How do you create a great service business marketing strategy? Find out from ZinePack founder and Shark Tank winner Brittany Hodak.
Are you struggling to figure out how to market a service business?
A lot of service business owners do.
What you may not realize is that you can learn a ton about service business marketing from people who don’t own service businesses.
That’s why I enjoyed speaking to Brittany Hodak on a recent episode of the CEO Warrior Podcast.
Shark Tank fans may already know who she is.
Brittany managed to walk away with $750,000 from the notorious sharks to help fund ZinePack.
And she’s a marketing genius.
Brittany’s listed on Advertising Age’s 40 Under 40 List. She’s on Inc.’s 35 Under 35 list.
And the United Nations has recognized her as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the United States for two years in a row.
So she knows more than a little bit about marketing. And I had the chance to extract some service business marketing secrets from her during our conversation.
Here are five that you need to know.
Service Business Marketing Secret #1
Cover Every Single Touch Point
When people think about marketing, they think of an advert in a newspaper. Or they think about some leaflet that they get in their mailbox.
They misunderstand what marketing really is.
According to Brittany, your service business marketing strategy has to cover so much more than that.
She says that marketing covers everything that she does. From when she wakes up in the morning to when she goes to bed, she’s marketing her business. And even when she’s asleep, anything that happens with the business is a form of marketing.
That’s because everything relates to everything else in your service business in the modern world.
It doesn’t matter if you have the best TV ad or a killer social media strategy. All of that gets canceled out if you’re a jerk on the phone or you send a bad email.
You have to focus on every single touchpoint that you have with your customers. And that means you need systems in place for everything.
That’s what John Parker of JSP Plumbing found out with CEO Warrior
John came to a CEO Warrior event without feeling exactly sure what to expect.
But he soon fell in love with how our service business marketing coaches do things. His biggest takeaway was that you need to have a system in place for everything in the business.
That means you have to invest in what you’re doing. To be the best, you have to treat your business like it’s the best.
That goes for your marketing too. Every aspect of your business is a part of your marketing strategy.
Consider every touchpoint. How your trucks look and the words that come out of your mouth are just as important as your ads. In the age of social media, when bad service can go viral, they all link together.
Service Business Marketing Secret #2
Your Core Values Are the Key to Consistency
How can you get more consistent with your service business marketing?
After all, you need to get your message out there constantly to keep yourself in the minds of potential customers. But if you’re sending out crappy and inconsistent messaging, it’s going to get tuned out.
Brittany says that consistency comes from your core values.
Every individual and every business has a set of core values. These are the things that define who you are and what you stand for. Your values tell your customers exactly what they can expect from you.
And that means they inform every piece of marketing material that you put out there.
According to Brittany, you need to use your core values as a litmus test.
Stack every aspect of your service business marketing strategy against them. Check the materials to ensure they’re consistent with the values of your business.
Look at the language you’re using, both in your copy and when you’re talking to people. Does it reflect the message that you want to put out there? Are you living the values that you’ve created for your business?
Potential customers may turn away from you if they aren’t.
If your marketing doesn’t match your values, you create distrust. People don’t know who you really are because they’re getting mixed messages.
Service Business Marketing Secret #3
Ask Who You Don’t Want to Work With
Your customer avatar is a pretty simple thing.
It’s your definition of your service business’ ideal customer. This is the person that you want to work with because they help you generate more revenue so you can grow your business.
When you have your customer avatar, you also know exactly who to target your marketing towards.
But there are two sides to the avatar coin. To understand who you want to work with, you have to figure out who you don’t want to work with.
In Brittany’s case, she wanted to work with brands and celebrities who aligned with her vision for her company.
Anybody who doesn’t align falls in the “don’t work with them” category.
Ask yourself the same question.
Who do you want to avoid with your marketing efforts?
If you’ve been in business for a while, you likely have a few nightmare clients that you can tell stories about. These are the people who drain your time, energy, and resources.
Figure out what makes those people tick. Find out where they are, what they do, and what they need.
Then, check your messaging to make sure you’re not appealing to them.
Once you’ve done that, you can focus on aligning your marketing with the people that you do want to attract.
Service Business Marketing Secret #4
Get Laser Focused
You can’t be everything to everybody.
You can’t offer a Mercedes Benz at Kia prices. And if you try to do that, you’ll fall victim to copycat marketing. You’ll do what other people do despite the fact that it doesn’t serve your business.
Brittany’s seen it and points out some of the dangers behind it.
The first is that you come off as inauthentic. Let’s say there’s a tech brand that’s copying Apple’s marketing strategy. People will see right through it because nobody can offer what Apple offers.
And that brings me to Brittany’s second point:
You have to market yourself based on what you’re best at.
That means getting laser focused on your service business. When you go too broad, you come off as inauthentic and you end up targeting people that you don’t want to target.
That’s what Brittany found out with ZinePack. When the business first started in 2011, it took a broad approach. Brittany stayed open to every possible customer.
But through focus testing, she identified the business’ “super fans”. They were the people who made the most noise about the business and really helped to drive revenue.
ZinePack got laser-focused on those people.
The end result was 350% growth in just 12 months.
Figure out who you are and who you’re targeting.
And as importantly, learn how to say no to the people who don’t fit your mold. Say no even if they shove huge wads of cash in your face.
They’ll just distract you from what you really want to achieve with your service business.
Service Business Marketing Secret #5
Nobody Can Copy Your Brand
Building from the point about authenticity, Brittany notes that nobody can copy your brand.
It’s completely unique to you. No-one else has your exact story of experiences. And nobody else has the same goals as you.
Take Bart Palmer of Rues, LLC. as an example.
For over 18 months, Bart Palmer has attended CEO Warrior’s seminars. He keeps coming back to the same seminars for a simple reason.
They help him to build his brand and get results.
Bart wants to build the largest service business in Colorado. That’s a brand message that nobody else can take from him.
And he’s on his way. Rues, LLC. achieved 30% growth during the 12 months after Bart became a Warrior. And it’s on track to achieve 40% growth for the following year.
Here’s the key message for service business owners.
On the face of it, we all cover the same thing. If you’re a plumber, there are a dozen plumbing businesses that offer the same basic services.
But they don’t have the same branding that you have. They don’t have your core values and they’re not as focused on delivering a WOW service to their clients.
You have a unique service business. Build on that uniqueness and use it to fuel your marketing efforts.
Build a Powerful Service Business Marketing Strategy
Those are just a few of the secrets that Brittany shared with me during our conversation.
The big takeaway is that service business marketing doesn’t start and end with the materials you put out.
Every touchpoint matters to your potential customers.
That’s why it’s so important to create a brand with a consistent message. Don’t copy other people and figure out what your values are.
That creates the authenticity that draws in the customers who align with your vision.
Of course, creating your strategy is not as easy as it sounds. That’s why I have one question for you:
Has success been elusive and you feel stuck?