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Episode 071: Effective Marketing & Branding for Busy Firms and Leaders (Top Replay)
Welcome again to the 2021 End of Summer Podcast Series – where I’m taking a fresh look at the 7 most downloaded podcast episodes over the past year!
Effective Marketing & Branding for Busy Firms and Leaders
This series ties into a greater overall theme of issues and opportunities I continue to see express themselves in leadership teams throughout the industry and across the country, and in both smaller and larger firms.
Today’s episode is one I think is ‘gold’ in terms of helping us to differentiate ourselves and standout in both the marketplace and the recruiting space – whether we’re new to marketing and branding or we’ve been at it for a while: Episode 37 with Bryon McCartney, Chief Creative Strategist at Archmark.
“Establishing and maintaining an attractive and authentic brand that draws our ideal prospects to us takes time, attention, and a commitment to consistently deliver the right content to the right people over time.”
–Peter C. Atherton, P.E.
As I relistened to this episode, five key points stood out:
1 – Remove the Confusion
We often confuse and conflate marketing, branding, advertising, public relations, business development, and sales. These are all very different but related – and I really liked the way Bryon broke these down and walked us through them all in the context of the types of ‘conversations’ we want to have with different people in different settings, with different media, and on different platforms… and when.
2 – Choose to be Relevant
There has been an historical bias and even rules against marketing and advertising in our industry but choosing not to market and brand today is choosing to be less relevant and more vulnerable to greater and more wide-spread competition and changing client landscapes. It also limits our prospects for future growth – particularly in new market sectors and geographies.
3 – Demonstrate It
Content marketing and thought leadership is powerful but it’s not just about what we say, it’s about the expertise, experience, and know-how we are able to demonstrate – how we can specifically solve our ideal prospects’ problems and eliminate or ease their pain points… and even better if we can do it in a way that helps shape their opinions in the direction of how we think forward.
4 – A Long Game with Wins Along the Way
Establishing and maintaining an attractive and authentic brand that draws our ideal prospects to us takes time, attention, and a commitment to consistently deliver the right content to the right people over time. It also requires as a clear mission, strategy, goals, and metrics – metrics we can use to chart our progress and results.
5 – Making Us Better and Smarter
Having tools and knowledgeable partners to help us makes a lot of sense and can help us advance farther faster and stay on track, however, until we have clarity of message – and know exactly what expertise, experience, know-how, and value needs to be provided, and how best to ‘guide our prospects to victory’ – it’s essential that key principals and internal experts make real time to be involved with the marketing.
If not, the content just won’t be as valuable or on-point, and it’s more likely to be undifferentiated and just add to the ‘noise’ that ultimately erodes our positioning.
I’ve seen this first-hand both ways and, when done well, learning how to market better as a principal or senior manager makes us better – and also makes smarter; knowing more specifically who we’re serving and why… and what our greatest internal and external value proposition is.
Competition today is not just local and most relationships – no matter how long we’ve had them – are not likely stronger than someone’s need for an expert.
If you are an expert surviving mostly on repeat client business and ‘word of mouth’, what Bryon shares can begin to position you for greater long-term success now… and if you want to be positioned as an expert, he also shows us the formula of how to get and to stay ahead both digitally and face-to-face.
“Learning how to market better as a principal or senior manager makes us better – and also makes smarter; knowing more specifically who we’re serving and why… and what our greatest internal and external value proposition is.”
–Peter C. Atherton, P.E.
Thanks for listening to the AEC Leadership Today Podcast!
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Resources Mentioned in This Episode
Link to original episode shownotes with Bryon McCartney: Effective Marketing & Branding for Busy Firms and Leaders
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About the Host
Peter C. Atherton, P.E. is an AEC industry insider having spent more than 20 years as a successful professional civil engineer, principal, major owner, and member of the board of directors for high-achieving firms. Pete is now the President and Founder of ActionsProve, LLC, author of Reversing Burnout. How to Immediately Engage Top Talent and Grow! A Blueprint for Professionals and Business Owners, and the creator of the I.M.P.A.C.T. process. Pete works with AEC firms and leaders to grow and advance their success through modern and new era focused strategic planning and implementation, executive coaching, leadership and management development, performance-based employee engagement, and corporate impact design.