How to Capture the Attention of a Prospect…Long Before They Seek out Your Services? Start an Advice Column!

How to Capture the Attention of a Prospect...Long Before They Seek out Your Services? Start an Advice Column! by Mark Bullock

{3:10 minutes to read} An advice column opens a dialog with potential clients who are seeking “help” and who might not yet know that your service could be their best option.

An advice column presents a real opportunity to broaden your audience. It is a totally separate engagement from what your blog posts provide. An advice column allows you to provide a valuable resource for and open dialog with people who have questions and concerns that are related to the service that you provide. This engagement occurs much sooner than waiting for them to get information elsewhere, which will rarely lead them to your doorstep.

I don’t mean “advice” as in potentially counseling someone what to do; I mean “advise” as in information on what someone could do—suggestions & pointers as to what options they may have. If people receive what they feel are valuable tips, information or ideas from your column, it positions you as the one they should use if & when they might need the services you offer.

The information you provide should relate to all areas of your practice, many of which may require you to engage other experts—your centers of influence (COIs), referral sources or even peer/guest columnists. The responses to your audience’s questions wouldn’t always have to come from you. Doing so helps co-market your COIs and further endears you to them.

Vik and I started Practice Marketing Advisors specifically using the term “advisors”—as “advice” can often be considered more official “council” which could be a problem for credentialed professionals.

You may not be engaging with your audience as an advice-giver so much as a professional offering information, ideas, tips—and yes, advising—to online visitors for free as a means to open a dialogue that could lead to engagement.

Alternatives to using the word “advise” include:

  • Help With
  • Information About
  • Suggestions
  • Guidance
  • Options to Consider
  • Pitfalls to Avoid
  • Support
  • Ideas
  • How To

All of us in professional services provide some if not all of the above, sooner or later, to our clients & potential clients, when we feel doing so is appropriate and would be helpful to them, regardless of what we might choose to call that help.

What questions do your potential clients have—that they might seek answers to—prior to contacting you directly?

In Part 2, I’ll discuss how to further capitalize on all that an advice column can offer to your marketing plan.


Mark Bullock
Telephone: (631) 754-0800



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