Podcast

Episode: 193 |
Lee Frederiksen:
Marketing Professional Services:
Episode
193

HOW TO THRIVE AS AN
INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL

Lee Frederiksen

Marketing Professional Services

Show Notes

Our guest today is Lee Frederiksen, Managing Partner at Hinge,  a branding and marketing firm specializing in professional services.

We discuss

  • Researching your target client
  • Developing a go-to-market strategy
  • Benchmarking your marketing against that of high-growth firms
  • How to differentiate your practice

Visit the website of Hinge Marketing to learn more – at https://hingemarketing.com/

Click on Hinge University tab to see the firm’s online course offerings – several of which you can sample for free, and on the Blog tab you may want to sign up to receive their thought leadership posts right to your inbox.

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Will Bachman: Hello, Lee. Welcome to the show.
Lee Frederiksen: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here, Will.
Will Bachman: Lee, let’s start with what are the most common misconceptions or mistakes that consultants make regarding marketing?
Lee Frederiksen: That’s a great question, and you’re probably going to think that I’ve got the answers wrong, but the first one I think is thinking that it’s all about the relationship, professional services is all about relationships. In fact, they’re important, but they’re not the most important thing in marketing, and I think the second misconception that people have is that marketing is sort of this, and business development, is sort of this individual art form, it’s like the lone wolf, the lone expert being the rainmaker and… when marketing has really become very much of a team sport.
Will Bachman: Awesome, so let’s dive in a little bit. I’m really excited to have you on the show to hear about what your firm does. For listeners, Hinge, your firm is a research-based branding and marketing firm for professional services. Tell us what that means.
Lee Frederiksen: What it means is that, about 10 years ago, we started doing research on professional services firms and we dedicated ourselves to working exclusively with professional services firms, and what that’s done is it’s given us a tremendous base of understanding. We’ve looked at over 20,000 professional services firms and their clients to find out what the firms that were growing the fastest are doing differently than those that aren’t growing at all or just average growth, and that’s what we based all of our offerings, our service offerings, and all the things we is based on the research that shows what works best.
Will Bachman: How did you manage to talk to 20,000? That’s amazing, 20,000 professional services firms. Was it through the surveys that you’ve done? How have you done your research?
Lee Frederiksen: This has been a combination of research that’s been structured interviews, and we’ve done surveys, we’ve done detailed budget analysis, and I think what it really does is it’s really helped us understand how dramatically professional service has evolved in the last five to 10 years. It is a very different marketplace than it was even five years ago, dramatic changes.
Will Bachman: What are some of those changes, Lee?
Lee Frederiksen: I think one of the most interesting one is it’s moved from a face-to-face geographically-centered marketplace to one that is driven primarily by online transactions, and the geography is becoming less and less important all the time. What I mean by that is that it used to be, when you were looking for help on something, you would find who is the professional, the local professional who’s most likely to solve your problem because you assumed that it had to be local, but as consumers now, we don’t care whether our Amazon package is shipped from Omaha or New York. It doesn’t really matter to us as consumers, and so we’ve really disengaged a lot on the local aspect of it, and I think that’s one of the big things that’s changed. Companies have changed, so they’re not local. They’re more dispersed, and they’re used to doing things online, and that really has seeped into the whole business-to-business marketplace.
Will Bachman: Can you give us some of the, I don’t know, high-level findings? Having looked at all these firms and done this research, what are some of the key factors that have caused some firms to grow much faster than average?
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah, and that’s a great question, Will. They have evolved over time. One of the things that makes a big difference is whether or not they do research and understand their target audience. We found pretty consistently that the more research you do on your targe audience, the more effective and the more profitable and the faster your growth, and we believe that’s directly because a greater understanding of your target audience and the specific needs helps you win more business at higher rates.
We’ve all heard the old thing about you got to ask your client what keeps them up at night. That’s baloney. That’s yesterday’s advantage, asking your client what keeps them up at night. If you don’t know what keeps them up at night, you’re probably not going to get the business. Even better, you should be able to tell them, “Look, I know this is what keeps you up night, but this is really what you should be concerned about. This is the thing that should keep you up at night because this is what’s happening in your industry, and here’s how it’s going to impact you.” That’s the level of understanding that really gives you a tremendous competitive advantage, so that’s number one. The number two thing is a specialty or a really differentiated focus, something that you do, that you specialize in or that you are more focused on than your competitors. There’s riches in the niches is the way people have said it, and that’s really true in professional service.
I remember one specific thing where a client had just hired us, and we asked, “Who’d been doing your work?” and he said, “My best friend.” He said, “We’ve known each other since we were in grade school together,” and, so much for the relationship, the reason he had to replace him is because his best friend couldn’t solve his problems. He didn’t have the kind of expertise, so, if there’s one thing that I would recommend you do besides research, it’s ask yourself the question, “Where am I providing the most value to my current clients? What’s the best kind of client? What’s the thing that I can do best?” If you really focus your market on getting more of those kinds of clients, that really sets you up for a lot more success.
Will Bachman: Okay. That’s interesting, and to editorialize it, that’s slightly different than I’ve heard advice from some other experts that… I guess, the consistent message I’ve heard is focus is important, really figuring out what clients you want to serve and what problems you want to work on. Some people say that differentiation is not as important, that it’s not so important that you’re a unique unicorn in the universe, but it’s important to have a focus, but you’re suggesting that it’s important to really be differentiated from other providers.
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah. That’s right, Will, but here’s the practical thing. You don’t have to be a unicorn. You don’t have to be the only person in the world who could do this, but you need to be… Two things you need to be. One is you need to be able to have a specialty with an identifiable segment of the market, and I can talk to you in a minute about the most practical ways of doing that, but it’s… You don’t have to be the only one, but what you do need to do is you need to make that expertise visible. You need to let the world know that you are this expert in this niche. If you’re an expert and nobody knows it, then it really doesn’t really help you.
This thing about, “I think that you don’t need to differentiate,” I think that’s a phony argument. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I think it’s phony because it implies that, to differentiate, you need to be 100% unique. That’s not really true. What you need to do to differentiate is you need to be identifiable to a client, that there’s a benefit of working with you.
A simple example, Will, if you run a chain of bowling alleys and you have two consultants who are going to help you with setting up your management structure for your chain of bowling alleys, you can go to someone who, “We help people set up management structures, and we help them do all kinds of things, and we help them do this and that,” or you’ve got this other person, “I specialize in working with bowling alley chains, and I’ve set up these management structures,” okay, which one are you likely to go with?
Will Bachman: Okay. Great. I think we’re on the same page then. We’re saying that you should be differentiated from the generalist, so you should say I am the bowling alley management systems consultant as opposed to a generalist.
Lee Frederiksen: I am the guru. Yep. Yep.
Will Bachman: Now, there might be some other bowling alley management consultants out there, and that’s fine, you don’t have to be like unique, but you want to be differentiated just from the pure generalist.
Lee Frederiksen: Exactly. I think that’s a good way of putting it, Will, I think. That’s what you do, and you find out that, when you look at it that way, it makes it a lot easier to be able to do.
Now, there was also one other thing that’s snuck in there. I use the example of bowling alleys, and I use that kind of thing to show that, if you were to say, “I am a specialist in helping small business,” that would be better than saying, ” I help anyone,” but if you focused on an industry rather than a particular size of business or a business characteristic like family-owned or… I see a lot of professionals say, “We work with entrepreneurial businesses,” and so forth. If you’re going to segment, it’s much easier to segment by industry than it is by type of service.
The reason is pretty simple is that industries are organized. They have conferences. They have trade associations. They have vertical-based publications that you can target and reach them in relative straightforward ways, but when you say size of business, there’s no organization of businesses from between 10 and $50 million in revenue. That doesn’t exist, so that makes it much more challenging to target someone in the marketplace.
Will Bachman: Okay, helpful, so don’t think about focusing by size or by ownership because it’s not so much of a thing to go to the family-owned business conference, maybe there is one, whereas the biotech, plastic stuff lab, equipment supplier, now that’s a-
Lee Frederiksen: Every kind of business and subsection of every business is organized because that’s the way we self-identify as business owners. We say, “We have an ad agency.” We don’t say, “We have a small family-owned, entrepreneur-run business.”
Will Bachman: Yeah. Okay. I mean, would you say, in addition to industry focus, equivalently, if you have a strong functional focus because, I mean, some… I mean, there’s also a lot of organization around, hey, this is the HR officer conference or the supply chain officer conference. If you’re a supply chain person, you might work across different industries by focusing on serving that title. Yeah?
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah, I think that’s right, Will. I think that’s probably the second easiest thing, although I’ll tell you we work with a lot of accounting firms, for example, who all of them pretty much work with the CFO or the owner, and what we find even with those, and even though they are a very position-focused type of organization, those that focus on industries have an advantage over those that don’t.
Will Bachman: That’s interesting.
Lee Frederiksen: Even though you have that position focus, you can improve upon it if you can get it down to the industry.
Will Bachman: Yeah. Okay, that makes sense.
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah, and then your third level is on either solving a particular type of problem like, “We help you with succession planning,” or a particular kind of identifiable, generally understood problem area or a particular well-understood niche service that, people, they don’t have to ask the question, “Do I need this or not?” They know, ‘Oh, boy, I know I need somebody to help me with this. My IT security, I know I need some of your help with my IT security,” so that… but if you do that, let’s say it’s IT security, there’s an awful lot of people who can help you with IT security, and if you… Boy, if you were doing IT security for law firms, that’s a lot more focused than doing IT security and a lot easier to probably define potential clients.
Will Bachman: I want to go back to the number one point you made about researching your target audience, and I know that’s a big aspect of your firm. I’d love to get your tactical advice there. It really makes sense, but, for a lot of consultant that I know, in terms of doing that research, let’s talk about how you do that because, just getting that discussion, that chief strategy officer or that person that you’re trying to serve, that person is so busy that just trying to get the meeting to do the research, they’re not opening their doors to say, “I’m happy to give you a half hour of my time to answer a bunch of your survey question so you can understand my industry better or understand how to serve me better,” so how do you go about doing that research to understand your target market?
Lee Frederiksen: Okay. Great question. First of all, understand that there’s probably three practical approaches to research. The first of those and the easiest of those is to accumulate and organize what you already know. For example, if you work with people in an industry, if you’re in an organization, get information from all the people that are client-facing. What are their common client problems? What are their common issues? Just accumulating what you already know is really the first step in research, and a lot of people don’t even do that, but it’s a simple, easy-to-do thing.
The second thing is research online and look at already existing research. There are so many studies on just about every industry and every segment that are coming out these days that, just harvesting what’s already known and organizing that information, that will take you closer to understanding that industry. You’ll get a lot of clues, and then, of course, the crown jewel of research is talking directly to your prospects and so forth, and that can be done in interviews. It can be done in surveys.
Just a couple of tips on that. Number one is make sure that there’s something in it for the person that you’re researching, that you’re talking to. If you say, “I want to talk to you about things that are going to help me sell better to you,” it’s like, “Excuse me? Why would I waste my time on that?” If you say, “I’m doing a piece of research on some of the competitive strategies used in your industry,” or, “I’d like you to participate and, oh, by the way, you’re going to get a copy of the research before it’s released to anyone else.” Okay, now, maybe, “Oh, I’d like to know what that is. I want to know whether I’m behind or I’m where my peers are or whether I’m ahead. Yeah, I’ll talk to you for a few minutes to get a copy of the research,” so make sure there’s something in it for the person that you want to talk to.
Will Bachman: That makes sense. I’d love to hear about how you work with professional services firms. Tell me about a sample engagement. Maybe walk me through a sanitized example of how you work with one of your clients.
Lee Frederiksen: Sure. Sure. There’s two kinds of clients we work with. One of them is professional services firms, and then individuals through something called Hinge University, so let me first talk about the firms. The work we do, about half of the work we do is on branding and branding a firm, positioning it in the marketplace and figuring out what is the right messages to its audience and what’s the right strategy to build the visibility of your expertise as a firm, what’s the best way to do that. That’s about half of what we do.
The other half of what we do is developing go-to-market strategies and the tools you need to execute them for firms and, oddly enough, those are quite similar in terms of what you have to do. Branding for professional services is not so much about the name and the logo and the typeface and the color. Those things are important, but what it’s really about is what do you want to be known for in your expertise, what are the kinds of problems you can solve, who do you solve them for, and why do those people tend to select you?
If you can answer those questions, that really forms the basis of what your brand is. Tell people to just think of your brand as your reputation times your visibility. What are you known for, and how widely are you known? That’s really the centerpiece of what a professional services brand is.
Will Bachman: Tell me a little bit about the second piece, about how you help develop go-to-market strategies. What’s even the menu of options that you think about when you talk about go-to-market strategies?
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah. Exactly. Okay, so going-to-market strategies is a three-stage process and development. The first stage is, once we understand what markets are we trying to go after, we start out with a piece of research that’s focused on understanding your target market better. We’re asking questions like what are the big issues facing your company and how relevant is the kind of firm that we’re researching, how relevant do you see those to solving some of those issues, and who do you see as the competitors, and how is the firm we’re researching different than those competitors and, for people who are clients of those, what were the key considerations when you were selecting them, where did you go for background information, what conferences do you go to, what blogs or podcast do you listen to, what social media do you use for work?
You can see you’re building up a profile of your best target clients, and that tells you a lot about what you should be talking to them about because, after all, the issues that are important to them, you want to understand how your services are relevant to solving some of their most important issues, and once you make that connection and you know where they go for information, do they go to LinkedIn, do they Google something, if they’re Googling it, that tells you, “Hey, SEO is going to be pretty important for me to get in on this conversation,” so that research allows you to really understand your target buyer and what are the channels that you’re going to go to be able to reach them, and what are the things that you want to talk about to make them interested in working with you?
That’s the first part of the developing a go-to-market strategy. The second part is looking at benchmarking yourself against high-growth firms. What marketing techniques are you using currently, and which ones are working and which ones aren’t, and how does that compare to what the high-growth firms are?
We found, for example, in our research for the last several years, one of the things that was different between high-growth firms and low-growth firms was that high-growth firms were more focused on developing their digital profile and their digital brands, and that really gave them a competitive advantage, because the low-growth brands were sort of saying, “I don’t know if I need to do it. It’s all a relationship business. It’s all about who you know, and I would never… I never got a client off my website.” They’ve been going around assuming that that wasn’t important to develop clients. They couldn’t be more wrong. It’s actually pretty essential to that.
That’s the second thing we look at is we benchmark you, your marketing approach, and then the third thing we do is we overlay those and we ask the questions, “What are the things that differentiate your firm?” You have to be clear about those. What’s your positioning? How are you different than competitors, and who is your target audience, and how do you help them? What are the issues that you should be writing about, the ones that are relevant to your clients and relate to services that you can offer? What channels should you be using, because that’s where your clients are looking for information? Which conferences do you need to be at? Which social media do you need to be on? Which blogs do you need to have guests posts in? Which topics are of most interest, and what is it going to and how frequently do you need to be able to do that to turn that into a practical marketing calendar?
Long answer, I’m sorry, but those are how you actually get to a marketing strategy that you can believe in, that you can relax about. You don’t need to be second guessing like, “Is this the right thing to do or not? Should I be blogging or not? Should I be doing webinars or not?” You get those questions answered for you.
Will Bachman: Yeah. No, fantastic, very help set of questions to think about, and then in terms of what the answer might be, so is it, in terms of you would tell people like, “Should you have a blog? Should you have a podcast? Should you do a video series? Should you do a webinar, and, if so, on what topics?”
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah, and what are the right answers? Yeah. Yeah. No, it’s a good question. There’s a couple of general things that we see trends that are impacting the marketplace, and they provide part of the answer, and then there is some specific industry differences that round it out, so, on the big-picture thing, we know for example that, if you look at where people go, what resources they choose when they’re first researching an issue, the way professional services usually start out, you got a lot of people telling you, “Hey, you should do this. You should do that. You should do the next thing if you’re running a company,” and you start out saying, “Is this something I should really worry about or not?”
That’s your first level of research, how you look into an issue, and what we find is, one, it used to be heavily, “I’d go to a conference or I call up a buddy.” It’s really becoming much more digital, so the top things are, “I Google something. I’d look at a podcast or an article. I’d listen to a webinar,” then it gets into about… When you add all those things up and what people do, it turns out about 70% of their effort is focused on digital channels and about 30% is focused on traditional channels like calling up a friend, going to a conference, those kinds of more traditional face-to-face approaches.
Interestingly enough, that’s how they go about researching, and then, when you go down to all the way to evaluating service providers, which one of these firms am I going to work with? As it turns out, about 70% of that is also digital. People are much more likely to look up your firm, look at your website, Google your firm, look you up on social media even more likely than they are to talk to your references that you provided, that you worked so doggone hard to line up and to coordinate that. Only about 55% of the time do people do that, do they actually talk to them, so, in general, it’s digital. That’s the big headline.
Now, the specifics of a market, you find that out by the question you ask. Where do you go to search? If you ask 10 people within your marketplace and you look at what conferences they go to, you’re going to get a pretty good idea where the center of gravity is. For some sub-segments, let’s say you’re going to the educational marketplace or the non-for-profits, you’re more likely to see them on Facebook than you aren’t, whereas if you’re going to more general businesses, they’re more likely to be on LinkedIn, for example.
Some segments of market are more likely to be like webinars. For example, if you’re going after technology companies, they’re very much oriented towards webinars, whereas some are more traditional, and they’re more face-to-face conference, so that’s the level where you take general information, and you get it right down to, “Okay, what about my audience, my target audience? Where are they?”
Will Bachman: Then, once you come up with that plan, does your firm also work with consultants to help in the execution of saying, “Hey, your website is not very digital savvy,” and help them how to rebuild that or do you refer people to a list of suggested providers? What kind of digital assets should people be thinking about?
Lee Frederiksen: Sure. Sure. We do offer that help in terms of building the tools that you’ll need, websites. We have all sorts of… your brand identity, your logo, marketing materials, pitch decks, templates for proposals, all of those things we build on a daily basis. These are the kinds of tools that our clients need. We also offer assistance in implementing. Part of that involves training if people need it. Sometimes, we will outsource it. We’ll help run the individual marketing campaigns for you. We’re full service in that we help you with the strategy, the tools and the implementation, but we’re very niche-focused in that we only do this with professional services firms.
Will Bachman: Got it. Let’s take a moment and talk a little bit about Hinge University. I’m curious to hear about that. Why don’t…
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah. Exactly.
Will Bachman: … you tell me… Yeah.
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah. I think [inaudible 00:30:06] why would you have a university? One thing that became very clear to us is that how fast marketing is changing and the new set of skills that you need to have. Last week, it was enough if you knew SEO, but, now, you have to learn Google Tag Manager. What the heck is that? Is that relevant to me? How do I use it? How do you get that education if you’re in professional services?
We found that, because professional services are so unique, they’re so different than selling shoes or vacation packages or baloney, this is a different kind of a sale, and it’s a different kind of a relationship, so what you need to do to sell professional services is unique, and you have to be able to really focus in on that aspect to make it work.
Will Bachman: Okay, so what sorts of courses-
Lee Frederiksen: We got-
Will Bachman: Yeah.
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah, and so we got courses like on becoming a visible expert. How does an individual practitioner make their expertise visible to potential clients? How do you go about doing that, so we developed a course that walks you through that. We’ve also developed quick overviews. A lot of times, busy professionals, they just need something like, “I need to know a little bit about this. Is this something I should even concern myself? I don’t want to spend hours and hours researching, but give me a 10-minute overview of how to write a good blog post.” We have those kinds of overviews, and then we have little how-tos in there like, “How do I set up my Google tracking? What is the right way to do my bio? What kind of a bio should I do?” little how-tos that you can do in just a few minutes. We’ve not only developed the university that has the content, but it also has the formats and the organization that really fit into a busy professional’s life.
Will Bachman: Fantastic. I see that there’s also some books on there. There’s some video courses, some executive guides.
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah, and I think actually the coolest part is we also have a whole section that’s free, the free university where you can get background on some of these things, executive guides, webinars and overview. All of that is free, so, if you’re not sure whether or not you want to make a commitment to be involved in this, you can get some free information, and that never hurts.
Will Bachman: Great. You mentioned becoming a visible expert. Give us some of the highlights there of some of your key recommendations.
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah. It’s really one of my favorites because it’s the foundation that firms are built on. We talked a little bit. I kind of pooh-poohed it being all about the relationship, but if there is one thing that professional services is all about, it’s about expertise. That’s really what they’re hiring you for. Can you solve my problem? Have you done this before? Do you understand my industry? Do you understand what the challenges I’m facing? Can you solve it for me? That’s what they’re buying is the expertise, and when people ask you what your experience, what kind of education have you had, have you done this before, how would you approach this, they’re all stand-ins for gauging your expertise, your ability to solve the problem.
The key is, when you meet someone, you have no idea what their expertise is because it’s invisible. Expertise isn’t something you can see. It isn’t something, a product that you can show someone, “Here’s a gauge and a switch and a Coggle and… that shows you what I can do,” so you have to somehow find a way to demonstrate that to people, and that’s usually done by speaking engagements, by things you write, by a webinar or a seminar you give. By showing, by giving helpful information, you give people a sample of what you can do and a sample of how you can help them. I use the analogy that it’s like that retired person they hired to stand at the end of the grocery store aisle and hand out little samples to you. That’s what you’re doing metaphorically. You’re giving people a little sample of what it’s like to work with you.
Now, I’ve heard people pooh-pooh that about like, “I don’t give my work away. I don’t want to give my work away.” Look, if your understanding of a topic is so shallow that by giving a person by consulting once with a person or doing a one-blog post or an article about what you do, if that consumes all of your knowledge or understanding, you better find a different line of work if that’s all how deep your expertise is. I hope that I didn’t sound too snarky because the point is the more you share with people, the more you show them what you know, the more open they are to working with you and the better they understand how you can help them. That’s what you do.
Will Bachman: No, I agree, Lee. I mean, that’s pretty aligned with my philosophy. People are hiring you to apply that expertise to their specific problem. What have you found is the most effective techniques or channels now to be demonstrating that expertise? Do you find… blogs, whitepapers, podcasts, videos, speaking at conferences? What are you seeing people getting the best return on investment from?
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah, great question, and, interestingly, that does vary. That does vary over time, but I would say probably now your most efficient thing are blogs, webinars and podcasts tend to be the most efficient because those are things you can do once, and they can work for you repeatedly. SEO, blogs and webinars, podcasts, those are probably your big ones in terms of what’s going to be most efficient and most effective.
When it comes to deepening your interaction, there are samples, like a free consultation, engagement in a webinar, doing assessments, preliminary assessments. Those kinds of things are the ones that really deepen their understanding and deepen the engagement with the client, so I think those tend to work more mid or lower funnel, and, of course, having good case studies that you can walk through a story on are always effective. They’re always effective ways of doing it.
Will Bachman: Lee, I’m curious to hear, you’ve got a lot of stuff going on at your firm, what are some of the habits that you found really help you be more productive and effective?
Lee Frederiksen: I think two or three things jump to mind. The first one is focus. Do fewer things, but do them better, the number of things you do, so coming up with a real good research report or real good analysis of what’s going on or something. Put in the effort to really do it right and then, once you’ve done it right, I think the second thing is to… You distribute that thought, that leadership, that quality piece you’ve done through as many distribution channels as are used by your target audience.
If you do a good thought piece, don’t just do a blog post. Turn it into a webinar. Turn it into a podcast. Turn it into a guest post in another thing. Turn it into a speaking engagement, then turn it into a second webinar and a second thing, so, a few things, do them well, and do a lot of repurposing and re-promotion of your best content I think are the things that save the most time.
I’m also a real big believer in having a routine and trying to stick it. Boy, I’ll tell you, whether you’re trying to… an exercise program or quit smoking or start running, nothing like a routine to help you along, to help you make consistent progress towards your goals.
Will Bachman: What are one or two books that you have most frequently recommended or gifted to other folks? They don’t have to be business books, okay if they are.
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah. It’s a good question because I think, depending on what your issue is, different books are going to have a different impact. We have found that publishing books in and of itself is a real benefit. We have published five books over the last few years, so, gosh, I supposed I better recommend those, including The Visible Expert, which is… focuses on how do you as an individual become an expert or you as a firm cultivate those experts, but I would say the one book that really made the biggest difference was Spiraling Up. That’s was the very first book we wrote, and it was about what do high-growth firms do differently than average-growing firms, and that was the one that was a whole mind shift for us and said, “You know what? It’s not your father’s professional services firm anymore. The world has changed, and professional services are undergoing major shifts, and how do you prepare yourself for the future?”
Those are a couple that I would recommend as being particularly appropriate, the ones that we’ve written. When you go outside of that, I think any of the things on… the Good to Great, any of the things there I think are really… They’re solid, anything that’s got a research base into it, but I think, from a practical nature, the goal… The Gold Black book I think is a very easy, digestible way to think about processes within professional services firms, and that’s where I think so many of us fall short in terms of understanding the great role that processes and procedures play along with talent. Yeah, you have to have the talent, but if you have the talent and you don’t have the processes, you’re not going to develop a scalable business, so I would say that would be the one that I would recommend.
Will Bachman: Thank you, Lee. This has been a fantastic discussion, so many good things out of this for me to think about. I love your point about repurposing content and taking larger pieces and then breaking them up and using them in multiple places, great set of questions around how do you research your market and benchmark and then develop go-to-market strategies, so a super helpful discussion.
Lee, folks that are interested to hear about your firm can go to hingemarketing.com. Any other links or online places that you’d want to provide, Lee, for folks to get in contact with you?
Lee Frederiksen: Yeah. They can also go to hingeuniversity.com. You can find it right on the website, Hinge Marketing, so those are the places to get in touch with us. I’m also on LinkedIn and Twitter and so forth, so pretty accessible in the digital world. I look forward to meeting folks and helping them understand what’s going on with their firms and their careers.
Will Bachman: Thanks so much, and we will include those links in the show notes to Lee’s LinkedIn profile and Twitter account. Lee, thank you so much for joining today.
Lee Frederiksen: Thank you, Will. It’s been a pleasure.

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