How do you know when it’s time to start offering that new client service you’ve been thinking about? Or what do you do when a client or prospect asks you if you can do this other thing you’ve never done before? Here’s a step-by-step process for figuring out if now is the right time.
When YOU want to expand your services
If you’re still only thinking about branching out and offering new services, there are 3 things you can do:
- study up on the new service (for example, case studies or social media)
- write up a sample (a practice one to put in your portfolio)
- talk to other people who do that service to get a better idea if it’s something you like
If you feel ready to dive in and offer a new service, there are 3 other things you can do:
- let your current and past clients know this is a service you’re moving into (maybe extend a special rate for their first time)
- mention it to friends
- offer it in other entrepreneur groups in exchange for a discount
Do get full price if you can, but it’s not a bad thing to do your first one for a low rate. This helps you both to practice AND to see if this service is something that people really want. Read my post “Should You Accept Low Pay For The Experience?” for more details.
When someone asks you to provide them with a new client service
If it’s more of a situation when someone comes to you and asks you for an additional service, you need to do some careful weighing (and fast!). Time is not on your side with this one. Off to research you go.
Here are 4 questions to ask yourself which will help you decide if you want to give them this additional feature or not.
Do I have the bandwidth to fit this in and offer a decent turnaround time?
See if you can get a sense for how long it takes to actually deliver this service. You need to figure out what the going pay rate is and if it’s worth your time for you to give that service for that amount.
What could I do if I get stuck?
Do you have any courses or resources that touch on this new service? If not, you can do a quick search or ask around for recommendations for learning how to do it. Do you know people? Are there lots of YouTube resources? Is there a course you could get in a pinch?
What’s the potential payoff, and is that worth the amount of time and effort needed to figure it out?
TIP: keep an eye on how complex it is. If you’re already writing Facebook posts and the client wants you to do Instagram and LinkedIn posts, that’s not a complex shift. But if they want to know if you can actually build a sales page in addition to writing copy, that’s a different skill set and will require more time and energy to figure out.
Aside from learning how to use any specific tools, gauge where your basic skill level is. For example, if you have an eye for page design and you’ve tweaked WordPress templates before but you’ve never used a page builder, you’re further ahead than someone who hasn’t done any design yet.
Do I even want to do this?
This is so important. Even if you have positive responses to the other questions, if your gut tells you that you really don’t want to provide this client service right now, then don’t. You are in charge of your business!
If you do take the job, realize you’re in over your head, and there’s no way you can figure out how to do this well within an appropriate time frame, the best thing you can do is talk to other people. Talk to other writers or other service providers. Put posts in a group like mine, The Ink Well Guild, which is my free group for freelance writers on Facebook. Lay out the situation and ask for help to decide whether you need to refund and be done with it, hire help, or keep plugging away (and possibly get an extension).
You can find us on Facebook, or you can go to theinkwellguild.com and that’ll take you straight there. I’d love it if you joined us and hung out with us!