3 reasons why professional practices are failing to use blogging to win clients

Many practices have a blog, because someone, somewhere has told them that they need to have a blog. However, very often these blogs are pretty dusty and new posts have been sporadic at best, and many of the posts are thinly veiled press releases. To illustrate what I mean have a look at PWC’s UK Blogs,

Or worse still, these large professional practices don’t even have a blog mentioned on their home page – just corporate articles and press releases:
 

So, why hasn’t the UK’s large professional practices woken up to the power of a blog? These are my thoughts…

1. They don’t realise they need one

From the amount of news, views, insights peppered all over these websites, it’s fair to say that each of the firm’s knows about the power of a content marketing strategy and thought leadership. However, the ability to engage with and personalise their content seems to be missing. People want to see the human side of a firm, and engage with them before they start working with them. Yes, long technical articles, press releases and white papers are good, but these need to be mixed up with lighter, shorter (cup of tea length) articles and musings from their fee earners. It’s these ‘personalised’ and humanised pieces which will get potential clients returning time and time again to read the blog.

For six reasons why a professional practice needs a blog, read my previous blog article.

2. No one knows whose responsibility it is to write the firm’s blogs

Is it marketing job? Or is it the fee earner’s role? A well tended blog needs to be written by the fee earners – after all, your clients don’t want to work with your marketing department. But this is where most firms fall down, how are you incentivising, helping and supporting your fee earners to write these blogs – particularly when the work load is high? And whose role is it to co-ordinate the blog and decide on a content management plan? Ideally, this should be the partner (with support from the marketing department) whose department the blog is for.

3. There is a lack of support for contributors to the blog

Let’s be honest writing blogs (as well as articles & white papers) is a non-chargeable activity – and often there is no acknowledgement or credit for the writer. Someone in the firm needs to have the ultimate responsibility and accountability for the blog. This person needs to be able to have a content management plan for the blog & share around the burden of writing for the blog. Let’s remember, the fee earners don’t need to do everything. For example, they only need to come up with the idea and outline for a post, and then all of this can be delegated to the marketing department or outsourced to an agency:
 

  • Writing the actual article & headline
     
  • Posting and scheduling it
     
  • Keyword research

 

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I help professionals, mostly accountants and lawyers become the Go-To-Expert. After joining BDO LLP in 2004, I have now almost clocked up ten years working predominantly with accountants helping them achieve their career and business goals. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, I accidentally became a writer and used my knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, The FT Guide To Business Networking. (over 100 five star reviews on amazon) In 2012, the book I always wanted to write, 'How to make partner and still have a life' was published. In March 2014, my latest book, 'The Go-To-Expert: How to build your reputation, differentiate yourself from the competition and win business' was published. People frequently talk about me as someone who really knows her stuff – which may be the reason I have, over the last decade, worked with over 300 partners, coached and trained over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices. 

I am honoured to have been asked to judge the British Accountancy Awards in 2011 and 2012. I am a member of the Accountant's Club Global Advisory Panel, and write regularly on practice management issues for CCH.

Myself, and Jon (my co-director) are approved Growth Accelerator Coaches. This means that we can if you are eligible, through the Growth Accelerator scheme, help you get some coaching funded by the scheme. Click here for more details to see whether you are eligible for the scheme.

Read how we have helped one of our accountancy clients access Growth Accelerator funding to grow their turnover by nearly 50% and profits by over 200%

The types of work I am currently helping my small professional practice clients with, includes:

1) Helping a £2m t/o practice grow to £4m by restructuring the firm and helping the management team step up 

2) Working with a £1m t/o practice to grow to £2m by generating more leads, and getting more work from existing clients

3) Enabling a £300k t/o practice grow to £1m by helping it sort out it's profitability by adding in efficient systems and processes, and increasing the quality of the  lead generation by marketing to a niche

4) Facilitating the growth of a one man band practice into a 3 person practice by helping increase the lead generation and conversion rate of leads, plus keeping the practice owner accountable to his goals.

The Excedia Group was founded by myself and Jon Baker to bring clarity, perspective and knowledge to help our clients achieve their business goals. We specialise in working with highly technical individuals, typically lawyers and accountants, helping them to get out of their comfort zone and build a profitable and sustainable client portfolio whilst handling the challenges of leading a business. 

My work splits into about 50% Executive & Business Coaching with Partners & potential partners, with the rest split between training, consultancy and writing.

My articles & quotes regularly appear in the press, e.g. FT, Guardian, Accountancy Age, Accounting Today, Economia, ACCA's publications. I regularly blog at Partnership Potentialventure-NowJoined up networking and How to make partner.

To book me for a speaking engagement please contact my PR Agency, Meerkat PR, on 020 8563 0182, and ask for David Stoch. For any other work related enquiries, please contact me directly.

My clients have included: Deloitte LLP, KPMG LLP, BDO LLP, Haines Watts, MSI Global Alliance, UK200 group, Macintyre Hudson LLP amongst others.