In essence there are only two types of businesses: product-based businesses and service-based businesses. You can offer both but each branch has its own unique characteristics. Marketing your service-based business, whether as a helping professional or a small business with employees, is both similar and distinctly different from marketing a product.
As a product-based business your products act as part of your marketing. Potential customers can touch them, try them, and get feedback from current clients about them. They can interact with the product before they purchase. A service can’t be held, or tried before it is experienced. As a service business, the people you serve fill this role. They share what you do with people who don’t know about your services.
Unlike a sellable product, your clients are living, breathing beings with individual interpretations of their experience. Once your services are out in the world it is the experience of your clients and students that gets shared. It is the experience your clients have that is your “product.”
In the marketing world there is a lot of talk about creating value. Value is the amount of usefulness or meaning that an experience gives your clients or students. For a product like a car you can crunch some numbers and discover the financial value it can bring to a person’s life but there is so much more to value than just the numbers. Maybe the car makes it easier for the customer to get to work or to get their family to school. But what is the value of a service and how do you know it holds this value for your clients and students?
Many Health & Wellness-based helping professionals offer client services that bring great value to their customers’ health leading to improved quality of life, increased joy, and longevity. Though you may know these benefits, are they contributing to your customer’s sense of value? This is where it becomes important to step back from your work a bit. Of course you know your services are valuable. The key as a helping professional or service business is to understand what you offer from the perspective of your clients and students.
When discovering the value of your services, pause your personal beliefs and step into the reality of your clientele and studentship. When their time with your business is done, what are they left with? What do they actually take home? Don’t make assumptions, reach out to your current customers and ask. Get curious and discover what they value about their experience with you. Why do they keep coming back, and even more importantly, why do they not return. If possible put yourself through the experiences you offer. Take the course you teach, get a massage from your skilled staff, or pop into a fitness class and become a student.
The experience you sell as a service is the tangible object that customers purchase. What they take away from their time with you is what you are asking them to pay for. Once you intimately understand the value of their experiences, marketing will be much easier.
Marketing a service is all about sharing value. Understanding what your customers find valuable about their experience is what will inform your marketing messages. Create content that shares the different aspects of value clients and students receive from your service. Highlight what they will feel afterwards and how they can put that feeling to use in their daily lives. Spotlight these valuable experiences in your marketing material and draw in the potential customers your services were meant to help.
Dot & Line Digital is here to help. If you want more guidance, or are looking for support in managing your digital marketing, book a Discovery Call now. We can help you bring your services to those who need them most.