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You Wondering How You Can
Your Local Service Business
Online And Make It Pay?"
By Paul Crane, SBI!
Product Manager and Rocky Tapscott
a service to both Local and Global customers using the power
of the Internet goes way beyond related services
like computer programming or Web design. The possibilities are
endless. You could provide a service that anyone from any
part of the world is searching for and needs...
a period furniture
importer with a wholesale and retail presence
Investment Manager or Financial Planner
in women's health issues
adviser with experience in Offshore Tax structures
marketing or advertising professional
personal trainer or Gym owner
copywriter or editor of children's books
service business could be focused on people in your local
hardware supply business
restaurant or coffee shop
who you are or what you do, you could benefit tremendously
from a Web presence. Believe it or not, just about everyone
has an expertise in something that they could sell.
The odds are
pretty good that most people are already selling their services as a
primary source of income... but have never thought seriously
about generating customers globally by using the Web's
selling your professional service online is, without a
doubt, the most overlooked and virtually untapped
opportunity on the Internet. Despite the fact that it
requires minimum effort and cost to bring your skills and
knowledge before a hungry-to-buy, world-wide audience, most
Service Sellers fail to do so.
few who do attempt to utilize this medium? Well, the effort
is poor indeed. Either they put up a poorly designed
"circa 1997" brochure site that no one visits. Or,
they post their specific service to one of the many online
hot spots (like Guru.com, for example).
neither of these two practices gets the job done effectively
and efficiently. In order for anyone to contact you directly
about your service (without a word-of-mouth referral),
you'll have to successfully convince that person...
are the best in your particular field, and OVERdeliver on
are trustworthy, credible, easy to work with, and THE BEST
at what you do.
are competitive in your pricing.
service provides the solution that s/he is looking for --
better still, your service is the only solution to her or
what's the bottom
to sell a service online, you need to establish a
relationship with your potential clients. A content-rich Web
site and newsletter that build trust and credibility will
develop and solidify this rapport. It is only after a
relationship is established that prospects will begin to
about local services -- like the aforementioned chimney
cleaning service? Most people assume that because the Web is
a global medium, it's not a relevant advertising conduit for
a locally-based business. After all, if your chimney
cleaning business is based here in Hudson, Quebec, it's
unlikely anyone outside of a one-hour driving radius is
going to hire you for your services.
comparison, a database programmer and a cartoon artist do
not face such constraints -- they could be hired by anyone
world-wide. But guess what? The Web works for both.
1) A Web
presence gives your business a distinct edge over your local
competitors, especially when it comes to expanding your
current customer base.
example, Sue wants to hire someone to clean her chimney but
she doesn't have any recommendations from friends. So she
has to resort to the phone book's Yellow Pages where she
selects the most appealing ad. Sue figures her only option
is to take a chance and try her luck with her choice.
more people are turning to the Internet as their preferred
source of information. A Web presence allows your potential
client to get to know you and your service better than a
small ad ever could. And this in turn means a confident and
less risky feeling about making a business decision. S/he
has a more open-to-hire frame of mind.
competitors don't offer this option, you have a serious edge
on getting that follow-up contact about your service. After
all, who do you think they are going to buy from -- a friend
or a stranger?
local business can leverage its Web presence by turning its
site into a feel-good community resource.
chimney cleaner, for instance, writes a series of great
articles on fire prevention and fire safety (with subtle
cross-sells to his chimney cleaning service). Each week he
features one article on his site, and announces its presence
to the community through the local newspaper...
Fire Prevention Tip of the Week at...
site into an information resource, and the trust and
awareness it fosters will generate more clients.
locally-based service can use its Web presence to generate
additional income from a global audience as well as build
instance, great articles about fire prevention and fire
safety appeal to everyone on the planet. And while no one
from Tuscon, Arizona is going to request that you clean
their chimney, he may very well follow your link to a
merchant partner (ex., a fire extinguisher retailer), and
make a purchase (for which you receive commissions).
4) A Web
presence indicates your consideration of people's busy
in effect, just erected a 24/7 storefront just for them. You
may even want to include your URL on your voice mail...
sorry, our office hours are 8:30-6:00 Monday to Saturday,
but our Web site (www.hudson-chimney-services.com) is always
5) A Web
presence is cheap, and a single lifetime customer brings
significant dollars to your business. (Think about the
additional business generated by word-of-mouth referrals.)
A website is a great way to get the Net working for your service
business. Here is a "big picture" view of your
traffic-building, income-generating process as a service seller...
a great niche service and its target group
order to generate income, enough people must NEED and/or
VALUE your service and feel strongly that they will
personally profit from the way you deliver it versus your
also need to know whether your marketing efforts should be
focused locally or globally (depending upon the
narrowness... or broadness... and/or nature of your niche).
an example, a general tax accountant may only attract
traffic from his local area. The majority of his clients
like the peace of mind afforded by being able to drop off
important documents to the office or being able to discuss
delicate financial matters face-to-face.
this with an international tax accountant who specializes in
tax sheltered investments for the wealthy. His clients could
come from anywhere in the world and communication could all
be done by e-mail, fax, or courier.
a thumbnail sketch of...
Your service -- Write down in point form exactly WHAT,
HOW, WHEN, and WHERE you offer (or plan to) your service.
Note your range of flexibility -- how and where you can
adapt your service to particular needs. Describe your
strengths (i.e., the reasons why you are better than the
competition) and pinpoint your weaknesses (i.e., what you
are planning to improve).
your outline to a family member or a friend (who knows your
business) to see if you have forgotten anything and/or to
check that the presentation is as objective as possible.
Your client -- Develop a profile of your ideal client...
boomer? Senior citizen? Teens?
concerns? Stressed for time?
Rural home-owner? Neighbourhood?
your sketch as comprehensive as you can. If your service has
more than one kind of client, do a profile for each major
type. As well, ask yourself who should not be your prospect
-- this technique is helpful to keep you focused on your
combine the two thumbnail sketches (you, and your client).
This is your service business! Use this detailed snapshot
when developing content for your Web site. It will help you
keep focused on your target group and their needs which is
critical for achieving a high Conversion Rate.
snapshot will also help you narrow your niche, if needed.
Use it to discover more profitable angles to your service.
The ideal is to offer a service that is relatively high in
demand with few suppliers (i.e., your competition). Try to
adapt or change your present service to meet that goal as
closely as feasible.
passionate about what you do
what you are doing. Your enthusiasm and determination will
be reflected in your business at all levels of operation. It
won't feel like you are working!
superior quality service to your clients.
outstanding service every time. WOW your customer with your
fast turn-around, or low pricing, or free trial, or
unexpected extras, or generous guarantee, etc.
and high satisfaction guarantee repeat clients. And, in
turn, these enthusiastic clients generate word-of-mouth
referrals... the most targeted and least expensive way to
develop leads, produce contracts and increase profits. It is
as simple as that.
every moment and dollar count!
and focus on attaining your Most Wanted Response
(MWR) (i.e., what you most want your visitor to do). So that
after visiting your site, or subscribing to your newsletter,
or reading an ad, you "most want" your visitor to
CONTACT you. Everything you do must in some way help to
attain that MWR.
to get the best possible traffic-building and
lead-converting results for every dollar... and for every
hour you spend on your business.
is money. So don't count your hours as zero cost simply
because it does not cost you "out of pocket."
Assign your time a dollar value as well.
maximizing PROFITS does not imply that you must only
minimize EXPENSES. After all, if you spend no money or time
on a business... you have no business!
tune your time-management skills.
your service business is a small home-based operation with a
work force of 1 (you!) or a company with 5-10 employees, you
are constantly in "multi-tasking" mode. Follow
these simple but effective guidelines...
once and move to the next step.
lists, but stick to The 6 Most Important Things
long each task will take.
time slots for accomplishing each task.
the difficult/important projects first.
stuff away that clutters your computer/office.
further reduced this to my 4 DO's, which appear on a yellow sticky
on my computer. Every call on my time must be handled by one
of the four DO's...
your business and money effectively.
your bottom line, manage your cash flow and collect payments
that are due. If you lack these skills, get training through
books or business courses. Or purchase inexpensive
accounting software programs such as Quick Books...
keep track of your records.
the smart way.
right message to the right people via the right media and
tactics so they will respond and hire you for the contract,
with the highest ROIs (Return on Investment) possible.
your own Theme-Based Content Site, as outlined in the Action
Guide... This is the highest ROI
technique for any Service Seller, yet most don't dream of
doing it. This course will put you five steps ahead of your
competition. A Theme-Based Content Site is one that is
loaded with high info-value Keyword-Focused Content Pages
which rank well with the Search Engines.
pages will pull in more targeted traffic and get more
prospects to contact you about your service and hire you for
the job (i.e., increase your Conversion Rate). Your PROFITS
grow exponentially when you concentrate on maximizing BOTH
traffic and Conversion Rates.
a powerful Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Create an
eye-catching short statement that sums up in a few words
what sets you apart from the competition. For example,
Mike's Pizza restaurant has this USP... Delivery in 30
minutes or it's free. The message is simple, clear and hot. Weave
your USP into the fabric of your business.
value of lifetime customers -- An effective way to budget
marketing funds and to get the highest Return on Investment
is by calculating the lifetime value of a client. This will
reveal how much you can afford to spend on the acquisition
of new clients. Depending on the nature of your business, a
repeat client can bring you thousands of dollars of income
during the span of your service relationship.
following formula to find your answer (if you are just
starting your service business, guesstimate the two
average fee of your service X how many times a client uses
you = lifetime value of a client
this critical number allows to grow your profits as quickly
as possible without overspending your marketing budget. Use
it to measure and track each marketing tactic and shift
marketing dollars to the high performers, thus saving money.
Don't sell. Use great, and related, content that is of value
to your visitor/potential client on your site, in your
newsletters, and in your ads. It is the most effective way
to build likeability, trust and an "open-to-hire"
attitude in your visitor's mindset.
your work. There is nothing more powerful than a simple
statement or stamp that says All Work Guaranteed. And of
course, you must live up to your promise. Provide
verifiable testimonials that include the full names of the
people giving their endorsement, the cities/location where
they live and their e-mail addresses. An effective
testimonial outlines a specific benefit, something that is
relevant to your target group. It is believable -- you can
clean up gross typos/spelling mistakes but don't turn a
testimonial into a polished piece. It is proof that someone
else has used your service and you more than lived up to her
super accessible. Place your contact information (toll-free
phone number, e-mail address, fax number, mailing address --
whichever way you want people to contact you) in highly
visible locations. Some examples... on your site, place
contact info at the bottom of every content page and if you
like, build a special bio page as well (i.e., some
interesting background details about you, including a photo
or two). Include a link to your e-mail address in your
newsletter. Add your phone number and e-mail address to your
fast should be the operative words for how people can reach
Second Income Stream. Some visitors who land on your site
may be overly cautious, or they may be just doing some
preliminary research, or they may be a little short on funds
at this time, or... etc., etc. There are many legitimate
reasons why not all visitors follow-through and contact you
about your service.
traffic to your advantage by PREselling related products (or
non-competing services) for merchants you represent through
and join affiliate programs of merchants who offer quality
products that are related to your service and fair
example, let's say that you are a dog trainer. A visitor who
has a 3-month old puppy arrives on your site. She is just
"shopping around" and wants to have identified the
"perfect" trainer by the time her puppy is 5
She doesn't need your service now but she is
very interested in the puppy books and grooming products
that you are recommending. She clicks through to your
merchant's sites and buys! That's two commissions for you
which equals additional income.
doing what is profitable. Stop doing what is not.
beauty of the Net is that everything you do is completely track-able,
and track your business constantly, especially the more
abstract aspects like... knowing where your traffic is
coming from, the satisfaction level of your clients, the new
trends in your field, the effectiveness of your newsletter,
ads, etc., etc. Concentrate on actions that contribute
positively to the bottom line. Scrap the rest.
other words... stay on top of your business so that you can
take advantage of new opportunities and avoid any pitfalls.
these service-selling "business" basics with the process outlined in the Action
Guide, and you will
be well on your way to a thriving and trust-inspiring Web
presence... and more contracts!
If you would
like to learn more about the process of building a website
that will promote your services 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week, then download the Service
Sellers Masters Course.
comprehensive course goes into great detail on how Service
Businesses can use the power of the Internet to increase
your customer base and profits. I
hope this article has given you some ideas on how you can
use the Web to promote your service to a huge market. It's
well worth taking the time to read ...
this article has got you thinking, and you would like some
more ideas on how you can use the Internet to promote your
Business or even expand into new areas, then...here's what to do next.
Rocky Tapscott has developed a “30 Minute Website
Strategy And Marketing Tune-Up” which he conducts over the telephone
or via Skype. Here is what we accomplish together in this fast-paced, zero-nonsense session:
• Niche Overview And Evaluation: No matter
whether you have a mature website or are just about to start out on your online
adventure, this niche market overview and evaluation will uncover overlooked
ideas and monetization options you may not have considered
• Traffic Generation Strategies: Lying awake at night worried about
getting more people to your website ? You are not alone...
Rocky has helped hundreds of clients clear this hurdle with advice and
strategies that can save you money and boost your long term returns. You're
guaranteed to get several ideas that you can use immediately to take your
• Increasing Website Conversions: It's
one thing to have people coming to your website. It's another to make them leave
their cash with you as they pass through. We'll look at specific strategies you
can use in your business to suck more money out of your website visitors day in
The 30 Minute Website Strategy And Marketing Tune-Up is conducted by Rocky
personally. He has worked with more than 100 website owners and helped them to consistently
get more out of their websites.
Please be assured that this consultation will not be a thinly disguised sales presentation; it will consist of the best intelligence
Rocky can give you in a thirty minute time span. There is no charge for this call,
however the call must be strictly limited to 30 minutes.
This consult will typically take place within 1 week of your confirmed booking. To secure a time for this consultation,
complete this application form
and we will advise you regarding available time slots.
You will also be provided with a pre-consultation questionnaire that will prepare both you and
Rocky to get maximum value in the shortest amount of time.
I'm looking forward to speaking with you shortly,
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