For most of us, the major marketing obstacle that we face in generating new business depends upon two sets of factors.

One of these sets contains the challenges that we face connecting and serving our targeted markets. Some markets are very competitive, others not so much.

In some markets, clients are very demanding or tech savvy, while in other markets, clients are less demanding, looking for something else to satisfy them.

The second set of factors includes all the resources upon which we draw to attract, serve and satisfy clients. And of course in many cases, we apply the same or similar resources differently, depending upon our individual preferences and personal skill sets.

Realistically, what is a marketing obstacle for one professional, is a non-issue for another. Factors that are challenging for some people are no-brainers for others.

In actual fact, there is no single marketing obstacle that is problematic for all service professionals.

The following 10 challenges identify specific issues that commonly face professionals in marketing their services.

1. Uncomfortable With the Idea of Marketing Services

This attitude usually arises from the mistaken belief that marketing personal and professional services is the same as marketing consumer goods. Nothing could be further from the truth. Marketing services is about attracting potentially ideal clients…not chasing leads.

2. Lack of Marketing Skills & Know-How

Like challenge #1, this misunderstanding belief is based on the premise that successfully marketing services depends upon applying the same skills that are used to promote consumer goods. It’s just not true: marketing services requires different skills.

3. Small Network of Contacts

Just because some one starts a service business with very few contacts, that is not a permanent situation. It’s really not all that difficult to expand or enhance one’s network of contacts.

4. Services of the Same Type Are All the Same

Another misunderstanding that need not become an obstacle to successful services marketing. All service-providers of one kind may have been created by the same training, but they certainly don’t serve and satisfy clients the same way.

5. Not Enough Referrals As A Marketing Obstacle

Seldom do referrals occur naturally and effortlessly. To generate referrals, we must earn them…and then ask for them.

6. It’s Hard Connecting With Strangers

Most introverts have trouble initiating contact with strangers. There are however proven techniques for helping less assertive individuals connect with strangers, without turning them into aggressive extroverts.

7. Lost Contact With Past Clients

Current and past clients represent a major source of referrals. If you have satisfied clients in the past, chances are good to excellent you can satisfy them again…and also help them generate more referrals.

A good system of keeping in touch with past clients help generate a sustainable flow of new business.

8. Low Profile in the Market

For many fully trained and qualified service-proiders, their biggest marketing challenge is a low profile in their targeted market. There are many approaches to improving one’s profile in a given market. One of the best is to write a book showcasing your expertise. What will your book be about?

9. Acceptable Service That Is Good — But Forgettable

A variation on challenge #4, this issue can be effectively addressed to help achieve better results from your marketing. Instead of just delivering standard services — make them memorable!

10. No Time For Marketing

This challenge faces most busy service-providers. But it need not be the problem that it’s consistently reported to be. If you can free up 15 minutes a day, you can learn how to market effectively. Really!

This list of marketing challenges serves two purposes.

First, it might stimulate your thinking about the biggest marketing obstacle that you face in generating more new business. If that happens, great. Let me know what your major marketing obstacle is. I will do some research and write about your issue. How’s that for no-cost coaching?

Second, it will serve as a table of contents for a series of blog posts about marketing challenges for professionals. Check back from time to time to see how the series is progressing.