Why experts struggle with marketing their services (and what you can do about it)

Do you find it difficult to promote your expertise-driven business?

Most of us aren't equipped with backgrounds in marketing, so it's a normal situation to be in.

Here are some of the common issues to look out for and what you can do about it.

Problem 1: Not knowing what to write in your marketing materials

Have you ever sat down to update your website, got stuck, and ended up browsing your competitors' sites for inspiration?

When you find it difficult to write your messaging, it usually stems from not being focused enough with your service offering and who you are targeting.

In terms of your offering
, it's key to look beyond the activities you do for clients and instead focus on the outcomes the activities enable for them.

No one needs another service and people will only be interested in buying your service if it will change their lives for the better.

So it's important to communicate how your offering does this in your messaging.

In terms of your target audience
, it's key to define your ideal clients.

When you target anyone and everyone, it makes it very difficult to write effective messaging.

So for your messaging to be most impactful, write the content with a specific audience in mind.

Remember to focus on their pain points and problems, and frame everything from their perspective instead of yours.

When you nail your offering and targeting, it should be relatively straightforward to communicate the value of your services in your marketing materials.

Problem 2: Not wanting to be too self-promotional

Although it's normal to feel a bit weird promoting yourself, it's an essential part of growing a successful brand.

This issue is common amongst small expert business owners because they are often the face of their brand – meaning their identity is directly tied to the business.

To overcome this problem, we need to reconsider what it means to sell.

Instead of thinking about sales as a sleazy car salesman that pushes their prospects to buy, see it as your duty to promote your services.

If you know your offering is valuable and has a positive impact on your clients, you owe it to them to promote your offering.

This is because the more you actively promote your services, the more people you can help.

Now I appreciate that this isn’t the easiest thing to get over, but remember, no one else is going to do it for you.

Problem 3: The curse of knowledge

How many times have you had a conversation with a person who has a lot of technical expertise and you were overwhelmed with the jargon they used?

Did it make you want to engage with them about that topic again?

This is an example of the curse of knowledge and a key thing to be aware of when you are selling expert services.

Your target audience will not know as much about your area of work as you – otherwise they probably wouldn't need to hire you.

So you can’t talk about your services in as much technical detail as you would to one of your peers.

It’s critical that you meet the target audience where they are in their understanding of your offering, not yours.

So talk to them in plain English and avoid using jargon where possible.

Marketing is all about getting the attention of your target audience so you don’t want to lose people at the first hurdle.

Conclusion and action point

To summarise, marketing expert services can be challenging, but there are actionable steps you can take to overcome these issues.

Firstly, we must focus on defining our service offering and the outcomes it delivers for clients.

This involves shifting your messaging from the activities you perform to the benefits your clients will experience by working with you.

Additionally, it's important to choose a particular target audience and tailor your marketing content specifically to them.

By understanding their pain points and framing your messaging from their perspective, your messaging will resonate more and you will form a stronger connection.

Secondly, it's important to overcome any hesitations about self-promotion and recognise that promoting your services is an essential part of growing your brand.

So instead of viewing it as pushy or self-centred, see it as an opportunity to share the value you can provide and serve those who need your help.

Because, by actively promoting your services, you can reach more people and make a greater impact.

And lastly, be aware of the curse of knowledge. Remember that your target audience is unlikely to have the same level of technical understanding as you do.

So avoid overwhelming them with jargon and communicate in plain English.

Meeting your audience at their level of understanding will help to ensure you keep their attention, which increases the likelihood of making the sale.

Your action point for today is to consider if these problems are limiting your potential for growth and take the first steps to solve them.