How do you market genealogy services?

I have tried a couple of approaches but would really appreciate comments from others about how to expand and become more professional at it.

So far, the following are being used or in progress:

  • marketing materials:  Developed a brochure and had some other genealogists and clients give me feedback about its effectiveness.  The brochure, my business cards, by letterhead all coordinate in color quality, typography etc…..a common look
  • “Word of mouth:”  although I have had some referrals it usually ends up being MY mouth that is the most effective. I try to talk it up in circles where there may be interest.  I am amazed who is interested and their level of interest.
  • Speaking engagements: I am a fairly good speaker having done it throughout my professional career.   I use each to introduce myself to others.  I have three coming up: Newcomers of Seattle, DAR and the SAR.  I have many topics.   I am thinking of joining the Genealogists Speakers Guild.
  • Donations:  As with my first three clients I am now a firm believer in….small donations give sometimes big returns.  As you know I started by giving three people a free 10 hours of research and a report of findings.   All three signed up for additional services and one even referred me to someone else.  All paying clients.  I have approached two friends whose children are in private schools to participate in their annual fund raiser’s silent auction.

If you have other ideas, let me know.  I need all the help I can get.


What I have done since the last post: connected with a friend I met at the NGS Conference so we will have a day together when I am in Chicago in another week. completed Susan’s second request and sent it off to her.  It was a major undertaking that resulted in a “storyboard” for a book.  I think she will have a major role in doing the book herself but wanted to have some direction.  Found lots of interesting “stuff” but also walked away from some interesting questions.  Perhaps she’ll think they are interesting also.


One comment on “How do you market genealogy services?

  1. HI Jill,

    I am assuming your customers could potentially be anywhere in the world? If that is the case then you are on the right path right now. Use your blog as your central hub for advertising what you can do.

    See if some happy customers are willing to record a short video for you to host on youtube and link in the side bar on this site. People seem to like that. Plus if you set up the youtube video right you will get traffic from there over to here

    Facebook! If you do not have a page setup for your services all ready then you need to get one. Encourage your current and past clients to “like” you. Simply by doing that they will automatically be promoting you to all their friends.

    The key here is to expand your reach beyond what your own mouth can do. If you only get customers based on you speaking to them face to face it is going to be a SLOW process. Start leveraging those happy customers for all they are worth, without actually making them do something!

    I have some free training videos that may help you more on this side of things. It seems you have the old school way of advertising sorted out. Jump on the new school band wagon and watch your business grow MUCH faster.

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