Building a Consistent Business Service Funnel
Many service business owners work in cycles, focusing on a single client
or a small group of clients for a period of time, then frantically marketing
again to get a new round of work. More than 50% of service business owners
work within this feast or famine cycle. The problem with this approach
- It means that the business income fluctuates
- It adds unnecessary mental stress
- Prospective clients often detect the desperation and resist hiring
A better approach is to balance your current client load with marketing
efforts that drip feed messages over a period of time. This requires a
systematic approach to marketing that is conducted offline, online and
through direct marketing. An effective online drip marketing campaign
to maintain a more even service pipeline might include:
- Prospecting - Giveaway: Traffic generation techniques
provide a way to keep new prospects entering your marketing funnel.
By using a tactic often called the "ethical bribe", you give
your traffic something for free in return for their contact details.
This giveaway should be something of value to your target market –
a solution to a pressing problem in the form of an ebook, special report,
e-course, audio recording, video, or combination of these.
- Maintain Contact - Newsletter: Once you have contact
with your prospect you need to build a relationship with them. A good
way of doing this is through a newsletter. This may be hard copy or
Ezine distributed by email. The main goal is to stay in touch and establish
an ongoing link with the prospect. Send out at least one newsletter
a month, two if you have enough time.
- Offer a Way to Interact – Blog: blogs are an
invaluable way to interact with your prospects and existing and past
clients. Not only do they build trust in your expertise but you get
to learn more about them and their problems. This leads to new ways
in which you can help them and create more income. Encourage your blog
readers to subscribe to your blog RSS feed. Post 2-3 times per week.
- Build Your Expert Status - Article Marketing: To
generate traffic to your site or to your blog, write and publish high
quality articles that demonstrate your expertise. Place these articles
on your website and blog, and distribute them through article directories.
These directories are surfed by Ezine publishers, reporters, print media
editors, and bloggers in search of quality content to present to their
- Help Others to Help You - Social Networking: Social
networking is an essential part of your profile building toolkit. At
the very least have profiles Facebook and Twitter,and at least 2 lenses
on Squidoo. For a more direct sales network try eCademy. This is a pure
business network that actively generates contacts through clubs, forums,
webinars, physical get togethers etc.
- Min seminars / Speeches / Teleclasses / Webinars:
Offer to speak to local groups that comprise your target market. Ask
if you can offer back of room items for sale – books, seminars,
work kits etc. This may range from a 10 minute after dinner speech to
a 1 1/2 hour mini-seminar. These are very effective in building your
list and increase the number of prospective clients. Design a signature
speech or teleseminar that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise
without giving away the ‘secrets’ you plan to sell. You
can achieve this by focusing on the what and the why but not the how.
This ‘taster’ compels your listeners to visit your website
and sign-up to get your giveaway. They you have them on your list.
- Videos / Powerpoint: Create short video snippets
of your seminars to upload to YouTube. You can also add your powerpoint
presentation on media sharing sites such as Scribd.com or slideshare.net.
Don’t try to implement all of these devices at once. Work with
one for three months, then add the next. Little by little, each drip forms
a stream, and each stream grows to a river. This is the best way to leverage
your time and cover a wider geographic region than one on one marketing
And remember - use Google Analytics and other tracking to monitor your
success as much as possible at each step of the conversion process.
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Business Success Index | Entrepreneurship
| Prospecting | Selling
| Six Sigma | Change
Management | Stress Management