Many people consider marketing a service-based business tougher work than marketing a product. In reality, it just requires a different approach.
The strategies that work for products won’t work for services. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Marketing a service-based business relies more heavily on your ability to build a powerful brand and story. You are responsible for building a relationship with potential customers that can turn into a purchase. These tips will help guide you through the process.
Why Does Marketing a Service-Based Business Seem More Challenging?
Marketing a service-based business comes with unique challenges.
You’re not selling a tangible product. You’re selling something that you can do for someone else.
Your customers can’t see and feel what they’re buying. They can’t check the quality ahead of time or give someone else’s product a test run.
Because they can’t test you out before buying your service, their purchase has a higher perceived level of risk associated with it. They can’t return your product if they don’t like it!
All of that means you have to demonstrate the quality and value of your services differently when marketing a service-based business. You’ll have to work a little harder to establish a reputation for high-quality and great customer service.
So how do you establish your quality when you don’t have a physical product?
You have to go a little bit deeper than you would with a product. You’ll need to showcase your company and service providers. Try to show the actual process of using your service!
Naturally, a huge part of this is the relationship you build with your customers. In fact, a lot of that relationship building will happen before your customer has even made a purchase. As soon as you have a lead, you want to start following up (hello, automated email funnels!).
Think of it this way. You wouldn’t choose a new dentist without reading reviews, checking their credentials, and getting referrals from your friends, right? And after your first appointment, your dentist would follow up and even reach out to schedule future appointments.
Choosing a service provider is similar.
You have to put in more work to establish your credibility and be proactive about following up.
Tips for Marketing a Service-Based Business
Marketing a service-based business is different from selling a product. So much of your success relies on how you are able to sell yourself and your brand.
These tips will make your marketing a little easier.
Focus On Storytelling and Who You Are
When you’re marketing a service-based business, your story matters.
The people behind the brand have a huge impact. This is because consumers will be working directly in contact with your team as you provide the service!
When consumers get to know you, you start building a relationship. They start to trust you!
Since you don’t have a product to showcase, you want to showcase your team.
Who are they? How did they get where they are? What skills have they learned that make them so effective in their roles?
Let your personality, and that of your employees, shine.
Show Behind-the-Scenes Of Running Your Business
If you are offering a new service or have an unfamiliar process, people might not know what to expect.
To grow your client base, explain how you operate!
Explaining the process behind your service puts potential customers at ease. They’re more likely to take a risk and buy your service when they know exactly what that purchase entails.
Consultations are a great way to do this. You can give interested parties the opportunity to talk through what it means to work with you. If you’re dealing in something they don’t know a whole lot about, this will make them much more comfortable!
Make Everything Simple for Potential Clients
When it comes to marketing a service-based business, keeping it simple is a good rule of thumb.
Make all of your important information clear and visible. It should be easy for a potential customer to figure out when you work, what your process is, and what changes are on the horizon!
For example, if your service is teaching a fitness class, you want your clients to know when your classes are and how many seats are available.
If you’re not keeping everything simple and up-to-date, you risk losing potential clients.
Find Ways to Stand Out From Competitors
By now in marketing, you might’ve noticed that ads in your industry often look similar to one another. This means that no one is really standing out—but standing out is exactly what you want to do.
What makes your company or service different?
On the other hand, don’t get lost in comparing yourself to other service providers. Service businesses often are powered by the personality of the main provider. Be unique and believe in what YOU have to offer!
Figure out what makes YOU different.
Is it your story? The way you give back to your community? Do you have a killer bundle available? How can you offer a better service experience?
That’s what you want to focus on when marketing a service-based business.
Show Off the Value of Your Services
One of the main aspects of marketing is demonstrating why (and how!) your service is valuable.
Try to steer clear of undercutting or relying on your price when marketing a service-based business. It’s better to focus on how you are improving the lives of your clients.
This isn’t the same as showing how your service is unique. Show clients what they will get in exchange for their money, effort, and time.
How are you helping them to live a better life? Are you giving them the tools to improve themselves in some way?
You know what value you’re offering. Show your potential customers why they need it in their lives. Identifying your value and their needs will help you create more effective targeted marketing.
Make Sure to Track Your Metrics Regularly
One of the best ways to judge your success in marketing a service-based business is to keep an eye on your metrics.
Regularly monitoring metrics will show you when a marketing effort is succeeding (or not).
You can see when a certain advertisement is driving increased traffic and whether or not that traffic is converting. Use free and simple tools, like Google Analytics, to get this information or check out our most popular product the Traffic Insights Dashboard.
Gathering data lets you be more strategic in marketing and make effective changes.
Marketing a service-based business will be different for everyone, depending on the service you offer.
While you may have to be a little more creative than someone marketing a tangible product, there are still plenty of ways to get your name out there. Take the tips that work for your brand or service and put them into practice!