How to build a marketplace
Freelancer -> Agency -> Marketplace.
Marketplaces have a chicken and egg problem. How do you build the demand side without having the supply side, and vice versa.
nDash.co is a marketplace founded by a freelance writer. Once he figured out the sales formula to win clients, he evolved into an agency. Hired more writers and developed a client network. With those two ingredients in place, he evolved into a marketplace.
Freelancers: find a good sales consultant to nail down your client acquisition. Then you can graduate to an Agency and build a stable of experts and clients. And then you can build the marketplace itself.
And if you have a marketplace, have you thought about empowering the supply side to build your demand? nDash.co lets content producers pitch ideas to companies.
What if Uber enabled drivers to pitch restaurants to users, instead of waiting around for the next ride?
How to grow by raising prices
The first advice offered to service providers is “raise your prices”. Easier said than done. Here’s a gameplan to do it right, from our interview with Directive Consulting.
First, institute tiered pricing so you don’t alienate your current clients. But you can only grow existing clients to 1.5x current sales with pricing; you can’t stretch them to 10x (you need NEW clients for that).
Since your inbound marketing is tailored to existing clients, you’ll have to hunt for new clients with outbound tactics.
Cold emailing WORKS! Forget “adding value”… It’s all about timing and branding.
You want the bigger clients? Invest in your website’s design and speed. And hit them up regularly with emails. Your services aren’t needed all the time, so make sure you’re right there when needed.