6 Service Marketing Strategies To Boost Your Service Business

Looking for some service marketing strategies to promote your service business? If you've got a 'service-based' business or you're thinking of starting one, you need to know that there are some critical differences between service marketing strategies versus marketing traditional products.

But first, what is “services marketing”?

It's a special form of marketing which started in the 1980s, and it focuses on the unique marketing techniques needed to sell services as opposed to physical goods.

I'll discuss the top six ways that I believe you should market your services.

If you're in doubt whether or not these strategies will work on your unique business or not, the answer is YES!

Since 2009, I've helped over 350 businesses from scratch across Australia. It doesn't matter if it's B2B, B2C, or if you've got a new business, or an existing business, or if you do $100 a week in revenue, or all the way to an HR company that does a $100 million in revenue each year, I've helped all of those companies in between.

Everything from health and wellness, coaches, beauty therapists, personal trainers, horse trainers, finance specialists like accountants and financial planners, corporate-like consultants, recruitment companies, property such as real estate agents, buyers agents, dance lessons, relationship experts… the whole gamut!

So here are the six service marketing strategies that you should focus on.

Service Marketing Strategy #1. Copywriting

Services, by their nature, are intangible. Your customers can't see or touch them. You're essentially selling the invisible. They're uncertain about what they're going to get if they pay you money. The good news is, you can make an image in their mind that they can expect anything they want because it isn't intangible.

woman writing down copywriting notes

What that means for you is, once you get good at this skill known as copywriting, you can charge a premium price for your services. The thing about copywriting is it's a skill you need when you're in front of a blank page like you're not sure what to write in an email, what to write in an ad, what script to write in a video.

Copywriting is the skill of articulating your worth and turning something intangible like your service, something that people can't see, into something they can see.

The way you ensure that this happens is you think to yourself what is the image in their mind I would like for them to create? Their ultimate goal? And I'll let them know that's what my service does.

If you're a personal trainer, it could be that image of the 6-pack abs. It could be that image of only doing 15 minutes of work per day as opposed to a gruelling 2-hour workout.

And what I would say is where possible - especially when marketing as a service - is SHOW, don't tell.

Don't just say things, but show them where possible.  So show them actual exercises if you're a trainer. Or if you're a financial planner, show them a one-page plan that's easy to read.

See this concept of “show, don't tell” is especially helpful for service-based industries because you need to give people, who are visual by nature, something to latch on to. Something to tangibly grasp.

The more you articulate yourself well with copywriting, the further you'll succeed. Here’s how to write a compelling copy.

Service Marketing Strategy #2. Content Marketing

The second thing you need to do now is build trust with what's known as content marketing because people these days don't know what they're actually getting with your services.

So how do you build trust in this day and age?

content marketing and online marketing on iPad

You give people solutions to their problems through free education. This could be creating a special report, a free video series, a free webinar, some type of educating product that helps them differentiate how your service is different from another.

I was talking to a lady down in Melbourne and she did 'brow bars' for a living. So she painted on people's eyebrows. She didn't know what to give away, so I said, "Hey what's different about your service, versus everyone else's?" She said, "The technology we use. There's no pain. The aftercare service. All these things." I said, "You should create five top things you should know before you get your eyebrows done."

See now you're educating people while building a relationship and building trust with them. This content marketing strategy is a way to get free traffic forever. I don't have time to go into the whole thing because that would take like 45 minutes or something, but just know content marketing is what you want to look into.

#3. Facebook Ads

The third marketing strategy I'd recommend for services is to automate your prospecting with Facebook ads. Facebook ads in this day and age are the cheapest source of paid traffic you can get. And it's super targeted. It's unbelievable. I mean one in five adults in the entire world now use Facebook on a monthly basis.

browsing Facebook ads on a netbook

That's huge, so that means just in Australia alone, it's like four out of five. We've got a population of about 24 million, but 16 million people use Facebook every single month. If you're wondering how do you get that free offer to people, Facebook marketing is one of the ways.

When it comes to Facebook ads, I'll give you a small tip right now.

Don't just focus on the ad, but also focus on who is seeing the ad. The audience that you select from a Facebook ad is half the battle, so you have to know your audience inside and out.

While you can get high-quality leads running Facebook ads, there are chances that you might make expensive mistakes, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Consider hiring an experienced social media manager to run and manage your ads. Or, better yet, enquire about our digital marketing course here and we’ll help you to become a Facebook ads expert in no time.

#4. Presenting

You want to put content out there and educate people, but where possible you want to be the face of your business. You want to be the face of your service-based business, just like Steve Jobs. I mean he did product presentations, and he still knew that being the face of the business is paramount.

If you just think about this for a second, Apple and Steve Jobs have an unlimited marketing budget, and every time they launch a new Apple iPod or iPhone, how did they do it? They did it through live presentations and being the face of their business. So you need to master this skill of presenting. This could be to a camera or to a board room.

a woman presenting

This could be to a live audience, a short keynote presentation, but the great thing about being the face of your business is you build what Warren Buffett calls an "economic moat around you."

You become untouchable because no one can copy you.... as in no one can copy YOU. No one can copy Steve Jobs. No one can copy Tony Robbins, although plenty of people have tried.

You are unique and that is your unique selling point when you put yourself out there and be the face of your business.

What that really means for you though is you'll be able to charge a premium price for your services now because they can't compare. People don't do that with services as much because they don't know what they're going to get, and once they find someone they trust, they couldn't be bothered shopping around because it's too hard to actually tell. So get started on improving your public speaking skills today.

#5. Joint Ventures

The fifth service marketing strategy used for services is to double your reach with joint ventures. Joint venture marketing is an arrangement between two businesses through which both of these businesses combine marketing strategies to grow their share of the marketplace as well as their profits.

What it basically means is if you've got an existing list, it could be a list of 550 or 5,000, you can find another complementary but non-competitive company out there that also delivers services or maybe products, and do a joint venture with them.

joint ventures image

As an example, if you're a buyer's agent, you buy properties for people. You might think my ideal client that wants to buy their dream home, what are the services or products do they use. It could be mortgage broking, so now you approach a mortgage broker and you say, "Hey I've got a great service for buyer's agent, you've got mortgage broking services, how about we let each other's clients know?"

#6. Referrals

Services by their very nature is a people-based business. It's a trust-based thing. It's relationships. What you want to do is leverage the existing relationships you've got to refer other people, because unlike products, no one ever really says, "Hey, do you know where to buy a good chair from or a good washing machine?"

They go online, and they review that stuff. But people are always asking for referrals when it comes to service-based businesses like, "Do you know a good accountant? Do you know a good mortgage broker? Do you know a good personal trainer? A hairdresser?"

You need to give people a reason to actually refer your service so start creating referral marketing strategies.

So there you have it! We hope you’ve enjoyed these six service marketing strategies. If you want to learn more effective strategies on how to improve your service marketing business, have a look at our Digital Marketing Made Easy program here.

Service Marketing Strategies To Boost Your Business

So to recap, here are the 6 service marketing strategies we recommend:

  1. Get good at copywriting.
  2. Use content marketing to build trust.
  3. Promote your service with Facebook ads.
  4. Improve your presenting and public speaking skills.
  5. Double your reach with joint ventures.
  6. Work on the quality of your service to get referrals.

Read more about: Marketing

Cham is the CEO and Head of Marketing at Authentic Education since co-founding it in 2009. He is passionate about productivity, empowering people, marketing and is creator of Digital Marketing Made Easy.

He has worked for Anthony Robbins, Chris Howard and Dr John Demartini from "The Secret" and has featured in BRW magazine, News.com.au and newspapers such as Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.