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Reinventing Professional Services: Building Your Business in the Digital Marketplace



Reinventing Professional Services: Building Your Business in the Digital Marketplace

Ari Kaplan

ISBN: 978-1-118-09752-6 May 2011 240 Pages

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How engaging technology and relationships can help you stand out, attract business and achieve a more dynamic professional life

The technological landscape has reshaped the way white collar workers cultivate and promote their businesses. The Transformation of Professional Services is an engaging look at how licensed experts are adapting to today's dynamic economic environment.

From Ari Kaplan—a recognized advisor on business and career development— Reinventing Professional Services: Building Your Business in the Digital Marketplaceoffers insights on taking advantage of enterprising techniques to stand out and position one's self as an insightful chameleon rather than as an isolated purveyor of facts and figures.

  • Details the importance of offering resources instead of simply selling
  • Reveals strategies for increasing one's searchability and distinguishing one's self in an economic downturn or recovery
  • Offers advice readers can immediately use to strengthen client relationships

Written in a straightforward and accessible style, this book provides engaging guidance for anyone in the professional services field—from business consultants, financial advisers, and lawyers to accountants, real estate brokers, and appraisers.

Introduction: The Rise of the White Collar Hustler and Your Path to Practical Innovation xi

Getting Started xiii

What’s in This Book xvii

Chapter 1: Finding Your Way in a More Informal, Instant World 1

Create Opportunity by Becoming a Visible Enthusiastic Expert 5

Increase Your Visibility and Realize Your Potential 6

Enthusiasm Is the Hallmark of the Modern Hustler 11

Expertise Is Easier to Convey Than Ever Before 14

Chapter 2: Innovators Adapt, and You Should Too 17

Set Goals for Social Media 19

Begin Cultivating Offline Relationships Online 21

Embrace Transparency Because Everybody Knows Everything Anyway 24

Grass Roots Medicine 26

Chapter 3: Recognize the Resiliency Revolution and Join It to Grow Your Practice 33

Seize Opportunity Whenever Possible 35

Flexible Fees Make Cost Conversations More Cheerful 36

Alignment Is the Answer to Better Client Relationships 39

Technology Offers Better Communication All Around 43

Chapter 4: Students Have Everything to Gain from the White Collar Hustle 47

Busting Myths About Networking 50

Be Disciplined and Accountable 51

Share Your Successes and Your Failures 54

Be Prolific and Fast 55

Be a Resource, Focus on Others 56

Follow Up 58

Chapter 5: Know Your Clients and Patients Because They Expect You To 61

Accountants and Technology Are a Good Match 63

Leverage a Variety of Tools to Promote Your Practice 65

Answer the Question the Client Should Have Asked 66

Merge Talents Wherever Possible 70

Chapter 6: Putting Your Practice through a Wind Tunnel Will Blow You Away 73

Even Small Elements of Inefficiency Can Have a Large Impact on the Bottom Line 75

Define Your Value Proposition to Focus Your Future 78

Finding True Worth Is Wiser Than You Realize 80

Become a Chameleon to Kick Start Your Initiatives 81

Chapter 7: It’s a Small Street, So Befriend Your Neighbors 89

Know Yourself to Better Understand Others 91

From SWOT to Sales Is a Path to Prosperity 93

Change But Don’t Change Who You Are 95

Tie Profits to Success to Build Trust and Motivate 97

Trust and Respect Now Matter More Than Ever 99

Chapter 8: Networking Is Dead; Long Live Networking 101

Go Where Your Audience Goes 102

Use Tools that Your Audience Uses 103

Find a Geek to Help You Get LinkedIn 104

Integrate Your Efforts to Save Time and Sanity 105

Explore Facebook for Fun and Professional Potential 107

How to Decide Whether You Should Blog 107

Spend Time with Your Audience and the Members Will Spend Time with You 110

Chapter 9: Proactive Professionals Pay Attention to Progress 111

Sales and Marketing Have Evolved So You Should Too 116

Medical Records Are Right on the Money 119

Chapter 10: When You’re Allergic to Wool, Wear Cotton or Suffer for Your Entire Career 125

Passion, Time, and Luck—Plus Relationships 127

The “Yes” Business 129

Make Every Client a Secret Shopper 131

Global Roots in Virtual Spaces 132

Set Expectations 133

The Art of the Referral 135

Chapter 11: Meet Your Clients and Patients Directly 141

An Accelerant of Change 145

Displacement Anxiety 149

Chapter 12: Mailing Lists, the Media, and Making Mistakes 153

Become an Umbrella Salesman 154

Benefits, Business Development, and Beyond 158

Meeting the Media 159

Make Mini Muffins with the Media 160

Being the Media 164

You, Too, Can YouTube 165

Chapter 13: Forget Technology, Remember Others to Build True Relationships 169

Use Technology to Say Thanks and More 174

Pay Attention to the Pitfalls of Participation 176

Confidentiality Is Critical, So Know When to Keep Quiet 177

Be Careful Creating Professional Relationships Online 179

Advantages of the Cautious Approach 180

Chapter 14: The Foundation for Follow-Up Is Easy to Establish 183

Timing Your Tidings to Connect with Colleagues 185

Hosting Events Is for Everyone 188

Thoughtful Follow-Up Is Favorable 189

Writing and Its Spinoffs as Marketing Are Remarkably Effective 190

Conclusion: Cultivating Community 195

Resources 199

Acknowledgments 205

About the Author 207

Index 209