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How to Sell Your Services Online

Have a business that provides services? Here’s a guide for selling those services, with everything from finding your customers to keeping their business.

How to Sell Your Services Online illustration

In recent years, advances in technology have made e-commerce more popular than ever. And while we’re all familiar with the idea of buying and selling physical items online, it’s becoming more commonplace for businesses to sell services—like performance consulting, coaching sessions, or counseling—over the internet, too.

Selling services online can be a lucrative revenue stream, allowing you to avoid the hassle of having inventory in stock to make money. Whether you’re an expert in a niche or have a service you can sell online without a significant investment, selling services online doesn’t have to be complicated. Anyone can sell services as long as they can provide customers something valuable.

Selling a service online might seem like a daunting task, but luckily there are plenty of tools that can help you introduce your business, get your message across, and connect with folks who need exactly the type of services you’re offering. Here’s how to get started.

1. Define your niche and target audience

No business can be everything to everyone, so as you prepare to start selling online, think about where your business or services fit in the marketplace and how you stand out from the competition. Take some time to examine your past experiences, strengths, priorities, and goals.

For example, if you run an agency, you might aim to reach as many potential clients as possible by offering a wide range of basic services at affordable prices. Or, maybe you’d prefer to specialize in one particular area and have a higher starting price point. Both businesses would be a part of the same market, but they’d appeal to different customers.

Finding your target audience

By precisely defining your ideal customer, you can speak more directly to their needs. As you’re getting started, it’s best to target a narrow audience; the more specific you can get, the better.

Here are some examples of demographic traits you might consider when narrowing your audience:

  • Gender
  • Age group
  • Urban vs. rural
  • Geographic area
  • Income level
  • Profession
  • Education level
  • Personality traits
  • Household size
  • Values
  • Spending habits

A marketer with a background in the healthcare industry would likely prioritize their outreach to medical businesses or doctors’ offices, while a project manager with experience in the food and beverage industry would stand out to restaurants and hotel groups.

2. Survey your audience

There are all kinds of opportunities to help you better understand the needs of your audience. Social media, public forums, and livestreaming have made digital audience interaction easier than ever before.

Facebook Groups or Quora Questions

Facebook groups and Quora offer free online forums for people with specific interests to share resources and answer questions. There’s a good chance that there are already Facebook groups targeting the service you sell. Even if you’re not allowed to market your particular service in the group, it’s an excellent place to learn about your audience’s needs.

Answer the Public

Answer the Public collects the questions people ask online about specific subjects. Simply type in your area of interest and follow along with the discussions. Doing this can help you identify the common questions your customers want answered.


If you have an existing customer base on social media, talking directly to your audience can shed light on their immediate questions or feedback. Several social media platforms offer livestreaming, including Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram.

Amazon book reviews

The value of Amazon reviews lies in the website’s ability to reach so many audiences. Look for books focused on the same needs as your service—maybe even ones you’ve read. Scanning through the reviews to find out what purchasers hoped to learn from these books will give you insight into your audience’s motivation.

3. Create and publish your online store

To sell services online, you need an online store. Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional website designer or developer to create an e-commerce store. Instead, you can use an online website builder to design and implement your website when you're ready to start selling. Once you have the basic layout of your site, you can begin creating service pages that allow new customers to sign up. You should also have other design elements, including a logo, photos, and videos, to highlight the different services you offer.

The right website layout can improve user experience and lead to more sales, so it’s important to consider all the different types of pages your website needs. Every service page should have a detailed description to inform customers what to expect. Of course, you may also want to supplement your website copy with photos and videos to help showcase the features of your services. Review web design tips to learn how to enhance your website.

When your product pages are complete, you must enable your website to accept payments, so you’ll need a shopping cart and payment processor that allows customers to pay with a credit card. By now, you should also know how much you will charge for your services.

4. Make a landing page

Once a prospective customer arrives at your website, you have a short amount of time to capture their attention, so it’s important to have a captivating website that’s full of relevant, useful content.

Consider driving new audiences to a landing page that prioritizes information and imagery that directly addresses the needs of your target audience. Provide a brief overview of your services and invite them to learn more. It’s also a great opportunity to encourage folks to sign up for your email list.

5. Promote your services

Once you’re ready to sell, there are various ways to get your services in front of your target audience. Choose the methods that best suit your brand and target demographic. For each platform, your goal should be to drive people to your website and have them sign up for your email list, so you can nurture the relationship and, ultimately, drive sales.

There are many ways to promote your services with the following.

  • Social media: Build up your audience with hashtags, paid ads, and organic outreach.
  • Influencer marketing: Offer pro bono services to trending bloggers, podcast hosts, or social media users in your niche.
  • Google advertising: Meet your customers where they’re looking for you on popular search engines.
  • Content marketing: Get your voice heard and drive traffic to your site by starting your own blog or podcast.
  • Word of mouth: Encourage your clients to help spread the word with referral incentives.
  • YouTube videos: Start a channel to showcase your business and the services you offer.

6. Collect contact information

Most prospects take a while to reach the buying stage, but you still have plenty of opportunities to connect with them and sell them your services. Consider offering folks a free download or learning opportunity—like a whitepaper, template, or webinar—in exchange for their email address. Just make sure that it solves a problem for your target audience and demonstrates your expertise.

Once you’ve captured the lead, staying in touch is up to you. Email marketing is still one of the most effective sales tools; the key is to offer value with each communication before asking for a sale.

7. Craft compelling content

You need quality content for all of your marketing and advertising efforts, especially your website. Your website should have service pages for each distinct service where prospective customers can find more information about your offerings. Your service descriptions should accurately set customer expectations and demonstrate the value you provide.

8. Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Compelling web copy can help you convert customers. However, how are you going to get new visitors to your website? SEO can increase web traffic by helping you rank on search engines like Google. Optimizing your website for search engines and users can drive more traffic and grow your customer base as fast as possible without spending any money on advertising. SEO can boost your visibility online and help customers interested in your services find you online.

If you’re selling services for a local business, you can use local SEO to grow your online presence within your target market’s geographic area. However, SEO takes time, and there are many different components, including on-page, off-page, and technical SEO. Therefore, hiring an agency to help you with at least some aspects of your strategy may be beneficial. Even if you don’t know much about SEO, you can still invest time into learning on-page SEO tactics like utilizing keywords in your service descriptions and crafting blog copy that drives more traffic to your website.

9. Onboard new customers

When someone buys your service, the best thing you can do is make them feel good about the commitment. You want to set the stage for a long and prosperous relationship. Plus, 86% of consumers say they're more likely to be loyal to businesses that invest in onboarding.

Onboarding is the period between a purchase and the customer’s first success using your service. When onboarding a new customer, be sure to:

  • Create a personalized experience. Use what you’ve learned about each customer to make the interaction feel unique and human. Personalized marketing can lead to a more satisfying experience for your customers—and increase their sense of loyalty to your business, too.
  • Set clear expectations. Reiterate the value that your service provides and prepare them for potential sticking points.
  • Break everything down. Don’t assume that just because someone signed up for your service, they’ll know what to do next or be comfortable diving into the instructions on their own. Instead, lead them through each step slowly and selectively.
  • Show up for your customers every step of the way. Make yourself (or your customer service team) easy to reach if people get stuck or have trouble. In addition to keeping your customers happy, it’ll allow you to see where you can improve.
  • Celebrate the wins, small and large. Acknowledge every milestone along the way and remind customers that they’re on the path to success.

10. Build and maintain customer relationships

Proactive relationship-building—through regular communication and quality customer service—will help keep people engaged with your business for the long term. Consider scheduling regular check-ins, sending loyalty gifts, or hosting online events. And if you decide to start offering any new services, you might even choose to give past clients an early look or a discount to thank them for their patronage over the years.

Effectively market your services online

If you have a service-based business, selling online allows you to reach more customers than ever before. Work to build trusting relationships with customers before and after the sale. Start by understanding your strengths and anticipating the needs of your ideal client. Then, after the sale, set yourself up for continued success by dependably delivering your services, communicating with your client base, and keeping people engaged—and excited—about your business.

Mailchimp simplifies your marketing to help you sell services online. With our all-in-one marketing platform, you can sell to any audience by crafting compelling copy and optimizing it for search engines while building email lists and effectively marketing to prospects no matter where they are in the customer journey.

Ready to begin selling services online? Use our drag-and-drop website builder to create your website and landing pages. Web design and development skills are optional, so all you need is a great idea and the right marketing tools to start selling your services today.

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