Last Updated on 08/09/2021 by Steve Wanjie
How to Sell Services Online.
What do you do to sell services online and grow your business?
5 steps to follow in order to sell services online
- Have or create an online presence
- Analyze your ideal audience (current and potential customers) to know and understand them and their needs
- Promote – Market your business website using the best marketing approach to spread the word about your services
- Create a healthy and attractive business goodwill
- Customer retention is an important goal to pursue
What are services?
“Services are non-physical, intangible parts of our economy, as opposed to goods, which we can touch or handle.”Market Business News
An example of a service is education or banking.
1. Have or create an online presence
There are several options you could use to build a digital presence to sell services online.
What are the options for building an online business presence:
a) Local listings
b) Business website
c) Mobile Apps
d) Social media
As you can see above, having a website is not the only way to create an online presence for your business.
a) First, list your business on local online directories
The most important online local directories that you should list your business on include:
- Google My Business
- Yahoo Local
- Bing Places
- Chamber of Commerce
- Yellow Pages
- Kenya Business Directory
- Business List and ConnectNigeria in Nigeria
- African Business File
- Classified Ad Sites in your city and country
Pigiame, and Jiji classified ad sites in Kenya.
Jiji, OLX, and Tradestable ad sites in Nigeria.
Why is a local online business listing important?
The goal of creating a local listing is to make your business presence visible on the internet. It helps your business get in front of qualified customers online.
Help your business get in front of customers by listing on leading regional and global online directories.
Search for local online listing directories to find the relevant listing sites for your business location on the planet.
b) Create a business website
A website is your own home on the internet, and it is good for business.
What is the importance of a business website?
A fully functional, easy to use, and quality content-packed business website helps reach, engage, retain, and sell target customers online.
What should a business website contain?
- A business website contains detailed information about your services
- It has an about us page
- Contact information, e.g., telephone and email address
- Detailed information about your services
- Working hours
- Map to help people find your physical shop or office
- E-commerce solutions for receiving orders and payments
- educational material ( articles and blogs) for your target customers
- Email marketing software, e,g, Mailerlite
You get to collect and build an email list of your customer base on the business website.
An email list affords you the ability to send newsletters, offers, and sales reminders to customers.
A website helps serve a generation that shops via smartphones from home, office, or the beach. A generation that expects you to deliver their orders to their doorsteps without delay.
A business website gives your online presence the ultimate backbone.
It avails the ability to use and run digital marketing tools necessary to reach, engage, and sell your services online successfully.
Digital marketing tools allow automation on your business website to provide 24-hour services to your esteemed clientele.
Digital marketing channels via your website make it possible to market your services, sell and make money while you are asleep or on holiday.
What do you need to start a business website?
- Domain Name
A domain name from a domain name registrar such as Name Cheap
- Website Host
A website hosting service provider such as Dream Host
- Content Management System
A good and popular content management system is WordPress
c) Mobile Apps
Mobile Apps operate on smartphones and tablets.
You should create a mobile app for your clients to keep on their mobile devices.
Mobile apps allow you to:
- create loyalty programs
- send reminders for upcoming appointments and business events
- Process payments
- Manage orders
- Offer customer support
- Manage human resource
- Manage content
Developers can create a mobile app that meets your business needs.
What is the benefit of the mobile app for business?
- Help increase working and productivity efficiency.
- Help increase sales and revenue.
- Help increase engagement with potential and current customers.
- Enable business processes automation
- quality, engaging daily post
- An up-to-date about section
d) Social Media
Social media offers you another option to create an online presence for your business.
You could create a Facebook business page to spread the word about your services online.
What should a Facebook business page contain?
- Business logo or profile picture representing your brand
- Videos about your services
- Contact information, e.g., telephone and email address
- A unique cover photo
- A link to your business website
- A shop
- Call to action button
- A map giving directions to your physical shop or office
Do the same on other leading social media platforms.
2. Analyze your ideal audience to sell services online successfully
Analyzing your ideal audience (current and potential customers) to know and understand them and their needs is your second step.
Demographic traits of your target clientele are the things you want to know.
Why is it important to analyze your target customers?
- Because you need to know who they are
- To learn their interests and likes
- To discover their age and gender
- It will enable you to communicate using the search terms they use
- It will help you serve your target clients better and efficiently
- To know the location of your target customers
- To know their spending habits
- Figure out their education and income level
What is the benefit of analyzing your audience for your business?
You will increase your success rate in selling your services and retain your customer loyalty.
What tools do you use to analyze your audience?
- Google Analytics
Have google analytics operating on your business website. It will tell you everything you want to know about your website visitors (or audience.) Google Analytics gives you valuable and usable data about your target customers when they visit your site.
- Social media
On your Facebook business page, you find a tool called Facebook insights. This tool tells you what posts are doing well according to reviews they obtain from your audience on Facebook.
Like Facebook, most social media platforms have in-built analytic tools as well.
- Comments on your website
When people visit your website, they are likely to leave positive or negative comments. You learn a lot from these comments, and you can use them to improve service delivery.
- Customer reviews
Customers who have used your services leave reviews that are either good or bad for your business. These reviews enable you to learn and understand your customer base. Reviews help analyze your audience because it’s the voice of a customer.
- Online surveys
Put out a questionnaire for your target customers to fill (answer questions.) Ask anything you want to know. Online survey help know your audience and understand them better.
More on how to analyze your target clientele here.
3. Promote – Market your business website using the best marketing approach to spread the word about your services
How do you promote your business website online?
Make use of the following options to market your website online:
- SEO – Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the best and most effective method for promoting your business site online.
Search engines drive traffic online. Search engine optimization tells (or directs) search engines where to go in search of relevant answers on search queries. Without the use of SEO, your website will not get traffic. The reason is that the search engine will not find your site.
Thus, you have to use SEO strategies for your site to be understood by search engines. When search engines know what you offer, you get free traffic on your site.
Therefore, optimize your business website for search engines. Then Google, a leading search engine, shall drive traffic to your site.
What do search engines like Google look for in websites?
Search engines are looking for websites that contain unique, engaging, and relevant content to a search query.
- Search Engine Advertising
Google advertising is another great way to promote your services online. Google ads help reach your target customers faster than SEO, but you pay for ad space.
- Social media
Social media platforms get patronized by billions of people every day. Your target audience is on social media too. A presence on social websites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Instagram, and Pinterest is a great option to market your website.
Social media advertising
Place ads on Facebook will allow you to reach the targeted audience easily and fast.
- Guest Posting
Write for another website that allows a do-follow link pointing back to your website. Backlinks are useful in helping improve your page rank on the search engine result pages.
Other options for promoting your website are:
- Word of mouth
- YouTube videos
- Content marketing via blogging
- Influencer marketing
4. Create a healthy and attractive business goodwill
Goodwill is the currency that helps create and grow a business.
How do you grow positive business goodwill?
- Deliver on your promise to the customer
- offer superior services
- Sell solutions to your customer’s problem
- Be friendly to the client
- Treat customers like Kings and Queens
- Respond to customer complaints immediately
- Stay in touch with your customers
- Offer discounts to repeat customers
- Make your services available at all times
5. Customer retention is an important goal to pursue
For your business to survive, grow, and expand, you must retain your customer base.
How does customer base retention work?
Here are strategies that help retain your customer base:
- Create customer accounts by collect data such as name, telephone, and email address
- Maintain purchases record for each customer on your database
- Improve your customer service
- Establish a customer loyalty program
- Keep in touch via an email newsletter
- Offer redeemable loyalty points for each purchase
- Offer loyalty discounts and credit facilities
Find more information on customer retention tactics here
You may be a lawyer, doctor, courier, or a hotel. You are offering a service to your clients. It is my hope that tips discussed here have given you the knowledge to sell your services online.
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Steve Wanjie is a digital marketing specialist, SEO Expert, expert article writer, blogger, sex educationist, and businessman. He is the founder of Dijito Marketing and Laikipo.com. He works and lives in Nairobi Kenya.