So you’re still in business and your regular customers keep returning time and time again, but you haven’t worked with a new client in months. Sound familiar? You may be falling victim to the trap many service industry businesses encounter: focusing on staying in business instead of attempting to grow.
Narrow target markets, differentiation, and connecting with potential clients are all challenges of service-industry marketing. In order to draw your desired customer base, it’s important to focus on understanding the audience you’re trying to reach. Once you have their attention, show that you can address their concerns and satisfy their needs.
While larger service businesses have access to marketing budgets that allow them to spend on advertisements, lead generation, and marketing-savvy employees, it is often difficult for local service businesses with less access to expertise and resources to compete. We’ve put together the following tips for those who are looking to market a business while avoiding expenses and hours in front of the computer.
Any Contact is Good Contact
Networking is one of the most simple ways to market for the service industry. Whether it’s a family friend, or someone you meet at a local business association meeting, staying in touch with potential clients will allow you to better understand your target market, and use this understanding to fuel business growth.
Linkedin is an accessible resource to keep track of potential clients. Developing a page for your business will also give you access to numerous B2B groups, which are useful for increasing exposure and gaining contacts and insights from other relevant businesses.
The key to successful networking is to use a “people first” strategy whenever it comes to representing your business. According to Hubspot, content consumption on LinkedIn has increased 21%. Content shared on Linkedin allows you to show potential clients that your company takes pride in the quality of its work. The loyal customers you gain through this strategy will work to spread your brand for you; quantity will come next.
Any Friend of Yours is a Friend of Mine
Creating partnerships with other business is a great way to pique the interest of potential clients and build a loyal customer base. Partners can refer their existing customers to your business, providing access to an even larger audience to target. They are especially beneficial for local businesses where the market is smaller to begin with, and where people are typically more trusting of referrals from businesses they’ve been satisfied with in the past.
Using each other’s locations as additional real estate for your business cards, flyers, and posters is another way to benefit from joining forces with other relevant service businesses. You may even want to offer a discount to customers who mention they were referred by your partner to encourage business on both sides of the bargain.
The Key to Every Good Relationship is Trust
Reviews are an essential part of marketing your business in order to hold on to customers who are already on board, and to convince those who are wary of what you have to offer.
The well-known author, Mark Twain, once said, “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” Consumers tend trust the past experiences of others, and reviews give potential clients an authentic opinion of the quality of your services.
According to BirdEye, 68% of customers trust a local business more if it has positive reviews. Dedicating portions of your website and social media presence to sharing good reviews acts as proof that you actually are as good as you advertise yourself to be.
Reviews also act as viral marketing for your business. If people have time to read and write reviews, they are most likely talking about you offline to their friends and family.
Using these three methods to market your business will allow you to save money on your marketing budget while successfully growing your business and reaching new customers. Be on the lookout for our next blog, which will include more tips for those ready to build more web-based methods into their marketing strategy!