Marketing for Service-Based Businesses

Owning a service-based business can be tough. When marketing, you don't have a shiny, sleek product to hide behind. You are essentially marketing yourself and your ability to provide that service.

There's two things every great service-based business should have  -  a well lit, well rehearsed, talking head interview with the service provider, and well shot, varied b-roll of the service provider in action.

Now, there are plenty of service-based businesses where getting great b-roll is a tough ask. Do you want to watch a video of an accountant at work? I sure don't. That's why in Part One of this two part article, we'll be looking at the interview, and asking questions about its importance. In part two, we'll tackle the task of capturing great b-roll.


Whether you're a personal trainer, chiropractor, or pet-sitter, at some point you are going to need to interact with your clients. Your client doesn't need to like you in order to appreciate what you provide, but to build better client relations, you want them to get to know you, like you, and trust you.  Conversely, you want to get to know them and build a relationship that will see you getting repeat hirings.

Having a well lit, well rehearsed talking head in your video pushes them to the next stage. Before you ever meet in person or talk on the phone, your client already has a sense of who you are, and feels like they know you, especially if you include your personal story of why you picked your area of business.


For starters, I always recommend that the backdrop of your interview tells the viewer something about where you work. You want to choose an area of your business that isn't too busy, but speaks well to what type of ship you run - organized, tidy, well lit or an area that speaks to your unique personality.

Up top, we have a still from an interview with drive-in owner, John Stefanopoulos. This one frame gives you some both subtle and not so subtle hints about the business. In the background you can see the drive-in screen and scanning the frame you can see a lot of the throw-back decor like the giant ice cream cone over John's right shoulder. The drive-in is littered with this style of decor, from neon signs, an old car and gas pump, phone booths, subway signs, and a miniature statue of liberty (which you can just make out over John's left shoulder).

In the shot below, it couldn't be more clear that the service provided by this young lady is martial arts. If you're a fan of flags like Sheldon Cooper you may recognize the Korean flag and further realize that this is a video for a Korean martial art.

One of the most important aspects of the interview, besides what the interviewee has to say, is the lighting. You want to put your best face forward, not hide it in shadows, or use a weird angle.

A good cinematographer will help you choose a great backdrop, choose the right lens and angle, and hopefully give you some great light.

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If you're working with a reasonably experienced producer or videographer, they should be able to steer the conversation so that the tone is conversational (not salesy) and feels genuine. While the interviewer can help give you ideas of what to say and ask insightful questions, the words and answers are ultimately yours and if you're the business owner, no one should be able to better describe your service than you.

MONSTRINTHEDARK is available anywhere in the Hudson Valley, Eastern and Southern CT, Westchester and NYC to make your service-based small business video.