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Person adding blocks to other blocks. Reflects recruiting service providers for online marketplace.

How to Recruit Service Providers for your Online Service Marketplace

Recruit Service Providers

Once you have used our strategies to find the best service providers to target, the next step is determining strategies to build the supply of service providers and persuade them that joining your online service marketplace is a great way to sell their services.

Remember, it takes some work on their part to list their services on your marketplace and there may also be a potential cost for listing their services depending on which business model you choose. Therefore, recruiting service providers for your service marketplace may not be as simple as you think.

The success of your online service marketplace relies on your ability to recruit high-quality service providers to list their services with you.

The success of your online service marketplace relies on your ability to recruit high-quality service providers to list their services with you. It takes time to build an initial supply of service providers, but the best part is that in the early stages of building your marketplace, you can get to know your service providers personally and build relationships with them. 

Now, if they are already listed on other competing online service marketplaces, this can be challenging because you need to explain your unique value proposition. On the other hand, if they’ve never listed their services on a marketplace, you will need to start by explaining how they can benefit from selling their services on a marketplace in general.

Then eventually move into why joining your online service marketplace is the best way to sell services through explaining specifics about why your marketplace is superior to other marketplaces.

In this blog post, we will share the ways you can recruit service providers to join your online service marketplace and stack it with high-quality service providers:

1. Create value for service providers

A) Joining an online service marketplace provides additional income

The first incentive for service providers to join your online service marketplace is for them to receive additional income. Even if they are already advertising their services in different ways, they can take advantage of your online service marketplace especially as it grows to earn even more income than they’re already pulling in through their own methods.

Position your online service marketplace as a hassle free additional source of income that is full of amazing features, and service providers will get excited about joining.

B) Joining an online service marketplace provides brand awareness

Another incentive for service providers to be on your marketplace is building more awareness around their brand by having a profile on your website.

As your service marketplace grows, more customers will be visiting the marketplace website and it will allow for more opportunities for you to highlight their brand, provide opportunities for visibility, and for service providers to further build familiarity and trust with potential customers. 

2. Share your unique value proposition

If potential workers already list their services on other marketplaces, then explaining your unique value proposition will be key to convincing them to join yours. What can your online service marketplace offer that is better than existing marketplace competitors? Does your marketplace have better features? Such as a better payment collection feature or a better way for them to communicate with potential customers. Make sure you communicate these unique differences to potential service providers to win them over.

While Craigslist was one of the first marketplaces to exist, many other marketplaces have developed more secure and trustworthy ways to vet the individuals who both post their services as well as purchase those services. For example, Upwork has eliminated the faceless freelancer, by providing reviews, samples of work, and other information about the seller. 

Also, if your platform is typically one that charges the provider to list, you can offer a free or discounted trial so they can see for themselves the value in listing their services on your platform. Offering a demo of the platform is another great way to show them all the ways that your marketplace can add value to their lives.

3. Make their lives easier 

A top-notch online marketplace platform has features that help to make a service provider’s life easier when it comes to managing their business. Through a secure client portal and secure service provider portal, MarketBox has all of the following features plus more which help to streamline a service provider’s business. Be sure to share these attractive online service marketplace features with potential service providers when you are selling them on the benefits of joining your marketplace:

A) Collecting payments for service providers, in order to prevent loss of income

Collecting payments is an important part of running a business. However, sometimes things can slip through the cracks when it comes to tracking and collecting these payments after services have been rendered. What’s worse than not getting paid?

According to Fundbox, the average small business has $84,000 in unpaid invoices with 81% being paid past the due date. By collecting and processing payments on your platform, and then remitting the appropriate amount to the service provider in a timely manner, you are protecting the service provider from potential loss of income. 

B) Managing service provider schedules including bookings, cancellations, rescheduling and waitlists 

Using many different apps for different business tasks is less efficient. Simplifying the process by using a single platform to manage a service providers schedule for service appointments can ensure organization and productivity.

Allow customers to book, cancel, reschedule or waitlist their appointments right on the platform.

Another benefit is that the service provider doesn’t need to spend time scheduling with clients - an online marketplace platform facilitates this for the service provider automatically by allowing customers to book, cancel, reschedule or waitlist their appointments on the platform. The platform creates easy calendar notifications and keeps appointments setup in an easy to view layout.

C) Managing customers and appointment reminders to prevent no shows

Automated customer appointment reminders can be a godsend for a business. In cases where a customer forgets about their appointment, an online marketplace platform will automatically send appointment reminders to the customer.

This is beneficial for them because customer no shows or last minute cancellations can result in loss of income. Another benefit is that the platform also provides appointment reminders for service providers as well, so that they don’t forget about an appointment either. 

D) Secure ways for service providers to communicate with customers while still protecting privacy

The chat feature on an online service marketplace allows service providers to chat with customers or potential customers while still protecting the providers privacy. The marketplace platform provides a proxy number, so that you service providers don’t need to share their personal information.

This works similarly to how Uber has private proxy numbers, so that customers can get in contact with their drivers without their drivers sharing their own personal phone number. Another benefit for the service provider is that there’s no fumbling through their phones trying to find a customer contact number if they are lost or running late. 

4. Teach service providers something

Consider creating a video series or a blog series to help teach people new skills. By doing this, you’re creating your online service marketplace supply through education - knowledge is power after all. Some platforms do a great job of educating their service providers.

A great example, Taskrabbit does this through video, by teaching people how to level up on certain skills like furniture assembly which they can then “task” through the Taskrabbit marketplace.

Providers learn these new skills, and can then make money by listing these skills on the marketplace platform. Once they’re learned these skills, make sure to follow up with more content about why your platform is the best way to sell services online.

5. Create community among workers

Another way to recruit service providers for your online service marketplace is by making service providers feel like they’re part of a community. Humans are social beings and it can be pretty lonely for contractors to constantly work on their own. Building a sense of community can give them a sense of belonging.

Community marketing has become an important strategy. Try facilitating social events or create a forum, so that providers can chat with each other. For example, eBay has a forum where eBay buyers and sellers can chat, ask questions and exchange advice.

Ready to get started?

Building supply for your online service marketplace requires strategies that show service providers why it’s worth their time and money to list. 

As we’ve explored in this blog post, there are many ways to incentivize service providers to list with your online service marketplace.

Book a demo to see how MarketBox can help you start a service marketplace.

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