How to market yourself, if you don’t have a product?

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To launch and then market your business is not a day’s job. You have to tick a lot of boxes, and the right boxes.

You are required to zero-in your audience, establish yourself as a brand, and figure out the factor that sets you apart from your competitor. It’s about creating a buzz around yourself and your product.

The keyword here is “product”. A product lends tangibility to your business. But if you are a service provider and don’t have a tangible product, then how can you market your business? Is it even possible?

Of course, it is.

The fact of the matter is, businesses that are built around a service (like consulting or design) have just as much potential as product-centric businesses.

That being said, it’s never a cakewalk and there are challenges to market a business without a tangible product. Without any product to sell, you need to come up with alternate revenue streams (like your services!) to make sure that your business reaps profits.

So here are a few tips from our side, to make things work for you.

What you do best? Identify and market

You have to generate buzz around you, whether you have a product or a service to offer. The bottom line is “You have to generate buzz around you”.

If people trust you and they are well aware of the things that you do best, they won’t hesitate to pay. You just have to find those people, and more importantly, you need to be aware of the things that you do or can do best.

For example, if you can learn the nitty-gritty of Facebook marketing, then you can market social media management services to start-up owners or small businesses.

In case you are an experienced blogger, then you can market content services to market yourself (writing blogs, ebooks, and lead magnets) to companies representing different sectors.

You need to understand that there is a market for every service under the sun. So if you are a service provider, then building a buzz around who you are and what you do, is as good as scaling a product.

Brand yourself to market yourself

You don’t always need a product to project a brand image. Actually, you can brand yourself too.

The best and the most contemporary way to do that is to start a podcast. It’s a great way to engage with your audience, and tell them the basis of the services that you provide. You can tell them about your philosophy and your motivations in life. In a way, you can articulate your brand.

You can also write a blog or guest post. The best way is to create long-form content and then repurpose it so that it can be shared on multiple social media platforms.

This can help you build a sizeable audience. Once your audience has enough engagement with your brand, you can build your business and make money.

For example, you can partner with bigger brands and run ads on your blog.

Once you have an engaged audience that trusts your content, you can create a digital product like an online course or an ebook. It will be sold like hotcakes.

Convert your services into a digital commodity

You can always scale a product, but it’s never easy to scale a service. But if you can perceive your service as a digital product, then you can create one too.

But how to do it?

You can articulate your services by creating information capsules like ebooks or digital courses. You can also create webinars to dissipate information about your services and your overall philosophy. This doesn’t require huge investment, and at the same time, it can be a profitable marketing tactic for your business.

For example, if you keep on offering social media services to your clients, without turning them into a digital product, then you won’t reap profits for much longer.

You will have to change your business model, and focus on creating digital products that will educate your audience and add long-lasting value. Knowledge has long-lasting value. You can educate people on running an online business, by designing an easy-to-understand online course. Of course, you will monetize the course. This way you will be able to build a sizeable audience too.

Just remember, creating online products that offer knowledge to users, don’t cost as much as traditional applications. You just have to present them correctly, and you will be able to bring in handsome revenue.

If you can’t market yourself, then market someone else’s product

Well, this might appear to be a counterintuitive strategy, but there are many case studies that lend a lot of meaning to it.

If you think about it, what are the two things you need to get any business off the ground?

Users and Revenue.

Well, by marketing someone else’s product, you can achieve both the targets. This is also known as Affiliate Marketing.

Affiliate marketing is about aligning yourself with someone else’s marketing campaign. Of course “that someone” should be from your line of work. It’s a tried and tested way to build your own audience, and at the same time sow the seeds for your future products and branding.

Suppose you enrolled in a course that was designed by X, who is an entrepreneur. You found the course really helpful and it played a huge role in getting you off the ground.

So once you finish the course, you can start marketing that course to your existing audience. In other words, you can become an affiliate and associate your own brand with that of X, thereby making your own brand a lot more recognizable.

As you are using your own promotional tactics while promoting X’s course, understanding what works for you and what doesn’t becomes a lot easier. Therefore, you can strengthen the relationship with your audience and can turn them into your customers.

Hope you liked this write-up. We are sure that the suggestions we have made will help you market your services better. If you have further questions, then do write them in the comment section.

Sadanand is a content curator and strategist. He understands the Startup gamut, be it ideation, product development, team building, sales, or marketing, and likes to keep up with the trend. His lucid writing style makes up for an intriguing read. His writeups are greatly followed and admired in various communities.

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