How To Launch Your First Service Offering

If you’re an affiliate marketer or just anyone that’s trying to make money online, if you haven’t already, consider creating some sort of service that you can sell.

Launching your own service has many benefits. Obviously it can be lucrative, but there are also many other benefits like making a name for yourself, work experience, and networking just to list a few.

If you’ve never launched your own service it can seem like a monumental task, however here are some things I recommend you do before your launch.

Get Over The Mental Hurdles

I think the biggest thing that prevents people from launching their own service is their own self doubts. You may be thinking “Why would anyone buy from me?” and in a lot of ways that’s a valid point.

However every successful service provider out there had to start somewhere, and of course in the beginning you may have to do things that a more established service provider wouldn’t.

Whether that be selling for a lower price or doing more work, everyone has to start somewhere. However if you are willing to do these things and invest in your online reputation, you can see your sales number grow pretty quickly.

Start Developing Your Online Reputation

If you want to be a successful provider online, you’re going to have to start developing your online reputation. That doesn’t mean that you have to be a YouTube star with a million followers or be some sort of guru, you just have to be able to demonstrate some sort of proficiency at what you do.

Start Your Own Blog

Starting your own blog is a great way to demonstrate that you are proficient in the field you’re providing your services in.

The first version of this site (before it crashed a few years back) was launched when I was first getting my feet wet as an SEO consultant back in 2010. I didn’t have the long client history that I have now, so to grow my initial client base I had this blog to demonstrate that I knew what I was talking about.

A good majority of people will likely Google your name before making any sort of significant purchase, and if you have a blog with tons of great information on it, usually that’s enough validation for them to make a purchase from you.

Most people just want to see that you’re a real person first before buying, and a blog that’s updated regularly is a great way to accomplish this especially when you’re first starting out.

Start Collecting Positive Reviews Publicly

When I first started offering SEO services over a decade ago, one of the first places I advertised on were the biggest internet marketing forums called Warrior Forum and Black Hat World.

I offered a $25/35 SEO link building package, and it quickly became very popular. Since it was a forum, there were literally tons of positive reviews, and it helped initially grow my online reputation.

Since I sold my more high end management SEO services on my blog, I would link to these service threads on these forums with all the positive reviews which allowed me to close sales for my higher ticket management services a lot easier.

If you’re new to launching a service, there is almost a 100% guarantee there is a forum where you can get the word out. Sign up for 2-3 of the biggest ones and start contributing thoughtfully as a member and also think about launching a service there later.

Social proof is very important when it comes to making sales, people want to see successful testimonials from others before purchasing. I saw statistic that said 70% or so people trust testimonies from people they don’t even know, so it’s important that you try to get some positive reviews of your service ASAP.

Pro Tip: When first launching a service on a forum, consider if feasible giving out free review copies. Something like 5-10 is more than enough, and those positive reviews that come in will kick start your sales much faster I guarantee.

Offer A Money Back Guarantee

A lot of newbie service providers don’t offer guarantees, and this is a terrible idea. Just by offering a 30-day money back guarantee of some sort will boost your sales significantly.

I’m also assuming that you’re not providing a trash service and ripping people off. If you’re actually doing the work and providing a good service, your refund rates will be very low.

I myself always offer a money back guarantee on my services, and historically over a decade I think my refund rate is a fraction of 1%. If you’re doing a good job, your refund rate should be almost non-existent.

Funny enough you may not know it, but you’re already forced to have a money back guarantee anyway whether you like it or not.

Think about it, if you have a dissatisfied customer, are you really not refunding them? Are you really willing to have your online reputation trashed or even possibly a lawsuit which will result in far more losses than the refund?

So since you would already refund these people in the above scenario if threatened, you might as well offer it up front.

Start Your Email Newsletter

Another great way to demonstrate your expertise of a subject is by starting an email newsletter on your website. Of course collecting emails is something everyone should be doing in the first place (the money is in the list!), but as someone trying to establish themselves online as an expert it is an absolute must.

Offer some sort of free e-book or course to get someone to opt in to your mailing list, and from there just slowly drip feed them once or twice a week some helpful relevant content from your blog. Over time some of these people will buy your services or products you may promote down the road.

How To Get Started

So if you’re ready to start selling your services here are some things you need to do to get started.

Start A Blog If You Haven’t Already

If you’re trying to establish yourself online, a great place to do showcase your knowledge is through a blog. If you’re not sure how to get started, I wrote a previous article on how to start a blog you may find helpful.

My suggestion would be to try to at least write an article a day until you get to about 50 articles or so, and then try to at least write a few articles each week after just to keep things current.

Sign Up For A Payment Processor

Obviously if you’re going to be selling your services, you’re going to need a way to process payments. My two recommendations for this are either PayPal or Stripe.

Both of those are free to start and they just charge you a percentage based on the transaction amount (usually 2-3%). They also have easy to integrate payment buttons you can create that you can cut and paste directly onto our website if you choose.

Sign Up For Forums In Your Niche

An easy and fast way to get your name out there is to sign up for forums in your niche. Simply Google “Top ______ Forum” (insert appropriate topic) and see what pops up. For example if you were planning to teach cooking courses online, you could Google “Top Cooking Forums” and see what pops up.

Once you sign up for these forums, go out of your way to be a contributing member. Post quality content and tutorials and also join in discussions where you can contribute thoughtfully. Over time you’ll build a solid online reputation, and then you can begin possibly marketing your services there.

Set Up Your Online Store

Once you get some content on your blog, you need to add a page or a store where visitors can navigate to and purchase your services. It can simply be a page called “My Services” where you describe your services and add a payment button. If you have PayPal you can easily add a Paypal Button to your web page and start selling ASAP!

Or if you’re looking for something little more robust, you can set up a store with something like Woocommerce which is a free plugin that WordPress users can add to their site.

So hopefully if you were on the fence when it came to starting your own service that this got you a little closer to diving in. Selling your services online can be very profitable, and I think after you dive in you’ll see that it’s a lot easier than you thought. Good luck.

Richard Yoshimura

Entrepreneur. SEO Consultant. Marketing Enthusiast. I'm here to help you build better websites that make you more money.

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