I’ve had a lot of conversations with new business owners over the past few years — everything from the consult calls I’ve done to the many hours I’ve put in coaching clients and helping them launch and grow their businesses.
And the most popular question I get asked (in one form or another) is:
“What should I do to market my business?”
And while I stand firmly by my philosophy that as a coach, I will never just tell you what I think you should do because that’s not serving you and helping you make your own decisions, there is some good news.
There is no one perfect channel, and there’s no top-secret strategy that successful business owners know that you don’t!
They just picked a channel and stayed consistent. Every marketing tactic, whether social media, networking, blogging, or podcasting, takes work.
And it’s not really about the channel you choose; it’s the strategy you create around it that truly matters.
In this blog, I will share four steps you can take to market your service business, no matter which channel you choose. These are the same steps I take my clients through as we work together to launch and grow their businesses.
1. Get clarity on who you serve and what you offer.
The first and most crucial step is to get clarity around who you serve and what you offer. If you’re unclear on this foundational information, your marketing will be all over the place. You need to know exactly who your ideal client is, what problem you solve for them, and the benefit of working with you.
Until you have clarity on this, you won’t be able to communicate it with others.
2. Create an intentional marketing plan.
To get the best results from your marketing efforts, you need to take a look at your personality and strengths when choosing your marketing tactics.
For example, an introvert who is good at writing should consider blogging. In contrast, an extroverted person who is a great teacher might want to host free workshops to promote their business.
–> Want to know your marketing superpower? Take my free quiz and get three custom strategies just for you.
Another mistake I see new entrepreneurs making way too often is thinking that they automatically have a strategy once they’ve chosen a marketing channel (like social media or blogging, for example).
Not quite. You need to build out a strategy around your chosen channel in order for you to start attracting clients. This doesn’t mean just choosing how often you post; it’s more nuanced than that.
Say you’ve chosen Instagram as your marketing channel. Great! Now you’ll need to put together a content calendar so you know what topics you’ll be covering and so you can start being more intentional about what you’re creating.
Which brings me to my next point…
3. Build out your customer journey.
An essential part of online marketing is understanding your customer journey and creating content that will bring people one step closer to becoming your client.
It’s a well-known fact that it takes at least seven interactions with a brand for someone to become your customer. And the way this happens is by leading a potential client through a specific journey, nurturing them along the way.
So, that’s why it’s important to develop a content calendar (see my previous point) and start tying together your different marketing efforts. For example, most of your marketing content should have a call-to-action (CTA). This is a little bit of instruction telling people what they should do next.
If you leave this part out, people will either search for their next step on their own or abandon it entirely. If you want to have more control over what they see next, then it’s a good idea to include a CTA.
This can be everything from asking someone to book a call with you all the way to signing up for your main offer.
When you get further along in your business, you can start building an email list so that you can automate a bit more of this nurturing.
4. Optimize your efforts.
This last step happens over time. Once you’ve launched your business and have started implementing your marketing plan, you’ll want to track your results. Everything from looking at the data for individual posts to see how well they are performing to how much interest you’re getting from the various marketing channels you’re on.
Looking at this data over time will help you create more content that you know will work well and also help you stop focusing on things that aren’t working for you.
To illustrate this point: I recently looked at the data for my last few consultation calls and clients and realized that most of the people who had booked calls with me had come from Google search. This told me that the work I’ve put in around my blog and podcasting (as well as guest posting) over the last few years had made more of an impact than Instagram (my main social channel).
So, I’ve pivoted and started focusing more on things that build my SEO vs. social media. It’s not that I’ve completely stopped posting; it’s just that I’ve decided to downgrade that tactic a little bit in my overall plan.
Creating this type of content is more of a longer-term strategy, but I’ve seen that it has worked for me, and my site is starting to rank on search, so I want to keep building that momentum.
Want more support in marketing your business?
Check out my LAUNCH WITH EASE program for new entrepreneurs where we work together to help you get clear on what you want to build, I guide you in creating your own custom marketing plan and I help you break down any mindset issues standing in your way.