Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Am I offering too many services?

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  • #978070
    e-SSENT
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    I’m hoping to get advice on my marketing strategy, or lack thereof.

    I started out as a virtual administration service and called it e-SSENT Administration; however, my business has organically grown into job hunting documentation (resumes, selection criteria, etc) and I’ve had a small number of happy customers. I can competently offer both virtual administration and resume services, as diverse as they may be. I’m also offering the cheapest rates around just to get the business going.

    Recently, I hand-delivered 500 of my glossy flyers advertising the resume service (including a discount offer) into the mailboxes of local residents and haven’t had a single enquiry. I’ll soon be delivering 700 more. Here is a low res image of the flyer for your info.

    Given the appalling uptake of my advertising campaign, I’m clueless as to what I’ve done wrong. Are people are deterred by their resumes being written by a virtual administration business? Is job hunting documentation not a service that people are interested in? Am I’m offering too many services which has deterred people?

    Any advice or help that you could offer would be humbly and gratefully received. Thank you.

    #1104557
    AgentMail
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    Hi Kerri,

    In my humble opinion, I think the VA side of the business would be a better focus for you.

    Resume writing will only yield one-off jobs and one-off clients. Getting work as a VA will have you working with a business on an ongoing basis. Repeat custom is one of the most important parts for most businesses.

    I also don’t think there is enough value placed on a well written resume in most people’s eyes. I understand the need for it, and you do, but not everyone does. I don’t think another 700 leaflets is going to provide a different result.

    Perhaps spend some time understanding what services are most suited to your skillset within the VA area, and spend some time reading about what other VA’s do and what areas they specialise in. You might find some inspiration.

    Also, don’t focus too much on the lack of response from the flyer drop. I spent a fair sum of money on a PO Box drop and got one call which was someone wanting to know if we made stickers – epic failure, but it doesn’t mean our business is not on the right track. Marketing is all about trial and error, there is no magic bullet

    #1104558
    e-SSENT
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    Thank you Agentmail, just what I needed to hear and excellent advice. :)

    I’m glad to hear your response for the flyers was similar; a bit disheartening isn’t it!

    I’ll take everything you’ve said on board.

    P.S. You have a great business idea, by the way!

    #1104559
    bridiej
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    The first question to ask is, what do you enjoy doing?

    Do you love creating fabulous resumes? Or do you prefer admin work?

    I took a look at your website and the services you offer, and there are a lot of them.

    I see you do document design (invitationsm menus etc.) so I assume the designing/layout part is something you particularly enjoy. On that basis, what about focusing on resumes and document design – you could also add things like e-books to your list as they’re currently the latest big thing and incorporate PowerPoint presentations into this as well.

    It’s definitely worth sitting down and working out what you enjoy, as there’s no point deciding to focus on something that you actually don’t like doing. Having a niche is definitely the way to go though. In the VA world it pays to be a specialist in one particular area.

    HTH :)

    #1104560
    PaulThomas
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    Hi Kerri,

    I nearly wasn’t going to chime in because of the great replies you have recieved so far.

    To be honest I think you have the potenial to focus on one discipline as AgentMail suggested, and I agree. However, there is no reason not to consolidate your servces in the way you present them. For instance, “Word Processing and Typing” is probably all you need to say without all the bullets, most businesses will understand what that covers.

    If you rethink the service headings so that you can remove the bullet points you will reduce cognitive overload when people land on the page. You will also feel that your offerings are more targeted.

    It’s sometimes hard not to throw the baby out with the bath water simply to save doing a bit of brainstorming … just like you are doing now!

    Streamlining your services will also allow you to put those headings on your home page, along with a “call to action”, currently you don’t have one on the home page. You could have a heading like: “I write resumés that land jobs! Ask me how! Call 0409 918 188 today”

    Also your address details on your contact page are in an image! Google can’t read the details, so you are missing out on increased local search results. And, if you think the same as me, I like to copy and past contact details from web pages to my notebook or in to an email to share with others.

    Hope all these ideas help. Maybe put them aside to bake for a day and come back again fresh with a cuppa!

    Good luck and best regards,
    Paul

    #1104561
    e-SSENT
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    Wow. Thank you so much Paul and Bridie for your insightful posts. There’s so much to think about and I wish I’d asked this question sooner! :)

    I’ll take it all on board.

    Paul, I like the idea of streamlining, very much and that sell line is so simple and effective. That needs to be on my inept flyers. lol

    Bridie, it would be hard to pick which one I enjoy the most. I’ve made a career out of administration because I genuinely enjoy the trade and have always chosen roles which have varied responsibilities; hence, I am able to offer so many services.

    I’ll do as Paul suggests and dwell on these ideas for a bit and start making some changes.

    Thanks again everyone.

    #1104562
    MatthewKeath
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    e-SSENT, post: 115907 wrote:
    Given the appalling uptake of my advertising campaign, I’m clueless as to what I’ve done wrong.I sent 2000 glossy postscards out once and didn’t get one response.

    I guess that is why Harvey Norman sends out 750,000 ;)

    #1104564
    e-SSENT
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    Baahaahaa, thanks Matthew. It’s a lesson expensively learnt! I should have researched this method of advertising better. :p

    #1104565
    T J Madigan
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    You are doing the equivalent of firing a shotgun into the air and hoping one of the pellets will kill a rabbit. You would be much better off putting an add in the employment section of your local paper for your resume services. Understand who your market is, where they hang out, and target them there.

    #1104566
    T J Madigan
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    Woah… I just looked at your website.
    Are you marketing to unemployed people who need business administration or business administrators that need a resume. You are trying to market to two vastly different markets at the same time.

    What you are trying to do there doesn’t make sense. I can do your resume and look after your business administration needs… It’s an oxymoron.

    If I were you, I would setup two separate websites – one for business administration services and one for resume services.

    #1104567
    e-SSENT
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    Yep, TJ, I like it. :) Very good idea.

    This feedback has been invaluable.

    #1104568
    PinkInk
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    Hi Kerri

    I specialise in creating job application documents so thank you for sharing your experience with direct mail-outs. I haven’t tried it but in thinking about how many people actually read the brochure, are looking for work at that moment and believe their resume needs a tidy-up, oh, and want to *pay* for it, your result is probably about right. You may well receive follow-up enquiries in coming months as people’s career situations change.

    I worked for someone at a trade show in another sector last year — for four days and nights’ work not one lead was generated for the next six months as a result of the event. That was $15,000 worth of marketing plus staff costs; sometimes activities are for awareness only or testing the water. Last year I ran a Google AdWords campaign for a $66 resume refresh (for people who wanted advice but had the Word skills to do the work themselves) and only got two jobs out of it. We experiment, we succeed, we fail, we keep going :-).

    More than 80 per cent of my work is through word-of-mouth but that’s taken time to build a client base happy to sell the value of my work to their networks. T J Madigan’s advice to create a separate web site might be of value so you can specialise in each of your livelihoods without your target audiences being confused.

    All the best

    #1104569
    e-SSENT
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    Thanks for responding Nicole. :) Gosh, what a disappointing outcome for all that money and time spent! I, too, have been relying on word of mouth. Your experience is familiar to mine, that’s why I want to keep both aspects of my business going so I can take advantage of both markets.

    I’m still feeling positive.

    #1104570
    tonyk
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    Sometimes less is more. Zero in on a few key services, and then perhaps once your business starts to take off, then you can add other services. Just a thought. Best of luck with everything :)

    #1104571
    sarahjoy
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    You’ve had some very good feedback here!

    The key to creating effective marketing material is figuring out exactly who your target market is – and then simply putting your message in places they will see it. From the sounds of it, your target market is pretty much anyone with a heartbeat – which makes effective, targeted advertising almost impossible (hence your letterbox drop not being so effective)!

    It can be scary to make a decision and go ‘inch-wide, mile-deep’ into a target market – which is why so many businesses never do it. But targeting a particular kind of customer makes your marketing effort a million times easier – and makes it a lot easier to build a reputation in your target market as well.

    As for your choice of strategy – the letterbox drop – we recently wrote an article recently that explores marketing strategies, if that helps!
    You can find that article here.

    Just food for thought :)

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