I know that most small business owners are usually not able to find the time to do all of the marketing that they should do, but I also know that consistency is absolutely VITAL if you want to grow your business easily. So lets look at a simple Sample Marketing Plan for Small Business Owners, just to show you how this can be easily implemented in any service business.
This article is designed to show the owners of service based businesses the most effective forms of marketing so that they can make the best use of the available time to market their business.
What are the most effective forms of marketing for service business owners?
When it comes to marketing, not all marketing tactics are created equal.
I like my clients to use, what I call, ‘easy life client attraction’.
What is ‘easy life client attraction’?
It is marketing that lets your ideal clients find you at the precise moment in time that they are ready to buy your services.
They have buyer intent behind them, meaning they want to give you some money so that you can help them now.
They are motivated and in need of what you provide.
When you get this right, not only do you attract your ideal clients at the precise moment in time that they are ready to buy your services, but you also get a client who has already decided that you are the right business to help them, so price is much less of an issue.
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Click the button below to download your Sample Marketing Plan PDF now:
By way of a brief introduction, I am Nick Jervis, formerly a solicitor but since 2003 a full time marketing consultant to the owners of service businesses.
I manage an annual marketing spend of millions for my clients, both online and offline. I base my advice on what I do for my own business and for my clients’ businesses.
I test all marketing on my own business first.
If I tell you to do Google Ads, it is because I do Google Ads and know that it works.
If I tell you to do email marketing, it is because I do this and know that it works.
I practise what I preach. I am not one of those ‘fluffy, never tried any marketing but I will tell you what I think might work for you’ consultants.
There are enough of them out there, I know because I used to employ them in the legal world, which is what made me realise there was a gap in the market for what I do.
On that point, let me tell you what separates my very successful clients from my ‘doing ok’ clients.
1. How you start your day matters, a lot!
Whenever I meet a new client I always ask them how they start their day. Bearing in mind that they are usually speaking to me, a marketing consultant for service business owners, to discover how to win more clients, their answer often surprises me:
“Oh, well I usually check my emails and social media first.”
“Oh, do you? What do you do next then?”
“I then get to my office, deal with any more emails that have come in, deal with any staff issues, then the day just sort of passes before I do the same the next day.”
“So, when do you do your marketing then? When do you spend time working on growing your business?”
“I don’t, really.”
You can do one thing now that will dramatically improve the success of your business for years to come.
First thing, every day, whenever you wake up, DO NOT CHECK EMAILS, DO NOT LOOK AT SOCIAL MEDIA, do nothing except think about how you can attract more clients to your business.
Then, when you get to your desk or your office, spend the first 30 minutes of every single working day working on the growth of your business. I tell you below the sort of marketing you should be doing, but unless you use this time every day to do it, you will not see the growth in your business that you desire.
However, if you put this in place as a process that you follow every day, your business will thrive.
I explain this to business owners sometimes and they tell me that ‘they are different’ (they aren’t). They tell me that they need to see what is in the inbox so that they can plan their day around it.
But therein lies the problem. If you currently do this, you are planning your day’s activities around ‘everyone else’s to do list’.
You may have emails from your clients, your staff, your friends and every one of them is asking something of you.
Even if you (mistakenly) believe that you can ignore all of the emails that you have glanced at, then do some meaningful work on your business before going back to them alter, you won’t be as effective as if you do not look at your emails.
Your brain will subconsciously be thinking about all of your clients’ demands on your time. It will not be 100% clear to focus on the growth of your own business.
You have given away the best part of your day to everyone else.
I promise you, if you can change your process to spend the first 30 working minutes of your day working on the marketing of your business, before emails or social media, you will make some huge strides forwards.
On the flip side, if you disregard this part of your marketing plan, you will scratch around at your current level forever.
I know because I have seen this happen to business owners time and time again. I don’t want this to happen to you.
Nagging over; now let’s move onto the fun stuff.
What can and should you be doing to grow your business?
2. Your Website.
Bearing in mind that I love ‘easy life client attraction’ ELM, a business owner’s website is one of the best types of ELM known to man (or woman).
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 your website can attract new clients to your business and convert them for you, when it is done well.
Now is the time to go through your website and ensure that it absolutely as good as it can be.
- Does every single page on your website tell your visitor in no uncertain terms what they should do next to progress the relationship. This should not be ‘go to our contact page’; that is making it way too hard for your prospects. It should be a more clear call to action. If you are a DNA Marketing Now business, this call to action should tell your prospect to call you on XXX, email you on XXX@YYY or to complete a free online enquiry (which links to a form on a separate page (which is not your contact page where there is too much going on to distract your prospect)). If you are a DNA Marketing Nurture Business, is there a guide for me to download so that you add me to your email list?
- Do you have a page for every single one of your services as opposed to one page listing all of your services (making it very hard to believe that you are a specialist if that is the case)?
- Do you sew in reviews amongst the content on the page (not just on the right hand side of the page or the bottom, but amongst your lovely words selling your services?
- Do you have proof of your expertise, such as references to the publications that you have been quoted in, professional bodies you belong to etc? These items prove your expertise and dramatically increase the chance that you will be contacted by your prospect.
- Do you add high quality content which answers the questions that your ideal clients are typing into Google each and every day? If not, now is the time to start doing this, then using it as the content for your next marketing tactic below. I have a lovely way of seeing what your ideal clients are typing into Google. Download my guide at the foot of this page, then reply to my first email with the subject line “How do I find out what my clients are typing into Google, Nick” and I promise to let you know what it is.
Your website should be bringing in as much as 70% of all new business enquiries for you. If it is not yet doing this, or not bringing in enough volume of enquiries, the activities above will make a big difference.
3. Start Or Grow Your Email Marketing List
Every service business owner MUST keep in touch with his prospects and clients AT LEAST every month to ensure that they generate repeat business, recommendations and referrals.
If you are in the B2B sector this is especially important as your next client may well already have someone providing the service that you provide.
Unless and until you have an active email list, which grows by offering an ‘item of value’ to your website visitors in exchange for their email address, you will miss countless opportunities to win new clients.
Your ‘item of value’ can be as simple as a free ebook, a PDF Guide, a video or even your brochure, but you must offer something from your website to earn the right to keep in touch with your prospects (future clients).
If you have more time available now you should start your email marketing list and start growing it (download my guide below and in the resources I include my guide showing you how to set up an email marketing list – very easy).
If you have a list already now is the time to SERVE that list with high value content to show that you really understand your prospect’s needs. Then, when the time comes that they look to change their provider (and the economy picks up) you will be in a race of one of one to win their business – that’s the kind of races I like, do you?
4. Google Ads
Once you have your email list set up and an ‘item of value’ to offer your prospects, send more visitors to your website to download this guide and join your email list.
If you are offering a service for which there is still a need now, you have even more reason to do Google Ads now, because many of your competitors will have ‘terrified’ themselves out of the market. They will have stopped all marketing waiting for things to return to normal. If you act now, when things do return to normal you will already have taken care of their clients.
Google Ads is one of the best, if not the best, forms of ‘easy life client attraction’ in existence.
If you need more leads fast, you should be using it. It usually takes around 3 months for a campaign to reach maturity, so starting it now would see you running well once we come out of the other side of this tunnel.
For more information you can download my Google Ads Whitepaper:>>
5. Your referral strategy
Most service business owners who I know receive a lot of referrals from other businesses.
However, when I ask to drill down to the numbers, this is where they struggle.
Most business owners do not know how much new business is referred from each of their referrers.
If you receive referrals, now is a great time to start really taking great care of your referrers.
Here is my suggested plan from this day forwards for you:
- Track every referral into and out of your business.
- After three months, meet with your best referrers and ask them if you can do anything else to help them or their clients (serve, don’t sell).
- After another three months, when you know exactly what they need from you, ask them how you can work together to generate more referrals for their business and for your own.
- Once you know which type of businesses are your best referrers, go and find more of them!
The ideal place to do part four is on LinkedIn, which is another place you can spend some time now growing your connection with your ideal clients and referrers (SERVE, DON’T SELL).
Simply click the button below to download my Get Clients Fast book and resource pack: