The other day I was asked how my little startup -- the site you are on right now -- could have earned over $500 in the first month after launch (actually the first two weeks). Mostly since there was virtually no traffic, and obviously, Google isn't ranking anything yet.
Three words: be of service. A term I'm borrowing and expanding upon from the great Seth Godin, and you should read this too -- he puts this into some great words of wisdom.
What can you do for someone?
This is your skill. That thing you think you want to do as a business. It's your idea. Do you write for others? Maybe 3D model product concepts? Can you bring pre-qualified leads into a business?
Perhaps you can cater the best keto lunches anyone has ever seen before.
Whatever your "thing" is, can you do it for someone else? To be of service, you'll have to bring something valuable to the plate.
Think “here, let me help you with that” to come up with service ideas.
Is it of value?
Or, in other words, would someone be willing to pay for it? If so, who would that be? And how do you know they would pay for it? Have you pre-sold your idea already? Have you surveyed?
Hint: be careful of surveys asking people what they think of something and if they'd be willing to pay. People tend to say nice things like, "yea, it sounds great; I'd pay for that." But when the product launches, they're nowhere to be found.
An excellent service will sell itself. The value will be understood immediately -- it'll be like music to their ears. Let's assume you're correct and there is an audience of people eager to pay you for your idea. What next?
Be of service.
It seems easy enough. Be of service means to do something of service for someone else -- usually with the expectation of producing a positive outcome.
Ironically it would help if you imagined you're doing it because you want to do it -- with no expectation of something in return. Though we all know money is necessary in today's age, they will pay for it.
I'm merely referring to the mindset you should have when performing the actions that make up your business endeavor.
Do what you do with the best of intentions in the most superior, most respectable way you can that also considers how you might surprise your client in ways they didn't expect.
Imagine how it would feel.
If you want to know you're of service, you could ask your clients for feedback. It would be best if you did that. And on the topic of feedback, if you want the best feedback to help you refine your content workflows -- check out my unique feedback service.
Here's an exercise I think you should try: imagine how it would feel if you were the client using your service.
Is it easy to sign up? Is there little hassle to get started? Do you work autonomously? Do your results make a real impact on the business or the lives of the client?
How might you improve the overall experience?
Okay, I would have ended this guide in the previous section, but I got to thinking. There's something else that will help grow your service business -- polish, "hands-offedness," and fringe extras.
A spectacularly high level of polish.
This is hard to have right away, but over time you should seek to make all your processes and interactions with your client the smoothest they have ever experienced.
Look for ways almost to predict what they need next and prepare before they're even ready to ask.
Make it as hands-off as possible for them.
If your service can bring about the outcome they seek with minimal communications beyond the initial request as possible, you've got a winner on your hands.
Business owners and entrepreneurs of all walks of life are busy. If they can become confident your service will help them reach their goal without a lot of hands-on hassle, they'll ❤️ you.
If you can do it at substantial value savings for them, they'll ❤️❤️ you.
Bring some fringe benefits they didn't expect.
This is the icing on the cake, of course, and in some niches, there isn't much you can bring outside of your service. But think of ways you can bring one extra step of service to your client.
You can save this until the end of the project with them to end on a high note. But what is one thing they didn't expect you to do for them? You didn't ask; you just went ahead and did it anyway?
Not a gift like leaving a bottle of wine on their desk or a slick t-shirt shows up in their mail. No, something along the lines of the service that adds just a bit more to help them reach their goals faster (or maybe a bit beyond what they initially thought they could achieve).
Be a magician for them. Be of service.