How Do You Market a Service Business? (With Helpful Examples)

Running a service business can be very demanding.

Not only do you need the right blend of skills and industry knowledge but also solid business acumen and, most importantly

You need to choose the right customers. 

And this is where some of the biggest challenges service business owners face begin.

But in this short tutorial, you will have an effective plan you can use starting today.

First, before we get into the actual strategy and tactics, here are some of the basics you need to get a handle on in order to market your service business.

5 steps to market your service business:

  1. Clearly define who your ideal customer is. If you try to sell to everyone, your sales will be slim to none. But when you clearly identify your best customer starting with demographics (age, location, habits) and some basic psychographics (innovator, survivor, thinker), your chances are much better that you will attract a growing base of clients.
  2. Focus on your customer value proposition. Simply look at the options your customer has, make a list of the reasons why your customers buy those options (save money, a quick fix to their problem, a status symbol, etc) and then make your offer meet those reasons and add more value (less cost, more value, free bonus, etc.) Don’t overcomplicate this, but focus on adding more value. An annual SWOT analysis is a helpful activity for many service providers as it clarifies your thinking and helps with planning your marketing strategy.
  3. Decide upon your marketing mix. Also known as “the 4 P’s of marketing”, the marketing mix is no different than a recipe. Each ingredient is an important part of the marketing plan and is composed of these 4 elements: Product,  Promotion, Price, Place.
  4. Find your optimal pricing strategy. One of the most important decisions your business can make is setting your prices.  If your prices are too low, sales may rise but your income will suffer. If your prices are too high, your customer may go to a competitor.
  5. Keep your customers coming back. Gaining a customer is 50% of the marketing formula. Keeping your customers is the other 50%.  Don’t be that service provider that overlooks their existing costumes - reaching out 1x year with a sales offer.  Have a plan to stay in regular communication and build a bond. Use email and text message marketing, social media marketing (that your customer most enjoy) and targeted direct mail marketing in your plan.

Now that we have these foundational items in place for your service business, let’s now get into an actual marketing strategy that you can start immediately to promote your business and gain and keep customers.

8 Ways to Promote a Service Business

When it comes to promoting your service business, you need to be proactive in your marketing strategy. Here's 8 best ways you can promote your service business right now:

1. Use Google My Business 

Google my business is one of the key channels to promote your service business and get people to connect with you and your services. This tool is free and also very effective when it comes to managing your online presence across Google, including Maps and Search.

2. Make Your Website for Mobile 

Google search central reports that 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones and 77% of mobile searches occur at home or at work. A mobile-friendly website is critical for your online presence.

If you are on a budget, while this is not a long term solution, Google My Business has a mobile-friendly free website option you can easily implement. In addition to building your website for mobile, you also need to focus on a fast loading site and a secure website search snapshot of a mobile friendly site

3. Define Your Target Market

If you serve a local customer base, what’s the radius around your location (your home, your office or your home office) where the majority of your customers live? Apply the Rule of 80/20. You can simply use Google Maps to get an idea of the radius. There are plenty of free tools that can help you define the radius so you can develop your marketing mix.

4. Use Social Proof

The good thing about using social media to promote your business is that you get to choose who you want to target and how you want to target them. For instance, you can use different social media channels to convey the same message but in different styles. Facebook will allow you to promote your business with long-form content, while Instagram will let you use eye-catching pictures. On the other hand, Twitter will see you use limited characters and trending hashtags. You can also use social media to share your blog posts and even customer reviews. Additionally, use testimonials, client case studies and stories of success. Push these stories out on your social media platforms.

5. Host or Support an Event 

An excellent way to attract customers is to participate in important events either as a host, contributor, or sponsor. You want to make sure that the event you are about to host or support is relevant and of interest to your target demographic. For example, if you are a wealth preservation specialist, host a seminar with an accountant and a local attorney on related topics. Work together and announce the event to each other's customer list.

6. Use Email Marketing

People love valuable email! Recent reports suggest that email is checked up to 10x a day! Your best customers are no different. Email offers you a highly targeted method of delivering private email communication directly to one person at a time, amplified by as many people in your list. Few things in your business are as important as your email list and your email marketing strategy. The best service companies on the planet take extra care in ensuring their email list is well maintained. You should too.

7. Use Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail properly done is your secret weapon. Not only because your competitors won’t be using direct mail which leaves your best customers’ mail box free and clear for your targeted messages, but because people LOVE receiving fun, entertaining direct mail that communicates value.  Go here for a couple of direct mail marketing examples you can do right now.

8. Track Your Results and Scale Up

One of the biggest benefits of a service business is the higher percentage of gross profit and net income versus a typical product-driven business.  This gives your service business more resources to be better at marketing than your competition, especially when your costs are carefully monitored and your prices are optimized.  For best results in marketing your service business, take careful monthly measurements of your most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and learn to segment your customer base using a recency, frequency, money (RFM) analysis.

About Your Strategic Marketing Partner
Sam Hirschberg, MBA, is Your Strategic Marketing Partner in Arizona. Always professional and a delight to work with, Sam is not your typical “marketing consultant”. Unlike most consultants who tell you there is a problem and say, “See you later and good luck!” Your Strategic Marketing Partner knows how to find solutions, execute programs, test and measure campaigns, and how-and-when it’s time to roll-out big! You are invited to call (602) 892-0777 to learn more about Sam’s background on his FREE 9-minute recorded message.  For more information about Sam, please visit



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