Service-based businesses can be difficult to market simply because they don't offer tangible products. Consumers can't compare your offering to the competition. They can only assume that you will deliver on what you promise.
While challenging, there are plenty of effective ways to market your service business. Here are six tips to help boost your marketing strategy.
1. Keep in Touch
Forge connections with consumers, and make an effort to keep in touch. It costs less to maintain a customer than it does to win a new one, so maintain a campaign that resells or upsells to your current clientele.
Experts recommend touching base with customers every four to six weeks. A solid marketing strategy uses a combination postal mail, email and sales calls.
Keep in mind that touching base with customers doesn't necessarily mean that you have to try to sell them something every time. Intersperse your sales pitches with newsletters containing useful information.
These soft sell messages will help build and nurture trust among your customer base, which will help you form long-lasting relationships.
2. Use Promotions Wisely
One of the oldest tactics in the book is still one of the most effective: promotions. Give customers an incentive to use your service by offering discounts and special promotions.
Yes, promotions may eat into your profits in the short-term, but they will help you win over new customers that will grow your profits in the long-term.
If you provide home services, you might consider using a . These services choose households by zip code, and bundle your coupon with other local service providers. These services often come at a lower price than stand-alone direct mail offers.
3. Establish a Social Media Presence
Every business needs to a social media presence. Yes, even small businesses should have accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, like LinkedIn or YouTube.
But to really use social media to its potential, you'll need to do more than just sign up for accounts. Once you have them all set up, make an effort to be active on each platform. Being active means publishing new posts, responding to questions and interacting with your followers.
4. Gain Attention in the Local Media
One way to get your business name out there is through local media outlets. If you can get a spot on a local news broadcast, you can get your business name in front of a lot of potential customers.
In many cases, it doesn't take much to attract local news channels. But you can also do something newsworthy, such as hosting a community event or making a significant donation to a local charity.
If you choose to make a donation, make sure it's genuine and a cause that you truly believe in.
5. Provide Better Services – Not Lower Prices
Many local service providers assume that offering the lowest price is the best way to win over customers. But the truth is that focusing on the quality of your services is far more effective.
Make it your top priority to provide better service than your competitors. If you can accomplish this, word-of-mouth advertising will help market your business. Word travels fast when you provide great service and excellent work.
6. Use Business Cards
Business cards are still valuable, especially in the service business. Make sure that you have plenty of cards on hand to give to existing and potential customers. You can also network with other local businesses and ask to leave a stack of cards in their lobby.
The great thing about business cards is that they're affordable to purchase. Right now, you can buy a stack of for around $10. That's a small investment to gain new customers and boost brand awareness.
These are just a few of the many ways you can market your service-based business. The key is to focus on the value you provide and use the above avenues to spread word about your offerings.