11 min read
Selling services online is a brilliant way to grow your business.
Ecommerce can help to build a global audience for your services, and enable you to leverage your income with a 24/7 lead generation machine.
Selling online helps you to reach new market places, new clients and new opportunities way faster and easier than ever before.
Sometimes, it can feel overwhelming knowing where to start with selling online.
However, with a few simple pointers and case studies for reference, you can create your own strategy for success to increase your income, broaden your audience, and sell your services easier than you thought possible.
Selling Services: How To Sell Your Services Online
Why Sell Services Online?
Selling services online allows you to reach more people than ever before.
By building a system that allows your clients to find you easily, inbound inquiries and organic leads can fuel your business by creating a pipeline full of hot client leads and people eager to buy your services.
Know what your audience wants
The first step to selling services online is to know, really clearly, what your audience wants.
Thinking about what your ICA (your ideal client avatar) is looking for is a key part of creating a service that will sell really well online.
Your ideal client has a set of struggles and needs that you can help with. Immersing yourself in their needs and problems is a foundational step to creating a product that your clients clamor for.
Familiarizing yourself with the marketplace and finding the language used by your ideal clients will help you to craft an offer and some promotional material around it that will sell well.
There are several places that you can find information to help you to build an offer that will sell online as a service.
Answer the Public is a fantastic website that acts as a visual guide to the questions that people are asking online about the problems they have within a niche.
You can use it to search for popular search terms and keywords around a subject in your industry. In this way, you can discover what people are asking about the services that you currently offer, or that you plan to offer in the future.
You can also use the results from Answer the Public to create a content strategy of valuable blog posts and social media content that will help to magnetize your ideal clients to find your helpful offer.
This example here shows a search for the term “hairdresser” and gives you an idea of some sample questions.
Focus groups, either in person or as webinars or Facebook Live streams, are also a great way to have some real-time contact with your audience. It also helps you to discover what they need help with.
A major part of creating an offer of a service that will sell well is to really get under the skin of what your ideal clients want, and there is nothing better than hearing it directly from them in real-time.
A tip is to transcribe any Facebook Lives, focus groups or interviews that you do with your clients. Make sure you store and use that language later to quote back to your clients their needs. It will honestly resonate with them and help them to make the decision to hit that button to buy with you!
Another handy place to look for indicators of what your clients might need is in the book review sections on Amazon.
If you find an Amazon book about your particular subject area niche, you will often find clues in the book reviews as to what that person was looking for when they purchased that book. This information can be valuable to make sure that your offer is likely to hit a home run with your marketplace.
By spending the time to research what your audience wants, you are more likely to sell a service successfully. This will help you create an ecommerce strategy that will be beneficial for both you and for your audience.
Create an Offer Your Audience Needs
Selling a service online starts with creating an offer that you know your audience needs.
Now you have done the research, you can create a viable product that is a basic version of your services that you can use to test, tweak, and refine.
For example, this might be a strategy call, or it might be a shorter version of a retreat that you plan to run. It might be a smaller version of a package of your service that you are taking to market.
When you create the first version of your service, you can use the feedback and results from your clients to inform how you tweak, test, and revise that product for future clients.
Once you start getting information on how people are using your product, you’ll be able to make the necessary tweaks to improve it time after time.
Every time a client uses your services, make sure to ask for their feedback. Capturing positive results that they had not only means you have user-generated marketing material for the future. It gives you the opportunity to improve it time after time.
A happy client means that you are more likely to have referrals from them, and you can use positive client testimonials to help promote your offer to other people who have the same needs.
How to Find Leads
Finding leads for your service in ecommerce means that you need to tune into the problem areas and pain points that your customers have.
Create Valuable Content
When you were doing immersion and market research, you discovered exactly the kind of questions that your clients were asking. You can now use those guide points to create some valuable content that speaks to your ideal audience. These could include blog posts, social media content, podcasts, or videos.
By creating content on a regular basis that speaks to your ideal audience, you build up authority and equity in the subject that you are talking about. Search-engines and your audience start to recognize you for the subject area you are selling your service in.
Offering valuable insights and helpful information around the questions that your customers are asking enables your business to be front and center when they search for solutions.
Over time, you build up a library of content and you have a range of ways to help customers find you online and to build up a steady stream of traffic.
Visual content is important, too. Images, gifs, and well-designed images that showcase your offer catch the eye and are much more easily seen by your clients.
Ecommerce Examples: Express Writers
Express Writers offer content creation services for marketing agencies who need to create content at scale.
The ExpressWriters site features many of the online selling tips mentioned in this article:
- Social proof and client testimonials add powerful value to potential customers
- A downloadable ebook acts as a lead magnet and adds insights to how to outsource content
- Express Writers have created useful and easy to implement guides and resources
- A podcast offers audio content to an audience who may prefer to access content on the move
- A blog offers insights and tips that address the key pain points of the clients
- Offer valuable content in various formats for your clients to consume
- Resources add immense value and are a great way to share actionable insights that build trust
- Consider how your audience consumes content best, and create for that medium
Make Your Social Profiles Work for You
A simple but effective strategy is to make your social profiles work hard for you.
Make sure that the problem you solve and the clients who you solve it for is really obvious in your bios and your headlines on all your social platforms. Then, use the platforms to link out to your most valuable and helpful content.
In this way, you will start to build a chain of useful information that will help your future clients to realize that you are the person to solve their problem by speaking directly to their pain points.
Ecommerce Examples: Kettlebell Kitchen
Kettlebell Kitchen offers meal prep services, home delivery and events catering for healthy food with specific macronutrients.
The problem they are solving is that their clients want to eat to a specific macro goal, but don’t want to spend time on meal prep, planning, and tracking their nutrients.
How Kettlebell Kitchen is adding value online to their audience:
- A raft of blog posts addresses issues around health, fitness, and nutrition
- A media page adds credentials by sharing where the services have been featured in the media
- The services are available for direct purchase from the Kettlebell Kitchen Facebook page
- Making it easy to shop from your social media profiles removes resistance to buying, and captures your clients at the point of content consumption
- Adding your “As seen in” press credentials adds brand value and impact
Create a Follow Up System for Sales
A content calendar and social media strategy help make inbound leads happen organically and on autopilot. As such, you start to build a pipeline of inquiries. Now you need to turn those leads into paying customers.
Creating followup content on autopilot is a helpful way to engage with your audience without having to respond personally to each inquiry.
Adding valuable content such as an ebook, a video, or a webinar can be easily followed up by creating a sequence of emails. Use an ECRM platform such as Convert Kit, MailChimp, or AWeber to streamline this process.
By continuing to add to the conversation to people who you know have opted-in, you know that you have somebody on your email list that is likely to buy from you.
There are many ways that a client could buy from you online; for example:
- A button that clearly offers your services on your blog or website
- A link to your services on your social media profiles
- Through a series of emails after someone opts into your email list from watching a webinar or downloading an ebook.
Make your offer clear, and keep offering!
It might sound obvious, but we often make the mistake of not making our offers clear enough.
Make saying yes easy and you are more likely to successfully sell your services online.
Similarly, keep making offers on a regular basis to your audience. We are content-saturated with newsfeeds and other items. Making sure that your clients who want your service see what you offer will help to keep your services at the top of their mind.
That’s not to say you should bombard people, and hassle them to buy from you. Far from it. Keep adding value, and keeping making the offer that will help them, their business, and their life.
Social Proof is Powerful
Another powerful way to make sure that people are aware of the value of your offer is to use social proof and testimonials to turn one customer into many.
Every time you receive a positive testimonial or comment from somebody on social media, screenshot that remark and use it on your marketing material, and repost on your social platforms. Using testimonials as user-generated content not only makes content creation easier but acts as social proof.
Social proof is a powerful way to tap into motivational behavior and encourage people to buy from you. It makes a difference when they see that you have had successful results for other people.
Keep the Sales Funnel Full
There are many ways to make sure that your leads are constantly filling up your pipeline.
Collecting email addresses from potential customers is a key way to do this.
You can do this by creating an opt-in, such as an ebook, a webinar, a video, or a challenge that helps to showcase how you can help your ideal people. Once they have opted into your list, make sure you follow up with helpful and useful valuable content.
Ecommerce Examples: Design Pickle
Design Pickle offers graphic design services at a flat fee per month.
The problem Design Pickle is solving is that many business owners need to keep to a strict budget for design work, and by charging a flat fee it helps them to manage their budgets.
Design Pickle offers value for their audience in many ways:
- The blog is full of articles that are useful to prospective clients
- The company has created a valuable set of free resources, including guides, cheat sheets and tutorials available for download as lead magnets
- A chat box is available on the home screen, and a bot offers a free download of their design magazine to offer inspiration and tips
- Offer valuable content in various formats for your clients to consume
- Make it easy to contact you as early as possible
- Consider all the ways you can add value around the core offer of your service, to be a trusted brand and to build a relationship with your audience.
Leveraging multiple platforms can go a long way to help your lead generation efforts. Repurposing content is a powerful way to make your ROI on content creation go further.
For example, if you create a blog post you could also use that blog post to pull out quotes and repost on your social media profiles.
In this way, you can begin to create a system for selling services that works for you on autopilot. This gives you more time to service your clients and to make sure you get good results for each person you work with.
Serving Customers with Your Online Business
Customer support and being able to engage with your audience is really key in building trust and great relationships.
Consider adding a chat function to your website to enable visitors to ask questions and get in touch with you right from your site. It can also be useful to include an FAQ section on your site that addresses commonly asked questions. This lets you answer queries there and then.
This guide to selling services will help you refine and grow your services online. Any other tips you’re looking for? Let us know in the comments.