Stephen Roger Osborne

Stephen Roger Osborne

Marketing and communications


ABN 38993483135
EST 2007


Want to attract the kind of client best suited for your expertise? You may need more distinctive positioning.

Steve Osborne is chief consultant at Smarthinking. He works with service-based businesses that are having trouble getting the right message to the right people.

You may be stuck talking about what YOU DO (the process), instead of what PEOPLE GET (the results). You probably need help to attract and keep new customers.

And you're also probably suffering the double-triple threat: too little time, budget and in-house knowledge. Too much information, distraction and well-meaning advice.

And with so much content available online, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the marketing decisions you're required to make.

Steve Osborne provides an efficient, effective marketing system to save your firm falling into the deep, dark hole that can quickly characterise services marketing.


What we offer

SmartServices – Creative

SmartServices – Creative  


SmartServices are concentrated bursts of creative magic. These short briefing and action sessions enable you to fully explore a particular marketing issue in isolation and are ideal for specific short-term needs.  

From $250

SmartSystem – Marketing Strategy

SmartSystem – Marketing Strategy  


The SmartSystem program is designed to help your firm become distinctive. Something specific for someone, instead of everything for everyone. With better positioning, you can focus on what you do best – build value for your clients.  

From $3,500


Why should a customer hire your business over other service professionals?

Smarthinking is focused primarily on the world of service-based business. We liberate professional service firms from the tyranny of in-house marketing management using proven strategic, creative and functional marketing systems.

Which geographical areas does your business service?

Smarthinking works with service-based businesses across Australia and NewZealand

Are there specific areas of your trade or industry that your business specialises in?

Smarthinking specialises in working with service-based businesses and professional services firms whose offering involves a complex and considered purchase over a longer sales cycle

What are your customers` most frequently asked questions?

1. How do we attract the clients best suited for our expertise? 2. How do we ensure our message finds the right audience? 3. How do we get better results from our marketing? By transforming your marketing to focus on what you do best: building value for your clients.

What is the profile of your ideal customer? e.g. industry, size of business, revenue, number of employees and so on.

Businesses come to us from the areas of: health/dental/optometry; law/accounting/financial; real estate/engineering/construction; creative/consulting/manufacturing.

Customer reviews

Damien Elsing

Damien Elsing

I've worked with Steve on a number of projects and have always found him to be extremely knowledgeable and diligent. He really cares about getting the best outcome for his clients, and goes the extra mile to ensure they get great results.


Speaking to your prospects in Klingon? Part 2 of 3 ?>

Speaking to your prospects in Klingon? Part 2 of 3

Part 2 of 3 Four Colours of Buyers The first studies of personality types were done around 400BC... read more

Speaking to your prospects in Klingon? Part 3 of 3 ?>

Speaking to your prospects in Klingon? Part 3 of 3

Part 3 of 3 How to influence buying behaviour Will an understanding of the Buyer Group Colours... read more

You can’t build a brand with branding. ?>

You can’t build a brand with branding.

Content warning: don’t read any further if you’re happy to accept prevailing branding... read more

Failing to convert? Are you speaking to your prospects in Klingon? Part 1 of 3 ?>

Failing to convert? Are you speaking to your prospects in Klingon? Part 1 of 3

Part 1 of 3 Problem: There’s plenty of interest in your services and consequently you’re getting... read more

Your marketing sucks. No? wait… ?>

Your marketing sucks. No? wait…

In the twenty-five years I’ve been working with services businesses, I’ve heard countless... read more

Suffering From Marketing Overwhelm? ?>

Suffering From Marketing Overwhelm?

Are you drowning in marketing ideas and making little progress across all platforms? Should you... read more

Is branding necessary? Can branding be replaced for service-based businesses? ?>

Is branding necessary? Can branding be replaced for service-based businesses?

    Forget branding. Unless you sell soap. Or cornflakes. Or petrol. Businesses; services;... read more

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Popular Q&A

Steve Osborne answered a question

How can I get free email addresses for email marketing?

I don't know of any reputable companies that provide free email lists. If any such businesses exist, someone please provide examples.It's much more likely that companies providing free lists are spammers. Address skimming software is...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How much would be our budget to advertise our webplatform?

Hi DenisThis is not the answer you're looking for, because you're asking the wrong question.At this point in time, no-one but you knows your audience, competitors, circumstances, experience and expectations. I think you should be asking (yourself):...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How to find a competitive advantage as an accountant?

James, it's a perennial question and never easy to find the right answer. For me, it's an integral part of the greater issue of positioning.Traditionally, there are two main areas you can look at within your business to find competitive advantage....

Steve Osborne answered a question

How to increase my online business sales?

Garbo, having looked over your website, there are numerous ways to increase your traffic. Advertising is the most obvious. However, increased traffic doesn't necessarily equate to increased sales. If your current marketing and sales systems are...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How can I make my meetings more effective?

Always have an agenda, and then stick to it. No more than 5 items per meeting, with a designated timeframe for each subject. That could be 5 minutes each for a half hour meeting, or ten minutes each to get out in under an hour. Ensure everyone...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How much does it cost to advertise on Foxtel?

Call the Foxtel advertising department and ask them.

Steve Osborne answered a question

Do you have advice on how to get more customers in my cafe?

Tell us what you've tried already, and what results you had.For instance, the usual promotional methods of letterbox drops, in-person visits, weekly specials, free delivery, appropriate signage, online ordering etc. all have an important place. Each...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Do I need a bookkeeper as a sole trader?

Assuming you are registered for BAS and have sufficient turnover to be making claims, my understanding is that yes, you will need an accountant for your end of year return. And unless you are a registered tax agent, I suggest a bookkeeper as...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What is a good coffee shop business plan?

NickA good coffee shop business plan is exactly the same as any other business plan. Without one, how will you know where you are going and how will you recognise when you've reached your destination?There are good answers to this question within...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What do you do when you get into a dispute?

I guess it depends on the situation and context Nicole, but if it's an internal matter of opinion rather than fact, as the business owner yours is the final word.If a dispute with an external entity, I would seek an independent ruling – arbitration...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What makes a good marketer for my business?

Nathan, if you describe the problem you're having with marketing your business, we might be able to describe what makes a good marketer for it. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting very generic answers. Like these:A good marketer for your business...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Do you lean more toward Marketing or Reinvestment?

Put it all on red, marketing.Peter Drucker, the father of business consulting, once made a very profound observation:“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How can I encourage students to book in for these workshops?

More background required please, Tiffany. What is your current strategy for attracting new business? Which tactics have been successful and which less so?

Steve Osborne answered a question

What makes you different from your competitors?

What makes you think you need to be different from your competitors?No, I'm not trying to be smart. It's a legitimate question. Do your customers or prospects buy based on differentiating factors? Do they value differentiation? If so, to what...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Do I need an accountant to start a business?

The short answer is no. While highly recommended, it's not mandatory. The extent you need an accountant (or any other professional service provider) will depend on your type of business, revenue, structure.For example, if you're running a hobby...

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