Selling physical products can seem relatively straight-forward — the product is developed, packaged, and sold to the consumer through an ecommerce platform. However, service providers such as coaches, strategists, instructors, and mentors face the challenge of selling more abstract “products.” Rather than delivering something physical, these providers sell their time, expertise, or other services through their website.
If this approach to business applies to you, continue reading to learn the basics of concretely packaging, selling, and marketing online services that — at first — may seem intangible.
How to identify your sales strategy and select a focus
When it comes to pinpointing the perfect service offering for your audience, consider what your clients need most from you, and what you enjoy doing in your business. That intersection of value and passion provides the foundation for creating a suite of services that sell.
For example, the clients of a small wellness and fitness studio might be most interested in remote, mid-day yoga classes that they can take virtually on their lunch breaks. The instructors’ passions might revolve around supporting working mothers and their hectic schedules. Therefore, providing daily online yoga classes around lunchtime both serves the studio’s interests and client demand.
By creating online classes, the studio can add value to their online communities, reach new audiences, and ultimately scale their business.
Once you’ve identified the service you’re offering, there are multiple ways to approach selling your time, expertise, and services:
Online classes and workshops drive awareness and revenue
Online classes and workshops are an effective way to monetize your work and deepen relationships with your clients. You can offer live or pre-recorded online workshops, and promote them on social media, in email marketing, and through simple updates to your website like adding banner copy to the top of your homepage.
You can offer live classes in person or via video conference. Tools like Squarespace Scheduling help you automate the sign-up process, easily integrate a payment processor, and devote the majority of your time to developing your class or workshop. Looking at the fitness studio example from above, automating the class registration process means the instructors only need to set up the class schedule, max number of attendees, and pricing in order to let clients enroll themselves in the lunchtime yoga session.
Meeting one-on-one with clients
Consider offering individual sessions with clients — virtually or in-person. You can charge more for your individualized time, and make sure clients know they have your undivided attention by personalizing the process.
Leverage a scheduling software to create personalized onboarding emails, custom intake forms, and send built-in email reminders to show clients their investment in your services has added value.The right scheduling software will eliminate the logistical hiccups of selling your services, and ultimately save you time that you can reinvest in other areas of your business — like the paid time you spend with your clients.
Creating members-only content
Selling courses, workshops, and private sessions isn’t the only way to monetize your skills. You can also launch a gated content strategy and charge a membership fee for premium content on your website. This approach creates recurring revenue and helps you build deeper connections with your audience through virtual events, group workshops, email newsletters, and more.
Tools like Member Areas enable you to sell memberships and build custom content experiences for specific audiences. For example, a chef who sells membership access to recipes and other food content might launch multiple Member Areas based on experience level:
Tier 1: New to cooking
Tier 2: Intermediate chef
Tier 3: Advanced
With Member Areas, you can also offer free access to your content to readers who provide their email address. You can then target that audience with email marketing or create a monthly newsletter with audience-specific content. Curated, custom content experiences will show prospective members that a membership fee gives them access to the tailored content they’re looking for.