Service-based businesses: how to prove your ROI to clients

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These easy ways to prove your ROI to clients will help you to showcase your results based on customer goals.

As a marketing consultant, I love being able to help my clients reach their business goals. One of the ways I keep an eye on the performance of my work and strategies is by measuring the client’s Return on Investment (ROI) when working with me.

To help other service-based businesses measure the results of their hard work, Bright Leopard Marketing delves into how you can prove your value to clients in this feature. And we are not just talking about vanity metrics such as likes and new followers (unless that’s their goal).

Set expectations in advance

Before we begin, it is essential to set client expectations in advance to help you measure the performance of your service.

The chances are that you have an industry-specific onboarding process in place. If you don’t, I highly recommend that you take some time to think about creating a go-to document that you can give to clients before you begin working with them.

When dealing with new clients, you must establish their most significant pain points and tell them how your services will help them overcome them.

For example, one of my clients stopped seeing results from their paid advertising campaigns (Google PPC) due to new legislation. Overnight, their primary source of leads stopped.

To help this client overcome this issue, I created a Content Marketing Strategy that has already resulted in new SEO leads from their website.

Unlike the instant nature of PPC leads, SEO leads are a long-term strategy. To help set expectations from the get-go, my client knows that Content Creation is a long-term strategy that will continue to deliver new leads over a longer period of time. My client also understands that their leads will be more qualified, as they entered their details from finding their website organically, rather than just clicking on the first paid ad they see on Google.

For service-based businesses to track the performance of their campaigns or strategies, the client must have a way to track their website leads. Ensuring that on-page tracking is in place will help you justify the cost of your service and help your client visually see tangible results from your campaigns.

Finally, each client is unique and will naturally have different goals and priorities. Setting out clear expectations will help you and your clients have a benchmark to work from to measure your work.

Email marketing ROI

I recently spoke about the impact of Apple’s iOs update when tracking the performance of emails in this post about 2022 digital marketing trends. However, I am yet to see changes to email marketing reporting.

When it comes to proving the ROI of your email marketing campaigns, you will initially need to establish what the client wants to achieve.

The most common goals are driving traffic to a website or a particular web page (think landing pages), shopping cart reconversions strategies are also a great way to boost sales.

Email marketing is also a great way to build a relationship with an audience, so make sure that your client includes educational or fun emails in their sales funnel – think Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” method.

But once you have established your goals, how do you track email marketing conversions? The chances are that your client will have an Email Service Provider to measure performance metrics of Google Analytics on their site.

Before you start an email campaign, it is important to record the current performance and engagement level of the client’s database. This benchmark will help you to showcase the value of your services. And remember, it’s not just the metrics within the platform you need to pay attention to. Make a note of the average number of sales/conversions/bookings made before you start your campaign and after you get to work.

I’ve always found that open and click-through rates are vanity metrics for sales-driven campaigns. Ultimately, if you double the number of sales but the open rate is slightly down, you have delivered tangible results.

Social Media ROI

When it comes to proving your results on Social Media, how you prove your results will differ depending on the platform your client is on, their goals, and any tools or software they use to track campaign results.

In my experience, clients often get caught up in the more basic measurements – vanity metrics – rather than measuring the ROI of the time and money spent on their campaign.

Before you begin your campaign, it is worth tracking the basic metrics like follower count, likes, shares, audience reach (measurements will vary depending on the Social Network).

Each platform will have its own measurements, so make a note of where the client is at before you start your campaign. Then, if your client uses a scheduling service to publish or monitor their campaign goals, ensure that you have also gathered data from these service providers.

When it comes to working with a brand, you’ll need to establish the consumer sentiment towards the company. You can do this by analysing the market, their competitors, and the audiences’ opinion (positive/negative) of their existing presence on the platform you are working on.

By understanding consumer perception, you will help to prove the ROI of your campaign. It will also help you establish what works or doesn’t work for the audience in question based on their reaction.

Why prove your ROI to clients

Ultimately, when you prove your ROI to clients will depend on your services, client expectations, and the benchmarks you establish to record your results.

Being open about what you bring to the table, what worked and what didn’t, will help you build a transparent relationship with customers. In addition, when you share your successes, you will naturally establish your worth.

It is always worth going back to your onboarding form at the start of every campaign to ensure you meet goals and track performance metrics. It is always good to provide your customer with a monthly report of how your campaigns are performing and an overview of future campaign plans.

My final thoughts on proving your ROI is also to understand the value that you, yes YOU, bring to the table. Providing a professional service often means that you are left feeling that you want to go the extra mile to deliver an exceptional service. Be mindful that you are not doing a disservice by not charging what your time is worth.

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Hi, I’m Gemma, founder of Bright Leopard Marketing. 

I am passionate about sharing my 14 years of digital marketing knowledge and expertise with you to help you on your business journey. Read More >>

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