“What does my website need to have so I can start making sales?”
I’m going to break down the answer to this question for you so you’re ready to get started with your next sales on your website in a truly automated fashion so you can move from hobby-business to money-making business. Because that’s what we’re really after with our business websites, right?
Most of my clients have service-based businesses (coaches, consultants, freelancers) and they’re often charging by the hour or by the project. In this post, I’ll talk a bit about what you’ll need so your hourly or project offers on your site are ready to make the transactions happen.
Where to Start
If your work is done in a standardized way you’ll have a few options of what clients can buy from you in order to work with you. Here are the top service types I encourage my clients to package as offerings on their sites:
Starter Offer: If you’ve never worked with a new client before, you’ll likely need to have some sort of entry-point to getting to know them and for them to get to know you and this is where the Starter Offer fits nicely into your offering of services.
Mid-level Offer: Prospects often want to see more of a range of possibilities of the services you offer before they commit to a Starter Offer. This is one of the main reasons I encourage clients to create a Mid-level Offer: it shows where you can take clients after that first level of work together.
Advanced Offer: Along the same lines as your Mid-level Offer is the Advanced Offer to show how far your breadth of service can take your ideal clients. This isn’t one that I push newbie business owners to add to their sites but an option that is needed for more experienced business owners.
Now, not every business needs all three levels of services on their site. Many only need one or two levels with some copy that talks about how they create custom packages for their clients on-demand in addition to the options on the site.
Logistics of Getting the Sale
Stepping back from the actual details of the offer, let’s look at how it’ll happen for your ideal clients once they know they’re ready to work with you. You’ll need to set up systems that will do the following tasks for you so they can schedule that Starter Offer with you whenever they’re ready to buy. In short, they’ll need to be able to:
- Schedule the session with you
- Pay for that session online
- Complete any intake forms, questionnaires, or other materials you’ll use to prepare yourself for that meeting/session
- What software/system they’ll use to attend the session (if it is not in-person)
One of the primary goals with any system that helps you to do all of this online is that your ideal clients will know what to expect from the process of scheduling the session with you to what is expected of them before (and after) the session, to what software they’ll use to join you for the session.
Most importantly: sharing the details with them truly matters when you want them to feel welcomed and ready for the session with you.
Here are a few of my favorite systems that can accomplish more, if not all, of the details we’ve outlined:
Although there are many other companies that offer this service, the list above are the four that I see most often.
Intake Forms/Questionnaire Alternative
It is worth noting that some scheduling systems will allow you to create the intake forms/questionnaires in their system and add this step to the automated process of signing up for a session with you. If you choose a system that does not have a robust enough intake option for your needs, I’d suggest using a separate system such as Google Forms. You can then include a link to that form in the confirmation email that your new clients will get from your scheduling system.
Payment processors are a big deal within this process of how to get your clients booked. Most online scheduling systems need to integrate with a payment processor in order to complete the transition with a new client.
Here are a few suggestions:
There are also other payment processors but PayPal and Stripe are the top two that I see most often integrated with online scheduling systems.
What They Can Expect
Map out the steps they’ll need to take to book that first session with you from clicking the “Book Now” button on your sales page (or whatever term you use) to showing up for the session. The more you share in this space, the better the results will be for you and for them.
I encourage clients to break each step down into straight-forward bullets so they know and remember what will happen at each step.
Prepared with this set of steps, you’re ready to get your offers set up on your site.
For more specifics on what to include in the copy for your website, I suggest checking out my Small Business Website Copy Guide.