The 4 best free marketing strategies for service professionals…and how to get the most from them.
The Best Free Strategies
Including free advertising opportunities both online and offline, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of opportunities to market your services for free.
Before chasing after these opportunities, it’s important to remember that free means no financial cost. Even though it may not be necessary to spend money on free marketing strategies, it will be necessary to devote time and effort to planning and implementing them.
In fact, without the investment of a significant amount of time and effort, whatever free strategies you choose will attract few if any new clients.
From all available free marketing strategies, here are the four best.
From the perspective of professional service marketing, personal networking is simply connecting and exchanging useful information with other people.
This information could range from market research to identifying prospective clients.
If you are new to personal networking for marketing purposes…or would like some clarification of what to do and not to do…check out the DOs and DON’Ts of personal networking.
Referral marketing, based on word-of-mouth recommendations, offers the best advertising possible.
Not only is it free, but coming from independent third parties, it is more believable than paid advertising and self-promotion.
Experienced marketers commonly believe that 85% of new business comes from word-of-mouth.
Testimonials help reduce the hesitation that may prevent strangers from doing business with you.
If you talk about how good you are, most people will ignore your self-promotion.
If however clients say good things about you, prospective clients and contacts will find it more believable.
As third party endorsements, testimonials confirm your competence and trustworthiness…they enhance your credibility and make you more believable.
Similarly prepared for real estate marketing, the principles apply equally to all professional services.
Social Media Marketing
Social media applications such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter allow you to undertake personal networking … online.
They allow you to connect with more prospects and generate more leads.
Getting the Most From Free Marketing Strategies
As with all marketing, the more effectively you apply free marketing strategies, the better your results will be.
Getting the most from free marketing strategies requires effective preparation, engagement and follow-up.
Regardless of which free marketing strategies you choose to apply, the preparation is much the same.
Before starting to implement each strategy, spend some time considering what results you want to achieve from applying the marketing strategy.
For networking and social media marketing, desired results could include
- new market information
- increased profile
- new contacts and referral sources
- new leads
- what kind of information do you want to get … and are you prepared to give?
If you are looking for testimonials and referrals, the obvious questions are
- who are the most logical sources
- how can you go about getting these testimonials and referrals
The answers to these questions will help you develop appropriate objectives for whatever free marketing strategies you choose.
Meeting your objectives will serve as the focus of how you apply specific strategies. Your objectives will also drive your follow-up.
The keys to successful personal networking, whether offline or online are engagement are to listen more than you talk and give more than than you expect to receive.
The best approach to social media marketing is more about demonstrating and sharing your knowledge and expertise than actively promoting yourself and pitching your services.
In most cases, effective follow-up makes the difference between the successful application of marketing strategies and a waste of time and effort.
The nature of your follow-up is determined by whatever objectives you set for your marketing strategies.
By way of follow-up you will build on the results that your marketing strategies produced in order to achieve your overall marketing goals.
If for example, you are looking for new contacts or leads, phone or email potential network contacts and leads in order to continue to build relationships with these people. Similarly, if you received some information that you were seeking, take action on the information…and thank the person who supplied it.
By all means add new contacts and prospective clients to your mailing list. Just make sure you have their permission before sending any marketing messages.
If you’re not sure about the purpose or application of specific free marketing strategies, Personalized Achievement Coaching might help.
In most cases, one or two laser coaching sessions will clarify how to effectively apply these marketing strategies.