Because I like to practice what I preach, I’m revamping my website using my free report, Get Your Website Done: 12 Actionable Steps for Designers, as a guide. Last time we talked about choosing your niche (you’ve done that, right?)—and this time, we’re talking about what you’re doing for them.
Now is the time to define your services and get really specific about what you do. Don’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none. Narrow down what you do best and what makes you happy to fire up your computer each and every day. Let’s get to it!
Step #2: Define your services—because it’s essential!
You have to tell people what you do. This can be extra-difficult when you have a service-based business because there are intangibles. For me, I deliver websites, but what is a website really? As service providers, our deliverables aren’t just a finished product, they are also the benefits of that product.
Let’s consider a few questions while thinking about your niche/ideal clients. (You should always be thinking about your ideal clients!)
What do you enjoy doing? What are you best at?
I’m starting with these questions because life is too short to do something you hate. To be a successful creative, you don’t have to do every type of graphic design there is. You should do fulfilling work that you enjoy. As long as there’s a market for what you love doing (and there probably is), focus on that. Hate logos? Hate websites? Hate annual reports? Don’t do ’em! Do work you love and sell it to ideal clients who need it. I love websites. I absolutely love taking a beautiful design and translating it for the web. I dislike logos—and saying no to logo design feels damn good. I’m happier since specializing and I know you will be too.
Take a look at a few examples of how my clients define their services:
- Think Baseline: Company Branding & Strategic Design, Event Design, Creative Partnerships
- Idea Nest: Reports & Guides, PDF eBooks, Infographics
- Karin Beuerlein: Content Campaigns, Special Reports, Case Studies, Thought Leadership
So what services do you (want to) provide? This doesn’t necessarily mean what you’re doing now. It means what you want to do more of in the future.
I’m defining my services as: website design, website development, social media design, email newsletter design, content marketing design and website maintenance.
Now, let’s take this a step further.
What do clients actually get (i.e. the benefits)? What do they need most?
When we are finished with a website, my clients get a beautifully-designed, handcrafted site that is easy-to-update. They also get a clear, authentic picture of what they do. This is usually accompanied by feelings of proudness and triumph because the idea/hope/goal has been a long time coming.
To make sure I fully understand the benefits and deliverables, I’m also in the middle of defining my process by writing down every single step in my projects.
Ultimately, we’re going to use this information to create content that helps you connect with ideal clients and stand out from competitors (who we’ll be talking about in the next step).
What are your specialized services? Post them in the comments.
Want to join me on the journey to a new website? Download the 12 steps here.