Despite what a lot of people say online, no one truly makes it in business alone. At some point, all coaches, consultants and even other OSPs will outsource to a OSP.
Why? Because we’re not all experts at everything.
Social media managers can make it far with just Instagram and an email list. But eventually you’ll need a CRM, project management tool and even a website set up. And I don’t know about you but I could not have set up my Dubsado* without hiring an OSP.
Online Service Providers, often referred to as OSPs are those of us online that provide a done for you(DFY) service for others, digitally.
And this isn’t just reserved for virtual assistants and social media managers either. A photographer or an account can also work purely online based on their industries and niche.
In this article, the examples I provider are for those of us that are working online and offering a done for you service.
Now these 5 examples aren’t the only ways to scale your business but they are some of the most common. As with all things in business, I want you to do your research before deciding “Affiliates are the one for me!”
I used to say I’d never run an agency, 6 months into my business and I accidentally had built an agency! Business takes us on unexpected journeys and you might need to test some of these out before you know which is right for you.
I just assume everyone knows about VIP Days because of Systems Saved Me and her Done in a Day summit*.
A VIP Day is a high ticket offer lasting 3-8 hours to provide your client with a specific turn around. This can look like a website in a day, a sales page in a day, a months worth of content in a day. You get it.
The pros of VIP Days are endless. You don’t have to deal with monthly retainers, ongoing communication and factoring in vacations or sick days. Your clients pay, you receive a detailed questionnaire and then get on the call and do the work.
Done and dusted in 24 hrs with the price tag of a months worth of work.
*I am an affiliate for the summit, if you’re interested in attending the next one, send me a DM saying DID Summit and I’ll send you the link when the next summit is on sale for $10 off.
This is probably the most common information you’ll hear as an OSP. Everybody and their mom will tell you to be successful, you need to niche down.
Only speak to one client, they say. I get the “if you’re speaking to everyone, you’re speaking to no one” narrative but this advice does not work for everyone. A lot of people, myself included, get bored with routine.
Personally, as a multi-passionate business owner, I call bullshit on niching to one ideal customer. I’m 3 years in and I’ve never niched down my ideal client. What I did do though was niche down my offers. My agency only offers content repurposing.
A great example of this is Right Hand Glam. An engagement agency.
They started as Instagram engagement only and have since expanded into Facebook and Tiktok engagement. They work with primarily service based businesses but have helped the odd influencer or brick and mortar business.
But only with engagement. No graphics, no captions, no strategy building. Strictly engaging on behalf of their clients to increase followers, leads and conversions. And the results make it easy to raise the prices to a high ticket service.
While I run an agency, this is the last one I recommend to most OSPs!
It might seem ironic but running an agency is very different to working as an OSP. The first being that you’ll be pulled out of the task work position and into a management position. Which is not what more creative OSPs want, you love your work and want to continue doing it.
The benefits of an agency is you get to work with way more clients and your team becomes your family. My team has my back when I’m sick and they’re all experts in their own right so we get to brain storm over client strategies.
If this is the route you’re thinking of going, I encourage you to listen to this interview with my friend Jemma on the Virtually Done Podcast.
When you run a successful agency, you tend to hire experts to work under you on your behalf. But if you want to stay in your zone of genius of website copywriting but you’re constantly being asked about web design, white ticket services are the answer.
Instead of hiring, you’re going to partner with another business. Between the 2 of you, you sort out the price per project, or however your deliverables look, and you create a package to offer your clients.
When hired for the service, you write the copy and then hand the task over to your partner when it’s time to design. The work is all associated to you and your brand but you only did half the work.
Not interested in partnering? Find OSPs that offer affiliate payouts for referring clients to them. All OSPs get inquiries from not ideal fits because of budgets or timelines. Personally, I like to send options for other OSPs for the lead to reach out to.
Did you know that Felly Day VA offers 10% to all our referral partners for the first months invoice? It’s a great way to partner with business owners in adjacent businesses without needed to advertise anything outside of your services.
This option is a little different but ties perfectly if you’re going with the niche down and price increase option.
Why? Because as you raise your prices and become known as an expert in your industry, people will want to work with you but not be able to afford you.
Putting together a Do-it-yourself course on your signature method for $297 is the perfect downsell to hiring you on a monthly retainer.
Think, if you’re a brand photographer and you put together a guide on how to take at home brand photography. Not everyone can afford to ship their products to you to shoot and pay for your editing packages. Your DIY course is a happy to downsell where they’re still getting access to your brain and HOW you create such beautiful photos. That way they can implement until they have the money to hire you.
And when that customer reaches the point where they’re ready to uplevel, they’ll know they want to hire you because they already trust you for the job.
The hard question.
And the answer will always be “it depends.” Because it depends on why you started this business and what you like about it.
I grew an agency by accident but kept it because I truly enjoy working with the clients, delegating and the strategy side of content marketing. But I’ve seen other OSPs scale to an agency and miss the task work, lean out their team and raise their rates.
The great thing about business is there is no one way to run it. You get to figure out what works with your income goals, time commitment and mental health.
If you need help when it comes to scaling your service based business, I’d love to help you. When I say I’ve been through it all, it’s almost comical how many different routes I’ve tested as an entrepreneur.
But the one thing I’ll always say is that having a mentor to talk through the hard decisions changes everything. You might need an ear to listen to you or a second brain to strategize with. Book a coffee chat and we’ll work through it.
*marks potential affiliate links.
Felly Day VA is a dual business whose goal is to help ambitious service providers and coaches grow through digital marketing in a way that feeds their spirit.