6 Tips & Tricks for Marketing Your Service-Based Business
Although I eventually found my true passion and calling as a professional resume writer, I started my career as a marketer and have been able to leverage a lot of that experience in building my business. While I certainly don’t have all the answers and I’ve made some mistakes along the way, I am proud to say that I was able to leave my full-time job two years ago and have never looked back. My income has increased and I enjoy increased work-life balance and invaluable time with my growing family.
1: Define your value. The first rule of thumb when building a successful acquisition strategy is to understand your value. Whether you’re a job seeker or a small business owner, the biggest mistake is not understanding your point of difference. Unless you’re a software developer or an inventor, there are tons of people who do what you do. It’s your job to know what set you apart and why someone needs to hire YOU to do it.
2: Study your competition. Use Google Trends and do a search on what you think are your top three keywords. See what’s hot right now and then Google that as a search term. Visit the pages of result companies on the top three pages in search and make a list of what you like and don’t like about their sites. Make sure to pay particular attention to pricing, the way they bundle (or don’t bundle) services, and what their markets are. Figure out what you can learn from them, and begin creating the outline of your business plan. Do a similar search on LinkedIn and see what results turn up. If you can’t view profiles, hit Google again and find those business owners on the web.
3: You Need a Website. Honestly, there’s no excuse for not having one anymore. If you can’t afford to pay for one, hit Weebly or Google Sites and create a free one. And as soon as you can afford to pay for one, find a reputable web designer to create one. I caution against any company that offers do-it-yourself website builders because you need someone who will work with you and, more importantly, do it for you. You’re an expert in your area of expertise, not in web designing, so save your time for more worthwhile pursuits. Just having a professional website will do wonders for your professional brand.
4 Leverage LinkedIn. If you are a service-based business, you need a personal profile and a company profile. Just like you would as a job seeker, create a strong headline that showcases your value proposition, and include a call to action within the first two lines of your summary. Make it really easy for people to find you and respond to all invitations to connect. If someone views your profile, send an invite! LinkedIn will let you and it will likely turn into an opportunity.
5: List Yourself Everywhere. Create free accounts on all the web directories that you can find. A few good ones are Yelp, Manta, Citysearch, Yellow Pages and SuperPages. Do a google search for free directories to find more. It’s time-consuming and tedious but it helps you get found for FREE.
6. Get Social. It’s not just about Facebook and Twitter anymore. To be effectively relevant, you need to branch out. Check out Quora, Tumblr and Pinterest to name a few, and find a free social media management tool to push updates to the traditional networks. Whatever your social media strategy, make sure that Google Plus is a part of it. If you want to be found on Google, you need a Google+ profile. If you’re a service-based business, you’ll need to decide if you’re a person or a company, or both. It’s easier to manage personal pages but you may run into some limitations. My recommendation, learned through sheer trial and error, is to maintain both pages but keep all your business related content on your business page and keep all your personal content private.
Rebecca Henninger is a professional resume writer with a passion for helping women achieve balance, integration, and professional fulfillment. She is a mother of two, Bravo TV addict, and skilled career strategist. See more at: http://www.rhresumes.com