How to Sell Your Services Online Like a Professional
This article was written by Jen Smith, and published on dollarsprout. It has been partially republished with their permission. The article features a quote from Pietra Communications CEO, Olga Gonzalez. Read the full, original article here on dollarsprout, for expert tips on selling services online.
How to Market and Sell Your Services Online
Once you’ve set up your online service business, you need to learn how to sell your services effectively. There are many ways to find your first clients as a new freelancer, as well as simple strategies for scaling your business over time.
Partner with another service provider.
Syed recommends finding a service provider with a similar target demographic and a complimentary, but non-competing, service, and helping one another by recommending each other’s services.
“If one of you specializes in Google Ads and the other in web design, you can recommend each other as both are useful for a client interested in marketing, but they’re not mutually exclusive services,” he said.
Ask for referrals.
Referrals are a great way to get clients when you’re getting starting. Don’t be afraid to ask current and former clients to spread the word, and you could even offer a cash incentive for every referral.
When asking for referrals, be sure to be specific. The more specific you are, the more likely you are to be the person others think of when they encounter your ideal client.
“Asking ‘Who else can I meet?’ is not a useful referral question,” said Bruce Harpham, a specialist in marketing automation. “Instead, make your request much more specific like this: ‘Do you know any marketing managers at Toronto technology companies with more than 50 employees?’”
The most important things to be specific about are the niche you want to serve and the positions in the niche that are most likely to seek your services.
Network with your target client.
Harpham also advised that instead of attending one-off events, network with your ideal clients by becoming a regular participant in a niche community. He joined a local group for his ideal clients that hosted events several times a month.
“As a result of regular participation, I was invited to speak at an event with 70 people in May 2020,” he said. “Along the way, I’ve deepened my knowledge of the industry and met plenty of people.”
If in-person events aren’t available, join Facebook groups and answer questions members ask. It’ll demonstrate that you have expertise and people will remember that when it comes time to hire someone. You can also follow people in your target niche on Instagram and engage with their content and audience.
Use direct message.
A growing email list has long been the most essential asset of any online business, but only about 30% of people who receive an email newsletter will open it. Alternatively, 85% of people will open and read a Facebook message.
“The sales calls of the past are the DMs of the present,” said Olga Gonzalez, CEO of Pietra Communications. “Keep your pages up to date with relevant information, create unique content, and talk to people via direct message.”
If you don’t have the time to direct message your clients all day long, consider using a Facebook Messenger bot. Messenger bots work through your Facebook page and essentially “greet” visitors. It can open up conversations, answer questions, and gauge where potential clients are at in needing your services.
Advertise on Facebook.
Paid advertising is a great and effective way to quickly grow your service business. Facebook has one of the most customizable ad platforms available, allowing you to reach relevant potential clients affordably.
Customize your target audience by age, gender, location, what they like, and whatever other demographics make them your ideal client. You can also retarget people who’ve been to your website or added your service to their cart but didn’t make a purchase.