These seven trends are set to define the online service provider landscape in the new year.
1. Pricing transparency will be key
No more price gatekeeping. In the new year, laying your pricing out on the table will be favored by your leads. Instead of the traditional hoops, your prospective clients have to jump through things like pricing guides, email lists, and sales calls. 2022 marks a shift in the way we sell and convert.
- Pricing transparency reduces uncertainty, priming your leads to buy.
- Pricing transparency positions your service as an asset, rather than an expense.
- Pricing transparency emphasizes value over cost.
- Pricing transparency forces you to place confidence in your pricing strategy.
- Pricing transparency builds trust and reduces the fear of a “sleazy sell.”
The bottom line? Transparency boosts trust. And leads that trust, are leads that convert — for life.
Related: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from the Backlash to Hotel and Resort Fees
2. New niches and opportunities abound
As the online space expands, so too will the need for specialization. Smart online service providers will be the ones who find their niche and center their entire strategy, marketing, and messaging around that.
From hairdressers to spas, educational organizations, to personal brands and NFPs, these niches are calling out for designers, copywriters, business managers, and creatives who understand their unique industries. Additionally, ex-corporate professionals pivoting into the online space bring a competitive advantage. They have a unique opportunity to offer services to the industries they previously worked in.
With new niches to be discovered and explored every day, there’s no limit to who you can help.
3. More demand for key online service providers
In 2022, businesses will be bringing it back to basics by expanding their teams with traditional roles like graphic designers, copywriters, social media managers, virtual assistants and online business managers. With an estimated 4.4 million new businesses founded in 2020 alone, this number is set to grow into the new year, with the founders behind them wanting to start on a professional foot.
It means they’re willing to invest in the services of creative and strategic business experts, offering a fantastic opportunity for aspiring online service providers to capitalize on this growing market. From VIP Days to “websites in a week,” high ticket services will also thrive during this time, as new business owners look to get into the market as quickly as possible. They’re willing to invest more money into high-level services, so creatives who can leverage this with unique, high-value offers with a fast turnaround are set to profit the most.
4. Short-form video remains king
Every year you hear it: Video content is the way to grow. And with TikTok truly making its mark in 2021, the playing field has never been more equal. Forget the old days of spending upwards of $1500 on boosting an ad on Facebook — you can now organically reach, engage and convert more of your dream clients with a 15-second reel or TikTok video alone.
The best part is some of the highest performing short-form video content is the raw, authentic, unedited kind — making video creation (and success) easier than ever. From “a day in the life” to “5 tips to XYZ,” short-form video content can (and should) be integrated into your 2022 content strategy if you want to leverage the power of viral video to boost your social following and leads.
Related: Making Highly Watchable Videos: A 4-Step System to More Eyeballs
5. Consistency is critical
In 2022, it’s fashionable to be on time. Showing up online, consistently, authentically and on-brand will be key to growing your service-based business. A hallmark of trust-building, being present for your community shows a unique level of commitment that encourages them to connect and buy.
Better yet, when you show up (to serve your community without sleazily asking for something in return every time), you embody the behavior, mindset, and strength of a true leader and CEO. As entrepreneurs, we know small steps each day add up to something bigger, and the same goes for building an online community.
6. Differentiation will make or break you
In the era where “saturated market” seems like the most intimidating concept — standing out is more important than ever. Sure, you’ll likely have the same offers, same style, and the same approach as another business, but your key differentiating factor is you.
Even if you’re just beginning as an online service provider, consider a unique angle you can pursue. From the values you hold close to the offers you combine to the people you most love working with and the exclusive experience you bring from your previous career, there is a unique specialty within all of us. In 2022 it’s time to find yours.
Related: 6 Ways Your Brand Can Stand Out From The Competition
7. Staying agile, always
Keep your finger on the pulse of industry trends, sure. But above all, look to what the people you serve truly want. Prioritize social listening every day across key social media platforms by tuning into their conversations, comments, shares, and stories. Chances are, there’s a wealth of inspiration for new offers, content, and sales tactics to draw on.
Don’t be afraid to pivot (yes, the word on everyone’s lips) when opportunities to modify, refine, niche down or expand out your signature offerings arise. You should never feel committed to one offer, course, or service type when your audience is calling out for another. The faster you can meet their need, the more rewards you can reap. In 2022, it’s all about growing with your audience and being able to adapt and evolve with them.
2022 is a year where those who can unashamedly showcase their value, hit the right notes among new audiences, and meet the needs of the world no matter where they’re at will thrive. And it’s going to be a heck of a year at that.
Related: 8 Simple Ways to Make Social Media Work for Your Business
Written by Willow Kaii
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor