You already know that a big part of building a strong brand is building a recognizable brand. And while becoming a Visible Firm may take a lot of work, the benefits and rewards are well worth the effort. Visible Firms receive more opportunities for thought leadership, which raises your firm’s profile and reputation in the marketplace. Your target audience will be more likely to find your content, share it and then seek you out for more insights.

So, how can you become a Visible Firm? The first step is figuring out where you are today by benchmarking your firm. There are many factors that play into your competitive landscape, industry awards, certifications and licenses, publications, and the extent to which you use various online and offline tools. We collected these factors into four general benchmarking categories.

4 Categories to Consider When Benchmarking Your Consulting Firm

1. Market: Where does your firm fit in today’s marketplace?

Think about which characteristics define your market audience and your competitive landscape. This fundamental consideration should be the catalyst for all of your visibility-building activities to follow. The better you understand your market and target audience, the more effectively you will be able to reach them. When you know what their biggest concerns are, you can create content that speaks to those concerns. When you know how they prefer to be contacted, you can better engage them on their own terms.

Further, think about what your firm can offer your market that your competitors can’t. Figure out your niche in the marketplace so you can build a loyal and highly targeted following.

2. Expertise: Are you communicating your expertise efficiently?

As you set out to raise your firm’s profile as an industry leader, consider which marketing tools and techniques will be the most effective for reaching your audience. Having expertise is one thing, but it won’t matter if your audience isn’t even aware of what your firm has to offer.

Utilize as many opportunities as possible to get in front of your audience and demonstrate your expertise. In addition to speaking engagements – which physically put you in front of a crowd – you can also use your firm’s blog and the articles you publish in other publications to increase your visibility. Communicating your expertise through various forms of thought leadership helps to earn the trust of your target audience and positions your firm as an authority in your field.

3. Visibility: Are you using the best channels to promote your firm?

Becoming broadly known for your firm’s expertise and thought leadership is the Visible Firm’s holy grail. However, it’s important to make sure you’re choosing the best marketing approach to build your visibility quickly. You don’t want to waste your time on inefficient channels or miss out on potential opportunities.

One of the biggest keys to improving the visibility of your firm is your website. In addition to optimizing your search engine potential with effective SEO practices, you also want your website to be a true reflection of your firm’s authority. However, don’t forget that the functionality of your website is crucial for supporting your audience – make sure they can easily and intuitively access the information they need.

Of course, in order to increase the visibility of your firm’s website, you need to effectively be using additional channels to drive inbound traffic to your site. Make use of social media marketing and email nurturing campaigns to connect with your audience as directly as possible.

4. Infrastructure: What tools and platforms do you need to succeed?

In order to implement its marketing strategy, a Visible Firm must have the right infrastructure in place. This includes a number of foundational tools and platforms that you’ll need to put in place to make sure the voice of your firm is heard among all the other “noise” of the digital world.

Your blog infrastructure combined with your CRM and tracking tools play an important role in enabling you to become visible. Find an infrastructure system that fits the needs of your firm and allows you to stick to your marketing strategy. When you don’t have the right tools in place, you risk falling short of your goals for reasons that are entirely avoidable. Don’t let not having the tools you need be the reason your firm doesn’t achieve peak visibility.

What Your Consulting Firm Needs to Do to Become More Visible

Now that you have those key categories in mind, take a look at where your firm stands. Try to gauge which areas need improvement so you’ll know where to focus your efforts. Knowing where you stand now is the most important way to figure out how to get where you want to go. By benchmarking your consulting firm’s current marketing efforts, you can make a renewed strategy that makes becoming a Visible Firm within your grasp.