How to Market a Service Based Business

How to market a service is much more different than how you market a product.  But luckily, it can be much easier, and can cost much less.  Here are some simple steps to help you get started marketing your service based business:

Start Your Service Niche

Who are you?  What’s the one thing you do best?  Alot of Entrepreneurs are resistant to this because they don’t want to limit themselves, or they feel like they’re turning down business.  Not so, you actually convert more prospects into clients, and net a higher ROI on marketing because this gives marketers a target to focus on….rather than just blasting you out to a large audience.

Establish your service in that niche, someone comes to you because you are the best in the particular field.  The best service based businesses cater to that niche.  Brand yourself, services are about you….not a company.

Market Your Service Online

97% of all customers started their search for a service business online.  Enough should be said in that one statement where most of your marketing efforts should be directed.  With service based businesses, you really really need to be outsourcing your marketing.  Or else, you’ll be spending all of your time on Facebook, and not out there providing services that make your money.

Marketing a Service Online with Content and Social Media

Content and social media provides a way for service based businesses to share their expertise and establish themselves as an expert in their niche.  Content and social media strategies when combined are also POWERFUL to market a service.  A good content and online marketing company can target very specific local customers for half of what it would cost you for traditional marketing, and still be twice as effective.  We use New Buzz Marketing for a lot of our content strategies and management, they have a really good balance between being affordable, while producing quality results.  The good thing about content and social media too, is it doesn’t have to start with a huge marketing budget.  You can have it scale as you scale.

Marketing a Service Online on Google

Listing your service business on Google is really important.  It won’t bring you a ton of traffic and customers, but will bring you a few overtime.  Not bad for being free to market a service.  List yourself in Google’s local directories:  Then you should show up whenever someone punches in a keyword, like when I punch in “childcare” Google automatically pulls up all my local listings:

how to market a service

Market a Service with Relationships

Skip the old networking mantra.  Places like that are just a bunch of people trying to sell their products and services, yet no one is there to buy.  Instead, focus on building real relationships with other business owners who offers complimentary services to yours.

Marketing a Service with Relationships- Example

For example, if you have a hair styling service, go talk to the lady down the street with the nail service.  You both very likely target the exact same customer.  You’re probably also both Entrepreneurs, and could also make good friends.  Go have lunch together or something.  Talk about how you can combine your customer lists to help each other, or how when someone uses your hair service they can use that nail service.  Or maybe talk about how you can share rental space.  Honestly, customers love combined services.  It’s that convenience value proposition you’re offering, and it saves them time and money…even if it’s just gas, customers consider those kinds of things purchasing services.

Sacrifice the First Time

I wasn’t going to address this, but figured I should since so many of you are trying to market a service the first time.  That’s really hard to get that first client, and he/she is important for future referrals, or even building your portfolio.  No one wants to give you a chance, because you haven’t done it before.  How do you build that first client list for a service?

Offer it for free.  Yes, I know your smile just turned into a frown.  But trust me, I started a marketing service company when I was 19.  Do you know how many times no one would hire me?  It didn’t matter how good I was, because no one knew.  I had a double edge sword working against me: no connections and young.  So one day I just decided I’d do it for free for my first client.  That was all I needed to get other clients and honest referrals, and the other person got something out of it too: free work.  It was mutually beneficial.

Hope I helped you learn how to market a service and good luck with it!