Capitalizing on Your Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities by Selling Your Services
At the beginning of this series we mentioned that there are two basic income models you can choose to make money quickly. The first income model discussed was products. Now, let’s take a look at the second income model – services. Selling your services may be the ideal solution to your cash flow problems.
What is a Service?
A service differs from a product because it isn’t tangible. You can hold a service like you can hold a candle, cupcake, or toy car. However, services are extraordinarily useful and service providers of all types are in high demand.
Think about all of the services you use, or would love to use. Hair salons, oil changes, pet care, tax and accounting services, the list goes on and on. You can provide a service and earn extra money quickly. Here’s a short list of a few of the services you might consider offering:
2. Business/Life/Personal Coaching
4. Graphic/Website Designing
5. Lawn Care/Maintenance
6. Home Repair
7. Interior Designing
9. Marketing Consultant/Coaching
10. Cleaning Service
11. Pet Walking
12. Child Care
13. Errand Running
14. Grocery Shopping
15. Personal Shopping
16. Pet Sitting
17. Painting, Interior Or Exterior
18. Administrative Assistant/Virtual Assistant
23. Car repair and/or detailing
24. Hair styling/cutting
Make a List
Grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down a list of services you could provide. Remember to consider your skills, interests, and passions. You may be a skilled cook but have no interest in cooking meals for other people.
Instead, you may be more interested in offering coaching or home organizing for people. Balance your interests and skills. Also explore the demand for your services in your community and online.
How Will You Provide Your Service?
The majority of services will either be provided virtually which means they’ll be provided online, or they’ll be provided in person.
For example, you can’t cut someone’s hair online but you can manage their scheduling online. In fact, there’s a very large and growing online service industry. Writers, administrative assistants, coaches and consultants can all provide their services online.
Let’s take a look at the two avenues and also the business and planning side of offering a service.
Most Service Providers Are Freelancers
Most service providers, whether you’re mowing lawns or coaching CEOs, are freelancers. That is to say that they work for themselves. They’re self employed. Freelancing is something you can do full time, part time, or occasionally when you need the money.
When you’re a freelancer you make the rules. For example, let’s say you decide to offer your services as a home organizer. You set your rates, choose your hours, and establish all of your own policies and procedures. If you charge $100/hour to organize a home that $100 all goes in your pocket. Taxes aren’t taken out. Neither are insurance, 401K, or social security. You get $100 of the profits.
That being said, you are also required to report that income to the IRS so it’s important to set up good accounting practices to track all of your income and expenses.
Offering Services Online
When you offer services online a website or blog is essential for your success. It is how potential customers find you and make a decision about whether you’re the right person for the job.
The good news is that for many service providers all you need is a single page website. A resume or portfolio and a contact form is also a nice touch. Both will help you get more clients and thus make more money.
When you offer your service online, for example you decide to provide online content writing, graphic designing or virtual administration, you have options to market your services. You can market your services via social networking, content marketing and other proven efforts.
You can also find a few freelance job sites and use those sites to gain your customers and your extra money. Freelance job sites like Elance and Guru are generally free to join. You create a profile, upload samples of your work or testimonials, and begin bidding on jobs.
The more jobs you do the more feedback you receive. Build a reputation as an excellent service provider and you will have your pick of freelance jobs. It’s a great way to earn extra cash in a pinch or to boost your annual income.
Offering Your Services Offline
Some services just aren’t designed to be offered online and that’s just fine. It’s still a great way to earn an income and it may be more enjoyable if you like to connect with people face to face.
Offline your marketing tactics will likely be a bit different. You may still want to have a web page so you can be listed in the local business directories. However, flyers, word of mouth and networking are all good ways to spread the word and get business quickly. In fact, your own friends and family may be the best sources for referrals and recommendations.
Just like selling products, when you sell a service you’ll want to take a little time to plan your strategy. The questions are essentially the same. They include:
* Who Are You Selling To?
* Why Will They Buy Your Service?
* How Much Does Your Service Cost?
* How Will You Sell It?
* What Are Your Policies and Procedures?
* How Will You Market Your Service?
* How Will You Track Income and Expenses?
Wrapping It Up
Offering your services can be a satisfying way to make money quickly. You already possess skills and abilities that are valuable to others. The key is to create a plan to offer those skills and abilities and to tell others about what you have to offer. Identify what you can do, and are interested in doing, and then spread the word. Offer your services, help others, and make money right away.