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6 Secrets To Building A Great Service Brand

By Brand Development

As a new business owner, start-up or consultant looking to break through the clutter, developing a strong reputation for your service is job one. To develop a great service brand, not only do you have to provide an outstanding “service”, you also have to deliver outstanding “customer service”. Done consistently over time—you will begin to frame a strong reputation and build a brand that stands for quality.

If you’ve done your due diligence in identifying what makes you different in the marketplace through the brand development process and have created a professional website, here are 6 secrets to keep in mind when developing a great service brand.

1. Use story to clarify your message
Most entrepreneurs and start up business owners don’t take the time to clarify their message. A clear message will help you grow your business faster and be more effective in communicating with your employees, customers and stakeholders. Confusion and distraction is at an all time peak in our culture. Most of your competitors will result to using cute and clever messaging only to find that those with clear messaging are winning more customers.  Every day people are bombarded with information. Because they are being bombarded, they only listen to people (and brands) that communicate clearly. The best way to clarify a complicated message is to use the power of story.

2. Be proactive
When a project is underway and your customers are asking for things, get ahead of them by thinking through next steps. For example, don’t wait for them to ask where things are, send an email first thing in the morning letting them know where you’re at and how things are going. We use a project management tool like Basecamp to communicate with our clients on a daily basis. The calendar feature allows the client to know exactly what is going on and when they can expect their deliverables. It keeps everyone’s communication documented and organized. If it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist.

3. Be responsive
Don’t wait three days to get back on a request. This goes without saying. Respond to your customers as fast a possible or within 24 hours. Make sure to set expectations on what your office hours and typical response times are. The single biggest problem in any given relationship is poor communication. Communicate well and you will build a great service brand.

55% of customers would pay extra to guarantee a better service.
– Defaqto research.

4. Anticipate needs
If a customer or client emails you a question, respond not only with the answer but with whatever they may be asking for. It may be a file or a document. Think a head. This creates a positive impression on your customers and shows them you’re on the ball and reminds them why they spent top dollar on your service firm.

A dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. Around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people. – White House Office of Consumer Affairs.

inbound-delight5. Delight your customers
To delight your customers and turn them into promoters of your service, continue to solve their problems long after the project is ended. This is a key aspect to a methodology we follow called inbound marketing. By continuing to solve their problems through relevant content, you remain top-of-mind which helps when they are asked for referrals or have other work for your service company to do. It costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing oneBain & Company. By delighting your customers, you preempt the competition and save on marketing costs. Do some industry research and provide them with insights they will find helpful. By continuing to answer their questions, you will delight your customer and turn them into promoters of your brand.

6. Show some enthusiasm
As a service company, customers come to you looking for answers. No matter what their product or service is, showing a little enthusiasm at the first point of contact can go a long way. Remind yourself or your employees to smile when taking calls. The smile comes through on the other line. Laugh a little, have fun and make a friend. Be excited to talk to them! Your enthusiasm should also come through in your social media and blog posts.

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated – McKinsey.

To build an outstanding service brand, clarify your message, show some enthusiasm, be proactive, be responsive, anticipate your customer needs, delight them by continuing to solve their problems and above all else.




Is your brand getting noticed?
In this ebook, we’ll give you 5 keys for 2019 that will help you differentiate and grow your business. We’ll share why it’s important to have a clear brand message, how to build a website that works, a simple marketing plan, how to gather testimonials the right way and a few marketing tactics that offer the biggest bang for your buck.



The 6 Hurdles Of Inbound Marketing

By Inbound Marketing

 Thinking about pulling the trigger on inbound marketing? Have you taken the time to consider what it will take to make your investment pay off?

There is no doubt that there is a lot of buzz surrounding inbound marketing with over 78% of CMO’s thinking custom content is the future of marketing

But before you and your team dive in—there are 6 hurdles you need to consider before committing to inbound that could make or break your investment.

1. Education
It takes time to learn how to do inbound marketing correctly. You must understand the inbound methodology of Attract, Convert, Close and Delight. 

There are 8 activities that are attached to each one of these components: Blogging, SEO, Social Media, Content Offers, CTAs, Landing Pages, Email and Lead Nurturing (Work Flows).

Then there’s the sales funnel you must perfect once you get the prospect on the line. All of these things need to be understood to successfully manage an inbound marketing campaign.

inbound marketing icons

To get trained on inbound marketing, checkout HubSpot Academy.

2. Time
Inbound marketing takes 6-12 months to start seeing viable results. This could be faster depending on your industry. Industries who have yet to engage in inbound marketing stand to profit the most (construction, engineering, certain sectors of technology, healthcare, medical device, transportation and manufacturing just to name a few). You will need to blog at least 1-2x per week, create content offers, curate content, interact with your followers, comment on posts, read and research as well as manage all of the activities from hurdle 1. You will need at least 10-15 hours minimum to conduct inbound effectively. If you don’t have that kind of time, an inbound marketing agency can help you split the workload.

3. Consistency
Without consistency in your blogging your results will fall short. Google demands fresh and relevant content. By updating and optimizing your blog weekly—with relevant and valuable content—your website’s search engine rankings will climb and you’ll begin to generate more traffic—which equals more leads—that lead to customers. 

inbound marketing sales funnel4. Analyzing
After you get your inbound engine humming, you’ll need to have an in-depth analytical tool to understand how your efforts are performing. We recommend a time-saving tool like HubSpot to quickly understand your analytics

5. Getting traction
There will be months were you will feel like you’re going backwards. Then all of sudden, a post will go viral and traffic spikes 500% and the leads poor in. I think in all of the campaigns I’ve seen, there are two to three months when you begin to question your commitment. The best way to get traction is to be consistent and keep going even when it gets tough. Write your blog posts with personality, pick topics that solve your customer’s problems and spend time promoting your content effectively. Eventually things will pick up, so don’t fret. Planning budget for PPC is a good idea when the going gets tough.

6. Price
Obviously price is always a hurdle. HubSpot pricing can be out of range for most startups and small businesses. However, by making the investment and putting some skin in the game—the time you save will be more than worth it. HubSpot’s all-in one-platform brings all the tools you need into one portal so you can effectively manage all your inbound activities at once.

When you factor in your marketing budget on alternative outbound methods like trade show, email blasts, buying lists, cold-calling, printed ads, radio or banner ads—inbound still provides the lowest cost-per-lead and delivers 54% more leads than traditional outbound marketing. Inbound also provides the only systematic way to forecast sales, measure your brand and grow your business.  

Content marketing facts

  1. $135 billion will be spent on new digital marketing collateral (content) in 2014
  2. 78% of CMO’s think custom content is the future of marketing
  3. Internet advertising will make up 25% of the entire ad spend by 2015
  4. Social media marketing budgets will double over the next 5 years
  5. Email with social sharing buttons increase click-through rates by 158%
  6. Nearly 50% of companies have content marketing strategies
  7. 33% of traffic from Google’s organic search engine results go to the first item listed
  8. 67% of B2B content marketers consider event marketing essential
  9. 73% of reporters think press releases should contain images
  10. 72% of “Pay per Click” marketers plan to increase their budget in 2014
  11. 52% of all marketers have found a customer via Facebook in 2013
  12. B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads
  13. 43% of all marketers found a customer via LinkedIn
  14. 55% of marketers worldwide increased digital marketing budgets in 2013
  15. Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness for content marketers at 89%
  16. Videos on landing pages increase conversions by 86%
  17. 65% of your audience are visual learners
  18. Marketers will use dynamic content to deliver highly personalized experiences to the right audiences at the right time
  19. Inbound marketing delivers 54% more leads than traditional outbound marketing
  20. Visual data is processed 60,000 times faster by the brain than text.

SOURCE: Jeff Bullas 

inbound marketing trafficInbound marketing is not for everyone, but the up-side far outweighs the down-side. We’ve been doing inbound with HubSpot since January of 2014 and our results have been amazing. I’ve been very happy with our growth—this is coming from someone who works in the ultra-competitive marketing industry working in the Indianapolis and Denver markets.

Interested in learning if Inbound Marketing is right for your business? Please contact us for a free inbound marketing assessment. 

Inbound Marketing Toolkit

Free Download:
Inbound Marketing Tool Kit

Running a successful inbound marketing campaign for your business is all about having the right tools. This guide will dive into which marketing tools you should use to conduct inbound marketing.



Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands in the hunting, outdoor and firearms industry who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.