When you work for yourself in a service based field, marketing can be tricky. You will probably find you go through a continuous process of trial and error, but I want to give you some tips from my experience to help you start off on the right foot.
First point, it doesn’t work. People just don’t like to be sold to. We are marketed to approximately 44 times a day, every day. If that marketing is obvious we just shut it out, and sometimes even get annoyed. You have to find a way to let people know what you do without actually selling to them. Remember that selling is pressure, and is different to informing of their options. You will probably find yourself drifting back in to selling when you feel the pressure to make bookings, but resist this. I will even go as far to say that it damages your ability to make bookings, rather than doing anything to help you as intended.
Now, this is what does work. Connection marketing in a service based field is essential. It allows you to overcome the negative vibe of selling, and shows potential clients that you genuinely care about them. When you make genuine connections with people, they remember you. When they remember you, and the topic of your work comes up in conversation they are likely to mention you.
Showcasing Your Skills
Helping people to have a clear picture in their mind of what you actually do is really important. If people don’t know exactly what it is you do that can help them, there is no way they will book you. It is important that you find a way to showcase your skills to potential clients, and ensure that you show them the whole range of skills you have. It actually doesn’t matter how much information you give away, people don’t only want you for your information. They want you for your problem solving skills and support too.
Your connections and skill showcasing will start the process of building trust, but you have to do more. Trust comes from your general reputation, so integrity in your work is important. When people love what you do, they will be happy to talk about they way you improved their life. Testimonials are great for this too. The more authentic the marketing strategy comes across, the more authentic it will be.
Jade is a Director and Lecturer at the Institute of Parenting Support Services and Director and Senior Educator at Early Childhood Parenting. She practices in Adelaide, South Australia. She is the mother of two beautiful children. You can reach her at 0415507004 or firstname.lastname@example.org