One of my favorite ways to bring in new income fast is to offer a new niche service. In this series, I’m using my Frenchy Mamat as a case study to show how someone can start making money through a new service.
If you haven’t read Part 1, where I talk about deciding on a service, seeing if there is any interest, and refining your skills to provide that service, do that first.
This week we’re getting into the good stuff. After getting all the pre-work together, how do you actually start offering this service?
Here’s the next steps Mamat has taken:
STEP 4: Build Your Portfolio & Get Some Experience
No matter what kind of service you provide, you’ll want to get some experience working with actual clients and have either examples of your work, case-studies, or testimonials to show to potential paying clients.
Of course, you can just put yourself out there and start selling. This is great if you’ve already done similar services and have worked with clients and know what to expect.
In Mamat’s case, he’s never worked for clients online before. So I advised him to do some work for free to understand what it’s like (to communicate via email, deal with revision requests, etc). This way he will also have a better chance selling his service when he launches because he’ll have some examples of his work on the website. Website visitors will be more likely to buy from someone they don’t know if they see work or testimonials from actual projects.
So where did he find people to do some sample work for?
He went back to the social posts and emails that we put out for feelers (as discussed in Part 1) and reached out to a few people that had expressed interest. Easy!
You can also reach out to friends, family and connections again who may need your services or put up another post on social stating that you’re taking on a few beta clients.
To note: Don’t just pick someone randomly. You’ll want to make sure that the type of free client you’re taking on, is also the type of clients you would want once you start charging. The first clients you have, and first samples in your portfolio, will attract similar clients. As a web designer, one of my first clients was a baseball team. But I knew I didn’t want to do websites for baseball teams and that is who I’d attract (and push away non-baseball teams) if I put their site in my portfolio.
He then went to work creating videos for a few “beta” subjects, including a few samples that weren’t for any client in particular.
When he finished the service, he was sure to ask for testimonials from his beta clients.
STEP 5: Setting up a sales page or website
Now, this is where people get the most stuck. They think it has to be perfect. They think they need something fancy. They think they should hire a web designer or copywriter, or spend hours and hours getting it just right before they start selling to strangers.
This is not the case.
If you have a website already, just add a simple new page for your new service.
If you don’t have a website, or want to have a completely separate one for a new service, keep it simple! Don’t waste hours thinking about a domain name. You don’t need an about page and a blog and a complicated homepage. Mamat took about a half hour to think of a simple domain name and put up a one-page website that acts just as a sales page. You can check it out here.
I’ll will be adding a link to it from my site, since the idea is that he’s doing this service for my clients. But having it on a separate domain means he can also do some of his own marketing and can promote this service completely separate from mine.
What to put on your sales page:
- Why people need this service
- What is the service
- Samples, portfolio items or case studies
- How it works
- Buy buttons or a contact form
Again, keep it simple! Don’t over-analize this. You can even start offering your service without it! But in general, selling is a lot easier when you have a place to send people.
STEP 6: PRICING
The hard part. It’s hard when you’re just starting, it’s hard when you’ve been in business a long time…it’s just hard. We all struggle with pricing.
Here is how Mamat decided on pricing for this new service:
- He looked at what other people charge for a similar service (around $400-500)
- He considered that he’s brand spankin’ new and that he’d like to get some experience working with paying clients fast (he wants to get clients in the door without too much hesitation)
- He’d like to bring in some income right away (he should have a deal people can’t resist)
- There is a lot more work than people imagine to create these little videos (he’d like to raise his prices fast)
- What would he be happy receiving considering the hours of work he’ll put in (minimum $100 to start)
So based on the above, he decided to start at a discounted price for a limited number of clients to bring in some income fast, grow his referral network, get some quick experience working with paying clients….then raise it as quick as possible.
To Note: So far this case study is based on making new income FAST from a new service. Most freelancers under-charge severely and end up attracting cheapo, high-maintenance clients that they resent. So I most often will urge freelancers to set their prices higher. The reality is that it can be scary in the beginning. But there is non-cash value to getting more experience and testimonials in the beginning as well. As long as you commit to doing limited clients at lower prices, and raising them regularly, starting off at a price you think will help you get that experience and testimonials is ok in my book.
There you have it!
Mamat will now officially launch Little Vids and next week I’ll share what he did and the results (if any) he got in the first week!
I’d love to hear from you: Have you started a new niche service? If you’re thinking about it, what steps so far are you getting stuck on?
Continue reading with the next part in this series: How To Bring In New Income Fast By Offering a New Niche Service: Part Three.
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