Service businesses are lucrative, and when you move them online, even more. Becoming successful on the web is getting increasingly difficult as the years go by. However, don’t be feared away from that sentence. Difficult doesn’t mean impossible, and if you follow the proper guidance, you’ll be on your way to becoming an online success. But how do you grow a service business online?
If you’re looking to expand your service business online, there are many strategies you should implement to become successful. The three primary practices you should follow are getting social, doing competitor research, and building a sales system that converts.
The above states three fundamentals to achieving a successful online career. However, there are many other strategies you should consider before finalizing your online marketing plan. Below we go into detail about how to grow a service business and the systems used to increase the chances of success.
1. Get social and build credibility
First things first, get social on all platforms and start to build credibility around them. By doing this, you’re establishing yourself online, which will increase the trustfulness of your brand. Here are some online services you should optimize.
Building credibility through reviews, page likes, or shares is a great and free way of getting recognized online.
2. Know your competitors
Analyzing and learning from your competitors is crucial to becoming successful online. But, what do I mean by this? It would help if you had a rough idea of their next move, what they’re promoting, new campaigns they’re investing in and much more.
By understanding this, you’re able to see what’s working for them and what isn’t. Here, you don’t have to waste your hard-earned money on “hoping” a strategy will work. Instead, you can see what works and implement it. For campaigns that are a success, you’re able to replicate it but in a more audience-driven way.
3. Understand your target audience
Including the above, you should have a clear understanding of who your target audience is. Here are some questions you should answer to make this process much more straightforward:
- Where is your ideal customer located? (state, country, etc.)
- Who can benefit from your service? (household owners, single parents, teenagers).
- What are some key characteristics of your current customers? (gender, age, income, education, overall demographic).
Understanding the above is vital to ensure you’re promoting to the right people. As you can imagine, advertising to the incorrect audience can undoubtedly cause your campaign to become unsuccessful. To discourage this, be sure you have a solidified idea of who your perfect customer is.
4. Build a highly converting sales funnel for you service business
Whether you’re creating a start-up online or already have a well-established brick-and-mortar store, it’s essential to have a highly engaging sales funnel. For those who don’t know, a sales funnel is a series of “steps” that are optimized depending on your customer’s engagement levels.
For example, a sales funnel will help convert people who are unaware of your services into customers. Here’s how the funnel is structured.
- Lead generation – During this stage, you want to drive online traffic from your advertising campaign to your official website. This could either be through search, social, or pop advertising.
- Capture – Within the capture stage, potential customers engage on your website and read about your services. Here you’ll want to capture some contact information in the event you need to re-target them.
- Follow up – Because you’ve captured their information, you can now re-target them to enhance the chances of the user showing additional interest.
- Sale – This stage is when your hard work has paid off. From your lead gen to capturing their email, and lastly, following up has resulted in a sale.
5. Think outside the box
Online, there is a boatload of opportunities to maximize your potential growth. If you want to grow your service business online, you may want to set up an affiliate marketing portal. Here anyone or someone that suits your requirements can advertise your service. Each time someone clicks on their link and purchases your services, you give them a percentage of that payout.
Affiliate marketplaces you’re able to advertise your offer:
6. Surpass your customer’s expectation
When you want to grow your start-up or service business online, you’re going to face a lot of competition. Each competitor is trying to achieve the same outcome, meaning you need to deliver a flawless customer experience. Even if this means putting in some extra work, trust me, it’ll go a long way. Especially if you’re only just starting out on an online platform.
7. Evolve with new opportunities
Every day new business opportunities arise, and it’s your job to take full advantage of these. For example, during the pandemic, gyms had to close. Because of this, fitness fanatics, gym owners, and mobile app developers created applications that were aimed towards home workouts. This was perfect as it suited everyone’s current situation, it benefited them, and they got fit. So, it was a win, win for everybody.
8. Create a well-formatted website
To sell your services online, you’re going to need a fully functioning website. If you have the budget or skills, I recommend you create a unique and fast website. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but remember, this is considered your first impression, and they most definitely count.
Failing to offer a fast and responsive website can quickly “put” people off, resulting in you losing a customer. This will also dramatically decrease your chances of showing up in the SERPs.
9. Use a good copy
Typically online, you’re going to sell through text and maybe the occasional video. However, using sneaky psychological tactics can really go a long way here. For instance, many online retailers use a strategy called FOMO (fear of missing out). Here they’ll either place a countdown timer for a specific date a deal ends or write “sale ends tomorrow”, etc. By elaborating this, it urges people to make impulsive purchases.
10. Develop a plan
Once you’ve identified your target audience and conducted competitive research, you’re going to need to develop a plan. Here you’ll want to solidify how you’re going to reach your potential audience, the budget, forecast an attainable goal, and possibly a backup plan.
Having a plan is crucial for any business, whether you’re online or not. Failing to have a well-constructed strategy can lead you and your team astray. To avoid this, make sure everyone is on the same page and create a plan that is backed with factual evidence.
As you can see from the above, there is an abundance of different strategies you need to implement to successfully sell your services online. Be sure to note these down when you’re developing a plan. Lastly, enjoy the process. It may be a daunting one, but it can certainly be lucrative if you execute it correctly.