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By : Karen Lasser, 05-06-2015

Marketing your professional services business is critical but doesn't need to cost you a fortune. There are plenty of ways you can reach your target audience and promote your professional and trustworthy firm that doesn't involve using large PR companies or an extensive amount of advertising.

To be most effective, you'll first want to decide who you're going to target in your campaign. It's not worth spending money or time chasing the wrong audience. Defining your audience is a central aspect to any marketing campaign. You can begin by asking yourself questions such as “Who do I want to work with?” and “Am I targeting businesses or individuals?” Think about demographics (age, gender, etc), geographics and psychographics. The more personal data you've collected about your current clients, the easier it will be to build your target audience. Once you've defined your audience, you have to make sure it's a large enough segment to target and that it's easily accessible.

When planning your marketing campaign, it's always a good idea to be creative while making sure to avoid several well known marketing myths. It's also recommended to look at other successful marketing campaigns people have tried in your industry. There are some pretty genius marketing ideas that you can find online if you search. Keep in mind that you do not need to reinvent the wheel. It's a good idea to focus your marketing based on seasons relevant to your industry. For example, if you run an accounting firm, you should think about promoting your services just prior to tax season. If you are a wedding photographer, be conscious of wedding season and plan your campaign appropriately.

There are probably a ton of marketing opportunities you never even knew existed right in your community. Get a hold of community calendars and see when different events are taking place. These could be anything from a lecture series at the community center to the Memorial Day parade. Every event needs sponsors. You may even be able to set up a booth at the event and give out promotional material. This would also be a great opportunity to create of a very attractive business card.

Think of ways you can promote your services in an indirect manner including hosting your own events. If you're a photographer, consider hosting a monthly photography class at your studio or out in nature somewhere. If you're a physical trainer, start a running group that meets weekly at your gym. If you're a web designer, think about hosting an event for small business owners talking about the importance of having a website. You can bring in other area professional to give talks as well such as graphic designers, online marketing pros and so on. The more people coming in­and­out of your office means more potential clients.

Take steps to really claim your spot as an industry thought leader. If there's a local newspaper or bulletin in your neighborhood, offer to write a weekly column or guest post. If you're a wedding planner, you can write about tips and tricks on how to plan a beautiful wedding without the stress. Before you know it, people will be reading your articles and contacting you for work.

Conferences and trade shows are also a great way to promote your services. For example, if there is a conference in town that will attract start­up companies, you should definitely consider attending if you're a lawyer, accountant, graphic designer or any other relevant professional. If you're in the wedding industry, find out when and where there are bridal shows and make sure you're in attendance. There will be plenty of soon­to­be­newlyweds to speak to. Whenever attending an event, make sure you come armed with enough business cards.

No matter what type of marketing campaign or promotional event you're holding, make sure you are prepared to collect people's contact information so you can remarket to them in the future. Great marketing programs will help you continue to grow your contact list as well. When speaking to your current clients, ask them to spread the word via a refer-­a-­friend program. This word­of­mouth promotion can actually be on of your most valuable techniques since ninety percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. You'll want to have a giveaway or promotion as part of your refer-­a-­friend program to help it grow quickly.

There are a lot of ideas out there and like any small business owner, you have limited time and resources to commit to your marketing. With a bit of planning and strategic thought, you can be well on to your way to a successful marketing campaign. Good luck and let us know what other marketing techniques you'd recommend to professional services business owners.

Have questions about marketing for professional services businesses? We'd love to hear them! Send them directly to biznetwork@ezbz.co and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. You can also contact us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn where we are always listening!

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