Marketing a service business; The ABC's



When you provide a service such as coaching, consulting or training you are selling something intangible that cannot be seen, as products can. It’s harder for clients to compare your service to your competitors. You are actually promoting yourself – your own time, expertise and experience.

Ask for referrals

When you provide a service, clients have to know and trust you before they will buy from you. They are more likely to call when someone recommends you.

  • Ask for referrals when someone says “thank you” to you. This can be a client you’ve just helped, or a prospect who asks you for advice
  • Every time you receive a referral, send a personalised thank you to the person who recommended you. When a recommendation becomes a job, send something else to thank your referrer.
  • A great way to receive referrals is to give them. Be generous and think about who you can connect. When did you last give a referral? Who could you recommend right now?

Business networking

Networking is a great way to meet potential clients. This gives them the chance to start getting to know you, to decide if you’re someone they can work with.

  • There’s a huge range of events you could attend and it’s easy to waste time and money going to the wrong meetings. Look for the ones that attract your ideal clients
  • Stop selling. Too many business owners try to sell themselves while networking. When you meet someone for the first time ask questions and get to know them. Offer free advice or put them in touch with other good contacts
  • Networking is about building relationships, getting to know people over time and developing trust. Keep attending events and keep in touch with people you meet.


How can you use content to promote your business?

  • Write about what you know. Sharing knowledge and experience through written words works shows you really know your topic. Share your expertise through email newsletters, blogs, online articles and social media updates.
  • Speak about what you know. Whenever you’re on stage, video it and put that video onto your website. Create short video clips of advice.
  • Write a book: Done well, a book can become a powerful promotional tool

If you’re on a tight budget, stick to these three activities and you’ll get a really good return on your investment.