Congratulations! You’re about to add a service offering into your business.
As someone who provides services in my business, I know the exciting, yet challenging road you’ll face while you get your new service off the ground.
Service offerings are vastly different than product offerings. They’re intangible, which means building trust is more difficult.
You’re selling your intellect; not a product people can see, feel and touch before opening their wallet.
Even if your business already has a following of people who have purchased a product from you before, you’ll need to start from the beginning to build interest specifically in the service you’re introducing.
Related Article: Email Marketing: 6 Growth Hacks for Building Your Email List in 2016
Here are five steps to make that happen.
1. Schedule Your Photoshoot
Don’t think a photoshoot is necessary? Think again.
When it comes to service oriented businesses, one of the best things you can do is establish trust up front.
To do that, you need to introduce who will be handling the service you provide. By having pictures taken, you can immediately put a face to your business name, eliminating at least one reason for people to avoid contacting you.
2. Start Your Email List
How big is your email list? Is it focused on your service offering? Or is it built to provide information about another aspect of your business, such as a product offering?
Regardless, when you’re starting fresh with a new service product, you need to start from the ground up with your email list too.
Don’t assume people who have purchased a product before from your business will be interested in your new service.
To gauge interest and build the following specifically for the service you’re about to provide, you need to make an introduction and invite people to follow along on your journey.
Start a conversation now, before you’ve fine tuned your service offerings. This will help you in two ways.
It’ll let you share your expertise and let your niche know about what you can offer, even if you’re not specifically clear on what your offer looks like yet.
It’ll let you get feedback from a core group of people interested in your industry so you can shape your offerings to what customers want.
Start building your email list as soon as you have a website and sign up form ready. Send regular articles, tips or links to blog posts.
The earlier you can begin interacting with your potential customers, the better response you’ll get when you launch.
3. Choose One Social Media Platform, Then Go All In
Too often, I see business owners opting to target as many social media platforms as possible. This is a poor strategy and one that often backfires.
Choose the social media platform that best aligns with your service offering. For example, if you’re targeting other professionals, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn is best.
If you’re a scholarship finding service targeting teens, you might be better off using Snapchat.
Once you’ve chosen your one social media platform, dedicate yourself to filling your profile with helpful, non-salesy posts. The more value you offer, the faster you’ll grow your list.
4. Advertise on Social Media
Building your social media following organically is time consuming and tedious. To speed things up and let people know you’re around, invest in social media advertising.
This is an extremely cost effective way of getting the word out about who you are and what you offer.
Most social media platforms will let you choose your daily budget, which can be as low as $5 per day.
There’s a hidden perk to starting social media advertising prior to launching your service business too.
It lets you test your messaging and see what gets your audience most excited. These lessons are invaluable as you start to put together the final pieces of your sales funnel.
5. Set Up Your Landing Pages
Once you’ve decided what you plan to deliver to your customers, it’s time to design a successful landing page that converts interested people into buyers or subscribers.
Much like social media advertising, landing pages let you test different messaging to see what gets people to act. Remember to make tweaks to your landing page slowly and thoughtfully.
Don’t make too many changes at once or you won’t know what worked. For example, if you’re not sure whether it’s your headline or call-to-action stopping people from signing up, tweak one and then test it for a week.
Then, tweak the other and test it for a week. Slow and steady wins the marketing race in this case.
The biggest thing you can do for your business before launch is build trust and awareness.
Give your customers a reason to listen and then earn their attention by following it up with ultra valuable information. I’ve seen companies have tremendous success using this approach.
Related Article: No Stopping Us: 9 Newbie Mistakes Your Startup Can Avoid
What have you done to prepare for your service business launch?