What types of services are selling the best this year? That’s the topic I’d like to talk about today. If I were starting over with my business and had to make money quickly, I’d focus most of my efforts on selling online services. Even if you don’t have a website, you can get started almost immediately by setting up a profile on a selling platform like fiverr.com.
Obviously, there are pros and cons to selling on a platform someone else owns and controls. That’s why I said, “If I were starting over with my business AND had to make money quickly…”
Although I’m not starting over, I’ve had to make changes over the last two decades to remain relevant and profitable. You will, too, over time. No matter what stage your business is in, you can really benefit from the existence of services like Fiverr when it comes to doing market research.
Also, if you’re interested in possibly testing a new service offering out, Fiverr is an attractive option. Why? Because it lets you test your idea without going “all-in” and rolling it out with your existing business.
For example, let’s say I wanted to offer copywriting services of some kind. With my existing business, I’d have to set up a sales page. I’d have to see if there was any interest in the service with my existing clients. I might have to target a different market altogether. In other words, it’s a lot of work. It’s going to take some time. On top of it all, what if a month later I decided the service wasn’t a good fit my business? Then what?
With Fiverr, it can be as simple as using existing profiles and pricing to model your own Fiverr profile and pricing. You can create Gig (a Fiverr sales offer) and be open for business quickly. If a month down the line you decide it’s not a service you want to pursue long-term, you can either pause or delete the offer entirely.
Recently, I heard a voice-over artist talk about how he got started on Fiverr within about 30-minutes. Basically, he copied the descriptions and the pricing from several of the top voice-over gigs on Fiverr. Then, he took the best elements of all three and copied and pasted them into his own gig. He did the same with the pricing.
He was averaging about 4k a month by his third month.
Offers and Traffic
If you broke a service business down to the lowest common denominators, you’d be left with offers and traffic. You have to make an offer available and you have to get that offer in front of as many people as possible – month after month.
When you start thinking about your business in this light, it changes how you see things. For example, if I want a lot of people to see my offer on social media, I have to buy ads. I can’t depend on viral exposure because the system is designed to keep organic reach to a minimum.
On a platform like Fiverr, the traffic problem is solved right out of the gate. In a way, their fees cover the expense of getting eyeballs on your offers.
Amazon works the same way for product sellers. With Amazon, the traffic problem is also solved. It’s much easier focusing on creating better offers when site traffic is no longer an issue that consumes your time and energy.
Low Cost vs Premium
So far, so good. But we all know people don’t go to places like Amazon and Fiverr with the expectation of paying premium prices. If anything, people are expecting better deals on these platforms. I agree with this assessment completely. This is why I look at Fiverr as either a testing point or starting ground for most people.
That said, there are exceptions to this rule, too. A few years ago, Forbes did a piece on three people who were making six-figures a year on Fiverr. It would definitely be worth your time to check out the article when you have a few minutes to spare.
The path from lower profits to higher profits seems to be the natural progression for most people. If you think about your life experience in general, that’s basically the way it works. Young adults take entry-level positions that pay less.
Think about the progression, though. Think about how it works and why. Let me sum it up with two words.
Reputation & Experience.
If you’re going to build a reputation, consider where you’re building it. A reputation in one market, location, or on one platform is all it takes. As you continue to prove yourself, your reputation grows accordingly. So does your experience.
Yes, some reputations are more smoke and mirrors than anything else. We’re talking about the service industry, however. It’s hard to fake it when it comes to providing a service. You can either get it done or you can’t. There is very little in-between.
What Services Are Selling this Year?
Okay, for whatever reason, I chose Fiverr as a platform to concentrate on as it pertains to the selling of online services, generating traffic, etc. I could have just as easily used freelancer.com. peopleperhour.com, guru.com, or upwork.com. I did a quick search and as of this writing, Fiverr is the most popular site in this group as far as traffic goes.
Here’s a list of their top selling services – this year.
- Video Marketing
- Website Building
- Mobile App Development
- Business copywriting
If we take the approach of focusing on selling what people are buying, what would we be selling this year? We’d be selling video marketing services, web development services, mobile app development, and business copywriting. I believe #5 was graphic design?
According to Fiverr, the demand for video services has climbed sharply, increasing by 58% between the first quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018. This includes video and animation services, promoting videos on social networks, product demonstration videos, etc.
The requests for product demonstration videos have increased by over 100%. Video marketing services are now the highest-paying gigs on the platform. Freelancers charge between $300 to $18,000 per project.
Video services include live action, “talking-head” explainer videos, animated explainer videos, whiteboard videos, video testimonials, and shorter video advertisements.
Some sellers offer social video content, video ad campaigns, video SEO, consultations, market research, and other specialty services involving video.
Below is the pricing breakdown for the other top selling services.
(Price per Gig from low-end to high-end)
Website building, $100-$3,000
Mobile app development, $300-$3,000
Search and display marketing, $100-$2,000
There are plenty of other services that sell really well, too. This isn’t an exhaustive list.
Transitioning from Ideas on Paper to Bank Deposits in Real Life
I enjoy sifting through the sales data. Sometimes I can identify certain patterns. It’s like getting a glimpse of the future. It’s easy to romanticize the whole process in your mind. Before you know it, you see yourself “soaring with the eagles.” You have an idea and the idea brings with it a certain amount of energy and anticipation.
On the other hand, once we open the package and spread out the parts in real time – suddenly, it doesn’t seem quite as easy anymore. There’s suddenly more work to it than you thought there might be. It’s going to take some time and some focused work and effort to where you want to be.
If you’ve been through this process yourself, you’re not a stranger to the emotional highs and lows that come with doing something new.
It’s like eating a sweet dessert. It tastes great, but you can’t live on that kind of food.
For me, if I make the decision to move forward, I mentally prepare for the hardest work of my life. I have to be ready to cross deserts, fight monsters, and not see the sunlight for weeks at a time.
I’m speaking metaphorically, of course, but you get the picture.
If I’m not prepared for RESISTANCE going in, it’s easy to get blindsided by it. That’s been my experience. Yours may be different? If the resistance doesn’t come, and that’s happened on occasion, at least I was ready.
Recalculating Your Value in Today’s Market
Okay, we’ve been looking at platforms that solve the traffic problem. For the sake of clarity, I zeroed in on Fiverr. The other day, I read the stories of a few people who were making five-figures a month on the platform. If you are math challenged, that’s at least $10k or $10,000 a month.
In other words, we’re not talking about the cheap, sometimes crappy, Fiverr of 2010 anymore. A lot has changed since then.
In most markets, businesses adapt slowly to change. There are a few exceptions. For example, in the digital marketing circles, video caught on quickly. So did social media. Local businesses usually move forward, however, at a much slower pace. It’s easy to understand why, too.
Most experienced business owners look at new things with a healthy dose of skepticism. It gets expensive quickly if you want to be an early adapter with all the new things that come down the line.
If you jump on a new trend just because it’s a new trend, and you encourage your clients to do the same, you can ruin your reputation quickly. In 2015, a lot of marketers jumped on the Periscope service. They encouraged their subscribers and clients to do the same.
Today, you hardly ever hear anyone mentioning the service anymore. That’s just one example, but there are many others.
Think “Evergreen” Services That Stand the Test of Time
Between your local market, your personal experience, and the data collected from online selling platforms like Fiverr, you can get a good idea about what’s selling and what’s not.
You can get a glimpse of shifts taking place in real time. That doesn’t mean you have to react to everything that comes your way. It doesn’t mean you’ll have to reconsider your business model every few months. It does mean you’ll be able to see the big picture much clearer.
It’s easier to identify services that have a better chance of standing the test of time when you realize what general direction the market is heading in. Think “evergreen.”
Evergreen is a term I’ve become very familiar with here in Florida. My dad used to enjoy planted flowers around the front of the house. Then it got to be too much work.
The problem was, the sun is so intense for most of the year, the really attractive looking flowers didn’t last very long. He spent just as much time digging up dried up flowers as he did planting new ones. Eventually, the investment outweighed the return and he decided to plant evergreens that would last all year long.
You can apply this approach to business. Some services are evergreen and some just don’t stand the test of time.
What About Branding?
You may be wondering how selling a service on a platform like Fiverr will affect your personal branding? Like most things, there are cons to balance the pros. Popularity on one platform doesn’t guarantee popularity anywhere else beyond that platform. They’re two different things. In my opinion, it’s important to build a strong, personal brand.
That said, it takes time.
If you need money yesterday, it makes sense to do business on an established platform that has the traffic already built into it.
YouTube is a good example. Some channels have huge followings – but their popularity doesn’t follow them off the platform to their “home” websites. If something changes on YouTube, they could potentially lose their income overnight. You’ll always have more control with your own platform than you will anywhere else.
How Many Services Should You Offer?
If you’re just starting out, I wouldn’t start with more than two. If you can sell the service and good reviews on a platform like Fiverr or Upwork, then you can do the same thing in your local market. In your local market, you’ll probably enjoy higher profit margins, too.
It’s tempting to offer a whole bunch of services, especially when you consider all the automated tools that are out there to help you.
Just remember, focused effort is a critical component no matter what type of business you’re trying to build. Time and focus are needed to build a successful sales and marketing process. If you have a small business and don’t have a sales team in place, it will be much easier for you to market and sell one or two services instead of several.
If you do have other services you just can’t let go of, they can always be sold as add-ons after onboarding a new client.
When I first sat down to write this piece, I thought, “How does this topic fit into my ‘less moving parts’ approach to online business?”
In practice, you have to sift through a lot of moving parts to determine which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of. I’ve found, however, it’s in the “getting rid of” stage that real clarity and focus are gained.
You’ll always get more done by narrowing your focus to a few things than you will juggling several different things. I hope that helps you!
Thanks for reading and feel free to share your thoughts below –