Growing a Service Business… Without Adding Clients

I just ran across a piece about growing service firms “from the inside out”. I believe this piece was specifically written for law firms, but in running an internet marketing agency I find it just as true for my situation and clientele.

Look inward to branch out. Take a look at the firm’s top clients over the last three years or so. How many of your services are used by each one? There may be an opportunity here. If you have done stellar work in one practice area, your client will most likely be amenable to hearing about other practice areas that apply to their business. To outsiders, expanding your business with an existing client shows that they value and have confidence in you, and in turn, serves as a law firm marketing technique. It also builds your resume and track record in the practice in which you would like to augment.

I have a number of law firm clients so naturally I browse this industry a bit, and often find that law firm marketing strategies are really just professional service strategies… except the whole concept of “legal marketing” is a bit new, so some tried-and-true concepts can get further legs in that industry.

Let’s provide a little translation to the arena of “web marketing”:

Practice Areas = Services
Resume = Portfolio

Basically the general concept is that its often better to build revenue by further serving your existing client base. I believe there are several other good reasons for this, not mentioned above as they are perhaps not as important for a large law firm as they are for a small internet marketing agency:

  • you know your current clients pay their bills on time… new clients might not.
  • you already know how much attention and communication your current clients demand.
  • they are generally already pleased with your service, and thus a positive bias heuristic kicks in… they believe you do a good job at one thing and will likely believe that you do a good job in many areas.
  • at least for me, its easier to handle a smaller number of clients than a larger number of smaller clients.