If there is one absolutely essential rule for any marketing initiative, it is uniqueness. You need to have a quality that truly and indisputably is yours alone. The uniqueness ideally resonate with the clients.
Obviously, the quality needs to be “good” in that it appeals to the emotions and/or practical level to your potential clients. It cannot be:
- We do it all (except perhaps with an extremely defined social or geographic area);
- We provide great customer service (well, you NEED to provide great customer service to even stay in business, unless you have the good fortune to own a monopoly, but if that is the case, you don’t need to bother with marketing, eh); or
- We provide free estimates. (Maybe this could work if everyone else charges for the estimates but if I’m right, you are using this language because your competitors are saying the same thing.)
Now that I’ve eliminated some of the obvious non-starters for uniqueness, it is time to suggest how you can figure out what is truly unique about your business. (If I knew it without even having a conversation with you, I would have uniquely telepathic capabilities. I don’t.)
Here’s an example of a renovation contractor who gets the “uniqueness” concept right.
Rather obvious, and clearly apparent that he does basements.
But, you may say, what if the basement client wants his bathroom done?
Does the contractor throw that low-hanging fruit away? No — the solution is to create another separately branded business (but one that is truly affiliated at the back-end) — and this contractor has done just that, “HOME, Inc. Design Build Renovations.”
In conclusion, you want your external marketing message to reflect uniqueness and specificity and be directly relevant to the people with whom you wish to do business. If you want to parlay your existing clients into other services, based on relationships, you can bend the marketing rules somewhat. Then, once they have experienced first-hand your “excellent customer service”, you could indeed provide a “free estimate” for a job that isn’t within your specific marketing framework.
(There’s much advice about business focus and the value of turning away business outside your niche. The best situations where bending this rule makes sense is when your existing clients want you to serve them in a new way.)