Congratulations! You have a new service that you’re excited to share with the world. You want to help people, and you have a clear idea of how you want to help them. (If that’s not you, check out 9 Good Business Types You Need to Consider Starting). This blog post will walk you through six steps of how to launch a new service successfully!
(I’m assuming you already know where and how you’ll find your new clients. If not, no worries! Miranda Nahmias has an amazing resource called The 5-Day Client Challenge. I really like how she provides step-by-step guidance on how to find clients for your business.)
If you know your service and you know your audience, read on for tips on how to launch a new service.
How to Launch a New Service in Just Six Steps
Pre-launch: Getting to Know the Key Players
As a business owner, you know that your service offerings don’t exist in a vacuum. (If they did, you’d have no one to sell to!)
Before you can announce your new exciting service to your audience, you have to know two things about them, and two things about your business:
- Identify your ideal client. Who do you help?
- What are their pain points. What problems do you help them with?
- Competition. What do they provide for your ideal client?
- Unique Value Proposition. What makes you the obvious choice for your ideal client?
Let’s break this process down step-by-step.
Know Your Audience:
Many of you have already completed step one — if you have an audience and you know who they are, you know who you help.
Whether you’re an established service provider or a newbie, go ahead and write a description of your ideal client — her profession, age, personality, desires, and goals.
When you have these specific identifiers in mind while marketing (more on that, below), it’s easier for your ideal client to see herself in your message.
Before we move on, you must identify your ideal client’s pain points — specifically, what problems is she dealing with that your service is designed to help her with?
Write down a detailed description of what keeps her up at night. This doesn’t have to be long; even a few well-thought-out sentences will go a long way in helping solidify your marketing message.
Before you launch a new service, you must know yourself, grasshopper.
Know Your Competition:
Why are we starting with your competition if your goal is self-awareness? Because before you can identify and communicate your strengths as a service provider, you need to know who you’re up against.
If you’re having trouble identifying your competition, consider this: does your ideal client have any other options to get what they need?
I bet they do. Consider your ideal client’s problem and who they might hire to help them. That’s your competition.
Once you’ve identified 3–5 competitors, take a look at their website, blog and social media presence. Write down words or phrases that stand out to you. What’s their tagline? What’s their purpose? (Verbs tell you what they’re doing; adjectives tell you how they’re doing it.)
In this exercise, you’re learning two things:
- How your competition is winning business with their marketing messages.
- Your gut reaction:
- What doesn’t resonate with you?
- How would you describe what you do differently from your competitors?
Once you can answer these questions, you’re on your way to developing a solid marketing message that separates you from the competition!
Know Your Business:
This brings us to your Unique Value Proposition. At this stage, you can identify your ideal client and your competition.
You’re also beginning to develop your own messaging about your service offerings. You know who you help and you know they have options to meet their needs.
The question you need to be able to answer is: why will they choose to work with you over your competitors?
If you’re feeling a mental block about identifying what makes your business unique, let’s address that right now.
Instead of feeling intimidated by the competition, think of your marketing this way: you want to be able to describe your way of doing business so that clients who are naturally drawn to what you offer will be able to find out about what you do!
Kim T. Gordon said it well in Entrepreneur magazine: “The bottom line is that your product or service ‘bundle’ should be unique and meet the needs and desires of your best prospects.”
Even if you offer the same services you see advertised by dozens of people (or more!) on Pinterest or Facebook, clients who purchase your services get to work with YOU.
Get clear on why you do what you do, and your best prospects will be drawn to you.
How to Launch a New Service — Marketing Your Way to Success
Now that we’ve identified your ideal client, your competitors’ marketing messages and your Unique Value Proposition, we’re ready to begin your launch phase!
There are three areas to consider when launching your new service:
- Content Marketing — your blog and email list
- Social Media — prepare your audience for your new service launch
- Customer Service — ensure you are prepared to work with more clients
Let’s dive in to how to launch your new service!
When launching a new service, it’s important to introduce it to your audience over a series of blog posts and emails.
Your pre-launch marketing builds interest and excitement for your new service before you’ve even started offering it. This way, you’ll sell more service bundles right out of the gate. (No one likes to launch to the sound of crickets!)
The bloggers at Salesforce are well aware of the business benefits of blogging:
“[Blogging is] a great way to create a brand identity, reach out to potential consumers, and create much-needed awareness for your brand, your product, and what it entails.”
The timing of your content marketing depends on how long you need to prepare your new service offerings.
For example, suppose it will take you two months to build a new course offering. You can begin building your audience’s expectations by dropping hints about your course in your blog posts or emails, starting now.
When determining how much time you need for pre-launch marketing, consider whether it costs you money to maintain your service once it’s up and running. If you need to invest in software, subcontractors or other resources to carry out your services, it’s a good idea to wait until you’ve done some marketing before you make those investments.
Of course, you’re the business owner, this is your business and it’s up to you. Think about what you need to have in place to make this a successful launch.
Your goal is to pick a launch date, and time your marketing efforts and your administrative prep work to come together on that date.
Your social media presence is a vital tool in your new service launch.
When you share blog posts about your new service on your Facebook or Pinterest business pages, you’ll expand your audience reach. Updating each of your social media platforms prior to your launch date will spark people’s interest in your new service.
It’s also worthwhile to spend time interacting with people on social media and it takes less time than you think.
Make a plan to spend 30 minutes each day commenting on group pages. Ask thoughtful questions to start conversations related to your service area and respond to comments, mentions, and direct messages.
If you feel excited to reach out to people and talk about your new service, it will show in your marketing and people will take notice.
Before we wrap up, let’s look at how to prepare for an influx in clients.
Obviously, when you launch a new service and get new clients, you’ll be providing customer service to them. But I want to make sure we cover this topic so you are prepared for the smoothest transition into offering your new service.
We’ve all heard the metaphor for self-care that goes: put your oxygen mask on first and then help someone else.
This translates to your business as: You must meet your needs before you can meet the needs of your clients. Otherwise, you’ll run out of steam and burn out quickly.
Rather than let that happen, we’re going to be proactive about taking care of you first.
Let’s consider what needs to happen for YOU to have a successful launch.
Think about or write your answers to these questions:
- How many hours per week will you need to devote to this new endeavor when you launch? What about in six months? In a year?
- How much energy will this new service require? Will you offer other services at the same time?
- What responsibilities do you have outside of work? How do you take care of yourself? Do you care for children, a partner, a parent? Pets? Are you responsible for taking care of your living space? Do you prepare meals for anyone other than yourself?
- How much exercise do you currently get? Will that change at all after the launch?
These questions are about your personal life, and that’s intentional.
You need to be aware of your needs and how they are being met (or need to be met) before you consider offering yourself and your services to help others.
And here’s why:
Imagine you receive an urgent call or email from a new client. They need you because something is wrong. Maybe they’re in a panic because their website is down or they noticed an error in something you did for them. And they need you to fix it – now.
How will you handle this situation? Maybe you take a deep breath, listen to your client’s problem and work on the solution right then and there.
Or, maybe you need to find a compromise or even push back if your client is being unreasonable and crossing your boundaries.
How you handle the situation is up to you — you’re the business owner.
The question is, are you putting things in place so that you can get your needs met and then be able to respond appropriately, even when your client is upset?
If the situation I described above makes you feel stressed, take the time to put self-care practices into place. Time spent exercising, being in nature or with people you love will go a long way in nurturing your creativity.
Launching a new service requires commitment and consistency. Following the six steps outlined above will lay the groundwork for your successful service launch.
You now know how to launch a new service. You’ve located your business and services within the larger marketplace, prepared marketing content, reached out to prospective clients and set up systems of self-care.
With this six-step approach to launching your new service, you’re set up for a big win! Go get ‘em!