At least once a week I hear or read someone say “OMG the done-for-you service-provider market is so saturated, there’s not enough room for me”.
And I always answer the same way. “True, the market IS saturated because the barrier-to-entry is so low and anyone can show up and start a business online in 2.2 seconds. But do you want to know what the market ISN’T saturated with? HIGH QUALITY service providers”.
And y’all. That’s the truest truth I’ve ever truthed ;).
Go spend a minute in an online entrepreneurial Facebook group and ask people for their service-provider experiences. Most will say they’ve been through a whole handful of horror stories before finally finding their unicorn.
Saturated market? Yes.
Saturated with high-quality providers? Obviously not.
If you’re one of those service providers you’re probably now thinking one of the following:
How do I know if I’m a high-quality provider?
What skills does a high-quality provider have?
How do I get those skills so I can be a unicorn?
And per usual, I’ve got your back on this one.
First, I need you understand that your potential clients are looking to hire you for 1 of 2 reasons.
They either don’t have the time to do the tasks they need done, or they don’t have the knowledge. Time-lack or knowledge-lack. Legit, that’s it. So, if you can help your clients to solve those two issues….you’re golden pony girl.
And after you do, you’ll have set yourself apart from your competition and end up creating ravings fans who send leads flying in your door faster than you can say “I’ll take another bottle of Veuve, please”. I know, because this is the exact method I used to build my VA and later OBM business to 10K+ months and a team of 8 contractors with minimal marketing.
So, how do you solve your client’s issue of time and knowledge lack to set yourself apart from the competition every.single.time?
By being resourceful AF. Not quite sure what I mean?
Here are my favorite 3 Ways to Be Resourceful AF to Set You Apart From Your Competition.
#1. Develop a FIO Mindset
The best team members are the ones who are going to do everything in their power to do their job WITHOUT you. They’re resourceful AF and you can always count on them to turn their brain on instead of punting and asking YOU to do the heavy lifting.
What I just described above is having a high FIO score…aka FIGURE IT OUT score.
Think back to a recent challenge that came up while working on a client project. If you didn’t know how to finish the job, did you turn to the internet, ask your friends in the online space or contact customer support to figure it out yourself? Or did you go back to your client and say “sorry, Charlie…can’t do this one…it’s back on you?”
If you did the first, you officially have a high FIO score. Hooray! Virtual high five!
If you did the second, don’t stress. Likely, you didn’t know any better. But now you do! And if you want to end up being an invaluable part of your client’s team (and other clients, too) start raising your FIO score ASAP.
#2. Become a Master at Google-Fu
Do you know what Google-Fu is? It’s one of my favorite skills to teach online-service providers about. Here’s the definition:
Urban Dictionary says google-fu is the ability to use Google with zen-like prowess.
By now, you already know being a high-quality service provider in the online space is all about being resourceful AF. There are constantly new features, new technologies and new trends so it’s safe to say you will never know it all. BUT…if you build your Google-fu muscle and learn how to figure things out for yourself instead of either a. asking your client how to do the task (y’all this is why they are paying you!) or b. throwing your hands up in the air because you don’t know the thing, you’ll become a resourceful queen and have your clients singing your praises ASAP.
If you’re faced with a challenge and you don’t know the answer, get to Googlin’.
#3. Pick Solutions > Problems
So let’s say you’ve done #1 and #2, but you STILL can’t find the fix to a problem for a client. First, it’s OK! As long as you’ve done your due diligence to resolve the issue yourself it’s OK to bring it back to the client. However, the way you bring it back to the client will make all the difference.
Instead of saying “hey, I can’t make this work so you’re SOL”, do a bit more digging so you can instead say “hey I can’t make this work but here’s a suggestion of another way we can accomplish the end goal”.
Remember, your client’s biggest pain point is lack of time or lack of knowledge (and often both). Plopping the issue back on their lap doesn’t help them with either of those issues, but finding an alternative way to achieve the goal DOES!
At the end of the day, your job as a done-for-you service provider is to make your client’s lives easier by doing the things they don’t have time to do, that they also don’t know how to do. When you remember this and make sure you’re always helping your client to solve these two issues, you’ll keep clients longer and have to market yourself less because your client’s will sing your praises for you!