25 Ways to Market Service Business Online Effectively

15 Effective Ways to Market Service Business OnlineStarting and running a service business is not easy. Finding initial customers who want to use services, to timely completion of projects at competitive rates, is not going to be easy. It takes lots of strategic planning and execution to make it big. If you are planning to start a service-based business or you have already started a business in the service sector, then marketing is always going to be an issue. There can be many ways to market a service business, and that’s the most challenging part of doing a business. Be it a small business or a big one, you have to find new ways to market your service business.

We have worked with thousands of service providers (businesses) in India in different verticals including interior designers, movers and packers, cleaners, pest exterminators etc. Once the company is incorporated and it’s ready to operate, the next challenging part is marketing.  Sales and marketing are vital to run any business, especially the service-oriented business.

Here’s a detailed Video I did about starting a moving service business in India where I have talked in detail about everything worth knowing to start and market movers and packers business in India. You may like to check this video if you are planning to start a movers and packers business, which is a service-oriented business with a huge market.

You have certain fixed cost heads like monthly office expenses, manpower and resources and you have to meet those expenses irrespective of whether you get enough business for that month or not. Trust me, it always looks attractive to start a service business, when you look from the other side of the table. But in the true sense, there is lots of competition and you have to beat them all, if you want to make it big in the service business.

25 Best ways to market service business online

There are many challenges in operating a service-based business and marketing is definitely the one. In this post, I am sharing some of the best ways to market service business effectively and for less. Whether you are already running a service-oriented business, or planning to start one, this post will help you market your service business much more effectively.

So are you ready to explore?

Here you go.

1. Get a unique logo first

Do first thing first. Get a good quality logo designed for your business. Depending on the kind of service you want to offer, you should get a good-quality logo done. The idea is to create an identity for your brand that one can easily associate with and recall.

Business logos can be designed using various styles like all text, graphics, custom art and drawings and so on. Here are some of the best business logos for example.

  • Nike – It has a unique ‘right’ symbol
  • Facebook – It’s all text
  • Google – all text but various colours
  • Snapdeal and Flipkart – custom shape and unique font
  • FedEx – multi-colour fonts and text spacing make it unique

You know, the idea is to create a unique identity based on your targeted audience. Choose a business name, logo and tagline that is easy to recall and impressive.

2. Create a social presence

Once you have the Logo, you will be all set to create a social presence on various social networking websites. Now, every social networking website is targeted towards different types of audiences. Hence choose one where your targeted audiences are. Like if you are in recruiting, you must be present on LinkedIn. If you are in cleaning, pest control or other types of home service business, maybe a business page on Facebook will be more effective for you. The idea is to choose four or five social networking sites where you can find prospects and targeted audiences for your service business.

Why social presence first you may ask? Because it’s easier and you can start creating buzz about your services. And it’s free, reaches the right set of audiences and is the trend of the hour.

3. Start creating initial buzz

You have created a social presence. The next step is to start creating initial buzz about the services you plan to offer. Initial updates and communications on social media platforms should not try hard selling. Rather keep it soft, share knowledge, small bites, and tips that may be relevant to your industry and business. Here, the idea is to find initial followers and get some likes. Getting initial followers for your brand may not be easy and it may take some time. So have patience, build it slowly and you will make it.

4. Start building an email list

Social networking presence is done and you have started building followers and fans. Keep doing that consistently and start building an email list. You may share teasers, early bird offers etc. and get email IDs of prospects who may be interested in your services. Think of different ways to build an email list. Email campaigns can be very effective when done right, so don’t ignore this, especially in your initial days.

5. Get a website done

Logo is sorted. The next step is to have a functional website. Depending on the stage of your business, you can have a fully functional website with all of the services, offers, contact pages and all. Or if you are just starting up, you may like to keep it simple and stupid, but it must be functional.

List out the major objective of the website and then get a website done accordingly. Hire a professional who can design a good quality website rather than try on your own, unless you know how to design a website. Again for startups, when you are still unsure, you may like to go ahead with the basics, but the website is going to be the gateway to your business. People will check it first and hence it should try and win over your customers.

6. Set up an official blog

Regular blogging can do wonders in the marketing service business. It helps you share knowledge, industry news, case studies, how-to tips and whatnot. Apart from bringing lots of prospective customers, regular blogging has a huge impact on how Google discovers and shows your website/webpage in its search results. It will help you in SEO endeavors and that’s very important.

Make sure to publish good quality posts on a regular basis, because consistency is actually important for success in blogging. An up-to-date blog will also help you in building email lists that can be used for email campaigns.

7. Get local listing done

Both Google and Facebook offer local listing and it gives you a huge opportunity to market your business for free. List your business on Google local listing (Google Maps), LinkedIn as well as on facebook.

There are hundreds of other online business directories and you should try and list your business on as many as you can. Obviously, you will have the option to list as a free member and paid subscriber and you choose one that suits you. Listing as a basic or free member is okay and if you see results and benefits, become a paid member on sites that offer some ROI.

There are many benefits to getting listed on such a website. They help you bring free traffic to your website/social networking pages and then from there you can convert those prospects into customers.

8. Press release distribution

Changing your office, adding new services, spreading to a new city, doing a press release. Again you will have the option to submit your press releases as free or paid and you can choose the option that suits your business or based on the importance of the news you are distributing.

You may also like to build relationships with the journalists. There are many websites that show the email id of the reporter/author. Reach out to them with a relevant press release and they may like to publish it in their online/offline edition. That’s a free and effective way to market your business.

9. Run an email campaign

As I said earlier, a properly planned and executed email campaign can drive a lot of traffic and business. There are various tools and software products you can use for email campaigns. My favourite is Mail Chimp, but there are many options out there and you can choose one that suits you.

And what’s the best way to run an email campaign?

Well, it all starts with segregating the prospects or the email list. Sometimes you may offer two or more services and you don’t want to send the same message to everyone.

So create different communication for different types of prospects. Those who have already worked with you should not receive the same message, as those who are yet to work with you. You know, communicating the right message to the right list is important.

10. Create landing pages

If you are running various types of campaigns then you ought to try different types of landing pages as well. You don’t want all customers to land on the home page or the same enquiry page.

Create good converting landing pages for different campaigns you plan to run. If you are running a discount for Diwali, the look and feel should be different than the campaign you run on Google AdWords on a regular day.

11. SMS campaign

Running an offer, offering some festive discount? Run an SMS campaign with all your existing customers and new prospects. SMS is still very effective and if you are sending relevant messages, it can help you in business marketing.

But be careful and don’t send SMS to randomly picked mobile numbers. If you do so, you will not find it effective and you may get into legal trouble because of DND. It’s not a good idea to add anyone and everyone in mobile marketing. Rather you should communicate about your offers and deals with the customers who have opted to receive such updates.

12. Use Google AdWords

Not sure if you have tried this awesome tool or not, but it’s worth trying. Google AdWords can be very useful to bring prospective customers to your website and capture leads. In fact, Google offers free credits (in India) so that you can try and test the performance. Google AdWords is always paid, but it gives you the flexibility to set a specific budget for the day. In fact, you can set a budget for the keywords you want to target and there are many features.

Setting up a Google AdWords account is not complicated, but it takes some time to get the most out of it. So just hang in, measure your spending and ROI and tweak your strategy accordingly.

13. Social media marketing

Social media can do wonders when you use the right set of techniques and strategies. And for local service businesses such as home and office cleaning, pest control, local house shifting etc., it can do wonders. Especially Facebook and Linked in some cases. I don’t think Twitter is that effective, but Facebook is worth trying.

But then, measuring ROI for social media marketing is a little complicated. Facebook ads can be used to promote pages, and articles as well as to capture leads.

The key to success with social media advertising or Google AdWords is to constantly monitor and fine-tune your ads, keywords, landing pages etc. Keep monitoring, measuring and iterating to get the most out of online paid advertising.

14. Guest posting

You have your own official blog and that’s just fine. But if you can reach out to a larger audience who can be relevant to your services then go for it. And the best way to get it right is, to find guest post opportunities on relevant websites.

There are many websites that offer guest post opportunities. Contact the owner of the blog with relevant content ideas and they may publish your post. If not more, they will allow you to add a link in the Author Bio section and that’s from where you can drive traffic to your website. And build fans and followers for yourself and your company.

15. Use Quora

Quora is primarily a question-answer platform where any can ask questions. And if you can offer questions which are relevant to your industry, then you will get an additional channel to drive traffic to your website.

Quora also allows you to create your mini-blog where you can share various tips and ideas. And you should look to write good-quality content without duplicating Quora posts and answers. Quora also allows you to add external links while answering and you can add links to the relevant blogs and pages to your website to drive traffic. But remember to not overdo this.

16. Optimize your website

You already have a website. It’s time now to optimize your website and make it look fresh and updated. Make sure that your website follows the latest trends in technology. Like these days, having a mobile-friendly website is a must. Check if your website is mobile-friendly and well-optimized for Google and another search engine.

Search engine optimization is to help Google find and show your website and web pages in search results. There are professional organizations that offer search engine optimization services and you can hire one for your website optimization.

17. Video Marketing

Video marketing can be very effective for certain services. For example, if you run an interior designing company, you can create a video of the project and use it as part of your portfolio. Show the journey from a newly constructed empty flat to various stages of design and execution through a video with voice-over. Create a channel and upload the video on YouTube so that you can share and promote the video easily and for free.

Send such links to the new prospects and let them get a feel of the quality of your work. What do you think will happen, when a prospective client sees the video? Chances of conversion will improve dramatically.

18. Publish infographics

Infographics are the visual presentation of information i.e. when you present the same information through visual means (picture, text, colour etc.), it becomes an infographic.  You are supposed to share more with less with the help of images, pictures, icons, text etc. and present it in such a way that the reader can quickly scan through and get it. There are many tools and websites to help you create such infographics and there are many websites where you can publish them, including all the social networking sites like Facebook, Google My Business, Twitter etc. If your infographics are worthy, others with publish it on their platform and you will be able to drive relevant traffic to your website. And more traffic, means more business, no?

19. Use slideshows and presentations

Ever heard about slidehsare.net? It’s a LinkedIn company now. It allows you to publish all sorts of information, research, case studies, surveys etc. in a presentation form. And it’s much easier. All that you have to do is, draft a PowerPoint slide, register on slide share and publish your presentation. Once published, you can share and promote the link on various social channels. While drafting such a presentation, you can put your company’s logo on it or link to the website or a specific page. The best part is that Slideshare offers an embed code for each video, which means if your slide is of great quality, it will get shared/embedded on other sites and platforms as well.

20. Share worthy comments

There are many blogs and forums where hundreds of ideas are being discussed every day. Find a few blogs and forums, one which is relevant to your industry. Join these sites to learn and share valuable comments and inputs. It’ll help you brand yourself and you can add your own website as the link to your profile, which in turn will help your SEO endeavours and in promoting your business. Don’t just comment for the shale of commenting, make sure you add value.

21. Retain your customer

In a recent survey done in the US, they found that it’s much easier to retain existing customers than to find new prospects. And even customer wants to remain with a business and avail of services from the same company unless there is a cheaper alternative.

Do whatever it takes to keep the customer satisfied so that prefer to work with you and also refer new customers. A delighted customer could be your brand ambassador and spread the word about your business. And that’s probably the most effective way to market your business. You talk to an apple fan boy and he will give you N number of reasons to remain with Apple. Right from the overall user experience to customer support, make improvements where required and go the extra mile to keep your customers happy. This is seriously important in the service business.

22. Partnership with relevant brands

There are lots of small business owners who are looking for opportunities to market their businesses. Find such an opportunity and see if there is any possibility of brand association and partnership. Such partnerships and associations will be beneficial for both the business.

Look for such partnership opportunities online. Initially, you need not be required to target the big brands. Get along with smaller players and see how it goes and then look for larger associations.

23. Surprise one customer every day

Now this is exceptionally easy. Make it a habit to speak with one of your customers every day. Just call to say hello, how is life, how was their experience of the customer with your business and all. Not a pure sale thing, but interacts like a human. Don’t automate this process. Do it manually, maybe post a handwritten greeting or a thank you card or whatever different idea you may come up with.

Let it be, a human-to-human interaction. This step is going to help you figure out what is to be done next to market and scale your business.

24. Practice transparency

In the service business or any other business for that matter, transparency is seriously important. Clear and transparent communication can help you take your customer happiness index to greater heights. People love honest and transparent communication.

For example, you are in a home cleaning business and have an appointment with a customer on a Sunday morning. Your team is supposed to reach the site by 9:30 am. Obviously, the customer is waiting for your team to come over and start the work. Now if for any reason, you know that your team will be late, just update the client and make him understand the genuine reason for being late.

Now take this. You are aware that you will be late, the customer is calling you and you are not taking the call. You are ignoring the call. Your guy is late by 2 hrs and then you respond and make lame excuses. Do you think that customer is going to book your services next time?

Think again. You just lost a great opportunity and you will end up with lots of bad reviews online and bad worth of mouth offline.

25. Practice consistency

Consistency is the key to success in whatever you do. And you must practice consistency in business. Whatever you are doing to market your service business, try and be as consistent as possible. Be it the usage of logo, fonts, colour combination, tone and style of communication, you ought to be consistent with it.


Running a successful service business is not easy. Among many other challenges, how to market your service business is the biggest and most complicated one. But thankfully there are some quick and effective ways to get it right. And here’s what you can actually do to get it right;

  • Get a professional logo designed for your business
  • Create social presence on relevant social networking websites
  • Start creating buzz as early as possible to make fans and followers
  • Start building an email list for the email campaign
  • Setup a professional website and an official blog
  • Send press releases to relevant sites, blogs and media houses
  • List your business on various directories, including Google Local listing
  • Try email and SMS campaigns with relevant landing pages
  • Try social ads and Google AdWords for paid advertising
  • Use social sites like Quora and look for guest post opportunities
  • Look for partnership opportunities with relevant brands
  • Do whatever it takes to retain existing customers
  • Practice honesty, transparency and open communication

Service business is not easy, but if you can figure out the right techniques and know how to get it right, it’s going to be much more interesting and exciting.

Over to you

From my personal experience, I can tell you there is no entry barrier in the service industry. Anyone can start any business, but running and scaling a service-oriented business requires a different kind of approach. Bringing in new prospects, finding new customers and retaining existing clients are not going to be easy. But thankfully, there are ways to get it right.

We have already discussed some of the techniques above and I plan to add more tricks in this post and keep it updated. I will be adding more tips and tricks to help you promote and market your local service business. If you are into a local service business and have some ideas, feel free to share them with us by commenting below.

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