Marketing a service is different from marketing a product, isn’t it? For starters, you can’t see a service – just the people delivering it. If they are wearing a suit and are in an office, that can look a little dull, can’t it?
The service sector includes accountants, architects, IFAs, HR specialists, IT experts, management consultants, marketing specialists, recruitment companies, web developers and many others. In addition, personal services includes everything from chiropractors to personal trainers.
The fundamentals of marketing applies to services, i.e. the enterprise needs to create a brand and position itself in the market. The practitioner or firm needs to stand out from the crowd and attract new enquiries.
It is a good idea have a written marketing plan, as this will make you think about the time, money and resources that you put into marketing.
With regards to finding new clients, networking remains ever popular. However, some people are not keen on entering a room full of strangers and many people find that networking is time consuming.
Another approach is to cold call. However I should warn you that, in my experience, only 1 person in 20 is any good at doing this and you will encounter a great deal of rejection.
In an increasingly digital economy, service providers are expected to have a website. This must look professional the second that it appears within a website browser. The website should show what is on offer, within the first 2 seconds that it appears. Service firm owners only really feel that their website is working if it generates sales enquires. This can be achieved via Search Engine Optimisation, social media, email marketing and devices within the website that generate a response.
It is much easier if new clients come to you, with a defined need, budget and timescale. This can be achieved by sharing your knowledge (see the blogs, below).
When potential new clients arrive at your door, professional sales skills are required in order to maximise the probability of converting an enquiry into a client.
The required competencies include:
* A creative mind, as you need to keep coming up with original marketing ideas
* The ability to write correct, clear English at considerable speed
* The ability to write compelling marketing words that generate a response
* Technical proficency with software systems such as WordPress, MailChimp etc
* An eye for design (business cards, logo and other elements of visual branding)
* People skills in order to handle the sales process
There is a lot to think about, isn’t there? If your service firm could use a little help with its marketing, you are welcome to contact me. I have probably helped your type of service company.
Here are some associated blogs:
Pricing professional services – should you discount?
Should I give information away for free?
Marketing strategy advice for a service firm startup