017: How to transition from offline to online service based business
In this episode, we talk about the tweaks and changes you need to make to successfully pivot from your face-to-face service-based business to selling and servicing clients online.
We talked about…
>> Pricing your services (and packages)
>> Common pitfalls to watch out for
>> Pivoting from offline business to online business
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Prefer to Read? Here’s the Transcript:
(00:23): Move your business online
The first thing you need to do, if you want to move your business completely online is definitely have a good look at the business you have offline and what is working really well for you there now? Not all the things you’re doing offline are going to work online, and some things are going to need quite a few changes, but it’s all in hand. And I’m going to walk you through the process of looking at your business.
So the first thing you need to do is look at your audience, your audience, being your clients, people who are already buying from you, people who are interested, perhaps people who follow you online. These are all people that can help you kickstart your online business, especially if it’s closely connected to the business you have offline. Now I know that’s a lot of consultants and coaches come across problems when moving their business offline to online.
(01:18): How to price your coaching program or service packages
The first problem I hear a lot about is usually pricing. Local pricing may be lower due to perceptions. So a lot of people feel like they cannot really put their prices up to international levels or, you know, sort of average online levels because the people that are already in their orbits that are already their audience that are already their clients are going to have a problem with this. And this is perfectly understandable.
This is something I went through. I think a lot of people who come from countries where perhaps the standard of living and the wages are not as high as they are in the U S or in the UK, or, you know larger countries. Then we, of course, we have a little bit of a disconnect and we may not be very sure about how to price and how to do this transition.
The way I did it was very simple. I started off by putting up my prices to what I thought was, you know, the bare minimum to be taken seriously. This is something we really need to keep in mind. So you need to have a look at what people are charging online and make sure that you are at least charging average prices. Because when people see that you are charging too little, they’re going to find it hard to take you seriously.
And also to believe that you can deliver what you say you’re offering, and this is going to make it harder for you to kickstart your business. So the first thing you need to do is make sure that when you speak to somebody online, you make sure that your prices are in line with your competitors. Now this might, you know, maybe jeopardize your current relationships.
And this is a worry I hear a lot about. Now, what you can do is in the transition phase, there’s always going to be a pivot a place where you still have your offline clients and you still have people coming to your business offline. You also have people coming to your business online. And in this case, what you do is very simple. Keep your prices off your website, make sure that local people get local prices.
People who are already your client, and then slowly put your prices up to be in line with your international and the prices. It probably took me about two years, maybe a little less, maybe about 18 months to bring my local prices up in line with my international prices. So the first thing you need to do is make sure that when you speak to somebody online, you make sure that your prices are in line with your competitors, but then again, picking your pricing begs for more questions.
(03:56): Pricing vs Ideal Target Audience
So like we said, the first thing is going to be to analyze your audience. You do need to be competitive with your prices and you do need to make sure that you’re not cheap, that people think what’s the catch here, but you also need to make sure that you are servicing a part of your audience online that is profitable.
So a way to do this could be to look at your offline clients and see which ones are more profitable. And of course, which ones you’re giving more value to. Let me give you an example, for instance, if I help, okay. I help people get more leads from their blog. Of course. If I’m dealing with, let’s say coaches that are just starting out and maybe just have one hour or two hour packages, and they’re just beginning to literally train up. Of course, you know, 10 leads might be worth 2000 euros to them or $2,000.
However, if I I’m working with coaches who are already established and have, you know, they’re three, four, five K packages, then you know, there’s 10 leads hours, potentially even $50,000. So obviously there’s a very big difference to what it’s worth to your clients. When you’re pivoting. It’s important to think like this, because you want to pivot to the most profitable part of your business, because this will allow you to make it more sustainable, more enjoyable.
And of course in the beginning, meaning when you’re going to need more leads, because you’re still learning how to close that business and how to, you know, land these clients, you still kind of can make ends meet because when you do land a project, it’s going to be a high value project. So after we’ve analyzed your audience to actually understand which ones are giving more value to them, so which ones would be very happy to pay, you know, your new prices.
You also have to look at the potential niches that are within this kind of pool people. So you’re going to find that maybe is a pattern here. Maybe the people that are more profitable to you or a particular type of clients, maybe they come from a specific industry, maybe they’re of a particular age. You know, maybe if you’re a coach and you deal with women in general, you might find that people who are 45 plus, they tend to buy your longterm packages. And, you know, they’re, they’re willing to pay more because it’s worth more to them.
So have a bit of a think. This also counts for people who sell services like design or VA’s, you know, think of those clients where they have money, but they don’t really have the time. So you need to design a package that is really valuable for them because of course their time is priceless.
So you need to make sure that you’re designing a service, you’re designing a package that really allows you to, you know, maybe get set up quickly to prove your worth to start allowing them to actually see the benefits really quickly, and then maybe, you know, go also for long-term packages. You know, this is one thing. When I moved online, I was still doing agency work. I still do a little bit of that.
So, you know, for the VIP clients these days, I don’t do one, two or three month packages. It’s only six or 12 months and actually mostly 12 month packages, because what this does is it puts me in a position to really prove myself. I can give so much value in 12 months and it makes it worth a good five figure package. So, you know, thing this way, and you’ll also need fewer clients to actually grow your business and we in a position to shift it and be flexible.
The next thing you need to do after you have picked your niche based on, you know, all these little things you found out about your clients, the next thing is to research online. You want to research online, and this is something that maybe a bit counter intuitive, but what you’re going to come across is that you’re going to find competitors. And the first thing that’s going to bring up is a feeling of dread, Oh my goodness, there are so many people doing with this. And there are already people out there that have, you know, really nicely set up websites and packages. And you know, they’re really doing a good job of it already, but don’t worry. The fact that he find people and competitors in the niche means that there is actually money in it and it’s really worth pursuing. So don’t let it put you off.
So it’s one thing. If you have a hundred competitors now picking an industry with a hundred competitors that are really strong in your niche is not going to be a good idea, but I’ve never seen this happen. So if there are one or two strong competitors in a niche, that’s perfectly fine. That’s healthy competition. There are other people trying the niche and it’s perfectly fine. Another another interesting idea which I believe came from the ask method, that’s right from Ryan Laveck he says, go to YouTube and Google your niche and make sure that you find a lot of content and a lot of results about it. Because if a lot of people are creating content for it, then the risk at the month for it. So, you know, that’s another way of checking. Once you really know what the next best step is, or maybe you have a list of what the next best steps might be.
Maybe you want to try different packages. That’s perfectly fine. You know, experimenting and testing is going to be a very important part of online business. So once you have all these options in front of you and you know, more or less how you want to niche, you need to have a good look at your site and you need to realign your website or create another one. And so what I mean is you need to kind of focus it in. So if you’ve picked a niche, let’s say you are a designer, and now you are specifically going to focus only on doing logo identities for online entrepreneurs or female entrepreneurs. So now you have to go to your website and you have to remove anything that is not connected with that one thing. Now, of course, you might come across the problem that you still have flying clients, and we’re doing a lot of other stuff for them.
(10:10): Pivoting your business
In that case, you may want to just create another website and slowly transition from taking traffic to one, to focusing on the other. Now, of course, if you want to build an online business, what I suggest is that you leave the old one static and start putting effort and creating content for the new one. The next thing is to think of your promotions. So what you want to do is you want to start promoting only your online services in order to start pivoting, you have to kind of abandon the old business and start working on the new. And when it comes to market, especially online, you can really confuse your audience. So you got to make sure that you have one message and this one message is going to promote your new online service. The great thing is that it’s actually quite difficult to kill an offline business is working so people will keep referring.
You, you will keep getting offline business, and maybe there are other ways like networking events and you know, other things you can attend as your old business to keep business coming in while you transition it in the online. But also you want to make sure that there is only one message on your social media platforms that you take them to your new website. So your new online services, everything is going to be directed to them. And that you also have one call to action, which is probably going to be to book calls with you.
If you sell a service, it’s always better in the beginning to get people, to book a call with you because you want to listen, listen to them. You want to hear what their objections might be to buy your service. You want to kind of understand how they’re evaluating your service and going from offline to online means going from people whose around you really know because you know, you, you live in that are meant to actually get people, but from all over the world.
(12:02): Tools you need to sell services and coaching online
So getting people from lots of different, you know, cultures and time zones, so you really need to start understanding what the commonalities are and what are the things that they expect from you, how they are perceiving the website, how they’re perceiving your offering. And these are all things that are going to help you really improve step by step.
The next thing you’re going to need is then to have everything in hand for these calls, you need to have your priceless. You need to have a way of getting paid, which is going to be your payment links, whether you use PayPal or Stripe, or maybe something a little bit fancier, don’t have to be super clear about the on-boarding process. Just sort of know the main steps, because then of course, once you get your first online clients, you can explain to them what’s going to happen.
And then you go and sort of go into the nitty-gritty details. Once it actually happens. You’ll also need to sort of work out the logistics of what happens when they don’t buy. What follow-up emails do you send? How do you follow up? Do you connect with them on WhatsApp? Do you just send an email to connect with them on Facebook, perhaps?
You know, so have a listen, think about these things and make sure you’re all set up to deal with them. And then of course, if you want to build your online business, it’s important that you start focusing on social media, but also on search engine traffic. These two types of traffic are very important. So the first thing you need to do is once you have your website, you start creating valuable content, whether it’s video first and then blog or blog first.
(13:37): Online lead generation
And then, you know, you want to just do a video later on. It’s perfectly fine. As long as you have the written word so far, it’s the best thing to get organic traffic from search engines. And what’s going to happen is you’re going to start getting leads from search engines, by keeping a low blog, going, putting content there consistently. And this is how people start actually finding you online. This is how you start getting your first leads. You also start getting your first leads by then sharing these blog posts on social media, maybe breaking them down into, you know, breaking one blog post into different social media posts and getting attention and getting people to DMU. You know, so they’re going to be the first waves so long run. What you will see is that search engine traffic will increase social media traffic will increase.
But in the long run, you can expect that sir, actually, the search engine traffic will be a lot more than your social media traffic. And of course, if you have a little bit of a budget, you can also boost through social media or you can use Google ads. So you can always set up speed up the way your leads are coming in, but doing the organic work is very important because that’s how you find out what topics and what kind of, what kind of posts, what kind of information is actually turning into those discovery calls. And that is what you want to do because when you sell a service, what you want to do is get people on a call because ultimately, you know, people are people, this is a face-to-face that sells an online face-to-face is the call. You know, you want to get people on that call, and that is how you close the sale.
If you haven’t listened to the previous episode I highly suggest that if you want to know also how to close the call the episode before this one with Phil Jones, and that goes into the details of how to actually sell on those goals. So if you’re interested in that, make sure you listen to it, but also if you want to sort out the logistics, I also have another resource for you. So you can go to Stephanie fatina.com/podcast. And you’re going to find it in the show notes, I will put a link in there. You’ll find the link to my online business boot camp, which is basically my training, which I created to help people during the early days of the pandemic to actually go from offline to online really quickly. And what the training shows you are simply the tools you need to have everything in order to be able to take those calls, make the sale, close it, and, you know, start moving your business completely online.
So it’s basically about setting up all the different things that you need, and I’m currently running a special offer on this. So if you’re interested, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s currently going for less than $50 because it’s discounted. So I highly recommend that you go to the show notes and check it out. And of course, once you’ve done that feel free to get back to me and let me know how it went and what you thought of it. That’s all I had for you today. Thank you very much for joining me.