This will be the first of two blog installments covering marketing tips to help grow your small professional service business. Needless to say, there are many, many effective strategies, however, I tried to hone in on those that are affordable and make sense for the small or start-up professional service business.
- Get found on local search engines. Make sure your company can be found on all the top local search engines. An easy way to see where you’re listed and where you still need to be is to visit https://moz.com/local, plug in your website address and it will let you know what’s what (for free)!
- Publicize your “local” business address. As a local professional business service, there’s a good chance most of your customers are local as well. Therefore, make sure your business cards and website have your “local” business address (even if it’s just a PO Box.
- Email address needs to be a professional one. This means, buy a domain name and get some email addresses with your business name incorporated into it (firstname.lastname@example.org). Gmail addresses or your local internet providers’ will not come across as professional.
- Develop and use social networking sites and industry sites. As a professional service business, you need to develop a “personality” that can connect with your local customers/prospects. The same way a brand must create a brand image, so must you and your business. The best way to get your personality out there is by developing and using social networking sites. You can make invaluable connections by interacting with customers and prospects on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (not to mention Angie’s List, Google+, etc…). There are social media local advertising tools that are very cost-effective and should be implemented from time to time to build your following, publicize a special offering or promote a new service. Check out Nearby Tweets – on Twitter, where you can find local businesses, home owners and/or other prospects who may be interested in your services.
- Make sure all of your marketing communications are Clear, Convincing and Concise. Pretty simple in theory, but it’s best to either have a professional develop these for you and/or run them by all of your co-workers, friends and family, etc… to make sure you’ve got those 3-C’s covered!
- Generate & disseminate valuable articles. Article marketing is an inexpensive way to drive traffic via incoming links to your site. Create short articles so that readers can perceive you as an authority in your industry. There are many places to publish your articles, here are 50 article directories to potentially submit to: http://www.vretoolbar.com/articles/directories.php
- Blog, blog, blog. Blogging can provide the best return on investment of any digital marketing campaign, while also enhancing search engine optimization (by turning your static website into a publishing platform) and social media efforts. Here are a few aggregator sites in the blogging niche.
- Create videos. This is a tricky one. If not done well, it can cheapen your brand/company image – and no one wants that! There are small companies out there that can create very short videos (how-to’s, get to know us and/or before and afters). My suggestion is to hire one of them! You can create a video yourself, but if you do, definitely get others’ feedback on it before you hit publish! Once your video is uploaded, you can use a service like http://www.tubemogul.com/ to get your videos “out there” across the web to increase your visibility and bring traffic to your website.
- Use email marketing to sell more product. A monthly, opt-in e-newsletter with tips and advice is always a great strategy… www.getresponse.com is a fairly user-friendly email marketing company and they offer 30-day free trial.
- Volunteer at and/or sponsor local events. Great publicity can come out of donating your time and services at local events. Just scour through your local newspapers for upcoming events. Get involved in your local business/community development groups around town.
Check back next week for more tips on marketing your (small) professional service business. In the meantime, if you have any questions shoot me an email or give a call…I’m always happy to help!
Danielle Foley, President ~ www.FoleyMarketingAdvisors ~ email@example.com ~ (973) 632-9170