In an ideal world, our referrals alone would keep our investigative businesses afloat. However, many of us need to consider how we can become our own cheerleader and market ourselves as to enjoy a more successful business.
Although you could certainly put money into advertising, you may actually get the biggest bang for your buck through effective marketing. With that in mind, it may be time to ask yourself: What can I do to set myself apart from my competitors?
Your Target Market
Unlike a local retail business, for example, the boundaries of your services do not have to lie within a few radius miles of your company’s headquarters. For most private investigators, traveling is part and parcel of the profession, so casting your net beyond the city or town in which your business is located may make a lot of sense.
What this means is that local advertising tools, such as print, television, and radio, just don’t make much sense to most private investigators when considering the cost of advertising versus the return on the investment.
With this in mind, your focus should be on a larger audience and, for most private investigators, this is accomplished by becoming a member of professional associations. Through professional associations, private detectives can find a great deal of value in marketing themselves at trade events, conferences, and the like.
It often pays to look into joining a private investigator association, a business networking organization, or even a chamber of commerce. It may prove extremely beneficial to join a business network association that allows just one business join in any given area. For example, the association may only allow membership from just one manufacturing company, one law firm, etc.
Given that most professional associations have an excellent presence on the Internet, clients may come looking for a private investigator through the association’s web site, where your company and contact information will be prominently presented.
A strong presence on regional or national websites may be one of the most effective forms of marketing, given that the majority of people now head to the Internet when shopping for everything from doctors to—yep, you guessed it: private investigators.