If you want to get into Ecommerce without a lot of start-up capital, selling services online is an excellent way to earn an income.
When you hear or read the phrase, “selling services,” you may not see how it applies to you. Perhaps you associate it with subscription services, or the service industry itself. But you don’t need to be a Netflix executive or a sommelier to sell services. That’s because when your skill set becomes a product of its own, it’s a service. Coaching, consulting, and designing are all services, and you should value your skill set enough to charge customers appropriately for your expertise.
Perhaps you’re looking for a career change, or want to make some extra money on the side. Services don’t require shipping, manufacturing, or storage. While it’s true that selling services online can require a little extra time and effort up front, once you’ve developed your business and gotten it off the ground, this source of income can require minimal effort and selling services can be an exceptional source of passive income.
5 Keys to Selling Services Online to Monetize Your Existing Skill Set
Reflect on Your Daily Routine
Look Back at Your Life Experience
Identify a Purpose and Direction for Your Skill Set
Start Selling Services Online
Tips for Selling Services Online
Monetize YOUR Skills
Some influencers encourage people to find the most popular service out there and then learn the skills it takes to sell it. That tip might make sense to someone just starting out, but any small business owner knows the perils of dedicating your life to what other people want. Tastes and trends change. Many growing businesses fail not because they were founded on bad ideas, but because they weren’t the right fit for the person starting that business.
I can already hear you thinking, “But I don’t have any skills that someone would pay for.” Believe it or not, some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs felt that way before their ventures took off. Many of us find it hard to believe that we have something of value to offer. When it comes to marketable skills, it can be tough to look inside and trust that you can do something special, something that other people want so much that they will pay for it. You may be surprised to find out that you already possess valuable skills that can enrich the lives of your customers if you start selling services.
Instead of starting with what you want to get, start with what you have to give. You have unique preferences, ideas, and skills. You will be exchanging your time and effort for success in your online business, so it should be something that feels good to you. This post will help you find what you have to give, how to monetize those skills, and how to start selling services online.
1. Reflect on Your Daily Routine
What is your morning routine? If you wake up on time every day, it shows that you are punctual and have good planning skills. Maybe you make your kids’ lunches each morning for school? The shopping, preparation, and organization that go into making those lunches are all saleable skills. You may put extra effort into the presentation of those lunches, demonstrating still more special abilities. When you arrive at the office and head into your morning meeting, how do you communicate with your co-workers? Whether you present a detailed PowerPoint presentation or are able to rally your team for motivation, that part of your day demonstrates more of your individual skills. Pay attention to what you do during your average day and write each skill you discover on an index card.
2. Look Back at Your Life Experience
We learn valuable skills from our parents, friends, and teachers as we grow up, and we also learn from observations and experiences that we collect as we grow. Take a stroll down memory lane and revisit important moments from your childhood, teen years, and so on. You may have grown up in a house full of academics, surrounded by books and mentors with exceptional tips for quick and effective research. Perhaps your family was into sports, and you developed strong event planning skills because of the catering and timing crucial to your annual family Super Bowl party. You may have participated in debate, design, or science clubs in high school, and those groups provided moments and learning that give you a different perspective.
Is there anything that you loved to do as a child that you stopped doing? Is there something that you are great at that you haven’t practiced in a while? Write these skills down on index cards as you remember them. This also a great way to return to the skills that you miss using.
These exercises will help you locate your strengths and weaknesses as you develop your plan for selling services online. They are also ways to recognize your subconscious habits, to strengthen your natural hope and resilience as you move into a growing business that will both challenge and excite you.
3. Identify a Purpose and Direction for Your Skill Set
Now that you have a full stack of index cards, take a look at everything together, all at once. Some of your cards may be similar, and that’s ok. It can be helpful to lay them out on the floor or to hang them on a wall. Once you can see them together you can start to play. Sometimes the way that we connect our skills is more helpful than seeing them individually, so group your skill cards in different ways.
- What do you love to do and what do you dread?
- Are there some areas you are confident in, and others where you are a bit rusty?
- What do you enjoy doing for short bursts of time, and what can you see yourself enjoying for years?
- Which skills bring you joy and which do you do out of necessity?
Now that you have a clear sense of what you bring to the table, return to that list of ways to start selling services online. What services jump out at you, and which seem like a wrong fit?
Here’s a list of profitable, simple examples of selling services online:
Sell Classes Online
- You may like writing for short bits of time, have a strong sense of organization, and love to talk and instruct. Teaching online sounds like the perfect service to sell for you.
- Give advice on your hobby in a webinar. You may be able to make the perfect tree for your miniature railroad with items from your backyard or a walking tour path for the best local jazz. You can help fellow enthusiasts learn more about what they love.
Sell Business Services Online
- Are you the first person to sign up for discount programs, know all the best sites for coupons, and have strategies to save money at home? Share the wealth! Write an Ebook or a blog about saving money.
- Take on social media posting for a busy person or business
- Build customizable graphic design or web design templates for weddings, children’s parties, or other special events.
- Share tips and workarounds that you use on software or phone applications
- Provide template spreadsheets and other tools for project management. You’re a whiz with project management methodologies, and there are professionals looking for the tools you made every day.
- Offer your time as a consultant or mediator for business skills.
- Offer personal training online using your personal workout routine. You may not be a pro, but your personal experience might include where to find the best trails, workarounds for when you’re traveling, or techniques that make a workout better for your body. Create fitness service products that excite and motivate!
Sell Beauty Services Online
- Do you love to get dressed up? Maybe you’re a curly-haired woman with a detailed hair routine you want to share? Connect online customers to your favorite sources for beauty products, or share your best tress techniques in a tutorial.
Sell Food Services Online
- Give a webinar about your favorite kitchen tricks. They could be family recipes, a new way to use an old tool, or a system that saves time when you’re multitasking in the kitchen.
- Starting a fitness business online? Round out a healthy program for your clients with meal planning and nutrition.
Sell Coaching Online
- Are you the person people turn to when they need a boost or personal advice? Improve the confidence and inner voice of your customers online by selling personal coaching services.
- If you’ve changed careers or jobs multiple times in your career then you know what it takes to find the right job. Become a career coach online by offering one-on-one sessions or webinars!
Sell Personal Services Online
- Offer classes and training online for people struggling with dating or relationships. You are already a go-to for friends and family. Extend your circle of support and provide services and advice for customers seeking love.
- Provide tools and services for parents. Parenting is tough no matter what kind of support system a family has. You may have tips for quick clean up or a great technique for tantrums, and there are parents out there who can use your knowledge.
Sell Writing and Content Services Online
- Create digital content. Whether you are a writer, a photographer, or an avid online enthusiast, there are people out there who would love your help!
- Ghostwrite a book
- Support a cause by writing blogs, editorials, or posting online. No matter what you believe in, there are other activists out there who are strapped for time with funding that can subsidize your support.
4. Start Selling Services Online
Now you have a solid plan for selling services online. But how exactly do you monetize your existing skill set? Are you a professional in your industry with contacts and knowledge to sell your services online, or are you just starting out? Either way, you will need to show the world your expertise and prove that your services are worth the investment.
First, ask yourself if you need more knowledge to make your business a success. Online classes like the ones offered by LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Coursera can help you sharpen existing skills. This research has more than one benefit. As you use these tools, think about how your potential competitors are marketing their services. This is a chance to see what you do and don’t want as you move forward with your business. Use your research as a guide when you price your services and identify your primary audience.
Next, it’s time to create a simple website that makes it easy for your customers to understand, access, and take advantage of your services. While it doesn’t need to be the most advanced, high tech website, it should be user-friendly and well designed. Selz is the Ecommerce platform for growing businesses, and some of our most successful customers are selling services online. With Selz, you can build your own services website or embed buttons or widgets to sell directly from your blog or social media accounts.
When you’re categorizing the services you offer, remember that selling different options within a service group is a good idea. For example, if you create a 10-video lesson program for cleaning your closet, you may also want to develop an online class, Ebook, or podcast. This makes your business selling services online more successful by helping connect you to customers who are seeking the information you offer but want it in a different format or at a lower price point.
Approach the visual identity of your business in a professional way and pay attention to the aesthetics of other sellers in your niche. New customers may be wary of investing your services, but if you pack your website and other marketing materials with great photography, clean error-free copy, and generous customer testimonials, you will go a long way toward earning their trust.
5. Tips for Selling Services Online
Selling services online can be challenging. There are a few things that it is helpful to remember to ensure success.
You are Your Best Advocate, Sell Yourself
What makes your service distinct? It will be different because it is yours, and you have built this service from your own life experience and knowledge. But it’s important to identify exactly why this is valuable to your future customers.
How did you discover this skill, and what potential uses will someone else have for it? For instance, if you are branding a fitness business, what is your biggest draw – your bubbly personality or perfect physique? You can accomplish just about anything online with some time and a little research. If you show that you’ve done some of that work for your customer, you will have an edge on selling services online.
Show Your Customers the Value of Your Service
Find a way to communicate the value of your skill set and how your skills work together to benefit your customers buying services online. This will often mean telling stories that highlight the wisdom of your mentors, friends, and family who have shared their know-how over the years. Update these stories with referrals from happy customers to ensure continued sales.
Think Globally, Act Locally
Your business may be online, but remember that some of your best customers will be close to home. Practice your elevator pitch about your mom’s last-minute cookie fix or that trick your brother uses to make his at-home oil changes quick and clean. Create a Google Business profile to maximize your reach to customers who are looking for your service online, and make it easy for prospective customers to contact you.
Make sure your customer understands exactly what you are selling, that is is a service and not a product, and what their purchase includes. For example, if you are selling accounting tutorials, write emails or social media posts about how you were taught to master filters in Excel, and the benefits that those tricks have given you in your life and career. Keep your message clear.
Life goes by fast, and your consumers are hungry for a way to make each day shine. They want more time to do the important things and to spend less time researching.
When you start selling services online, make a point to provide your customer with everything they need to become successful at a skill. The services you offer will give someone hope. Your tips, tricks, templates, and videos could change someone’s life for the better. In a time of access, invention, and communication, it’s easier than ever before to share your skillset in a way that benefits others and creates generates income for yourself.
So why wait? Try a 14-day free trial with Selz. Start selling services online today!
This post was originally published in September 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.