Quite often when starting out in a virtual business (and contracting your services in general), we are faced with the dilemma of knowing what services we should offer potential clients.
What services should you market yourself as offering?
What services do you not want to offer at all?
And, what services are just simply outside of your skillset and experience?
To come to a space where you have several key service areas you can focus on, it’s a great idea to write out a list of ALL of the skills you can do, or have done throughout your professional experiences.
That list will be different for each of us and dependent upon past roles.
Think of all of the tasks you have done over the years – write them all out.
From there, put a mark next to those tasks you actually enjoy doing. After all, just because you CAN do something (but maybe don’t enjoy it), doesn’t mean you HAVE to offer that in your list of services. Building your own business means that you get to choose tasks that ‘light you up’ inside. And market yourself as offering those things.
Next, segregate those tasks into Service Areas.
Ideally, narrowing down to 2-4 Service Areas is your goal.
Too many and you run the risk of appearing a ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’.
Too few and you may have such a narrow offering that it doesn’t appeal to potential clients.
Of course, it’s a great idea to identify things you would like to learn and add to your service offerings in good time – being an Activated Lifelong Learner is a big part of having an Entrepreneurial Mindset.
However initially stick to what you know and do well.
Ultimately, the most important thing is remaining committed to your integrity – knowing what you CAN and CAN’T do. Offering services you have no experience in is a recipe for disaster and leads to broken client relationships and unhappy clients, and stress and anxiety for you both. Essentially? It undermines your professionalism.
So what happens if a client asks you to do something you have no experience doing?
Tell them it’s not something you’ve done before.
If it’s something that interests you, or has been on your list of things you would love to learn – have the conversation with them. Give them the option of allowing you to learn ‘on the job’ so to speak, or to find an expert in that field.
Whatever you do, don’t say you can do tasks you can’t – and then go and ask others how to do them (especially others you don’t know).
Sometimes the utter desperation of securing your first client can see you compromise yourself by agreeing to take on things that are out of your depth.
Put that desperation to bed, be brave and have the conversation with your client (or potential client) so that they can make educated decisions.
Honesty, Integrity and Transparency are key values that will help you build your client base and business – stay true to those.