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How to Promote a Service-Based Business: Dos and don’ts

Do you run a service-based business, like financial services, a law firm, in-home services, or consulting? If you offer services (especially business-to-business services) vs. products, your sales cycle is typically longer than someone clicking on a Facebook ad and buying all kinds of weird and wonderful products.

(Anyone else getting bizarre ads from Temu?)

If you’re selling something with a higher value than a bottom wiper (surely!), you’ll need to take a different approach. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts for promoting your service-based business.

How to promote service-based business: Dos

1. Build a strong online presence

In today’s digital age, your online presence can make or break your business. Here are some of the critical components of a solid digital presence:

  • Your website should be more than just a virtual business card—it should be a hub of information, showcasing your services, your team, and your values. Don’t hide your real identity! Your clients are going to work directly with you, so help them get to know you.
  • Invest in search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure that potential clients can find you easily.
  • Choose social media platforms that resonate with your audience and use them to engage, educate, and inspire.

How are you showing up online? Ask us about an online presence audit.

2. Get involved in your community

Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, especially for service-based businesses. Get involved in your community by joining local groups and organizations that align with your values. Build relationships, offer value, and be genuine in your interactions. Your reputation as a trusted member of the community will precede you, bringing in new clients and opportunities. For example, we joined the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce in an effort to get more active locally.

3. Learn about your competition

Your competitors can be a valuable source of insights and inspiration. Take the time to research and analyze what they’re doing right—and what they’re doing wrong. Use this knowledge to differentiate yourself, whether it’s through pricing, marketing strategies, or customer service. By understanding your competition, you can create a unique value proposition that highlights why your target audience should choose you.

Need help highlighting your strengths and differentiators? Download our free Digital Strategy Questionnaire.

4. Optimize your content for search engines

SEO helps your web page rank higher on search engines, increasing your visibility on the web and bringing organic traffic to your site. As you create amazing content, you must also optimize it for search engines. For that, you need a strong keyword strategy, good content structure, and engaging copywriting.

Wondering where to start?

Download our free eBook: 5 things your small business can do right now to improve SEO

5. Use social media strategically

Consumers often reference a brand’s social content when making a purchase decision. But using product-focused social media strategies to market a service-based business won’t necessarily deliver the results you’re after. You need to choose your social media platforms and content formats strategically to get the best bang for your buck.

Suggested reading: 10 tips to market your service-based business on social media

Is your LinkedIn presence lacking?

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How NOT to promote service-based business: Don’ts

1. Don’t overspend on advertising

Advertising can be expensive, especially for small businesses with limited budgets. Be strategic in your advertising efforts, focusing on targeted, cost-effective channels that reach your ideal clients. And remember, sometimes the best marketing doesn’t cost a dime—word of mouth, referrals, and organic social media can be just as effective, if not more so, than paid advertising.

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2. Don’t blindly follow larger companies

What works for big national brands won’t necessarily work for a local, service-based business. Avoid the temptation to mimic the marketing strategies of larger companies and instead focus on what sets you apart. Customize your approach to your target audience, leveraging your unique strengths and values to attract and retain clients.

3. Don’t only focus your content marketing on self-promotion

It’s long been said that content is king. But there’s a crucial caveat: it’s not just any content. Customers are looking for solutions to their problems, not long lists of features and laundry lists of self-promotion.

Whether through engaging blog posts, insightful social media updates, or educational video tutorials, you need to establish your service-based business as a trusted authority in your field. Sharing these resources helps your audience make informed decisions while boosting brand exposure and solidifying your position as a go-to expert in your industry.

You may also be interested in: 6 ways to promote your small business without being promotional

4. Don’t forget about customer testimonials

Customer testimonials are a powerful form of social proof, providing reassurance to potential clients and validating the quality of your services. Don’t be shy about asking satisfied clients for feedback and testimonials, and prominently feature them on your website and marketing materials. Positive reviews and endorsements can be the deciding factor for hesitant prospects, helping you close the deal and win their business.

5. Don’t neglect your existing customers

While attracting new clients is important, don’t forget about the ones you already have. Neglecting your existing customers can be a costly mistake, as it costs 5 to 25 times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one. Your existing clients are your best advocates. Don’t overlook the power of nurturing these relationships and turning one-time clients into loyal, repeat customers.

  • Keep in touch with past clients via email marketing.
  • Offer special promotions or discounts.
  • Show them that you value their continued business.
  • Listen to their feedback.

Need help figuring out how to promote your service-based business?

Promoting a service-based business requires a marketing strategy that sets you apart from the competition, attracts new clients, effectively showcases how your services solve your customer’s problems, and builds long-lasting relationships with your target audience.

At Brighter Messaging, we specialize in supporting small, service-based businesses that come to us for help wading through the marketing jargon and figuring out what they need to do to achieve their goals. If you need help promoting your service-based business, get in touch with our team to schedule a free consultation.

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