Selling services online is one of the most effective ways to grow a business and increase reach to potential customers. However, with so many platforms, marketing strategies, and options in the market, it is normal to have doubts about how to sell professional services successfully.
Therefore, this article will explain how to sell digital services.
There are many effective methods and strategies to sell my services online, each of them focused on an essential element of digital marketing. However, the latest statistics revealed that most customers and potential customers are based on the sales proposition when choosing the service they are going to hire. In this sense, knowing how to sell became as important as service quality, promotion, and sales strategies.
Learning how to sell services is essential to be successful as a freelancer, so we will teach below several forceful methods with which you will be able to make yourself known, increase your presence on the Internet, capture the attention of your target audience, and make sales with your potential customers. Let’s get started!
Selling services: Strategies to create value
Before you start selling services online, you should keep in mind that the way to plan the promotion is different from the way it is usually done when dealing with products, because they are intangible.
Services are able to bring value to customers by helping them learn new skills, solve situations, improve business productivity or accomplish tasks, while products have a value of their own because people can touch and see them.
Due to the nature of the services, and the lack of face-to-face online verification, it is essential to create strategies that allow you to generate sales. To achieve this, it is necessary to know how to sell yourself so that potential clients will hire the services offered. Here are 8 effective strategies to promote services and attract customers:
1. Know who the target audience is
To successfully sell services online, it is essential to know the target audience, what are their aspirations, and their interests, so you can better define the type of message to communicate, to create a strategy, generating greater confidence and future sales.
To determine the target audience for your services, follow these essential tips at the time of carrying out the search:
Determine the quantitative characteristics: these are the variables with which you can generally segment the audience, based on characteristics such as: gender, marital status, age, and place of residence, among others. Some of the quantitative variables can be deduced from the services offered, for example, accountants or lawyers will infer that their services will be hired by clients of legal age.
Detail their qualitative aspects: The qualitative variables will allow you to know the most personal characteristics, with which you will manage to establish better strategies to sell services over the Internet. To determine these variables, you must know what your customers’ problems are, what motivates them, what their aspirations or needs are, in order to empathize and focus your message on “what” your customers are looking for. This two-way analysis will allow you to communicate in a more effective and human way with your target audience, so you will be able to create better marketing strategies that customers will identify with.
Therefore, before you start selling services online, it is essential to develop a database of ideal potential customers, as it will help you reach your target audience. Although there are applications and agencies capable of analyzing user variables, the best option is to create a database on your own, to control the information and work strategies more effectively.
By focusing on your potential customers, you will get the public genuinely interested in your services, which will result in the creation of bonds of trust that will increase the opportunities to sell services over the Internet.
In addition to knowing the variables, adopt an approach that allows you to sell your services indirectly, to achieve this use the following marketing strategies:
Define the value proposition: Customers are likely to find several similar services when they perform exhaustive searches, so it is essential to strive to offer the best alternative. To achieve this, it is necessary to identify the unique value proposition, by demonstrating what makes you different from your competitors, customers will have more information, tools, and conviction when choosing you.
Do not focus on selling, but on attracting: To make the decision of potential customers lean towards the services you offer, you have to promote them in such a way that they feel attracted. One of the best alternatives is to show the benefits they will obtain, thus helping them to visualize how you will cover their needs and solve their problems. When potential customers have the perception that they will receive more than a service for the payment they make, they are more willing to establish business relationships.
Offer specialized services: You can probably offer a wide variety of services, but it is preferable that you specialize in one in particular. In this way, you will be able to offer effective solutions; the best strategy is to seek services for clients, and not clients for services. Define the profile of your ideal customer, know what they need and focus your digital marketing strategy on offering a specialized service that meets their needs.
2. Choose your platform
To sell professional services online, it is essential to choose platforms that allow the business to show its essence and develop its identity, as over time it will make it easier for customers to recognize the brand from the competition.
The best platforms to sell services online are those that benefit the interaction with potential customers in a fluid way, those that allow customers to find the services offered easily, and also provide companies with tools to increase the reach of the target audience.
In this sense, for the sale of services through the Internet it is recommended:
- Website: Businesses that do not have an online presence miss out on endless opportunities since most people search for information on the best services available. A website will allow you to create a space where customers can go to find everything they need, before hiring your services, they can be found through search engines and facilitate differentiation themselves from the competition, especially if they do not have a web presence.
- Social networks: Social media is an excellent alternative to publicizing a business on the Internet because it allows you to connect with your potential customers from anywhere in the world. By applying various digital marketing strategies, such as creating valuable content that invites interaction or showing the services offered, you can attract new Internet users who will eventually request your services. Currently, Instagram Shopping and the Facebook store are two of the best allies to give visibility to a business; since it allows us to sell ourselves in a way that is pleasant for potential customers.
- Instagram Shopping: It is a free functionality of the platform that allows tagging services or products in the publications of the feed and stories. In this way, interested people will be able to click on the tags to access the necessary information about the service of their preference: prices, features, detailed descriptions or even personalized quotes.
- Facebook Store: This free alternative offers the option of creating a catalog of services, where you can explain all the features in a more detailed way. Its main advantage is that customers can buy directly on the page, so when they click, they will be redirected to your websites, which will also allow you to drive a good amount of organic traffic to your online business.
- WhatsApp Business: WhatsApp is the most widely used instant messaging application to manage inquiries made by customers or potential customers in an organized way. WhatsApp Business is the most recent version and is especially aimed at SMEs, as it allows the inclusion of product or service catalog, business hours, and GPS location, among other options.
- Blog: It is important for your website to have a blog, as it will allow you to publish articles that will awaken the interest of your audience and lead them to a landing page. Blogs are powerful marketing tools to build customer loyalty, the content published on the blog should be related to the services you offer so that it helps to demonstrate your knowledge and experience. In addition, it is important to include an e-mail address, since interested people can communicate their concerns, express their opinions or request more information through this channel.
3. Make sure the website is optimized and responsive
Web optimization comprises all the technical aspects, strategies and marketing used to attract traffic and convert them into potential customers.
Normally, these areas are worked on by different professionals in the field. To sell services online smoothly, it is essential to have an optimized and responsive website, as it will make it easier for customers to interact with the brand and provide a higher level of professionalism.
The most important aspects to take care of when optimizing a website are:
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization): This digital marketing discipline aims to improve the positioning of a website in the results of various search engines. Currently, Google is the most used search engine in America and Europe, however, it is important to consider that it constantly changes its algorithm, so you will have to be up to date on updates to optimize SEO campaigns. In terms of actions taken, SEO uses keywords, search intentions, content, links and on-page optimization to achieve its objectives.
- Optimize technical performance: The technical performance of a website is the engine that drives it and the ease with which web surfers can access or interact with the site’s content depends on it.
- Optimize website speed: Website loading speed is one of the most important performance factors for search engines, plus they are visible to visitors. Users tend to abandon websites that take more than 2.5 seconds to load, so it is essential to prevent factors that can slow down the site: heavy images, not having a cache, advertising banners, among others. To offer a good user experience, you can analyze the speed of the website using the following tools:
- Google PageSpeed
- Pingdom Website Speed Test
- Hosting errors: It is essential to correct the errors that the websites suffer when loading, these imply the abandonment of the visitors. The most frequent hosting errors are HTTP 404 (page not found), 403 (access denied) and 500 (internal server error). To identify and correct errors on the website, you can use the Botify or Screaming Frog crawlers, which will allow you to redirect to useful pages.
- Hosting performance: When the website is not the cause of the performance problems, it is most likely due to the hosting. The host is the company in charge of managing and hosting the website so that Internet users can access it. To solve hosting performance errors, the following solutions can be applied:
If the website receives more traffic than the current hosting plan allows, the solution will be to increase the subscription capacity.
Change hosting provider.
Operation on mobile devices: All websites that aim to sell services must have a responsive design for mobile devices, since 82% of visits and 69% of total sales are made through cell phones. Development and design must work together so graphic objects scale automatically, thus avoiding creating multiple versions of the same page, as with adaptive designs. Consumers’ preference to search and buy services from their mobile devices makes it essential to create mobile-first designs.
4. How to sell a service?
To successfully sell services online, it is important to capture the attention of potential customers, so they have to look at your value propositions. The online presence and the interaction you maintain with your audience is fundamental, as they will allow you to increase reach and trust.
Nowadays, online consumers are more selective when it comes to purchasing products or services because they take into consideration many factors when deciding. It is no longer enough to offer a good service, we must learn how to sell ourselves, it is essential to provide a first-class service so that potential customers choose our services.
For this reason, the most effective method to sell a service is to increase the reach of our content, capture the attention through value propositions and let the customers be the ones who have the initiative to purchase the services. At the end of this strategy, they will have more followers, and potential customers and will be able to sell services online successfully.
5. Give away a sample of your services
Free samples are usually very attractive to consumers, so it is an excellent idea to offer lead magnets with interesting content that provides value to the target audience.
To make it more effective, use the platforms where your target audience has more presence and lead them to a landing page. Once users have logged in, you can give them: a membership, a direct download link to the lead magnet, or a discount coupon for certain services.
The objective of the strategy is to attract and be recognized by a greater number of potential customers, and invite them to follow the social networks and subscribe to the website, since this way you can obtain the necessary data to send newsletters with valuable content or promotions. By offering a sample of your services for free, you will obtain a greater amount of potential clients and information.
6. Sales funnel to convert leads
The number of users that surf the web daily is abysmal, so it is necessary to implement a sales funnel to segment your target audience. This marketing strategy will allow you to establish a relationship with your potential customers, show them all your expertise, providing them with tips, content, and any information that can be useful.
A good sales funnel will gradually help to gain the trust of your audience, so many potential customers will hire the services you offer when they need them or recommend them to their acquaintances. In this way, the trust they inspire will be key to the growth of your business; as they will be able to convert and build customer loyalty to establish long-lasting relationships.
However, before implementing a sales funnel it is necessary to have a content marketing strategy to attract users to their profiles or websites, being able to use alternatives such as infographics, interactions in social networks, tips, blog articles, podcasts, videos, and tutorials, among others.
7. Testimonials to build trust in online services
Have you read other users’ reviews before hiring services or buying products online? I’m sure you have.
One of the factors that generate greater confidence in consumers is the opinions of other people since they allow us to create an idea about what we can expect. In this sense, your customers are the best advertising, so you should not be afraid to ask them for a full evaluation of your services.
The testimony of your clients not only generates trust but will also help you position yourself as an authority in the field, which are extremely important aspects for users when making their choice. When dealing with online services, it is necessary to create trust between the brand and the users, in order to lead them to a safe purchase.
The best way to implement this strategy is to ask your customers to tell you how was their experience when hiring your services, the benefits they obtained and what aspects should be improved. In this way, you will have an objective and honest testimonial that will highlight your strengths and know how to provide better service by correcting your weaknesses. This information will be highly valued and taken into consideration by potential clients, who will not hesitate to contact you to hire you.
8. Strategic alliances as part of digital marketing
An alternative to avoid searching for potential customers is to create alliances with like-minded companies that have established clientele. These allies should be businesses that share the same market, for example, web developers and content writers.
By creating synergy with businesses that already have experience and a good portfolio of clients that they can access, they will have an incredible opportunity to penetrate the market. However, they must consider that strategic alliances imply a win-win relationship, so they must offer fair deals to ensure a good business relationship.
Which services to sell over the Internet, the answer is simple: any.
All services have the potential to be advertised on the network since these strategies will attract an audience interested in acquiring your services. Therefore, all the strategies that we develop in this article can be used by any type of business, since they are focused on how to sell digital services using more humanized and closer methodologies.
Although selling online services can become an extremely complex task, due to the large number of alternatives that are available in the market, by establishing a trusting and helpful relationship with your potential customers you will be able to increase conversion rates. Therefore, these strategies to sell professional services have high probability of transforming into long-lasting business relationships.
Now that you know how to sell services online, what are you waiting for to start planning your new marketing strategies?