Helen Cox Marketing Consultant Kent and London

Business Development Strategies for your professional services firm

Helen Cox Marketing Legal and B2B Marketing Consultant Kent and LondonBusiness development is essential for any business, whether a professional services firm or any other business. Business development means identifying and then nurturing clients and other business opportunities for your firm to grow and become as profitable as possible.   

The goal is to grow, but how exactly do you get there? This is where the idea of a business development strategy comes into play.   

To give yourself the best chance to succeed, you will need a dedicated business development strategy. But how do you put these together? 

Let’s look at some of the business development strategies you can use for your professional services firm.   


When you have helped a client (and left them feeling happy about the service they have received), you may be helping yourself to achieve a referral or two. Referrals allow you to maximise your reach with a broader network. However, they don’t always work just as you need them to.  

You want to make sure that these referrals reach those who may be the right match as a future client of yours. Referrals need to come at a time when they are most likely to action and sign up for your service.   

Outbound sales   

When it comes to sales, there is a good chance that you will think of the more common outbound calls and mail that have been used for several years. This strategy works, which is why it is still used, but it has some drawbacks.   

It can be expensive to get it to work as effectively as possible (and get the coverage that you are going to need it to have). Not only this, but it is all down to timing. If you don’t get the right timing when you approach a potential lead, even if it is one of the most likely to yield results. This will not work for you.   


One of the most commonly used forms of business development strategy has to be networking. However, it is not always the one that you may go to. The idea of networking is that those relationships you form will be the helping hand you need to help them make a business decision (in your favour, of course).

Most of the time, this is definitely true, and you want to ensure that you put maximum effort into networking with your target audience. That said, networking can be time-consuming and often requires that you are away from the rest of your firm. Perhaps even incurring the cost of staying somewhere or attending events, which may not always be your first choice.   

Content marketing in business development

In the marketing world, content is key, and this doesn’t seem like it will change any time soon. Within content marketing comes the idea of thought leadership, which comes in the form of written content, spoken content or any other form of published content that will be able to demonstrate your expertise and how you can help a wealth of client issues.   

Books, articles, videos, attendance at events, anything that is going to be visible and that is going to present your firm as an expert in the industry. This is what you want to concentrate on.  

Find out which form of content marketing your targeted audience responds to the best and then make it work for you.  

Advertising and sponsorship  

This is a more traditional form of business development and requires you to advertise your firm in various formats or perhaps even sponsor events or even local teams to promote yourself.   

Whilst this may have worked in the past, it is worth knowing that this form of development doesn’t always have the quickest results. 

That said, it is available at a lower cost than other forms. Plus, it is a way to advertise yourself without having to be too involved in the entire process.  

Combined approaches for business development

Sometimes one approach alone will help you to achieve a small win. For the most part, you will need to combine several different methods to see the results you hope for.   

Some of these strategies work well together (networking and referrals), but there are others you may not know will produce the results you are looking for.  

It can be a case of trial and error but the effort will be worth it in the long run.   

So, which business development strategies are going to work the best?  

It is one thing to know about the different options you can try for your business development strategy. However, you will want to make sure that they will work in your favour.   

According to research, the best growth in professional services firms has been found through assessments and consultations. Another approach that has proven incredibly useful is keyword research and SEO tactics.   

It is also worthwhile tackling live service or product demonstrations and taking the time to conduct research and publish it to show that it is entirely original.   

Further down the list are phone calls to potential clients and presenting at targeted conferences or events. Finally, there is networking on social media.   

Just remember it is better to try something to increase your leads rather than sit back hoping for the best. It might not always work the first time, but the effort is always worth it to see if you can achieve great things for your firm. Now and in the future.   

Take a look at some of my other blogs you may be interested in:

Law firms need to stop hiding behind their digital marketing

On pointe Business Development Strategies for Accountants

Need help?

If you would like help with your marketing then bringing on a marketing consultant with a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference. I work with B2B businesses and professional service firms in London, Kent, UK and Europe as well as specialising as a Legal Marketing Consultant. Please get in touch or book a free 30-minute consultation.