I jumped into developing a plan for online marketing for service businesses quite awhile back… around 10 years ago as far as I can tell. (I’ve been working on website since 1999 though.) I started with acquiring the domain name of my name, at the time elianevans.com. From there I jumped on Facebook for business as well as Pinterest, LinkedIn and the more recent development of Instagram. There are other places online to market for sure… but the ones I use and train on are best for small business owners, specifically service providers.
I’ve studied from the masters and have a proven track record helping other entrepreneurs with their online marketing strategy for service businesses.
So what are the online marketing basics?
First, you have to define your ideal client and figure out WHERE are they hanging out online? You need presence there… (but you also need to get them away from there… the best place to get them to is your website own. But that’s a training for a different day.) If they hang out a lot on Facebook (even if they don’t post a lot) then that is where you should be.
Second, you need an online presence. I coach all my clients that at the very least, you need a basic website – you need to own your own place on the web as the social networks own those… if you have all of your following in once place and their rules change… you are out of luck. Kelly… didn’t like that FB was limiting her posts, so she went old school and moved her group to a forum.
Third, if your ideal client is on Facebook, then you need to have business page. Make sure you set this page as a bonafide business page or you violate Facebook’s terms of service and they can shut you down. (Later as you have your foundation laid, an advanced strategy is to have a related group page.)
Fourth, if your ideal client is on Instagram, then set up a business account. If you’ve never used Instagram or if you have limited time, then this can wait. But these are the most likely places for your ideal client.
Are there other online places to get leads for your business? Possibly. But until you maximize those 3 spaces, don’t waste your time on the other places. [now if you find that your ideal client isn’t on Facebook and/or Instagram, then don’t go there. If you find your ideal client isn’t online… then stop reading now and have a great day] But for everyone else, let’s keep learning.
Back to Your Ideal Client
I wrote a post previously about identifying your ideal client. Re-read it and come back here. As a quick refresher here are the steps:
- Write down your ideal client criteria
- Determine who that person (or blend of people) is. Give them a name and a picture if you can.
- Write down their demographics, psychographs and social graphics.
- Create a board/collection of things that resonate with your ideal client
Now, when you communicating to your ideal client, you need to make sure the following occur:
- You have a crystal-clear message – Are your services solving a problem or fulfilling need they have? Are you providing inspiration? One piece, one topic.
- You have spiffy, polished profiles that talk to your ideal client using their language. Clear, to the point, and concise.
- You use a variety of methods to talk to your ideal client. Most of us are used to creating photo posts. But throw in some video to shake things up.
- Your branding (your look and feel) is consistent across all channels (that is marketing speak for places where your ideal client will see you).
Today I’ve talked about how to successfully implement an online marketing strategy for service businesses. Here are your implementation steps:
- Write out your ideal customer. Include their hot buttons.
- Write down how you are going to help solve their problem or fulfill their needs.
- For each piece of content you produce, evaluate it for relevance to #1 and #2 above.
- Review your profiles to make sure you are touching on #1 and#2 above.
- Shake up your content type.
- Keep your branding consistent.
Over the next few weeks I will talk about each of these areas… So be sure you sign up to get these delivered to your inbox.
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