Marketing your service business is not a once-off task.
Yet, I see so many people marketing their service businesses with once-off campaigns and promotional activities they never run again.
This approach is such a time-consuming and inefficient way to market your business.
Not to mention costly, as you are effectively starting from scratch every time.
I learnt about the importance of repeatability in marketing quite early on in my corporate career.
And you only need to look around you to know that the larger and most successful businesses don’t operate in this once-off way.
Take the airline Qantas as an example. They have been running their award-winning “I still call Australia home” campaign for years.
Or Mastercard, which has been running its “Priceless” marketing campaign for as long as I can remember.
Successful service businesses like these two examples develop marketing campaigns and test them until they know they work.
Then, they repeat these campaigns year after year (with perhaps just a few minor tweaks to keep them fresh).
Each part of the campaign, including the creative elements, marketing channels, content planning, and advertising, forms part of the marketing system that they repeat to generate leads and make sales consistently.
A marketing system is a repeatable process that you design, implement, and review to attract clients, generate sales, and grow your business.
Like all operational business systems, well-designed marketing systems create time and cost efficiencies, improve performance, and grow profits.
There are several types of marketing systems that you can create within your service business, and in the blog post below, I’ve outlined the five marketing systems I believe every service business should have.
As you’ll see from the list below, you can also combine these marketing systems into one over-arching marketing system to successfully market and grow your service business sooner.
The first marketing system you’ll need when you start your business is one to grow your community and email list.
It’s how you’ll get your name out there and create visibility for yourself and your business.
This means having a system to create content, promote this content, and then include links and invitations throughout to get people to sign up to your email list.
It’s a process that a business can repeat many times over with new (and evergreen) pieces of content.
Depending on what you enjoy and your strengths, this content could include a blog, a podcast, or a video series that you regularly produce.
In addition, you’ll likely promote this content via social media and using search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques on your website.
In the final stage of this system, you’ll have an incentive or freebie (lead magnet) that you will use to get people to join your email list.
When it comes to marketing services, you’ll need to build a higher level of trust with your potential clients than in comparison to marketing products.When it comes to marketing services, you’ll need to build a higher level of trust with your potential clients than in comparison to marketing products. #leadgeneration Click To Tweet
This is because you’re selling an intangible item and one that people need to trust you will successfully deliver on.
As such, you must have a marketing system to build authority and credibility.
An example of this type of marketing system is where you:
You must build this system into your ongoing marketing activities to be consistently present and not just a one-off thing you do.
You can also build authority by regularly collaborating with other businesses, appearing as a guest on podcasts, and asking for referrals from past clients.
Once you have people in your community and nurture them with authority-building content, you need to have a marketing system that encourages them to make an enquiry.
This is where your marketing campaigns and promotions come into it.
A well-designed marketing campaign will have an offer, a deadline for taking up that offer and be promoted in a way that makes it stand out from all your other marketing activities.A well-designed marketing campaign will have an offer, a deadline for taking up that offer and be promoted in a way that makes it stand out from all your other marketing activities. #marketingstrategy Click To Tweet
In addition, your offer will work to qualify your leads as it will likely only appeal to those in your community who are interested in working with you.
Another way to further qualify your leads is to have a form or application that people need to complete before you agree to meet with them.
This form enables you to ask a series of qualifying questions and decline those who you don’t believe will be a good fit for you and your business.
As you can see from the marketing system outlined above, the campaigns will help you improve performance by increasing your enquiry level; and the application forms will save you time as you’ll only be meeting with your most qualified leads.
A sales system or process is essential if you want to maximise your sales conversion rates.
If you can increase your sales conversion rate, you don’t have to generate as many leads to make the same money (reducing your marketing spend).
Or you can grow your sales revenue without having to spend any additional money on marketing (if you keep your marketing budget at the same level).
So, how do you create a system and process to sell more of your signature service?
From my experience, an effective sales system and process requires:
When you have designed and tested your sales process, and you know what works… then, you can set up a system such as the one I’ve outlined above to repeat the steps over and over to save time and improve your sales performance.
This marketing system can also be referred to as your client onboarding process.
It’s the series of systemised steps you follow each time you make a sale and transition from the sales call to your first appointment.
In my Client Onboarding Checklist (which is free to download here), I outline the five stages of my client onboarding system, which are to:
By following a system such as the one outlined above, you will also set clear boundaries with your clients, saving you a lot of time (and stress) when dealing with possible client requests and questions in the future.
As mentioned above, you can combine these systems to create an over-arching marketing system for your business which will help you get to where you want to be sooner.
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