A service-based business can be a massage therapy practice, a life coaching business, or a private chef to name a few. Your exchange is to provide a service in return for money. Launching your website may be the next step in honoring your business as real and something you want to grow and scale. A website helps you reach a wider audience and in return, more clients. A website also acts as a hub for your business’s important information such as listing your services, how to contact you, and your prices. This is not an exhaustive list, but rather 4 things that may be overlooked when setting up your online website!
Let me tell you about the time and energy suck that scheduling CAN be. When I ran my massage practice, I would spend hours each week playing phone and text tag with clients to schedule, reschedule, or give directions for their appointments. An online scheduling system not only saves you the headache of back and forth communication, but also shows your professionalism as a business owner. You can either link to your scheduling program or embed it directly onto your website. There are many different companies to choose from. A few I recommend looking at are Acuity Scheduling, Calendly, or Honeybook.
Listing Your Prices
This one has some differing opinions behind it. Should you list your prices? Or not? I am going to urge you to list your prices. Most potential clients want to know how much something is going to cost before they give much time or energy into pursuing reaching out or scheduling. If you offer highly customized services providing a range of prices or a list of priced packages can help in the transparency of your costs.
If you feel concerned about your prices deterring clients because your services are expensive, or because of the customized aspect, giving testimonials and having well-written marketing content will be very important to gain your potential client’s trust and confidence in you. If you want to read more about posting your prices, HubSpot has a short and sweet article in favor of price posting.
This transitions nicely into the importance of testimonials on your website. Testimonials are the service equivalent to product reviews. The main goal of your website is to convince the person to book an appointment, schedule a consultation, or reach out because they are interested in your service. The content that you provide, including the words, images, graphics, and videos, are hugely important in showcasing your expertise, how you solve their problems and why you’re the right business to choose. But nothing you say or show can compare to someone else vouching for you. Testimonials show that you followed through on what your website said (or went above and beyond). If you are brand new, incorporate asking for testimonials into a Thank You email where you give the direct link of where you would like them to go. I suggest your Googe My Business page or your Facebook page. You can always take these and quote them on your website.
Call To Actions
Finally, create lots of opportunities for your potential clients to reach you with a “call to action.” Often these show up as buttons with text like “schedule now,” “call today,” or “book here.” These CTAs should show up throughout your site. Even multiple times on the same page. You want to give people the easiest path to get more information. Only having a contact page hidden in the navigation is not enticing. As soon as someone visits your site, have a CTA in plain view. Then another at the bottom of the page after they’ve read why you solve their problem and are the business to choose. Put one after each service or package you offer. Place another on your About page, Blog page, FAQ page, and any other page! Once you’ve gotten their attention, the last thing you want is for them to feel discouraged because they can’t figure out how to get ahold of you or schedule your services.
I’m throwing this one as a bit of a bonus. I always encourage small business owners to recognize their strengths and weaknesses. If building a website is not something you want to do, know how to do, or want to learn how to do, invest in someone else to do it for you. Small business owners often wear multiple hats within their business. Owner, bookkeeper, order fulfillment, marketing director, and email manager, just to name a few. You don’t have to add being a website designer to the list. Yes, hiring out is an investment upfront in money and time. But that investment does payoff because it allows you to focus on other areas of your business while getting the support and expertise from someone who specializes in web design. The same can be said for investing in bookkeeping, virtual assistant, house cleaner, dog walker, etc… I encourage small business owners to always see where the best place is to put their own efforts and the best place to invest in other’s best efforts!
As I said in the beginning, this is not by any means the master list of what you need to set up an online product business. However, these four (well, 5!) tasks are important investments in your business to launch it strong!
Erin Detka is the owner of DTK Studios; a website and marketing agency. DTK Studios works with small and micro “do-it-yourself” business owners to create customer-focused websites designed quickly and within a small business budget. What was supposed to be an easy task, setting up a business, can turn into a huge list of tasks that some small business owners don’t have the knowledge or skills to do in the amount of time they thought it would take. By investing in a website designer instead of trudging up the learning curve, they can jump-start their business and start selling sooner. Learn more at dtkstudios.com