The Beginner’s Guide On How To Sell Your Services Online


You have the experience and the expertise – but do you know how to sell services online? If you’ve built an impressive track record of delivering client results, selling your services online can be a great way of monetizing those abilities.

The Internet offers a sea of opportunities for selling business consulting, coaching, and subscription services online.

You might be an expert in what you do but selling online is a whole different ballgame. We’ve removed all the guesswork and have listed all the steps you need to successfully take your skills to market.

10 Steps On How To Sell Online Services

Consumers aren’t only looking to buy physical products. They’re also on the market for businesses that can provide specific services to address their current needs.

As a business offering services, you don’t have to worry about managing physical inventory or maintaining a large workforce. Thus, costs are comparatively lower. But managing costs is one thing. Generating good income is another.

Here are the 10 steps you need to do in order to run a successful online business selling services.

1. Define Your Niche & Target Audience

You’ve decided to become a business consultant. But the scope of business can be broad and diverse. What types of business consultancy services will you offer and who will you target them to?

Evaluate your professional experience and identify the skills where you possess the greatest strengths. For example, as a business consultant, your competencies might lie in personnel management, leadership training, and skills development.

You can highlight “Personnel and Leadership Development” as your main service and complement it with other services that are needed by businesses such as financial management, marketing, sales, and customer support.

Then, review your portfolio and create an audience profile.

  • Who were your previous clients?
  • What was the size of the business?
  • What was the ROI of your clients?
  • On average, how many people did these businesses employ?
  • What types of businesses did you handle?

From the information, you’ll be able to define your niche and identify your target audience. By doing so, you won’t be wasting resources on finding a market for your online services.

2. Invest in a Website

E-commerce isn’t exclusive to businesses offering physical products. You can have a website to sell your services. Think of your website as your office on the Internet. The URL is your business address. Whoever clicks on it will land on your website.

Related Case Study: How An Agency Generated Over 790k PHP ($13,620) After Website Redesign

The website will present all of the information prospective customers need to learn more about your business and the services you offer. You don’t need an expensive website with all of the bells and whistles to achieve results.

The key pages of your business website are as follows:

  • Home Page
  • About Us
  • Services
  • Blog
  • Contact Us

Add client testimonials/customer reviews on the home page, include compelling Calls to Action (CTA), and fully-functioning buttons, and you’re in business.

A website is an investment because it’s intended to generate returns for your business. Therefore, don’t take chances by going DIY. Have your website built by reputable companies that offer professional web design services.

3. Create a Marketing Plan

You’ve defined your niche, identified your target audience, created an audience profile, and invested in a website. How do you put everything together?

This is where you need to create a marketing plan – a blueprint or a strategy roadmap that outlines and organizes all of the processes, tools, and courses of action you need to do in order to place your services front and center of your target audience.

A marketing plan answers the question of how to sell online services to your target audience.

Having a marketing plan gives you a reference point to execute your strategies, track results, address pain points, and develop and implement courses of action. It will which strategies are generating good ROI and which ones aren’t.

You’ll save time and money, and be in a better position to achieve your business targets.

4. Run an Effective SEO Campaign

There’s a reason why Bill Gates said “Content is king”. Content is the driving force behind a search. Creating great content is a key component of every effective marketing strategy.

Writing for the Internet is tricky. It’s not the same as writing an article for a newspaper or a glossy one. With more than 5 billion Internet and social media users every day, you want their eyes on your content.

Before your audience can view your content, it must be found by search engines. The proven way to have your content visible to search engines is through the smart use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

SEO utilizes various techniques and processes to develop specific strategies that will have your content delivered to your target audience through search engine results pages. Put simply, without SEO, your content won’t be seen and indexed by search engines.

Given the importance of SEO, it’s a skill that experienced SEO practitioners best manage to get the desired results. There are many agencies that claim to know SEO. Choose a company that has a proven track record in providing SEO services.

5. Use Social Media

The Internet is home to many digital platforms you can use to channel your marketing plan. Social media is one of them. An estimated 4.70 billion people are on social media every day – that’s nearly 60% of the world’s population!

The “social” aspect of social media is what makes it such an effective medium for communication for business. It gives you the right platform to interact with your audience through engagement.

Your customers will get to know “who” your business is and not just “what” it sells. In short, social media humanizes your business and makes it relatable to your target audience.

But you don’t have to open a business page on every social media network to effectively promote your services online. Start out with 2 to 3 networks. Choose the ones that are ideal for your type of service.

For example, LinkedIn would be ideal for networking contacts. Add Facebook or Twitter to build your audience and drive traffic to your website. If your type of business is visual in nature, such as personal fitness training, Instagram or YouTube will be fantastic networks to promote your services.

By starting out small, it will be easier to manage social media campaigns and track their respective performances.

6. Build an Email List

If you were convinced about the benefits of social media marketing, wait until you learn about email marketing.

Email marketing is a marketing approach whereby content is delivered directly to the inbox of people who signed up for your subscription services. And those are the keywords right there – “signed up for your subscription services”.

The recipients are expecting your content every month. And if they truly enjoy your content, they will click and read it every time.

Compared to social media, there are an estimated 4.28 billion email accounts but over 300 billion emails are exchanged every day making it a more active medium of communication.

For this reason, the ROI of email marketing has been reported to be 4,400%. That’s a whopping US$44 per US$1 spent!

The first step to starting an email marketing campaign is to build an email list. You can do this by driving traffic to your website through the use of different digital marketing tactics – SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing as examples.

Then, make sure you have a compelling CTA on the landing page that “commands” the site visitor to sign up for your newsletter.

Subscribers become leads that enter your sales funnel. An email campaign that’s strategic, purposeful, and diligent can move these leads down the funnel and have a good chance of converting interest into paying customers.

Related: How to Increase Email Subscribers by 47% and Sales on Facebook

7. Use Platforms to Find Customers

Other than social media, there are other online platforms that you can use to promote your services business.

These platforms were developed to act as a virtual marketplace where buyers and sellers of services can meet and enter into business agreements. The industry has grown to a point where there are several platforms to choose from. Some were set up to meet the needs of specific industries or professions.

Here are 5 of the most popular platforms to promote your online services business:

  • Upwork
  • People Per Hour
  • FlexJobs
  • Freelancer
  • Udemy

Upwork, Freelancer, and FlexJobs cater to a wide variety of skills – IT, writing, virtual assistance, and graphic arts to name a few. Udemy is popular for those looking for teaching jobs while People Per Hour is a platform commonly used by those in the IT industry.

8. Onboard New Customers

When someone decides to hire your services, he’s thinking “What’s next?”

You have to make sure the relationship starts off on the right foot. And the first step is the customer onboarding process which summarizes the procedures he goes through from account/user setup to becoming a client using your services.

Here’s an example of a customer onboarding process:

  • Step 1: Sign Up for Services/Account Opening
  • Step 2: Welcome email
  • Step 3: Initial Log-in
  • Step 4: Importing data – for example, contacts
  • Step 5: Integrating with other platforms – for example, integrating with PayPal, email, or social media
  • Step 6: A walkthrough of the services and key features of the site

An effective customer onboarding process will pave the way for a smooth transition to our ninth tip.

9. Build and Maintain Customer Relationships

There are 3 things you need to do to ensure a successful customer onboarding process.

  • Be transparent
  • Make sure the process is clear
  • Stay engaged with your clients

The first 2 are intended to give a good first impression. The third one is to help you build and maintain long-term customer relationships.

Once a prospect chooses your business over another and becomes a customer, that’s already half the battle won. Your focus should now shift from keeping your competitors away from your existing customer.

Why is this important?

Because studies have shown that the cost of acquiring a new customer is 6 to 7 times more expensive than retaining an existing customer.

How do you stay engaged?

  • Send a follow-up email and inquire how his experience was.
  • Prioritize your existing customers if you’re offering special discounts on services.
  • Give them free service or a special gift on their birthdays or the anniversary of their sign-up date.
  • Personalize their content; always refer to them by their names.
  • Respond to their questions and concerns within 12 to 72 hours or less.
  • Resolve to find a solution to their problems within 24 hours.

An existing customer who’s happy with your services can always recommend your business to his contacts. He’ll willingly promote your services on his social media pages and spread word of mouth about how talented you are.

He’ll do the marketing for you. And because your customer is a living testimonial of your ability to deliver results, many of his contacts will believe him.

10. Ask for Referrals

As discussed in the previous tip, a happy customer will more than gladly help you get more clients. Once you’re confident that you’ve established a strong relationship with a customer, go ahead and ask for referrals.

If he’s convinced that you’re good at what you do, he won’t think twice about recommending you to his friends and associates.

Referring you to his contacts will also be good for your customer because if you’re able to deliver the same excellent results, the people he recommended you to will credit him for their success as well.

Just be patient if your customer can’t give you referrals within a day, a week, or even a month. In some cases, you won’t even have to ask. You’ll just receive an email from a customer that reads he has a client for you!

Sell Online Services

After going through our guide, it’s evident that the key component in ensuring the successful launch of your online services business is the website.

The website becomes the central hub of your operations on the Internet. It’s the destination point of your strategies in social media, email, and content creation. Everything that a customer needs to know about your business and how to hire your services is on the website.

Set up your business website now and prepare for your new career as a seller of online services.

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