Today we are going to dive into how to start a service business from your home and generate leads and sales, generate leads, clients, all of that good stuff online. So if you have a service, a knowledge, a skillset, something, something you want to do for others. Then this presentation is going to walk you through generating leads and perhaps closing those sales, closing those people into a purchase with you.

For those of you who don’t know who I am, my name is Jason Drohn. I’m the creator of and I help people in businesses create offers and sell them online, so sell from an automatic standpoint, automated standpoint, through sales funnels and traffic and all kinds of other stuff, but creating and selling is the piece that I’m most passionate about.

Today is exciting because we are talking about how to start a service business. Just to dive into it, so professional services, it’s interesting every once in a while you read a book and I’ve listened to Think and Grow Rich or read Think and Grow Rich for… I probably read it four times and I’ve listened to it another five or six times over the last decade. One of the things, the screaming things that you read almost right off the bat, in the first or second chapter, is about this idea of service businesses and offering services of value to people, and that is how you generate your fortune. That is how you generate your money.

start a service business

It was interesting because I was listening to the book this morning, knowing that I was going to be doing the service module and this piece jumped out at me.

When you go to start a service business, or professional services business when you’re offering services to other people. Some examples have financial planning, you have legal services or accounting and bookkeeping or investment services, or business services like sales and strategy like the stuff that we do. There’s travel, although not so much anymore. There is obviously, but just not right, right now. There’s lending, credit repair, franchises, freelance.

All this stuff is services that you can do or frameworks that you can fall within, and we have built funnels for every single one of these services spaces, every single one of these industries. Lending and working capital loans, or we’ve done some credit repair stuff, we’ve done some franchise stuff and some MLM stuff. So lots of financial planning and lots of legal. And the services all follow a pretty general framework. Somebody has a problem.

The prospector this person goes to Google and types something into the search bar, or they’re on Facebook. They’re on some sort of a social media platform and they’re interrupted in an ad that then says we will do this for you. And then they come over, they generate a lead on the website, and then that is that.

That’s how it ends up working. It’s not an overly complex sales funnel, but basically, it’s lead generation, and then they come in, they give their email address, and then you transition into a pitch somehow.

When you start a service business with a sales funnel, usually there’s a little bit of a bridge page and it says, “Hey, thanks so much for downloading my lead magnet. While you’re here, one of the questions that we most often get asked is…” Boom. And then that is the bridge into your pitch.

There were three or four people that I talked to yesterday and that’s as simple as the sales funnel needs to be for them.

The first thing you need to realize with professional services is you’re selling yourself.

Selling Your Brand

Your brand is important. There are two different kinds of wheelhouses when it comes to brands.

You have your people who are brand above all else. Like, “All I care about is the brand. A brand, colors, logo. All I care about is the brand.” And then you have other people, in a different camp who are like, “All I care about is the conversion. I don’t care what it looks like. I don’t care what colors it is. As long as it works, as long as it makes money, I’m fine with it.”

Then you have the people like me who tend to be in the middle. I believe in brand equity, I believe a brand is important, but I also don’t sacrifice conversions for brands. If a page needs an orange button to convert 12% higher, you better damn well believe it’s going to have an orange button. That’s just how we end up building stuff.

Make the right website and sales funnel

In realizing that you’re building a personal brand in selling services, the right website and the right sales funnel, your prospects are going to reach out to you either online or on the phone. I mean, you’ll be relating your services to their situation and then selling them.

You want to meet your client’s unique needs, where they are. And right now is a very interesting time because I mean, in a pandemic, in quarantine, their needs are different than they were three months ago. That’s important to keep in mind when you start a service business right now.

So now if you look at, from a legal standpoint, legal services, most lawyers have switched into PPP funding? So I can’t tell you how many requests we’ve gotten in the last couple of months. “Hey, I need a PPP funnel or I need a government funding funnel.” Whatever, so, okay. Absolutely.

It’s all the same because it’s lead gen. All service-based business sales funnels are lead gen into a qualified sales call because services by their very nature are complex. They’re just complex and you can sell anything and do anything. The most important thing to realize is that when you’re selling a service, you need to productize your offer. So at least that very, very first sale. That very first thing that you offer, you’re going to, it needs to be packaged nicely, as is in a nice little bow. That’s how it needs to be presented to your client.

Create Standard Packages

Now, when you start a service business, the absolute best way to sell services online is to create standard packages for your offering. So good, better, best works here. For those of you who watch The Profit on CNN, MSNBC, maybe? Yeah, I think it’s MSNBC.

I don’t know, CNN. I don’t remember. But Marcus Lemonis is his name. And he, most of the companies that he ends up taking over, implements this good, better, best strategy. This good, better, best pricing strategy. It works well in service-based businesses.

There can be upgrades and additions to your pricing tiers, but that first pricing tier needs to be well packaged, and that is what’s going to get them in the door. That’s your foot in the door, strategy for getting them to raise their hand and say, “Yes, I need your services.” Then once they’re in the process, they can do something else.

SEO for your Website

In the old local marketing days, and it’s still used a little bit, but we used to… I didn’t do this, but a lot of other local marketers did, they would put their foot in the door with a Google Maps optimization, or a claim your listing that was popular, eight years ago.

They would reach out to a business owner and say, “Hey, you have all these really bad reviews on your Google Maps pages. Can I help you claim your listing so you can clean those up?” And business owners, by and large, would just swallow, they would just, eat that thing up for 500 bucks, $500 for Google Maps listing. And then once they were in the process, it was like, “Okay, now, what else do you need? You need SEO work?”

That’s a pretty direct way to start a service business.

Well, you probably need SEO work if your reviews were shit. You probably need SEO work on your website to help the search rankings and help that maybe you need some PPC. Maybe you need some website design. So that initial foot-in-the-door offer is nice and productized, but then everything after that, the follow on money, the follow on offers, those end up being less customized and more complex.

More customized and more complex, I should say, and also more expensive, because they’re already in process. And customers will want to see that you can customize your offering to suit their needs even in productized service packages, your clients are still going to want to see that there’s some leeway. There’s some room that they can move about so that you can customize your offer for them and make it well worth their time.

start a service business

Target the Biggest Geographic Area

Now let’s see, when you start a service business, you want to target the biggest geographic area that you can. So if you are refined, if you are dialed into a local geographic, then that’s fine. Your service offering, you can offer that service in your local community, but it really should be the biggest geographic area that you can achieve.

One of the reasons for that is because anymore with ads, I mean, with Facebook ads and Google ads, I mean, you can still target geographic area, but Facebook ads, especially the advertising once you get some good conversion data in, then the ads run themselves.

What ends up happening is just the other day, actually we have some campaigns, I pulled out all interest targeting in our Facebook ads and just let the algorithm run, just let the algorithm go in the background.

Parameters for Targeting

So pull that all interest targeting. And I said, here are my parameters for when we start a service business. My parameters are male, female, and then age groups and the age groups are 10-year splits, it’s always 35 to 44, 45 to 54, 55 to 64. Because those are the splits that Facebook reports on. So I use those splits and then I say every male who’s 55 to 64 in the United States who matches my lookalike audience, but that’s it, and then I pulled out all the interests.

There’s no interest targeting whatsoever in these campaigns and just let it run to see what would happen. And the lead cost dropped by 30%. Sale costs, the first sale, the sale, the CPA costs, the cost per acquisition dropped by 45%. So I’m paying 45% less money per sale than I did just letting the algorithms run.

The takeaway here when you start a service business is that you want to target the biggest geographic area you can. So if you’re able to practice law or you’re able to do financial planning for everybody in the State of Pennsylvania, then you should be targeting everybody in the State of Pennsylvania, because right now they’re not coming to your office anyway.

Get them on the phone, sell them on the phone. They’re used to being sold on the phone by now it’s been a month and a half. Generate that lead, get them on the phone, get them on a Zoom call, and work with them that way. It also helps you establish your credibility through case studies and testimonials and stuff too. So that’s something that you want to take a look at, something you want your website to do for you.

Now, one of the things, so I live in Erie, Pennsylvania, one of the things that we in Erie are just waking… Well, most people in Erie are just waking up to is the fact that the world is a really big place. And you can get out into the rest of the world with advertising relatively quickly.

I mean, you can put an ad up and reach the rest of the country with your stuff, which means that for all of your service-based businesses, there’s no reason why you’re just in Erie. There’s no reason why you’re targeting the 25 miles in Erie unless you’re buying houses, or renovating houses or flipping houses, or doing something real estate-related. But even as financial planners and legal and things that have a geographic restriction, then you should still go as big as that geographic restriction is right now.

And then suck all that money into Erie as opposed to using the local community and just trading money. That’s isn’t how you thrive. That’s not the best way to start a service business. Do you know what I mean? And the tools are here, at the end of the day, it ends up being relatively cheap to target all of Pennsylvania and show an ad twice to everybody within a certain geographic or a certain demographic. So go as big as your geographic area will allow and then close them on the phone.

That’s how people are expecting to be closed and talked to now, anyway. Another thing you want to be accessible, so you want to be accessible to your clients. So in your contract, make sure you establish your working times, your communication preferences, phone, email, text, Slack, Skype, and you want to make sure to get referrals.

Referral Campaign

Another component of how to start a service business… Ask your clients for referrals, do a referral campaign for your services once you get a couple of clients in, that’s your warm traffic, it’s you follow on traffic, your followup traffic, I should say. So you have your cold traffic. People who don’t know your target as big as geographically possible, and then your referrals, your existing clients to recommend your services to other people.

At the end of the day, services are going to give you a way to generate significant revenue, but they always come at a time-based cost. So we had an entire week, three or four weeks ago called accelerate, which was how to break free of the time in the money trap.

There is always a top end on services, so no matter what you do, whether it’s coaching, whether it’s consulting, there’s always a time when you end up getting too big or too busy and you can’t make any money. And it might be 10 clients, it might be 12 clients. It might be 50 clients, so you just need to either manage the staff and the workload or you need to manage the service and the clients and there’s always a supply-demand piece.

Even though, I mean, it just depends on what significant revenue is to you. If you’re happy making 40 grand a month and servicing 20 clients who were each paying $2,000, great. That’s awesome. If you have bigger aspirations than that and you want to go to $100,000 a month or whatever, 100, 200, $300,000 a month, then you should probably leverage the service piece, but also include some digital products or coaching or consulting or some other non-time-related offer that you can make as your front side.

So that’s your productized offer and then your customized services on the backside. So there are lots of ways to tie services into your digital business or lead with services. It just depends on what you want to do, how you want to go about it.

Now every service-based client we’ve worked with tends to have a max number of people that they can use, that they can work at the same time. 10, 20 is usually the ceiling. Everybody from coaches to consultants, once they hit that 12 to 15, then they start sacrificing their free time and anything, once they hit 20, then we start having very different conversations.

I mean, the conversations are:

  • How can I work more smartly?
  • How can I work smarter?
  • Should I call them myself?
  • How can I hire a new coach or a new instructor or whatever, and to take some of the burdens and load off me so that I can be the expert and do what I do while somebody else coaches or somebody else does the legal work or does the financial planning?

I can be on the front side, creating the content, doing the dynamic stuff, doing the speaking, being up in front of people. So there are lots of ways to leverage out of a service-based business. You just have to know what to look for and be present enough to realize where everything is going. Do you know what I mean? So if you have 10 clients, you’re happy with 10 clients, and then you establish a waitlist. And then all of a sudden, your waitlist keeps getting longer and longer.

Your clients are staying. Everything is good, your business is literally, it’s perfect if you want your business to be that way. But if you want to grow and you want to add some staff or you want to replace yourself, or you actually, God forbid want to take a vacation, then you’re going to have to do something different to work through that. So, and that might be a product, it might be a product, it might be some sort of service.

Timothy just says… Well good morning, Timothy. He says, “Good morning, great topic.” And you must know your sealing, and you’re happy with what that means on a time revenue level, if not, it’s time to think about products or team building, it’s one of the other, you have to leverage your time and leverage yourself. So it’s just a fact of service-based businesses.

Grow your Team / Product Line

You can grow the team or you can grow your product line, or you can… But there’s going to be sealing somewhere. Does anybody have any questions with services? Anything. So one of the things that came through was how do you sell service? From a sales funnel standpoint, how do you sell services? The best way really to… Here, you know what, I’m going to go into a Google Drive document, show you a sales funnel.

FQL VSL Funnel

So when you start a service business, this is what we call a fully qualified lead sales to funnel. I’ve talked about this thing a lot in other podcasts. If you just look at our channel and look for it FQL or just search for FQL, you will see it. So let me just kick this thing out. All right, now, here we go. All right. So I’m going to stop sharing that screen. I’m going to start sharing the next screen. So that is going to be this…

We call this an FQL VSL funnel. So basically what this is, is it is a sales funnel that… So does this help? I’m trying to see if I can make this any bigger, it might not. It does not. Okay. It might be okay. I think you can see it okay. Yeah. So with this sales funnel basically, we call it an FQL VSL funnel, but FQL stands for fully qualified lead.

This is a perfect sales funnel for a service company. What we’re going to do is we have Facebook traffic that comes in or an email list or retargeting. So a lot of people use Facebook traffic. You can even do Google here. So Google traffic is great from a legal financial standpoint.

This can be Google traffic, Google traffic, Google ads. And then let’s see, it’s going to throw up a little ticker here. So if you guys want me to go through this and do it for you, go to just throwing that up there.

In this FQL VSL funnel, we have Facebook traffic, email traffic, retargeting, and Google. And then from there go into a landing page or an advertorial. So an advertorial is oftentimes a blog post that talks about your services, and it’s usually a case study. So I have lots of examples of this.

You’ll see it in lots of other videos, but so an advertorial might be one particular case study that you knocked it out of the park with. And it’s a written-up case study about how you work with your clients. And then in that case study, there is a link and the link goes to a sales video promo page. So this is a VSL video sales letter. The whole purpose of this page is to get them to click the button below or fill out an application below the video. Then the application, first of all, gives you the data you need to have a good conversation with this person. That’s different based on industry.

I mean, if you’re a financial planner, you might be asking, what retirement accounts do you have? How much savings do you have? How much do you already have invested? What are you looking for? So you get to try to get a good cursory understanding of what this person signs up for. And then you reasonably know how well the call is going to go just by looking through this information. You go to traffic sources here, and then we go over into the landing page or the FQL VSL page. Then from there, and we back it up with email, we go into a scheduling page. The scheduling page is your call scheduling page. That is you’re available on these days, the other person, the prospect signs up for a call.

It shows up on your calendar, and then all you have to do is pick up the phone and call them back. And then depending on the application, there is some sort of a reminder system in there. So it’ll email out three days, before 24 hours before, one hour before the call, just to remind them to show up. This is as simple as a fully qualified lead sales funnel needs to be.

You’re going to generate leads off of this guy. Retargeting from a retargeted ads standpoint, we’ll go from the retargeted ad. Right to the FQLs VSL promo page and get them to sign up. They schedule a call and then they go through the reminder system. If they don’t answer the call, if they don’t schedule the call, whatever, then we usually kick off a nurturing sequence or we send them two additional offers.

In a nutshell, over here, you get somebody searching for legal. Legal, Erie, Pennsylvania. They search, or they see a legal ad, legal work, Erie Pennsylvania, or it’s a video talking about legal work. Then, they hit an advertorial or a landing page from there, they go into, a sales video and then they fill out the form underneath.

They schedule a call with you. And then from a marketing standpoint, that lead is done. I mean, the lead is generated, they’re on the phone with you. Now it’s a sales call, so it’s very simply running a strategy session. Whether it’s scripted or not scripted, we tend not to script. Maybe we’ll talk about phone sales next week. That would be cool. Consultative sales calls. That’s a pretty good idea. I like that idea.

So I’ve been racking my brain with what I’m going to talk about next week. Because we’ve gone through products and funnels and we did a whole week on Facebook traffic. Maybe next week we’ll talk about consultative sales calls for service-based businesses and coaches and staff.

I’ll bring on a couple of guests, that will be sweet. Anyway, you get them on the phone, you talk them through, you ask questions, you talk them through the offer. From there, you close them, you send them a proposal, and go from there.

I think you’re going to learn more about this next week. It sounds like a really good frigging idea for a week-long training session is how to sell somebody on the phone.

All right. It looks like everybody else likes it too. Cool. So I think that about wraps us up for today. I mean, we talked about fully qualified lead funnels. We talked about selling services. I’m going to line up some people for next week to talk about phone sales and Timothy likes it.

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