With online platforms opening up the stairway to entrepreneurial success, the first step up the climb can seem like the hardest. It’s the step that starts it all but is the scariest to get on. The one that’s the biggest to climb and requires the most strength, determination, and balance. But once you’re there, it all gets so good. Getting there takes a little help, a lot of courage, and the right structure and discipline to not only do it, but to only have to do it once. That’s why we, House of Soul Style, are sharing our 6-Step Service Development Timeline to help you get up on that step and keep climbing that stairway with grace and ease.
STEP 1: IDEATION
Before the stairs comes the idea. There’s nothing for you to climb if you haven’t already thought of its creation. If you’re here reading this post, I’m sure you already have the idea in mind and are wondering how to get it off the ground. Don’t move too fast though because step 1 is all about sitting in that idea and allowing your creativity to pave the way. With each great idea comes the dreams to make it happen and you need to do just that: dream. And big. The ideation process of the service development timeline is one of the most crucial in the whole process. Yes, things can change and you’ll most certainly have to pivot along the way, but when you’re clear on your process and exactly WHAT it is that you’re delivering at the end, pivoting along the way won’t feel so bad and will actually prove beneficial to your client.
In the ideation process, you’ll want to get clear on the following:
- The service you want to provide
- The transformation your clients will experience
- What problems you’ll solve via your service
- What your client will receive/how your client will feel during & at completion
- The skills & resources you can bring to the table
- If & where you may need to outsource
- How long the service will be (running course, evergreen, 1:1, book per appt, etc)
- The style of your service (values, purpose, branding, messaging, energetic delivery)
- Cost of service over time given/received (this can be a rough idea of what you’re hoping to sell for & profit)
The answers to these bullets in the ideation process are just a rough idea of your planning. Don’t worry about getting too caught up in the details as you’ll be filling those in as you move along in your service development. The ideation process is all about dreaming big and expanding off of your original idea. Don’t be afraid to really run with it. It may not turn out exactly as you originally planned but the more you come up with, the more you have to use later on as things begin to pivot and fall into place.
Recommendation: Purchase a multi-subject notebook and label each section for each part of the service development process. Label your first section as ideation and write down your idea(s) and all inspiration you come up with to make it happen. Allow yourself a week or more in the ideation process to write down everything that comes to mind. Move on to step 2 when you feel you have enough written down to fill in your development process and start planning.
STEP 2: TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH
With a solid idea, you’re ready to start kicking things into motion and bringing your service to life. The next step in the process is figuring out and getting clear on who exactly your service is for. Without a target demographic, you won’t have the proper tools & marketing to really sell the service you’re providing. To start, you’ll need to refer to the bullet points filled in for step 1. Go through each one and ask yourself, “who does this apply to?” Don’t be afraid to hop on google and start researching. Refer to the problems you’re solving within your service and find out who they would be most beneficial to.
Answer these questions:
- Who would benefit the most from this service?
- Who would receive the biggest transformation?
- Where have I seen these problems being displayed?
- Whose life will this greatly impact in having this resource?
- Who am I able to sell to?
These are your macro Q&As to get you in the right industry. Once you have these answered, answer these:
- Where is my target demo located?
- What resources do they have access to in order to engage in this service?
- What is their projected disposable income to spend on this course?
- What is their lifestyle like?
- What are their values?
- What age bracket am I selling to?
- What lifestyle do the resources I provide align with?
These are your micro Q&As. Your macro Q&As pull you into the correct industry to market your service and your micro Q&As help you niche down to your specific client/consumer.
STEP 3: OUTLINING, PLANNING, & CREATING
When you’re clear on your idea and who your service is for, you’re ready to start planning and outlining your service. Using the information from steps 1 & 2, create a rough outline of your service.
EXAMPLE: EVERGREEN COURSE
- Write out how many weeks your course will be
- Create a timeline of when the biggest transformations will occur
- Outline your clients’ starting point, mid-course, and completion
- Bullet point each week
- Main Bullet = Main Topic
- Mini Bullets = Specific Areas of Focus
- Start filling in the bullets with your ideas
- Fill in each idea with the resources you’ll be providing for each one (PowerPoint presentation, video, workshop, meditation, etc)
When your outline is complete and you’re clear on what resources you’re going to provide, you’ll want to research the best platform to host your service. Here are some platforms we’ve enjoyed using: Kajabi, Teachable, Podia, Thinkific, Learnworlds.
For 1:1 services & group services, you’ll want to create an outline for the entirety of the service focusing more specifically on your personal transformation qualities & skills that will be provided. Bring awareness to any external resources you want to provide and how you will do so (email pdf, file hosting platform, Youtube or Patreon video, online hosting platform (like Kajabi) with resources, voxer access, WhatsApp access, personal texting/video calls, zoom calls, etc).
After you’ve completed your outline, it’s time to start putting the service together. Start recording your videos, writing your presentations, creating meditations, and putting the pieces together. Keep in mind this first draft of your service should be considered a BETA round, leaving room for improvement and keeping an open mind to any areas that may require change.
STEP 4: IMPLEMENTATION & TEST CIRCLES
Step 4, instruction-wise, is simple but will require the most work. In this step, you want to start marketing your course to niche groups. This can be a targeted group on a certain social media platform or simply inviting people you feel will be a great fit to enter the first round of your service. In this BETA round, you’ll run through your entire service taking note of what works, what needs changing, and what should be left out. Get client feedback along the way and remember to ask for testimonials at the end of your run together that you can use in your official service launch later on.
If you’re looking for feedback in different areas (and have the time/resources to do so), try running your service in smaller, separate groups. Switch things up a bit in each and take note of what works the best and provides the greatest connection and transformation for your clients.
Because this is your BETA round, don’t be afraid to play around with different platforms and ways of presenting the information, as well. This is your time to really figure out the details and find the best resources available to make your service top-notch.
STEP 5: REVISE & RENEW
Now that you’ve run the BETA round of your service, it’s time to revise your program and start planning for your official launch. Your first step is to compare and contrast your notes from the BETA round to the original outline you created. As you do, answer these questions:
- What worked the best?
- What didn’t work at all?
- What could work if I made changes?
- Who received the biggest transformation & why?
- Who wasn’t a great fit?
- What do I need to add?
- What can I remove?
- What wasn’t in alignment with my original values & is it necessary to pivot in this area?
- What was in alignment with my original values & how was it received by the group(s)?
This is the time to start perfecting and honing in on the details of your service. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but if it is, the time is now to get it done. Follow up with the people you worked with to receive feedback on how the service impacted them and if/how they are still implementing what they learned. This will help you get a better idea of what was really important and prioritized by your clients and will stress what areas of the service you need to keep.
Simultaneously, you’ll want to start creating your marketing and launch plan for your official service launch. This is the time to either outsource or create a strategy plan on your social media platforms and email marketing. Use the clients from your BETA round as testimonials, highlight their transformations, and emphasize the impact your service had on them. You’ll also want to finalize your branding and messaging for your launch, as well. Get clear on what you want to focus on within your target demographic. Is it problem-solving, connection, creation? What exactly are you selling to them and why? Make sure this is included in your marketing.
STEP 6: LAUNCH
Your final step is the full launch of your service. This includes marketing, a landing page for your service, email marketing, social media content, client engagement, displaying your testimonials, and simply inspiring your target demographic in all ways possible. The key to sales is to sell to the heart. Pull on the heartstrings and be prepared to hold them in your hands. Your target demo wants to know that you’ll be there for them, through and through. It’s important to really emphasize your connection to their transformation and how important their success is to you and your business.
At House of Soul Style, we help you expand on your ideas and flow through the Service Development Timeline with ease. It’s not just the idea or the strategy that brings your service to life; it’s your energy behind it. We combine energetic development with industry strategy for top-tier service execution and implementation. If you’re in need of extra support, book a free consultation with us here or learn more about our services here. We don’t just want your ideas to succeed, we want them to blossom and expand in the most impactful way possible because we know that’s what you’re capable of.
This article was written by Katie Shey, Founder, Consultant, and Stylist for House of Soul Style.