Owners of service businesses have special challenges in marketing. Selling the intangibles of our services can add a layer of complexity to marketing efforts. Let’s look at the biggest marketing mistakes made by owners of service businesses.
1. They have no marketing plan.
They delude themselves into believing that all they have to do is declare their business open, and prospects will come and convert to clients. Even worse, they have no idea how to put together a marketing plan. They convince themselves that occasional, inconsistent, and random marketing activities constitute a marketing “plan”. Actually, what’s happening is a series of (often) desperate and disconnected actions remotely (and unrealistically) intended to bring in new business. To remedy this: Start with a solid marketing plan.
2. They fail to execute the “marketing plan” they put together.
They sporadically take action, but, more often than not, neglect to act. Their “marketing” occurs in fits and starts and couldn’t possibly yield results. They never gain any momentum with their efforts, and don’t achieve any recognition with their target market. To remedy this: Execute your marketing plan consistently and predictably.
3. They don’t define their target market explicitly enough.
They like to fantasize that EVERYONE is their target market. This amounts to laziness and will cost your business. When you don’t target correctly, you waste time and money distributing your marketing materials to a disinterested audience. Since they feel no connection or resonance with what your marketing writing says, it’s the same effect as your marketing materials going straight into a trash bin. To remedy this: Clearly and accurately define your target market.
4. They don’t create a compelling marketing message.
The words used in their marketing writing don’t “hit home” with their target market. There’s no emotional or “gut” reaction. They fail to use the language, words, and phrases that attract their target market. They aren’t describing the prospect’s problem in a way that creates immediate identification. To remedy this: Create a clear marketing message that your targeted prospects instantly identify with.
5. They don’t “paint a picture” of what the prospect’s life could be like once their problem is solved.
They don’t help prospects make that fantasy leap from current problem-riddled reality to a future of freedom from the problem. There’s no effort to help prospects imagine how things could be for them. To remedy this: Put together a full-fledged description of what life could be like once a prospect’s problems are solved. Help them see and experience the possibility.
6. They give no Call To Action.
They fail to gently instruct prospects how to take the next step to work with them. They imagine that the prospect will be so excited to buy that they will – on their own – figure out what to do, and overcome any fears and take action. They don’t understand the value of guidance and invitation. It’s the same concept as orienting and welcoming a guest in your home. It’s almost a matter of manners. To remedy this: Provide a clear and obvious Call To Action.
These are the biggest marketing mistakes that owners of service businesses make. The good news though is that they are not difficult to fix.
Suzi Elton provides business writing that attracts targeted prospects to your service business and converts them into clients for you. She is a Robert Middleton Certified Action Plan Marketing Coach, as well as a professional writer. Her website offers a free series of 8 assessments you can use to analyze your own site.