Before leaping into the creative, when it comes to marketing your service there are several key questions to ask yourself that will reveal the best methods for marketing your service, developing a creative brief, creating the guidelines to keep things consistent and measuring success.
Get Specific on Goals
First, what are you trying to accomplish? Not high-level revenue targets, but think in detail what needs to happen to get that revenue. There are different stops on the sales journey that will cull prospects until you get those highly qualified few that ask for a proposal.
- What are your specific goals (ie: two $10,000 clients and five $2,000 clients by December, twice that in the funnel)?
- Identify every step of your sales process and how many prospects you hope will move along.
- How can you compel prospects to buy or take further steps?
- How will you measure success of your marketing at each step?
Look at the Competition
Yes, you do have competition, even if they’re not exactly like you. It’s a good idea to know what your main competition is doing so you can gauge what you’re up against and how to make yourself different in the marketplace. And that is a BIG question! When it comes to marketing your service, chances are your competition says the first thing you say too. Dig deeper.
- Who is your main competition and how are they positioning and marketing themselves?
- How are you different/better than them?
- How do you prove your differentiator?
You can never get too detailed in thinking about your ideal client – right down to the coffee they choose: Starbucks versus Tim Horton’s is hugely telling. You want to figure out where and how to marketing your service to them. Don’t be afraid to get specific – you aren’t excluding anyone; you’re just focusing on the ideal.
- Describe your ideal client in as much detail as possible.
- What is their pain?
- How can you convince them you’re the best to solve their pain?
- What are the opportunities to get in front of them?
Planning the Tactics
Marketing your service can easily fall apart if you don’t plan. You need to decide in advance what you are going to do so not everything is panicked and reactionary. Plan out the timing from start to delivery and assign the right people to it – inside, out-sourced, etc.
- What activities should you be doing and when? Create a work-back schedule.
- Who should be executing those activities?
- What will each cost? Remember details like courier fees.
Set Your Tactics up for Success
In goal setting I asked you to look at each step and decide what you want prospects to do. Every marketing tactic should reflect or promote each step and lead people to that final step that needs to happen to make a sale. It can be really easy to just throw something in there, but that leads to inconsistent pieces that don’t propel people down a path.
- What do you want this tactic to compel your prospects to do? (ie: fill out book consultation form)
- Does this tactic support a path to that objective? (ie: an easy way to do that)
- Do your tactics support an alternate action? (ie: not ready to book, so sign up for alerts)
- Is this tactic consistent with your brand (colours, imagery, messaging, etc)
- How will you track and know each tactic is successful?
Lather, Rinse, Repeat
If you want your business to grow you need to be constantly marketing your service. The best way to do that is not just repeat year after year, but look back at what worked and what didn’t to make adjustments.