Service Providers :: Resource Guide
On this page you'll find access to resources specifically for entrepreneurs who offer services (like coaching, VA work, copywriting, or anything where you're providing service directly to your customer)
- Tech Tools
- Marketing resources
- Tips on leveraging the work you've already done (including re-purposing content)
- Events/Workshops you may want to participate in to help you achieve your goals faster
Overview of Service Based
In many ways having a service based business is the easiest way to get started. Plus, there are huge rewards to starting out as service based because you have the opportunity to find out where your skills truly are & if you keep your eyes and ears open the experiences will lead you to creating group programs or products, to leverage the work your doing in your service based business.
The tools & tips below will help you in setting up your service based business.
You'll need a few important elements to create a seamless booking experience with potential clients (especially if you're offering some kind of coaching). If you're work involves taking on new projects that you'll work on later (freelance work) then you might be able to skip this step & stick with a email correspondence instead. Early on it would be good for you to create some type of CRM system to keep track of leads (people who may be interested, but not yet ready to buy). It doesn't need to be fancy, but something that will make it easier for you as you get busy.
- Create a professional email address: don't use a personal hotmail address like [email protected], but something like [email protected] works to keep things professional. Gmail works great because it integrates with so many other platforms. You can also use one that's set up with your domain name. Just make sure it's a domain that you will want to use long term (I've had ones that didn't auto-renew & it created a mess)
- Scheduling Tools: Some have payment systems, some work really well with gmail calendars. Check out Acuity, youcanbook.me , Scheduleonce.com,Schedulicity.com, TimeTrade.com
- Client Calls: Google Hangouts (private, maximum 10 people), Skype Group (private, maximum 10 people), GoToMeetings (paid, max 10), FreeConferenceCallHD.com
- Email Management: Mailchimp, Aweber, GetResponse, Benchmark
- Online file storage (cloud storage): Copy.com, Dropbox.com, Box.net
- Sharing worksheets & handouts (PDF): see my post on lifehack “20+ tools to create a simple ebook“, and my tutorial “how to write an ebook for free“, creatingfillable PDF's
- Video Communication: Create quick video tutorials or communication with Jing, Screencast-o-matic or Screenflow (Mac only)
- Real Life Networking:
- Join online groups/forums: Facebook, Google+, Twitter Chats, LinkedIn groups, Life & Biz Academy
- Guest Posting: Where to submit guest blog posts Resource Guide
- JV – Joint Venture Opportunities: through online groups, online communities
- Social Media: Hootsuite, Social Oomph, BufferApp
- Invoicing System: Freshbooks, Satoriapp.com, Paypal invoices
- CRM – Customer Relationship Manager: simple versions with Rapportive, Contactually & gmail. Or Insightly, BaseCRM or Streak.com
- Freshbooks will send out automatic reminders. If you're using another system, setting up reminders in your google calendar with “canned response” email drafts can help make this process easier.
- Great report here: http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2006/06/28/streamline-your-collections/
- Great ebook (free) on Freelance mindset & pricing http://breakingthetimebarrier.freshbooks.com/
One of the paid tools for coaching that could really streamline everything for you is Satori and vCita. Both have an easy system for people to book initial intake sessions, plus follow up sessions & payments. Satori also includes templates for contracts and some additional structure for the way your coaching practice is run. It's priced a little higher too. Take a look at both before deciding to go with the completely free options. If either of these would save you $50/mo of your own admin time, then upgrade to a paid tool.