Check out these five actionable growth hacks for getting more clients, increasing customer lifetime value and growing your service business.
There’s a ton of advice online on “growth hacking” for software companies, so we thought we’d share some growth hacks that work for service based businesses.
1. Follow up with clients
It’s common knowledge that keeping existing clients is cheaper than getting new ones (here’s a pdf of a study by CAM foundation).
A great way to accomplish that is to keep in touch with previous clients via email. Here are some email templates you can use when following up with clients.
Ask for feedback
It’s best to send this immediately after delivering an order while the client is still excited about your work.
I hope you’re happy with [the service]. It would really help if you could take a minute to leave us positive feedback here:
Thanks in advance,
Or you can ask them to tweet about it:
I hope you’re happy with [the service]. Here’s a pre-populated tweet if you’d like to spread the word.
A simple tool for creating tweet links is available here.
Offer additional services or discounts
Discounts on repeat orders are a surefire way to increase client lifetime value.
Thank you for being a loyal client. If you need anything else, use this code to get 10% off on future orders: VIP10.
Here are some of the services you can get:
[link to service 1]
[link to service 2]
[link to service 3]
Keep clients in the loop
Email your clients whenever you launch a new service.
Just wanted to let you know about a new service we’re offering. Basically, what we’ll do for you is [describe the service].
Check it out here and let me know what you think:
Looking forward to working with you again,
2. Focus on referrals
Neil Patel says that referrals are your best clients. Getting referrals is a two step process:
Step 1: Provide a great service
It all starts with providing a great service that people can recommend and feel good about it.
Managing client expectations plays a huge part in whether they become happy clients or not. The key here is to under promise and over deliver.
For example, if a client expects to rank #1 in 3 months, they will be disappointed by a #2 ranking. On the other hand, if they’re expecting to rank anywhere on page 1, they’ll be super happy about the same #2 spot.
Step 2: Ask for referrals
While you can hope that clients will recommend your services left and right, it never hurts to ask. For example:
Do you know anybody who’s looking for SEO help right now?
3. Do a case study
Case studies are one of the most powerful proof elements in existence. Unfortunately getting good case studies isn’t easy, otherwise everyone would have them.
In reality most clients are reluctant to share sensitive information about their businesses, but removing their details typically reduces the power (and believability) of the case study.
What you CAN do is get a few early bird users specifically to be featured in a case study on your website. You might need to offer an extra bonus or a discount to get them interested.
4. Start retargeting
So you’re spending time and money getting people to visit your website. Typically most visitors leave without becoming clients, either because they don’t understand your service, they don’t need it right now or they don’t need it at all (this group is typically small if the traffic is targeted).
Retargeting lets you bring these visitors back to your website and gives you another chance to close the sale.
The way it works is simple:
- The script “tags” visitors who leave your site without converting
- These people see your ads on other websites they browse
You can set up retargeting in Google Adwords and have your ads showing on websites that run Adsense. There are also networks such as Addroll that can show your ads accross multiple platforms like Adsense, Facebook and others.
If you’re getting a lot of unqualified visitors you might want to narrow down the retargeting to include only the people who’ve engaged with your website. An example of that would be including just the people who’ve clicked through to the pricing page.
5. Create processes
One of the biggest problems with running a service based business is scale. Somebody has got to do the work, whether it’s you or your employees.
By creating and writing down deliberate operating procedures you can streamline project delivery, make it faster and more predictable. Documented processes also make adding and replacing employees in the future much less painful.
For example, the process for delivering a content creation service could be:
- Get project details from client
- Spend 10 minutes researching the topic
- Write a 1,000 word draft
- Edit the draft
- Add formatting
- Add a photo from photodune.net (use medium size)
- Save as .doc
- Send to client
- Revise according to client comments
The more information you have in here the better. In fact, you should also include any steps that seem obvious to you, because they might not be obvious to somebody else.
You can write your procedures in a simple Google document that’s shared with your team. Additionally, tools like SPP can help keep clients, orders, messages and files in one place.
These five fairly straightforward growth hacks can be applied to growing SEO agencies and also service-based businesses in general. At least one of them should work for you.
For more ideas on increasing revenue, check out this article on pricing.