If you provide services via your blog, your Services (or ‘Hire Me’) page is the most important destination for visitors. It is where you convert. It is where someone turns from a casual browser or semi-interested prospect into a client.
Whilst your whole blog can serve as an advert for your services (such is the beauty of content marketing), your Services page is where you get the opportunity to sell yourself without fear of it being perceived as too overbearing.
To an extent, what you choose to include on your page is down to personal preference. However, there are a few elements that I consider key, and in this post I am going to offer up my suggestions as to how your Services page should come together.
Focus on Benefits, Not Services
On a fundamental level, prospects are on your Services page because they are at least curious about what you have to offer.
But what they are really looking for is a positive end result. With that in mind, your Services page should focus on how you can benefit the prospect, not what services you offer.
For instance, don’t lead with “At WordPress Wonders we build WordPress sites for small businesses”. Instead, say something like “At WordPress Wonders we create online destinations that boost businesses’ bottom lines”. Prospective clients may say they want a website, but when it comes down to it, they want to make more money. Therefore, that is what you should focus on.
Make sure that your copy offers up clear and quantifiable benefits that you are able to deliver upon. Whilst you will of course want to make clear exactly what you offer a service, you should lead with benefits.
Include Unique Selling Propositions (USPs)
Ask yourself one simple question — what do you offer that separates you from the crowd? You should (hopefully) have one or more answers.
Your USPs don’t have to be huge — a graphic designer might offer unlimited revisions, or a plugin developer might guarantee a 24 hour response on all emails. But you must give people a reason to pick you above all the other options.
You have led with benefits, which is a great start, but what about all of the other companies that are promising those same benefits? You have to raise your game by offering up the unique reasons as to what prospective clients need not look elsewhere.
Don’t Bother with Rates (if You Can Help It)
For the part I would not advise that you reveal how much you charge for your services.
Why? Because it removes your ability to tailor your price to fit the client. No two jobs are alike, and supply and demand dictates that your rate will fluctuate depending upon circumstances. For instance, you may find that a client’s budget is in excess of what you would typically charge, and can adjust your rate to suit. That would not be possible if you had published your rate on your Services page.
If you feel that it would be particularly detrimental to not publish your rate, you should do what makes you feel comfortable. But do consider the freedom that a “hidden rate” gives you when it comes to pricing for work.
Evidence of Your Abilities
I don’t care how well you sell yourself — if people can’t see what you’re capable of, they’re not likely to engage with you.
Therefore, you must include a selection of past projects on your Services page. This could be screenshots from a website design, previous logos you’ve worked on, content snippets if you are a writer, and so on. But they must be easily accessible (and ideally previewable) from your Services page.
Furthermore, you should include a selection of the best testimonials you have received from clients. I would advise that you include headshot thumbnails alongside each one too, as these make the testimonials seem more “real” than simply words on a screen.
Means of Contact
You will of course have a contact page on your blog, but there’s no reason not to make contacting you as easy as possible for your prospect.
With that in mind, I would close off your Services page with an email address and a contact form. I recommend that you give both options because people tend to have their own individual preferences. Some people like the convenience of a contact form, whilst others (like me) want to contact people via their own email client. There’s no reason why you can’t cater to both groups.
What Does Your Services Page Look Like?
Are you a freelancer or business owner with a Services page? Please feel free to share links to your page in the comments section, and also share any tips that you have!
Creative Commons images courtesy of Mike Cattell, Unhindered by Talent, Pink Sherbet Photography and Monica’s Dad
Focus on benefits is always key….gives the copy a whole different flavour and approach, I really do think nothing beats a good copywriter though, even if they do cost a lot of money, then tend to pay for theirselves many many times over.
Hey Tom, it’s good to be here.
Wow! What a great tutorial this is. I was perplexed about the current situation of my Hire Me page. I mean its blankness. And so I decided upon searching for ways to make it filled when I came across your great post.
This post has been able to clear my mind and as well put me in the very better position to scribble out contents on my Hire me page.
Thanks for sharing it boss and I will make sure to come back again. 🙂
Hey Sam, thanks! Really glad you found it so useful 🙂
Tom, I’m going to have to agree with Mike on the rates thing. For me it’s a must because I have standardized packages. That way my clients can choose what fits their needs and not have any budget surprises.
And I agree with you about emphasizing the benefits. It’s not about the hours I spend with my clients. It’s the super high value of what I bring them in those hours of things they can do that actually works. That keeps me from concerning myself with folks just comparing rates. I make it more about what they can accomplish.
Good information. My site is kind of a mess to be honest with you. I mean it functions well (mostly) and it looks okay. The mess is the lack of clarity and structure of the site. It has kind of evolved on its own. It wasn’t intended to be a promotional site for my business. I moved it from another place, and thought I would “stick” it here and work on it when I had time. But suddenly I had followers! The site had many pages. The main one was focused on my two primary educational divisions; one is a one-one specialized reading intervention/support tutorial program for struggling readers, K-3 grades. The other is an online ESL, English tutoring services aimed at international high school age students preparing to take the TOEFL At the same time, I had pages about ethics, morals, good business practices, etc. It ended up tying in with my entries on the main sites, mostly having to do with the sad state of our schools, the reality of how our kids are really turning out and why, etc. Again, more sharing my experience as an educator and consultant. I became so frustrated, I took up a private practice and devote myself to finding the best, most powerful ways to reach my students, and I back it up with great research and results A tad bit unconventional, using critical thinking, character building, study skills and brain training to teach my content and I think, even more importantly, life skills, personal responsibility and true self esteem. It works. All my work revolves around these types of themes, and I guess it strikes a nerve with people. I am tightening things up, but would love to do something along the lines of advocate, researcher, provider of tools to help people improve their lives, so I will store this article away and put some thought into it.
So, Mike, what do you think about a combination of the two approaches? Rates for “productized” services, and then a “disclaimer” statement that every project is different and if you’re looking for “custom” work, that’s do-able but it doesn’t fit into a “productized” category and will therefore necessitate a consultation and proposal. In much simpler language and terms than I just used, of course. 😉
Yes, of course. My reason to post was to emphasize the value of productizing and publishing prices not to challenge the appropriateness the of “call for pricing” model for appropriate cases. So yes very much think they can coexist; in many cases it’s the best approach: “Here are our 3 priced offerings but call us for custom consulting.”
Hope this helps.
Thanks for the response, Mike. I figured as much, but I was looking for clarification for folks that might still be trying to figure it all out.
Tom, Great post, as usual.
But I disagree with the point about Rates, but only for some people. For those whose favorite thing to do is work on something completely new for every new client I think your advice is spot on, especially designers who love to create a unique design per client.
However for the person more focused on growing a business vs. just freelancing it really helps to start “productizing” offerings and publishing prices for those offerings. So while it’s not “rates” per se published pricing for productized offerings has the following benefits:
1.) It makes it easy for someone to pre-sell themselves. They can make a decision before contacting if the offering fits their budget.
2.) Productizing gives the prospect something tangible to consider purchasing and that helps generate interest during the pre-sales phase and improves ability to close during the sales process.
3.) Published prices can reduce the transaction costs. If your projects are US$250k then that’s one thing but if your projects are US$5k you don’t want to spend $2k of time negotiating price.
4.) Productizing something provides evidence of experience for your prospects, evidence that can only come from having done that work before. For most people this gives increased confidence that selecting the experienced company is the right choice.
5.) The rigor required for productizing really helps people understand what they offer and where they can establish a repeatable business model that can potentially scale.
In summary always reacting to the client in a completely unique way with a completely unique price is great for freelancers but it’s not really possible to use that approach to create a scalable and repeatable business.