Nothing like a little survey research to reassure the folks slogging away in the content trenches that their blood, sweat and tears are well worth it. This recent survey of professional services firms, courtesy of Hinge Marketing, corroborates other data out there that suggests up to 85% of buying decisions (including retaining a professional service provider) are made online without any formal communication between the parties. So, what does your online presence say about your expertise?
For the skeptics out there who think their website doesn't matter or bring them any business, you may want to consider the possibility that you are off target. This is an easy fix people. Yes, it takes time and effort to produce good content that reflects your professionalism but at least it is something well within your power to address. There is no downside to showcasing your expertise. There is one to hiding it under a bushel.
Why do complete strangers make referrals to a firm they have never worked with or never met? When we asked the referrers, the vast majority said it was because of a company's reputation and what we call "visible expertise." In fact, the visibility of a firm's expertise is the single most important factor in someone making a referral.