Service Business: Where to Post Content (First 2 Years)

Service Business: Where to Post Content (First 2 Years)

If you are reading these emails (subscribe here), there is one thing I assume to be true.


A. You own (or want to own) a business that offers a service

B. You own (or want to own) a business that offers a product.

This message is for those of you who own a business that offers a service, so if you sell products, you can skip this one.

Or keep reading.. I don’t really care but I'm not writing this for product businesses, or (you) the one who operates it.

Since you are still reading this, I'm going to assume two things now:

1st thing: Your business primarily makes money as a direct result of labor, aka you get paid by doing work.

2nd thing: I am also going to guess that you “stumbled” into your business.

In other words:

  • You didn't have a five or ten year plan going in.
  • You didn’t allocate funds or source from inventors before you started.
  • You didn’t know with any certainty that this was going to work.
  • You probably didn't even create a simple napkin business plan

Since I’m just guessing (probably accurately), I’ll guess again.

3rd thing: When you started your business, it took very little effort to find customers willing to pay you for your time. So outside of an occasional “that was cool” moment where you had your iPhone handy for a Facebook post, you didn’t do any “real” marketing.

Let me explain why I know these things, then I'm going to tell you exactly where to spend your time on marketing.

Why I know you

If you are in the first few years of working in your service business full time, you are still in the “I started then kept going because it worked” stage.

Dumb name but it's accurate.

It works right now because you still have a passion for what you do, and you have connections who trust you (friends, family and some industry connections).

You would not still be doing this, and we would not be talking here if you didn’t have the social equity, work experience, and skill to make it from employee to employer of self.

In other words… I know this is true for you because it almost always is true.

So, now that we have established that I am right about your situation (or at least enough that you keep reading), let's talk about what will determine your business making it to year five - or dying like the other 50% do.

Foundation for Success

There are two fundamentals to a service business. These always need to be true for success; they don’t solely determine that you will succeed, but if both don’t exist you will fail.

Competence - Your ability to to actually do the work you are offering and do it well.

Consistency - Your ability to be competent every time, on repeat.

Every decision you make from when to show up and how you answer the phone, to pricing structure and how you share your work, should be driven through the filter of competence and consistency.

Usually, both of these qualities exist in the beginning which is why it works in the beginning, but adding complexity and variables like employees, more intense scheduling, tools, more clients etc.. it's extremely hard to keep both.

What the marketing

Like I mentioned earlier, one of the reasons most new service based business owners don’t do “marketing” is that it is not usually needed - not in the beginning at least. It probably will be needed, but it's not now so you don't make time for it.

The other reason - it's so stinking complicated.

If you don't have a marketing degree, I bet you (like most) don’t understand what even two of these mean.








Or these...







It's so easy to get overwhelmed that you just shut down and do work instead.

Beyond overwhelming terms that make no sense, simply choosing how to “do” marketing can be a real pain.

Should I do video content? If video, should I buy gear and start a YouTube channel or just use a cellphone and post to Facebook and Instagram?

Maybe it should be through email, a newsletter like this one but for your industry?

Or how about a podcast where you can share your expert knowledge with the world in your tone? That will build trust, no doubt.

The truth is, you should be marketing in a way you can (and will) actually follow through with it. If you are comfortable and can be consistent posting to Facebook and Instagram once every few days, do that.

Where the Marketing

Blog and Newsletter: If you enjoy writing and love to write about your work, a blog and newsletter on a company website will be a great tool to build trust in your expertise.

If you are good at writing you can get a ton of free eyeballs on your work this way. Google loves original, industry specific content consistently published on websites.

Podcast: If you like telling stories and talking about what you do, recording a podcast can work well too. But most people will tell you to start a podcast if you have the “gift of gab”. I disagree. You should start a podcast if people like talking to you. If you are relatable, funny, good at telling stories, etc. you can be good at podcasting. Lots of people like to talk a lot; podcasts are great if others like to listen to you.

Facebook & Instagram: Service businesses tend to do very well on Facebook and Instagram, generally your target audience is going to be older, and older people use Facebook. It's the easiest to be consistent with and requires very little time or skill. Most people should probably start here.

Google Business: You should claim your google business profile. Most people do this and then stop there. For service businesses, google is a POWERFUL tool for driving business forward. Being active with creating a Question & Answer section and adding posts and images of your work to google are fantastic ways to grab new customers where they are going to find you anyway.

People are so easily accessible now on any platform there is no “wrong” answer, just pick what you can do or more importantly will do, pick one MAYBE two of them to start with and just do it for at least 1-2 years.

You will get better the more you practice. You will learn the platform and what engages the people you want to reach, but you will never know if you don’t actually try.

The other benefit to picking a platform and not doing a little bit everywhere or (skipping it completely) - people will have one singular place to find everything they need to know about you.

You will be told of endless places to get new attention.. don't fall for that trap.. be in one place where people can know how to find you and stay there until you have the resources to do more.

Photo by Timothy Hales Bennett on Unsplash