You probably already know that marketing your business is a must, and that doesn’t change whether you sell products or services. But there are definitely certain unique challenges that come with marketing a service-based business in particular — the largest being the fact that service-based businesses have to convince their audiences to invest money (and occasionally, time) into something that they can’t immediately see or feel. This isn’t exactly the easiest of feats, especially for CEOs who are newer to business.
It also means that service-based businesses require different marketing strategies than businesses that sell products. When it comes to marketing a service, the #1 thing you need to think about is trust. Instead of marketing a product and all the amazing features that come with it, you instead need to market your own ability to get the job done and create a transformation for your client. A product is returnable, but a service isn’t, so your audience needs to know that you’re going to deliver on what you promised.
As the CEO of a service-based digital consulting and coaching business myself, I’ve learned a thing or two about what successful marketing in this industry looks like. Today I’ll be sharing my top five tips for how to sell your service-based business, even if you’re just starting out.
- Optimise your visibility
If your dream customers don’t know about your business, it’ll be quite literally impossible for them to buy from you. Your #1 priority If your service-based business is brand new is to get your name out there and build a loyal community through free, valuable content across your socials, as well as consistent lead generation efforts like social media, paid advertising, email marketing, and more.
- Stay connected to your audience
If you already have a community, you should keep in touch with them as frequently as possible. Speak directly to them on Instagram (I recommend utilising the Q&A, Polls, and Quiz features to get your customers engaging with your Stories), send out a monthly or bi-weekly email newsletter, and have frequent conversations in the DMs.
- Figure out your unique angle
One of the hard parts about owning a service-based business is that there are a lot of other service providers out there doing the same thing. This doesn’t mean you can’t be successful in your industry, but it DOES mean you have to figure out what sets you apart from the competition and makes you the go-to choice for your dream client. If YOU aren’t able to identify why your business is different from the rest (and in a way that’s less vague than “great customer service” or “quality work”), how will your audience be able to?
- Send a clear, simple marketing message
Your audience needs to know exactly how their life will change if they purchase your services. It’s easy for them to visualise what they’re getting when they order a shirt online, but not so much when they sign up for a coaching program or invest in a strategy call. Nail down the transformation that you are going to provide your client with, and make it the foundation of your marketing strategy. Try to illustrate how your service will alleviate their pain points and provide them with an actionable solution to their problem. Go deep, and think about your ideal client’s deeper “why” — what do they really want to achieve, and how can your service help them get there? Once you know what your clear marketing message looks like, it’s your job to keep it consistent across all the marketing techniques your business employs.
- Focus on the client experience
Providing the clients you do land with a luxury experience from start to finish is how you end up with loyal repeat customers who RAVE about your services whenever they get the chance to. Your relationship with your clients really is everything — people want to work with who they genuinely like and trust! The best way to start the relationship with your new client on the right foot is to ensure they get the best experience possible. This means answering their questions, helping them figure out the service that matches their needs, being responsive throughout the process of working together, honouring commitments and deadlines, and making the client feel special and valued as often as possible.
I hope this helps you take your marketing efforts to the next level!
If you still could use some help developing a clear marketing strategy for your service-based business, I’d love to help you gain some clarity! Book a free 15 minute discovery call to discuss your options and next steps.