In 2020+ if you are offering professional or creative services you are leaving piles of money on the table if you are not selling them online.
To the uninitiated, the main challenge is in determining where you should be selling, and how to do it.
The truth is It all depends on what you are offering, who you are targeting, and how much you want to charge for your services. The following is an exploration of the main options available to you, and a guide to help you determine where you should be selling your services online depending on your specific circumstances.
High Priced and High-Quality Services - Your Own Website
If you intend to sell high value services online unfortunately there is absolutely no way to get around creating you own website. Unless you are a celebrity or an unusually gifted sales savant, you will need to prove to your customers that you are running a serious operation in order for them to be comfortable parting with large sums of money. Nothing does this better than showing them you care enough about your business to create a dedicated online property to house your services.
In addition to this, selling high ticket services will normally require multiple fine-tuned interactions with your potential customers in order to close the deal. Having your own website is the only way to take full control over this process and it will continue to be this way for the foreseeable future.
Household Services - Amazon
Believe it or not, along with products Amazon also allows you sell your professional services through their Amazon Home Services platform. Amazon has millions of eyes on their listed services, so if you can get accepted into their professional services program it can potentially be a huge boon for your business.
Unfortunately, at this current point in time they are not accepting any new applications. However, you should keep an eye on their application page as they will likely soon restart their acceptance program.
Creative Services - Etsy
If the service(s) you are selling is creative in nature, your best bet will probably be Etsy. Etsy is an online marketplace that allows their users to sell creative products and services to their customers. If you are interested in selling your services on Etsy, I would advise that you first browse through their listings to find out if you have any competition.
If you do, you will need to make sure that your offering is unique, either in the way it is presented or the end-product. Etsy seems to prioritize how long a seller has had an account on their platform, so it is important for new sellers to be sufficiently differentiated in order to have a chance of being discovered by buyers.
All Services - Social Media
Regardless of where else you decide to set up shop online, social media is an absolute must. The inconvenient truth is that when you enter the digital marketplace you will likely not have any traction regardless of what platform you use. Social media gives the opportunity to “get the ball rolling” by getting eyes on your sales pages through the traffic you have built on up on your profile.
Regardless of what anyone tells you, it is very important for you to continuously promote your services if you want to get consistent sales. Social media provides you with a great opportunity to quickly build a captive audience of potential customers to help provide stability for your business long term.
Digital Only Services - Online Freelance Market Places
If the service you are offering does not require physical contact in order to be completed, listing them on a platform like Fiverr and Upwork may be a great option for you. Generally speaking, service providers who are able to offer significantly discounted rates tend to find more success on these websites, however this does not mean that it is impossible to sell your services at a premium rate.
Upwork is good for service that require a custom/hourly approach with each interaction (e.g., video editing, bug fixing, article editing) while Fiverr supports pre-packaged services that are sold for a set price. Recently, Upwork has also started providing support for pre-packages services, however at this point in time the online market tends to flock toward Fiverr as it has already become famous for this approach.
No matter what service you are providing and what platforms you choose to list on, ultimately you should always aim to get business from you own website.
Do a quick google search for “I was banned from <insert your website of choice here>”
You will notice that none of them are shy about temporarily or even permanently banning their service providers for every and any reason in the book.
On these websites you are not important. You are, in-fact, just one of millions. So, your financial impact on their bottom line is negligible no matter how much business you bring to their platform. Relying solely on them to generate leads for your online service business is like building a house atop a ticking time bomb. At some point, you will do something that will get you banned.
As an online service provider, it is extremely important for you to develop real marketing and sales skills if you want to prosper lone term in the digital marketplace. Once you develop these skills, use them to generate business through your own website, and watch your business grow as a result.
When you are ready to make the jump, contact me and I will ensure that you put yourself in a position to not only survive, but thrive in the rapidly evolving digital marketplace.