Nowadays, you can sell everything online. And this does not just mean products like groceries, cosmetics, electronics, etc. You can also sell massages, skin treatments in spas, the repairing of pipelines, and much more. Therefore, not only do product-based shops need a website, anybody that sells their knowledge and skills needs a website and has to promote their services online.
Since we have already covered how to make the most of e-commerce, we’ll talk about how to make your service-based business successful online.
Whether you’re a real estate agent, a doctor, lawyer, bed & breakfast owner, auto-mechanic, caterer, hairdresser, fitness trainer, childcare provider… you have a service-based business. You’re selling your time with the promise of a particular result as opposed to a tangible product. This means that in most cases, YOU are the product.
If we talk about small businesses, offering services poses also a very big challenge. You can only provide as many services as your time allows. Plus, you must prove your ability to deliver measurable results while emphasizing flexibility. People will want to see proof that you've delivered great results for other clients, but they'll also want to know that you're flexible enough to meet their own unique needs.
Apart from that, you will need to also make sure you promote your services in the best way possible to ultimately get the benefit needed to keep your business running and also make a living out of it.
Having a website is the best way to promote your business. If you have a restaurant, you need a website. If you are a psychologist and need clients for your practice, you need a website. Doesn’t matter your service, you need a platform where you can showcase your services and make it easy for clients to find you.
In a previous article, we talked about how to create a great and successful website, but how do we make an attractive website specific for services?
Websites are a collection of pages that link to each other. Consistent layouts reassure site visitors they’re in the right place as they jump from page to page. This way, they also easily find the information they need. Here is a breakdown of how to structure your pages:
You have to bear in mind that for potential clients to find your website, your Search Engine Optimization must be on point and you need to cover all its aspects to make sure your website is doing good on the search engines results page.
Photos and pictures are always a great idea, as well as other multimedia aspects, to show your business and personalize your company. It is a great idea to show you or your employees in action. It connects you, the expert, with the work you’re doing. By showing pictures of you and your company you use your website to tie everything together. Clients can see your brand, your logo, and the people who do the work. It is better to use your own pictures than using stock images since it will also give you credibility and people will trust your business.
Include a review section on your website. Potential customers should see the opinions of other satisfied customers. Reviews are very significant nowadays since it is “word of mouth” on the internet, and can help customers make the final decision as to whether to hire your services or not.
There are several strategies that you can implement in order to overcome the challenges that a service-based business can involve.
Since you’re selling a relationship with yourself, it’s of the utmost importance that you spend time and effort establishing your credibility. When you are selling a service, you need to establish the value of you providing this service. You can accomplish this in many different ways.
You can never assume that providing information about what you've done for other clients will enable visitors to your site to make that leap and picture what you'll be able to do for their businesses. You need to be specific about what you're offering. You can also look into other similar businesses and answer these questions:
Your services page with a detailed breakdown of the services you provide, including the benefits you offer clearly explained, will be one of the most critical aspects of your site.
If you're selling a service over the web, then you're generating leads, and your goal is to compel visitors to contact you.
You need to make it simple and easy for your visitors to contact you. Provide an online form, your email address, phone number, fax number, physical mailing address, and any other relevant information (like the best times to call you). And make sure this information is highly visible and easily accessible from every page of your site. You can ask friends and family to check your website to see how long it takes for them to check your contact info. Sometimes even if it’s obvious for us it’s not for everybody else.
Your website is not the only way a customer can find you. Local directories are the way to go if you want to increase your online presence. In a lot of cases, like “Google my business” clients can also leave reviews, which is a great way to also increase your online reputation.
You need to network and get listed with professional services websites. While almost all the traffic techniques used to drive visitors to product-based sites can be applied to service-based sites, there are a couple that those of you who need local traffic will find useful.
One of the obvious and popular ways even if you don’t have a website - promote your services through social media. Social media platforms are the window for everything: online presence, online reputation, and network. You can even use it for customer service. You can learn more about how to do marketing on social media here.
Encourage referrals and repeat customers. Are they happy with the job you did for them? Is there anything else you can do for them? Do they know anyone else who might benefit from your service? An E-mail has made following up with your existing clients extremely easy and cost-effective, so there's no excuse for not taking advantage of this source of easy extra income. Don't be afraid to remind previous customers that you're there or to ask for referrals. If you've done a good job for someone, they'll likely be more than happy to refer their friends and business associates to you.
There are a lot of aspects of the marketing process that you need to take into account to make your website successful and, therefore, gain more visibility. If you need help with it, you can check all the rankingCoach 360 features which will help you increase your SEO, online presence, reputation, and ultimately your sales!