Small businesses are searching for help, and due to our new coronavirus economy, the world has seen an entire shift.
People are noticing all the online opportunities and they are vast. Pivoting to offer online services now is strategic and smart.
I’ve been consulting entrepreneurs, small businesses and corporations to create and launch digital online services for over 12 years, and I want you to understand that online services are not default or second best.
They’re a smart way to grow your business, reach more people, grow your profit, and expand your company’s capacity.
This article is meant to do the following:
1. Open your eyes and open the doors to your online business opportunities
2. Help you choose how you’ll offer services online
3. Give you the steps to get started
There are so many options to serve your clients online, but the choices can be overwhelming and it’s hard to know where to start.
Maybe you are looking into online opportunities for a short time until we get back to normal, or maybe you are wanting to scale and you’re just not sure where to start.
Maybe your company has reached its bandwidth, and you aren’t sure what to do or how to grow.
Maybe you are a new entrepreneur looking to work from home and you are confused by all the ocean of online tools. I'm gonna make it so easy for you.
I'm literally going to say, “Do this; do this; do this, if you want these results.” Easy right?
"The most effective way to do it is to do it." -- Amelia Earhart
Because going online means that you are essentially rebuilding the walls and the foundations of your business.
And we are going to walk through the steps and give you the recipe of software that you can use to bring your business online.
If your current business model focuses on one-on one in person interaction, you may be asking yourself how you’re ever going to make the transition to offer your services online.
First things first, though. Not every single service can be offered online.
For example if you are an eyelash consultant or a massage therapist you obviously can't perform your traditional services virtually, but are there amazing opportunities to serve in creative ways.
You just have to be looking for them.
When you are changing from face-to-face to digital, you must set up your online parameters just as you would in your traditional work environment.
If you normally would offer one hour appointments, you may want to stick to that same time frame for virtual appointments.
Set the expectations from the beginning in order to prevent your digital appointments from simply becoming a hangout session.
Be clear in laying the road map and take the lead.
Be honest with your clients about your virtual service session in the beginning so that the client knows what to expect at the end of that appointment.
Setting clear expectations when you are working virtually will allow everyone to know what you can do, what you can't do, and what they will get from that meeting.
This way your clients and customers will walk in with eyes wide open.
Go ahead and make plans to implement this as a long term strategy to communicate your plan with your clients. It's a must.
Email your clients about your now offering virtual services. Let them know “Hey, this is what services are going to look like. Are you ready? Because we're ready to serve you.”
You have to fully communicate what they can expect. Because you want the honest truth???
Many today have still never worked with someone in this capacity. They have never received online services before.
But when you approach someone with a clear plan of your parameters and the scope, it gives them peace and confidence in your leadership and helps sustain your business and sales.
This can definitely increase your sales now and for the long haul.
Finally in setting the parameters of your services, you have to decide upon the method of how and when you are going to deliver any supplements to that service.
What exactly do I mean by a supplement? Well, it's anything you need to share with the client. It’s anything they need to take further action or to implement the services you provided virtually.
For example, an aesthetician providing online consulting services may give a client product recommendations and even how to use those products correctly.
An email could be sent with a list of steps or products including links to purchase those products. These supplements could be a PDF, a video, or a simple email detailing anything they need to take action after meeting with you virtually.
Voxer is a great tool that I recommend that you continue to serve with supplements so that your clients can continue to move forward.
This tool allows you to send links, video recordings, PDF files, and simple text messages.
Slack channels are another option that can be utilized to keep in touch with clients after appointments.
And don’t forget good old reliable email.
Here’s your opportunity to instill the confidence in your clients from the get go.
First, choose your online platform. This is where the service is going to happen.
There are hundreds of opportunities to make this happen, but of course I have some personal recommendations and recipes.
Now, you are more than welcome to just go old school here and pick up the phone. What better way to connect? And it’s totally fine.
But I want you to be up to speed on other software you can use to connect virtually with your clients.
It really is all about them in the end anyway, right? Which software will be least intimidating to your customers AND provide your services seamlessly and successfully?
When you decide on your platform, don’t assume that your customers will know what to do.
Send them an email about your virtual services and send a step-by-step guide on how to use the software you have chosen.
Some people are very intimidated by technology. Do all the work for them, make it easy for them, and take away any nervousness they may have.
Next, set up an online calendar and make it EASY to work with you. That's how you make money.
It all depends on how you need your calendar to function. Do your research, pick the one that best suits your needs, and block off times where people can schedule with you.
Again it all goes back to making things easy for your customers and paying online is quick, convenient, and (I keep saying it) EASY.
And by the way, many online calendars have the capability to accept online payments, so that’s something to keep in mind when choosing systems that work together and make your processes super lean.
Finally, set up an email marketing responder. This is an entire business training. But I want to touch on this for just a sec.
As soon as someone books with you, two things should happen: you get a confirmation email and they receive a confirmation email if not a series of emails getting them ready for the appointment.
This takes the work out of your hands and creates an amazing client experience. And it tells your clients that you're on top of it.
These emails can reiterate the parameters and scope of the appointment. Sometimes these emails can be built within your online calendar.
If not, have emails that are prewritten and ready to send in order to save time and provide an amazing customer experience.
There are so many ways that you can connect virtually but finding the way that works best for you, your business and your customers is most important.
If you are coming to the table and have very little budget just go with a good old fashioned phone. Facetime or WhatsApp are really easy ways to connect. They’re easy and free.
Zoom is an amazing platform that millions of people use across the world to connect one on one or with a group.
And just in case you aren’t set up with a prime home office or the most up-to-date computer, you have a world of possibilities right there at your fingertips...your smartphone.
There’s no time for excuses. Take action now to launch your virtual coaching services. There really has never been a better time.
Get your customers ready for what they can expect to receive from you and walk into these virtual relationships confidently.
I promise, your customers are now more than ever searching and longing for leadership and confidence and someone they can trust.
Fill that void and watch what happens in your business.
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