorm ideas, come up with a plan, run some ads… all with the intention of staying consistent.  Then business picks up, they get busy servicing clients and the marketing falls by the way side.  That is, until business slacks off again and the process starts all over. Round and round on the merry-go-round.

However, there in lies the huge opportunity for skilled marketing professionals (virtual assistants, graphic designers, copywriters, social media managers, etc.) to step in and escort them off the merry-go-round and manage the implementation of a consistent, focused, content driven, educational-based marketing plan for their businesses.

There are some differences in the services that are provided to local brick and mortar businesses but the key fundamentals are the same (content, lead generation, communication, SEO, direct response ads, seminars, sales).  All of the services that online businesses such as coaches, speakers, authors, etc. require are the same for these professionals.  But there is a lot less competition in this market place, if you know how to approach them and speak their language.

When I started out in 2005 as a virtual assistant I literally filled my practice in one month using one important guideline I’m going to share with you today, and I’ve mentored many other marketing professionals to help them build their businesses in the same way.  This is proven and tested. 

Determining your niche

By far, choosing a niche is one of the most resisted parts of marketing (for most businesses I believe).  But it is a key component that is going reap you THE most rewards. A common misconception is that business owners feel they will “exclude” people from working with them if they choose a niche.  It is quite the opposite.  By choosing a niche you have a targeted group of people that you are speaking to.  You can talk directly to their pain, speak their language and be seen as an expert in that field.  This does not mean you have to turn down other business!  But it is going to make getting in front of your target market much easier.

Factors to think about when choosing your niche

There are several things to think about when choosing a group of professionals to work with.  The first is your professional background and experiences.  Where have you worked, what clients have you typically served in the past?  What industry did your family members work in when you were growing up?  What groups do you volunteer with?

Think about who you are naturally are attracted to, who you relate to easily and can converse with without any trouble.  In other words, who are the people who “get” you? This is going to allow you to speak to their specific pains, identify the problems that uniquely face professionals in that industry and write copy that is specifically answering the questions that they have. 

My personal niche is lawyers.  I speak their language.  I have worked with them all of my life so naturally, it is a good fit for me. I know the challenges they face in the marketing of their business.  I understand how their businesses are uniquely run, how client interactions are handled, the staffing issues that they face and the ethical standards involved to maintain their license.  I do not however, ONLY work with lawyers…see where I am going with this J

Once you have chosen a niche, you now have a focus to your marketing which will set you apart from the “generalist” service providers out there.  Your website will speak directly to your market, allowing you to rank in the search engines and directly reach them.  Social media can be targeted specifically to them with the keywords and hashtags that you use.  Articles can be submitted that will establish you as an expert for solving the problems that your service provides. 

Defining a niche will also allow you to narrowly focus your marketing to reach your audience where they are already “hanging out”.  For example, pulling a mailing list for a group of professionals is much easier when you have a specific industry to target.  Locating groups on Facebook, forums, and Twitter becomes easy-peasy.  Facebook ads and Google PPC now become highly targeted. Again, see where I’m going with this?

Once you have identified your niche, getting out in front in them with your message on how you can help save them time, money and aggravation with the services you provide will be a piece of cake.   And your clients will feel better working with an “expert” in their industry, rather than a generalist, jack-of –all trades. 

 So take some time this week, analyze your own personal skill-set and choose a niche where you can shine best.  Remember, the more specifically you focus, the more ideal clients you’ll attract!

 Laura Lee Sparks is the CEO and Founder of Legal Marketing a full-service marketing agency serving busy attorneys and service professionals in the areas of marketing strategy, copywriting, SEO, social media, and direct-response campaigns that work! Learn more great tips on how to grow your business and maximize your bottom line by signing up for LM2's free weekly ezine at  http://www.LegalMarketingMaven.com