How To Market Your Service Based 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 a service marketing strategy versus marketing traditional products.

But first what is “services marketing?”


It's a special form of marketing which started in the 1980’s and it focuses on the unique marketing strategies needed to sell services as opposed to physical goods. In this video I'll show you the top six ways that I believe you should market your services.

First of all, you might be thinking "will it work for me because my business is so unique? Well yes, these strategies really do work.

Having personally helped over 350 businesses from scratch in Australia since 2009, 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 a 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 like accountants financial planners, corporate like consultants, recruitment companies, property such as real estate agents, buyers agents, dance lessons, relationship experts, the whole gamut.

So the six key ways that you should focus on:

#1. Copywriting

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

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. See the thing about copywriting is it's that 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 that 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 grueling 2-hour workout. Whatever it is, describe it for the.

And what I would say is where possible - especially with your services and marketing them - 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.

#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 they don't know what they're actually getting with your services.

But they do know who they're getting it from, so they trust the company or the person they're getting it from and how do you build trust in this day and age?

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 a 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 after care 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 automate your prospecting with Facebook ads. Now Facebook ads in this day and age is 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.

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 ads 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.

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 products 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.

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 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.

5. Joint Ventures

The number five marketing strategy used for services is to double your reach with joint ventures.

What does this mean? It means 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.

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."

It's 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 and the ability to do that. So you need to start creating referral marketing strategies.

So there you have it! 6 ways to market your services based business.

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, and newspapers such as Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.