If you run a services business in today’s world, you need to have an online presence. The first thing a potential customer does if they need a service is open the top listings in Google and work their way down.
Marketing your business online can seem like a daunting task. But, with the right plan and tools in place, you can start reaching new customers. In this article, we will take you through some of the online tools available and how you can use them to grow your service business.
And listen, we know that you didn’t start your business to sit behind a desk all day. We have tailored our tips for providers operating with limited time and resources.
Add your business to Google listings
The quickest way to get your business in front of new customers is to set up your Google My Business listing. It is a free tool that allows you to get on Google without having to create a website.
When a potential customer looks for a service provider in their area, Google will show them a list of local businesses. You want to be one of the first service providers customers see.
To get set up, all you need is your company name, address and contact information. Once Google confirms your listing, you will start in Google Search and Google Maps.
Unfortunately, creating your Google listing won’t result in leads straight away. You’re competing against more established companies with their own websites and a large budget for Google Ads.
Still, it is the first step in establishing your business online, and you can use the tool to gather reviews and improve your rank on Google.
Reviews are your most effective weapon when it comes to ranking higher and reaching more potential customers. They establish trust, but the more good reviews you have, the more chance you have of customers seeing you and choosing your business.
A study from 2017 found that 84% of respondents trusted online reviews as much as friends, making them a vital part of your business growth.
And don’t worry about negative reviews, if they come, respond to each point while remaining courteous. Even if the complaint is unfounded, you want to portray a positive image in the eyes of other customers reading the interaction.
Dealing with positive and negative reviews alike may seem complicated, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it.
Set up a business Facebook page
Of all the social media channels out there, Facebook is still the best for small service businesses looking to meet new customers. Like Google My Business, Facebook is free to set up, and while there is a learning curve, it is not complicated to use.
Compared to some other channels, Facebook has quite a low cost per lead. One of the great things about Facebook is your ability to target customers based on business type, location, age and language.
You can create free organic posts on your page. These posts are a great way to establish your brand in the mind of customers. Focus on providing a glimpse behind the scenes and share customer stories.
Organic posts help you tell a story and build trust with customers. Make sure to use photos as these will grab more attention.
And remember to avoid being overly promotional: you want to be helpful and show your fun side. For example, if you are a grease hauler, you could start posting tips for restaurant owners to keep their trap clean between pump-outs.
Potential customers will appreciate this and trust you more.
Unlike organic posts, paid ads reach a large number of potential customers and can be an excellent way to promote your services.
The main benefit of paid ads is that you can target them toward specific online shoppers who need your service. Paid ads allow you to select the service radius, business type and profession of the customer you want to reach.
While Facebook ads are cheaper than other social media platforms, they can quickly wear out your budget.
Set up a referral system
I don’t have to lecture you on the importance of word of mouth. No matter the service you provide, recommendations are the key to growing your customer base, especially for service businesses dealing with other businesses.
Setting up a referral system could allow you to scale your ability to generate customer recommendations. Leverage satisfied customers by providing them with a small fee or discount when they refer a new customer.
The system gives you access to new customers whilst building more goodwill with existing ones. No matter how hard you try, customers will always be better at selling your business than you.
Your referral system could take various forms and will depend on the type of customer you serve. If you are dealing with a restaurant owner who gets a grease trap cleaned regularly, you could offer a discount on their next service.
Create a SwiftQuote account
At SwiftQuote, we have created an online marketplace for service providers to meet new customers. An online platform is one of the most cost-effective ways to win work online.
Customers can post job requests on SwiftQuote, allowing them to compare and book service providers like you. Create your profile in a few minutes and you can get listed in your area.
Once you are set up, you can bid on jobs with quotes which are free to send through the platform. You can also search for customers in your area and message them to get more details on the job.
Customers can pay you through the app or in cash and leave reviews on your SwiftQuote profile. With us, you can focus on providing a quality service, and we’ll help you grow your customer base.
We put all our time and resources into reaching out to buyers who want your service. Think of us as your business’ marketing team. Unlike Facebook and Google ads, we only charge a small commission fee once the service is complete. So you don’t pay anything unless you are already earning through the platform.
Focus on helping, not selling
Try and avoid pushing the sale. Focus your time on helping the customer understand the problem or type of service they require. Being helpful and outlining all the options available will put the customer at ease and build trust.
Use natural language, and explain what the service requires and how you plan to carry it out. Busy business owners will appreciate a detailed yet straightforward overview. Always be transparent about pricing, experience and availability.