How Your Business Can Sell Its 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 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.

Define your niche and target audience

In many service industries, lead generation is the key to success. The best way to build your sales funnel online is to look at each step from a customer’s perspective. First, define your niche and identify your target audience. That’ll make it easier to position your business and personalize your marketing process, which will ultimately help drive sales.

Defining your niche

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.

Ask 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.

Selling your service online

Once you understand your niche and audience, selling your services online becomes a process of leading prospects through a sales funnel. A small percentage of your audience will be ready to purchase immediately, but most will want to take additional time before making their decision. Therefore, it’s important to guide your leads through the process. Most sales processes involve these 5 steps.

Step #1: Promote your service

Once you’re ready to sell, there are all sorts of 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.

Step #2: Capture attention with a landing page

Once a prospective customer arrives at your website, you have around 15 seconds to capture their attention, so it’s important to have an attention-grabbing 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 invite folks to sign up for your email list.

Step #3: 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 on your service. 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, it’s up to you to stay in touch. 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.

Step #4: Onboard your 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.

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.

Step #5: Stay engaged and build 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.

Sell your service 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.

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