If you’re wondering how to get clients fast as a service-based business owner – then markets, pop-ups and events are where you need to be.

While markets, pop-ups, and physical retail spaces are usually thought to be ideal for businesses who want to sell their products, we actually find that they’re great places for service providers to potentially get clients fast, without spending hours on marketing and other sales activities.

If you’re a service provider of any kind and have ever wondered whether it’s really worth attending an event, market or popup, then take it from one of our favorite vendors, Braden of Prospect Music Lessons.

Braden is a prime example of why temporary physical retail spots are exactly where you need to be to find an excellent base of clients and generate leads for your business.

Braden is a music teacher who has been going to the market in Park Slope, Brooklyn for a number of years. As a full-time music instructor, he has limited time to spend on marketing efforts, so he needs to spend his time on activities he knows will get him the clients he needs – and fast.

At the market, he focuses on a few different things:

  • He sells his signature music tuition packages
  • He sells gift packages for music tuition
  • He does a sample music lesson
  • He gets email addresses of those who might be interested in booking music lessons in the future

At first, Braden did what a lot of service providers do and ran online ads to get clients. Over time, he found that coming to Park Slope actually generated more income for his business.

In fact, coming to the market has earned Braden a huge ROI – from spending only $60 to participate as a vendor at Park Slope, he’s made over $9,000 in returns – despite the fact that he doesn’t sell a single physical product.

So why is it that service providers like Braden are able to make such big returns from appearing in a temporary physical retail spaces?


Reason #1: Your ideal clients get to see you face-to-face

When you do business online, a lot of your time is spent getting businesses to come to you.
But as Braden mentions in his interview – coming to the market as a service provider means he gets to put himself directly in front of clients from his target demographic – parents of school-aged kids.

Doing some research to understand whether the market, event, or pop-up you’re attending serves the right demographic is a key element of succeeding as a service provider in a physical retail space.

If you get it right, then you’ll position yourself in front of potentially hundreds of people who are already in a mindset to want to buy and have come to that location ready to spend.

Show them the value in the service you provide and chances are they will make a commitment.


Older woman learning how to play the guitar

Reason #2: Potential clients get to sample what you’re offering in the flesh

If you’re currently only marketing your services online, your potential clients have to trust that your services are as good as you say they are.

But in a physical retail space, your services have the opportunity to come to life. If you can do a live demonstration of what you’re selling, then your potential clients get to see the quality of your services in real-time.

Braden offers a sample music lesson to his potential clients. Could you do a live demonstration of the service you provide?


Marketing Strategy Collect Email Addresses from Customers Who Trust You

Reason #3: You collect email addresses from people who already know and trust you

When you’re collecting emails online, you’re most likely to be collecting them from people who don’t know you and haven’t experienced what you offer.

When you collect them from people at markets, events, or pop-ups, you’ve already got an advantage over people offering a service similar to yours online – the fact that your new potential customer already knows you and trusts that you’re as good as you say you are.

This means that when you email them later to invite them to book a call or sign up for your services, they’re more likely to go for it.


Become an Expert in Your Field

Reason #4: You become known as a local expert in your field

When you get your ideal client in front of you as a service provider, you have a real chance to show them your expertise in your field.

So the next time they see an online ad from someone offering the same service as you, your name will resonate, as they’ve already made a connection with you.

Why? Because you’re the person from their local area that they already know and trust because they’ve already spoken to you, sampled your expertise, and built a relationship with you from the single interaction you’ve had.


Reason #5: You don’t need to be a marketing expert to see good returns

When you set up ads or other online outreach methods, you need a decent amount of knowledge in branding, advertising, and copywriting to make sure your ad is reaching the right people, looks appealing enough to them, and uses the right language to get people interested.

By participating in a market, you have the opportunity to do what you do best – show your talent. You’ve already done your audience targeting before turning up, so all you need to do is be yourself and you’ll attract customers who are interested.

So what does this mean? By the time you show up, you’re already set for success.


The wrap up

Getting a space at a market, pop-up, or event can be great for service providers. For people like Braden who are able to demonstrate their expertise, it can provide a huge return on investment and bring quality leads and customers into your business.

For potential clients, there’s nothing quite like meeting a potential service provider. When you appear in a physical retail space that serves your ideal demographic, you’ve already done the hard work so you can turn up, do what you do best, and enjoy the interest and income that comes rolling in.


Want more tips on how to use markets and popups to get ahead as a service provider? Sign up to our Vendor Vault. Coming soon!

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