Service companies, professionals, and freelancers need to find ways on how to attract more clients to boost their brand and increase revenues. If you’re a business consultant, website designer, SEO expert, freelance writer or someone who provides professional services, you have to utilize the Internet to find more clients and keep your business or profession thriving. Here are 18 ways and more tips to promote your services online and grow your service business, profession or freelancing.
1. Create a website
A website will be your primary step to having an online presence. It is also your first step to being visible on the search engines, social media, web directories, and other places on the Internet. It is your website information that are indexed by search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. It is also your website contents that are shared on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Furthermore, your company or professional website is what you will list on web directories.
2. Maintain a blog
Aside from a website, you can also setup a blog within your website using CMS like WordPress. Blogging or publishing regular fresh and useful blog posts will make your site rich in information that will be indexed by search engines and will be shared by social media users. A blog will also help you build your reputation as an author, educator, and professional as long as you will publish quality articles that answer the questions and needs of your target audience. Just imagine if you have a blog like this blog you are reading now, which is visited by hundred thousand readers every month. It will already give you a significant visibility online, isn’t it?
3. Create a Facebook page
Facebook is where the crowd is. If you want to promote your services on the social media, then you have to go with the largest social networking site – Facebook. Creating a Facebook account and creating a Facebook Page is free. To attract more followers to your Page, you have to always update it with engaging statuses and other posts that are related to your services or related to your audience. You should also interact with your followers to build lasting relationship with them. Remember that Facebook is about creating friendship and relationships.
4. Join or manage Facebook groups
There are many active groups on Facebook in various categories. You can join groups that are related to your profession or services. For example, if you are a website designer, you can join groups about web design, Internet marketing, small businesses, and other groups that may have interest in website development. Remember to always follow the rules and regulations of any group you are joining to avoid being kicked out and having a bad reputation. If you can’t find a perfect group for you, then you can also create and start your own group on Facebook for free.
5. Promote your services on Twitter
Twitter is everywhere. It is both global and local. People can also easily access their Twitter account, send tweets, and read the latest tweets from people or organization right at their mobile phones. To promote your services on Twitter, you have to build a professional Twitter profile, post updated and helpful tweets, and attract more loyal followers. You can also use hashtags to make your tweets more searchable on Twitter.
6. Grow your circles on Google+
Google+ is another social networking site that you shouldn’t miss, especially if you are in the online business and Internet marketing industry. Besides, Google+ is owned by tech giant Google, Inc. – and all your Google services are already accessible via one Google account. Moreover, your Google+ profile photo is also a requirement for Google Authorship Markup, which shows your picture in search results for your web pages or blog posts. Google Authorship is one way to build your reputation on Google searches. Check out my Google Authorship picture below for a particular search term which makes my post more clickable than the rest that don’t have one.
7. Promote your services on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the largest social networking site for professionals. According to the website, there are currently over 200 million professionals who use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas, and opportunities. So if you want to expand your reach and promote your professional services, join LinkedIn and start growing your professional connections. Make sure to fully complete your profile (professional background, honors and awards, certifications, skills and expertise, and other information) and to get good recommendations from your connections.
8. SEO your website and blog
Don’t just create a website or blog to showcase your services and wait for visitors to land on them. You have to do more than that. You have to drive more traffic or visitors from search engines to your website and blog through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO involves improving your site’s content, titles, meta descriptions, keywords, architectural structure, and inbound links. You may read these SEO tips to drive more search traffic to your website or blog.
Aside from SEO which you can do for free, you can also try paid search marketing or PPC advertising on search engines like Google AdWords and Bing Ads if you have the money to spend.
9. Share your content to more social media
Social media marketing or promotion doesn’t only extend to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn. There are still other social networks that you can utilize to find more clients depending on your specific industry. For example, if you are in the graphic design industry, you can also promote your services on social networking sites or online communities for designers, like Flickr.com, Pinterest.com, Dribbble.com, and deviantART.com. You can always use Google to search for the “top social networking sites or online communities” for your specific industry.
Moreover, you can also use social sharing buttons or plugins on your web or blog pages so that your readers can easily share your content to their friends or connections on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social networking sites.
10. List your services on top job marketplaces online
Another way to promote or advertise your services for free on the Internet is to create an account on top job marketplaces online and list your professional services there. You can try oDesk.com, Guru.com, Elance.com, and Freelancer.com to find more clients or service contractors. When you list your services on these sites, they become more discoverable to potential clients. Take note that you must deliver quality services and satisfy clients from those sites to receive positive feedbacks and maintain a good reputation as a service provider.
If you’re still new and you are willing to accept services for $5, you can join Fiverr.com and offer your services on this site. You can also limit your $5 service offer for one time try only and invite your satisfied Fiverr clients to become your regular or returning clients. This way, you won’t be stuck with the $5 service price.
11. Write guest posts
Writing quality articles or guest posts for other reputable blogs and online publications within your industry is also a great way to promote your services online. By writing guest posts, your short biography (with your name as the author and website link) will be included in each of the article you contribute. This will help you grow your audience, increase quality backlink to your site, drive more traffic to your landing page, and increase your clients. To fully enjoy the benefits of guest posting, make sure to choose only the websites or blogs with high authority and with visitors who are looking for information that are relevant to your services. It’s difficult to be approved as a contributor in reputable sites because of their tough requirements, but once your article is approved and published… the benefits are fulfilling.
12. Write eBooks
Writing an eBook will help you establish your reputation as an expert in your field. You can write an eBook and distribute it for free everywhere on the Internet from your blog to different online communities. You can also use it as a reward for your visitors who will subscribe their email to receive your website or blog updates.
13. Create how-to videos
Video marketing is also a great way to promote your services online. You can create how-to or tutorial videos that are related to your expertise to establish your name in your industry. You can create a Youtube channel and other video sharing accounts to upload and share your videos to a wider audience. You could also share your videos on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social networking sites.
14. Share your presentations and documents
Aside from sharing your informative videos, you can also share your educational presentations and documents to teach people online. You can create an account on Slideshare.net, Scribd.com, and Google Docs to make your presentations and documents available to the public. This Internet marketing tactic will help you drive more traffic to the website link you put on each of your document, establish your name in your chosen industry, and attract more clients for your services.
15. Join online forums
Join online forums that are related to what you do – and help members. Online forums and communities are always active in different discussions. People gather there to talk about the forum categories. You can always search for online forums which are very relative to your services. For example, if you are in the business coaching industry, you can search for “top small business forums” on Google to find forums where small business owners hang out. If you are targeting local clients, you can also search for forums in your country or region.
16. Be a resource speaker
Becoming a resource speaker is also one way to promote your services online, especially if the event is attended by bloggers and people who are active social media users. As a resource speaker, you are not only given an opportunity to brand your name or company, but you are also given the opportunity motivate people and touch their lives – a great way to earn loyal followers.
17. Use analytics
Internet marketing is not all about mouths and talks, but it is also about brains and analytics. Boost your online marketing campaign by learning how to analyze your site’s metrics, social media insights, and other statistics. You can use Google and Bing Webmaster Tools to analyze your site and visitor statistics. You can also use Facebook insights to analyze your Facebook page followers’ demographics. By analyzing your site’s metrics, like the behavior of your visitors, you could come up with more effective and efficient online marketing strategies and tactics.
18. Encourage word-of-mouth marketing
If you want to promote your services online, you have to start it by improving your product – your services. Take note that as a service business or as a professional, your merchandise is yourself or your team of people. That is why before you offer services and promote them online, you have to ensure first that you can satisfy your clients and encourage them to voluntarily spread the good news about you or your business. Remember that the best marketers you could have are your satisfied and loyal customers. Therefore, don’t stop learning and training your team to be more competitive and capable to provide quality and excellent services to your clients.
There are still other ways to promote your business or professional services online, such as affiliate marketing (rewarding commission income to affiliates who will refer a client to you), social cause marketing (teaming up with non-profit organizations or helping your community), sponsoring events or conducting contests, and buying advertising banners on various websites and blogs. If you have enough cash for your marketing budget, you could also hire Internet marketing professionals, like SEO and social media marketers to help you achieve your marketing goals. Otherwise, it’s also fun and exciting to do online marketing on your own.