Marketing Your Service-Based Business on a Budget

Modern entrepreneurs and service-based businesses face a paradox: to make money, they need to market their services. To market their services, they need money. This challenge can create fear-based inaction that leaves a business stagnant and struggling.

Fortunately, there are a lot of affordable options for marketing your service-based business on a budget. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started. 

Create a Conversation Starter

Consider what you can do to set your business apart and get people talking. Word-of-mouth marketing is more powerful now than ever before. Get people talking about your business, and the work is done for you.

Hilton successfully built their business by starting their chocolate chip cookie campaign. This simple alternative to the mint or chocolate on your pillow at a hotel generated a significant buzz that put their brand at top-of-mind when people needed overnight accommodations. 

Consider what your business can offer as a hook that makes you just a little different from the competition.

Get Into Guest Posting

Guest posting on other websites has two benefits for service-based businesses. Creating backlinks to your website helps boost SEO and improves your SERP rankings over time. Additionally, being featured as a guest helps you position yourself as an expert in your field and builds your reputation at no cost.

Reach out to websites that relate to your industry without being a source of competition. Share your expertise on commonly asked questions and topics related to your business offerings.

Outsource Your Efforts

It may seem counter-intuitive to pay someone to handle your marketing when you’re concerned about money, but it works. Unless your service-based business is marketing, it’s safe to say that this isn’t your area of expertise. Instead of spending your valuable time and money trying to figure out a marketing plan, work with an expert who will get it right on the first try.

Outsourcing also creates a one-stop-shop for various marketing needs. For example, the experts at handle everything from website building to reputation management through one centralized platform. Outsourcing lets you focus on your area of expertise to build your business through quality customer service.

Focus on Collecting Customer Reviews

Customer review management is an essential part of operating a service-based business. Potential customers want to know that they’ll be getting value for their money. Reviews are a powerful form of social proof and can ultimately determine whether a customer chooses you or the competition.

Create a pipeline to help you capture and repurpose customer reviews across various channels. For example, you can post a social media campaign asking satisfied customers to leave a review on Facebook. Create an email campaign asking retained customers to leave a review on Google. Use those reviews as a highlight on your website to encourage future purchases.

Create Shareable Content

The more shareable your content, the wider your reach. There are two key things to keep in mind when creating shareable content: value and visual stimulation.

Share your valuable knowledge and expertise in social media posts and online articles. The more helpful people find this information, the more likely they are to hit that share button. Infographics and aesthetically-pleasing posts or videos are also more likely to be shared than huge blocks of text. Consider how you can use these to engage your online audience.

Get Involved in Your Community

One of the best ways to generate word-of-mouth marketing and local hype is to get involved in your community. Get your business involved in community events, offering charitable services and support during difficult times. Not only will people associate your business with positive actions, but it’s also a fantastic networking opportunity.

To effectively market your business on a budget, you need to think outside the box. Find that balance between being frugal and cheap when starting a business, and the rest will fall into place.

Drew Neisser