When you offer services, you are trading your skills for money. There are plenty of opportunities available. Pick a single service to start. After you go through the process once, it’s easier to add more services in the future. But if you try to do too much at once, you risk confusing your potential clients and you can become overwhelmed quickly.
Pick Your Service
I shared a list of ten services back in chapter seven. These are just the beginning of the possibilities. There are many services you can offer.
If you are having trouble deciding, think about what your friends and family always ask you to help with. Are you their go-to proofreader? Or the person they call when they have technical difficulties?
Pick something you enjoy doing because it’s a lot harder to keep at something you hate, even if it pays well.
Avoid becoming a generalist. Specialists earn a lot more money. If you are a freelance writer, what sorts of topics do you want to be known as an expert in? If you are a coach, what are your specialties? You can’t coach everyone, so where are you going to shine?
In addition to niching down your services, you will want to niche down your ideal clients. Do you want to offer VA services to people who run tech companies? Or do you want to offer blog management services to busy mompreneurs?
Take time to think through this process. Just like picking a niche for your blog, you can always pivot if what you select first isn’t working.
How Much Should You Charge?
Rates for services vary greatly. Remember, you will have to pay taxes on any income you earn. Plan on setting aside at least 25 percent. Keep this in mind as you determine your rate. If you’re charging $15/hour, you only get to keep $11.25 of that. Is $11.25 an hour worth your time?
Only you can decide that. When I started as a virtual assistant, my starting rate was $30/hour. After I took out a quarter for taxes, it was a rate I felt comfortable with as a beginner.
In this article, Sally suggests some starting rates for popular freelancing services. She also advises that you start on the lower end. Then, after you attract your first few paying gigs, gradually increase your rates. But don’t start too low. Bargain hunters are often the worst clients.
Moving Away from the Hourly Rate
Do you know the downside of charging hourly? There are two, actually.
The first is you have to keep track of your time. When you’re a busy mom, you might have five minutes to work here, ten minutes to work there. Adding up all those small chunks isn’t as easy as it sounds!
Now for the big problem: You get penalized for being an expert. Think about it. The better you get at your job, the quicker you become. But when you do the job more quickly, you get paid less. Less pay for the same amount of work isn’t a good deal for you.
To combat this, consider moving away from hourly rates. Instead, charge by the product or package. Your client will know what to expect, and so will you. It’s a great way to build up some recurring income.
Create Hire Me And Contact Pages
Once you pick a service, create a new page on your blog. This can be called “Hire Me” or “Work with Me” or something similar.
On this page, detail the services you offer. If applicable, include samples. For instance, on my Hire Me page for writing, I link to some of my best articles.
You will also want to include testimonials on this page. Social proof is important, and it makes you look more professional.
Some people include their pricing on their website, others choose not to. There’s no right or wrong there. Do what you feel is best.
Lastly, provide a way for potential clients to get in touch. I use a standard contact form. Other people have potential buyers schedule a discovery call.
Advertise Your Service
Let people know you’re starting to offer a new service. Send a shout-out on your social media channels. Email and call people you know. Your existing network already knows you. They are more likely to hire you or refer you to someone they know looking for the services you offer.
If you’re in any Facebook groups that offer a promotion day, you can include a link to your new page. You need to get the word out so that people know you are available for hire.
Bonus Tip: Always frame your service in terms of the benefit to your client. What outcome or result do you provide? For example, if you offer virtual assistant services, you can ask: “Do you know anyone who needs xyz tasks taken off their plate, so they can focus on growing their business?”
Where to Find Gigs
People probably won’t find you at the very beginning. You must go find them. You can look for gigs:
> On job boards
> Within Facebook groups
> By asking people in your personal network
> By cold-pitching your ideal clients
Once you find a job, make sure you get the details in writing. You can use a contract to help protect both parties.
Do your best work on every assignment. Meet the deadline and exceed your client’s expectations. Your reputation is essential to your service offerings. Do your best to make it a good one.
1. Decide if you want to offer a service.
2. Pick one service to start with. If you’re struggling with this step, check out this list of 275+ services by my friend Gina Horkey (email sign-up required for access).
3. Follow the steps in this chapter to create your “Hire Me” page.
You now have the information you need to earn consistently from your blog!
There’s only one more topic to cover. In the final chapter, I will show you how to juggle your time so you can grow a blog while raising a family.