So by now you should have
- Your niches identified
- Your audience identified
- You know where you’re going to fulfil your order
- You know how you’re going to reach your audience (through a freelancing platform, SEO, PPC ect)
- You’ve got your funnel setup – whether that’s a really simple one or a more complex funnel
- You’ve put your offer together – however complex or simple that may look
…and now you’ve just got a sale or closed a client!
Now It’s Time To Start Fulfilling Your Order
Sales Is Hard
Well done. You’re first job will be one of many. But how you approach your first couple of projects will determine how successful your drop servicing business will be. In this short article, we’re going to go through fulfilling that order and setting a precedence for other project that come in.
Get Clear on Expectations
First things first. If you’re using the more traditional model of drop servicing, that is, finding a client who needs work completed then outsourcing that work to someone else – you need to be clear on the expectations.
That covers everything from when and how you communicate to the scope of work that your client needs completing.
A lot of problems can be avoided just by getting clear on what exactly the client wants. A couple of questions to ask yourself to help with this are;
- What is the project and why is it important?
- What’s the objective?
- Who is the target market?
- When is deadline?
- Where do I communicate with the client – whatsapp vs facebook for example
- Can the client provide any example work for you to have a better idea?
Essentially you want to understand the ins and out of what the clients needs. Then deliver the project spot on to those instructions.
First and foremost, there is one thing you must be aware of.
Blindly passing a project brief to a freelancer to complete will seldom work. And if it does ‘work’, the chances of getting the project completed in a way you want and need are slim.
Here’s an example:
After I had seen some success with one of my businesses, I decided instead of writing the content myself, I wanted to get a writer on onabord. So, I went over to Upwork.com and started looking.
Now I tried everything from hiring writers in the Philippines and Kenya to getting writers from the USA and other western countries.
My first lesson in outsourcing was this: Hire someone best suited for your project…
…might sound obvious, and you’re right, it is. But, after sifting through sometimes 100’s of applications, interviewing people and finding someone with a good portfolio of work at the right price can be difficult.
For one project in particular I needed 10 articles written. I gave the freelancer the titles and needed him to research the topics, write and then format the articles properly the web.
I assumed a few things that would eventually lead to failure with this project. I assumed:
- The portfolio of work the freelancer gave me was his true work
- That the freelancer already knew how to format content for the web
- He was skilled at researching content ideas (I mean all he needed was Google – right?)
- The content I would get back would be at least good enough for me to edit a little bit and then publish onsite
That wasn't all though…
Some of the content wasn’t even relevant to the topics I asked him to research and once I got it back, instead of editing the pieces a little bit they needed completely rewriting again.
A complete waste of time.
Now, instead of shouting at the dude in CAPS LOCK through Upwork messages. I kndly let him know the problems but I took responsibility for not giving good enough instructions.
I left the relevant feedback on his profile, paid the agreed amount and moved on.
Here’s what I should have done and what I have been doing for my SEO writing projects ever since:
- Do the keyword research myself
- Come up with the titles and subtitles of the content
- Create a notes sections for each sub heading of what I am looking for and expect
- Supply the resources needed to help them complete the content
- And sometimes, I even write some of the content myself if any idea pop into my head as I’m writing the briefs.
Essnetially my content briefs have gone from a few words to a couple of pages of notes and instructions.
Now while this doesn’t take anywhere near the time it takes to actually write the pieces there’s no denying it – it does take some time.
But here’s what I’ve found…
I not only am able to reduce the price I pay for my content by 50% in some cases, but the quality of work is much higher, the time I spend in back and forth communications is almost nothing and I am able to build long-term relationships with this freelancers which in turn saves me even more time and money as I don’t have to keep looking for new freelancers.
A lot of people will try to get into drop servicing as a lazy way to make money. And, it can be done.
If you can match the right service with the right supplier at the right price…you could hit the jackpot and literally do very little to make money.
But usually, the best ideas and businesses require at least a little work from yourself upfront as you build it from the ground up.
Now, I understand this example was fro writing projects specifically. What if your drop servicing business is offering social media management to landscapers in London for example?
The same applies.
There will always be some sort of process you will have to undertake yourself – at least to start out with. Once you’re making enough profit, you already know the most efficient process for fulfilling your orders and you can outsource those tasks too.
Finally, a quick word on content writing. Hiring someone to create words in english when Ukraninan is their first language and expecting great quality work is a long shot.
Sure many people around the world who don’t speak English as their first language still have a good command of the language.
But, for something like writing, specifically SEO writing – it’s better to get someone who has been speaking english all their life. I now always hire a native english speaker for any writing gigs.
However, hiring a German person to do the coding on your website might work perfectly well.
So remember, hire someone that is suited to your project.
Template Your Processes and Tasks
Most projects have some sort of tasks that can be templated and put into an efficient process.
So, let’s take my writing example again.
Whenever I write new content they fall into various categories. One type of post is what is more commonly known as a ‘listicle’. Now without getting into whether or not these posts still perform well or not – a ‘listicle’ is basically a post that has a list of things you want to talk about. For example:
- 10 Best Exotic Fruits from Colombia
- 21 of The Best Destinations for Budget Travelers in 2020
- 7 Inspirational Scientists That Defied Science
- 15 Types of Mosquitos to Be Aware of
That sort of stuff…
Now, for these types of posts I will have a template on
- how the post should look,
- how it’s formatted,
- the types of media content added that should be present and where in the post the should be located
- and finally, some ways in which the freelancer can find more information to help them.
You can template all of this.
All the freelancer has to do is follow the format I’ve given them, research the content using my research template and write the content according to my instructions.
All I’ve got to do is add in some notes for each topic.
Again, this ‘templating’ of your service can work in any niche.
Fulfilling Your Orders: Customer Service
You’re also going to want to make sure the experience your clients and customers have with you is the best they can get.
Communication has to be sharp, the quality of work has to be of a high standard and the feeling they leave with has to be better than when they started with you.
This is important. You get this right and your business will grow – you neglect this part of the sale and your business will struggle.
Just because you’re not actually doing the work yourself doesn’t mean you can turn into an arsehole either.
Treat your customers and clients with respect. And don’t treat them how you want to be treated, treat them how THEY want to be treated.
Again, this depends on the service you’re offering but, there will be times when a client requests revisions.
I usually don’t make a statement about how many revisions are needed for the typical piece of work as I’ve never had an issue with this.
I’ve found most clients will want the work completed as quickly as possible without all the back and forth communication.
If you want to cover your backside however, depending on the srvice you’re offering I would aim for anywhere between 3-5 revisions per project.
Send Your Invoice
Again this will depend on how you’ve set up your funnel. But, with most services you’ll likely either send your invoice or if using a platform like Upwork you’ll send your work for review.
Most people and clients are pretty honest with their invoices and pay on time. For those who take a little longer, keep gently reminding them.
To keep yourself safe there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of not getting paid.
- Get a deposit down first. If a project is $500 you might want to ask for 25% upfront with the rest paid afterward.
- Get paid through Upwork – as you’ll be protected far more than if you take them outside of Upwork
- Take payment first – this is especially true for B2C drop servicing ideas
- And finally creating a contract. Now you won’t need one for every project or client and customer. But if you’re doing private work for a client then I would suggest you get some sort of contract written
Fulfilling Your Drop Servicing Orders
Once you’ve made the sale, the most important work starts. It’s important to deliver projects of high-standard and with good customer service. This will not only help you build your business for the long term but you can start building client relationships that could last a lifetime.
Remember, in order for you to scale up your business there are going to things you must template and make efficient. These templates can not only save you time but a whole boat of money as well.
And finally, protect yourself when you’re getting paid. You have a whole array of options out there. Whether you take payment before the project starts or after the projects have been delivered to your client – you need to ensure that you are protected in some way. You don’t want to do a whole load of work only for the client to flake out on you when you ask for payment.
And arguably the most important part of the process is – finding the right ‘supplier’ or freelancer to complete the work. You need someone reliable, that does the work for cheaper than you are charing your client and is best suited for the job in hand.
Once you’ve got them all in place and matched them with the steps we’ve already gone into, you’ll start to see your drop servicing grow.
Now, what’s next?
In order to keep things on an upward trajectory it’s time to measure and grow your drop servicing business…
And that’s what we’re going to dive into next…