Does it make you want to buy? As marketing strategies go, it isn’t wonderful is it?

But it is such a common mistake that new service businesses make. They get organised setting up their office and their website. They get ready to deliver their services, they go to some networking meetings and tell people what a great job they can do for them. But the work only comes in a very slow trickle.

I have always had wonderful feedback in my corporate life and, without blowing my own trumpet too loudly, I knew I was good at what I did. And people said they liked working with me.

So just transfer that to the freelance small business world and would fly, surely. Only it didn’t happen like that at first.

When I launched in January 2012, I was lucky enough to get two clients on weekly/monthly retainer packages early, and so I had plenty of steady work throughout the year and into this one. And all the bills have been paid!

I even had a surprise client from Melbourne, and we worked together by Skype and email over about 6 months, until she was ready to go it alone with her new business.

I love how close I have got to those businesses, really understanding what they are about, so I can get to the heart of what support they need to grow. Fantastic.

But what about all the other small businesses, how easy was I making it for them to buy from me? It takes a while for the word of mouth sales to come through.

I have realised that ‘services’ are not that easy to sell. They are intangible. They don’t give a potential client a clear idea of what you can really do for them. This is now changing at .

3 Top Tips to make it easier for people to buy

Top tip 1: turn your service into a product. Package up a particular service that you can offer at a fixed price.This is so much easier to promote and so much easier for customers to buy. Package pricing is what 2013 is all about for me. I’ve got off to a flying start and lots more new products will be coming in the next few months.

Top tip 2: offer your new product at 2 or 3 different levels and prices. Your bottom price is the basic no frills package, for the shortest duration. Your next price point is for your regular added-value package, maybe over a longer duration. If you go for a third level, this will be your premium package, where you pull out all the stops for the clients that want that VIP attention.

Top tip 3: find partners and collaborate. I’m now advancing my talks with other small businesses, whose specialist service overlaps with mine, to set up partner arrangements where we collaborate, combining services, to enhance the value of the new product I am offering to my own clients. The result is that we both get new business, and best of all for our clients, they get a joined up expert service in the product they buy.

My example is the business communications packages I am offering for Twitter, Email marketing and, coming soon, blogging for small businesses who don’t have the time or don’t enjoy doing this themselves.JLIWM Venn2

And the best bit is, that these products – Twitter, Email, Blogging – inter-relate so closely, all designed to grow the customer base, and direct traffic back to the website, that my premium offerings for my clients will be a product package based on all three.

How can you apply these 3 top tips to your service business? I would love to hear your ideas.