Want no-BS insights on building a highly profitable freelancing business?
✓ FREE 5 Day Course on Winning Top Paying Clients
✓ Q&A - Send In Your Questions, I Answer Them Here
✓ LIVE Webinars
✓ The Chance to Win a FREE Coaching Call
I guarantee 100% privacy. Your information will not be shared
This is Day 7 of 31 Days to Start a Freelancing Business (or Make Yours a Better One). Click here to read Day 1.
Today, you put everything together to create the list of services you’re going to offer.
Choosing What Services to Offer
The first step is to go back to your matrix of skills and fill out the third column:
Now, look at the skills that have 3 check marks. These are the skills you’re good at, you enjoy doing and your clients want and are willing to pay for. In our example above, “writing blog posts” meets all three criteria.
If you don’t have many – or any – skills that satisfy all three criteria, then make a list of those that have two check marks. At this point, you have to decide which is more important: making money or enjoying your work? That is, would you rather offer a service that you’re good at, but don’t enjoy – or something you do enjoy but aren’t very good at yet?
Choosing One Service Over Another
I remember when I was starting out, I was very dismayed that website owners paid very little for article writing, as little as $5 per article. It just wasn’t worth the time it would take away from my family. The wise lady-entrepreneurs at Mom Masterminds advised that I pursue other types of writing, such as press release writing.
Now, at that point, I had been writing press releases for 14 years for the United Nations. I was, to say the least, weary of it. On the other hand, I had been doing it so much that I could write a press release in my sleep. So I figured press release writing was much better than article writing for peanuts. And so I offered press release writing instead of article writing.
If you choose to offer services you excel at but don’t enjoy, you can charge premium rates. You’ll just have to put up with the work until you have so much business that you can choose to do only what you enjoy. For example, I removed press release writing from my list of services a few months ago and now only do what I absolutely like to do. You’ll get to that point, too.
However, if you choose to go with skills you’re not yet very good at, but that you love, then keep in mind you’ll have to charge lower-than-industry-standard rates. After all, you’re still learning and honing your skills in that area. Make sure you actually do something to get better at it.
In my case, I wanted to go into copywriting and took Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero’s homestudy course. But I knew I needed to get real-life copywriting experience. I offered my sales page writing services at about 60% of what my competitors were charging. I even offered one for free to get feedback and a testimonial from a very influential client.
Of course, you can have a combination of services – those that meet all 3 criteria, and those that meet only 2.
One requirement each of your services must meet is: demand. If your target clients don’t want the service then forget it. No matter how good you are at it, and even if you give that service away for free, you won’t have any takers.
Making Your Services More Profitable
Now that you have a list of services you’d like to offer, go back to each one and ask yourself: “What more can I do to add value to this service?”
Or, “How can I make my client’s life easier, better or more profitable with this service?”
Sometimes, the answer involves adding some other small services that would be easy for you to do. For example, if you want to offer article writing services, why not add keyword research, submission to a dozen article directories, and social bookmarking the articles? Or how about adding an optional article spinning service: you write 6 unique versions of the same article.
So don’t just offer an article writing service. Make it an article writing package. That way, you can charge more for basically the same service. (More on your rates tomorrow)
This is also a good time to think of long-term services to offer. Ask yourself, “After I perform this service, what will my clients need or want to make his/her endeavor truly successful?”
Say you’re offering WordPress installation and customization. What will your client need or want after her WordPress site has been installed? She’ll need plugins and WordPress to be updated regularly. She’ll also want her site to be fully backed up and secure. Why not offer those services as a monthly WordPress blog maintenance service?
Now you’re getting savvy!
What do you think of today’s task? Do share your insights by posting a comment below.
photo credit: kafka4prez
PS: By the way, don’t get carried away and prepare a menu of 12 services. Start with 3 services. Otherwise, your target clients could get overwhelmed. You can adjust your menu as you go along and get a better understanding of your target clients, and as you develop more skills.
PPS: You can also leave some services unannounced. That is, you don’t publicly offer them but you they’re available only for your existing clients. You can offer them as you complete a related task for a client. This will make them feel special, like they’re part of an exclusive club. This is a very savvy approach (shhh! keep it a secret!)