There are many different ways of listing your business online. Some suit a particular industry better than others. Where some firms may benefit for being on a directory, others may simply need their own website to showcase their offering, but in each of these cases, it's a waiting game for a customer to stumble upon your details and get in touch. Would it not help to get more proactive, to put your name in front of people who were looking for exactly what you offer? Luckily, that is now an option as 'service marketplaces' are becoming a new way of interacting with potential clients.

What is a Service Marketplace?

You've probably heard of one of these platforms without even thinking about it, especially as some are getting bigger and have started advertising more openly. Websites such as Bark, Fiverr and Upwork offer an area for businesses to list their offering, while customers search for what they are looking for and can then choose the best quote for them. Where some of these website designs can be rather specific and often very digitally design focused, Bark in particular offers a range of industries and is more tailored for face to face services such as construction, cleaning, event hire and coaching. These marketplaces can be a place for a business to list their services and skills, for visitors to skim through and find a professional website design that suits their needs.

How Do They Work?

Often these platforms are free for customers to peruse and show interest in a business that's a good fit for them. But to cover costs they will charge a fee for companies to be listed, or to interact with potential clients. For instance, with Bark, professionals need to pay in order to access the contact details of prospective clients. These costs fluctuate based on the type of work and the estimated earning of the job. While this can still be an outlay, it gives an alternative to what could be a large advertising or pay per click campaign, with the added bonus of only spending to contact a client who is already in need of your service that you have chosen based on information of the requirements that they’re looking for, rather than someone who is Googling and clicks on your site to see if you can fix their issue.

The Downsides?

As with every directory style site, your offering is listed right alongside your competitors, and it can be difficult for profiles to pop out and draw their attention given the restrictions on the database. It may be possible to showcase reviews earned from your customers from within the particular marketplace, but this could be hard when you’re getting started and don't have any testimonials yet. Another option could be looking to see if that service offers a way to promote your listing, but this will likely have additional costs involved. If possible, adding a link your own professionally designed website may give you a way for customers to find out more, and leave the marketplace to look at your own website design, which not only can show off your style and services but also pulls them away from your competitors.

These service marketplaces are a growing industry and many are still expanding into new sectors and adding new functionality. It may be worth having a look to see how your business could benefit from these services, and how exactly your website design is being discovered. For any questions regarding how your business could use a website to its benefit, have a chat with our friendly team.