Intro to Influencer Marketing: Services Edition
How can you use influencer marketing for your service-based business?
Influencer marketing for services is different than influencer marketing for product-based businesses because there is no product that can outweigh your relationships with customers. What I’m talking about here is strictly service businesses (not SaaS or products where service is just as integral in the business model as the product itself). These types of service providers usually refer to their “customers” as “clients.” Most always, there is more of a personal connection between service providers and their clients than there is with product-based businesses.
In an earlier blog post, I talked about how businesses that sell products can proactively create better relationships with their customers using influencer marketing. Using similar tactics, services can create lasting relationships with their clients. The easiest way to do this is by giving away your service for free in order to create future business. Although, as Gary Vaynerchuk preaches, you should give without the expectation of reciprocation. Don’t expect to get business from them in the future because this is manipulative and you will not be happy if they don’t want to pay for your service.
Don’t get me wrong, you want them to buy your service and tell all their friends how great you are so you can gain paying clients, but the key to gaining social proof (and sales) is by helping influencers without expecting this return.
How do I connect to influencers to provide my service to?
If you are a B2B service, LinkedIn is your number one opportunity to connect with business owners. Next, is on Facebook and Instagram. Like and comment on posts. Create a blog, vlog and/or podcast that helps potential clients with their goals (exactly what I am doing with this blog post and all of my other blog posts) Join groups that are relatable to your business. For example, here’s the list of my LinkedIn groups that I joined so that I can share value with other business owners:
Genuine value sharing will take your service business to the next level.
If you think that your service is too good to be given away for free, offer a discount of 50% or 75% off the original price. Something you might take into consideration when deciding which to do is that there is a psychological effect of price to the consumer. The higher the price, the greater the value the consumer puts on the product or service. Nonetheless, I advise you to do the work pro-bono and to not worry about that, most definitely if you are a startup with no clients.
After you work for free for 1-3 months, let your client know that you need to charge for your services from this point forward. If they say no, move on to the next business. Some businesses are stuck in their ways. Sometimes your service sucks. If your service helps clients reach their goals, you will have no problem succeeding with this strategy with smart business owners. Don’t waste time trying to sell people that your service will help: show them and move on if they don’t see it.