Beta testing my services before offering them to the public was one of the most important steps I took when I started my VA business to attract clients. Not only did it allow me to practice my new services, but it also helped spread the word about my new biz.
I’m a big advocate for beta testing because once I took on a few practice clients, I had referrals pouring in.
I learned how to beta test with Anna Long-Stokes Beta Lab* course. I highly recommend it if you want to learn more about beta testing. Anna was my business coach when I first became a VA and she really knows her stuff!
*This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through that link, I earn a small referral fee that doesn’t cost you anything. Rest assured, I only recommend products or services that I have used or trust. My hope is that you’ll find my recommendations valuable and they will make your life easier. See my disclosure for more info.
WHAT IS BETA TESTING?
If you’re a new VA or if you are wanting to try out a new service, you’ll want to consider beta testing. A beta test is when you give a sample of your service for low or no cost in return for feedback you can use to improve your services or add more value.
But feedback is not the only benefit of testing out your services. There’s much, much more!
BENEFITS OF BETA TESTING YOUR SERVICES:
- Helps you get your name and what you do out there in the world
- Gives you a chance to try out your services and work out the kinks before charging for them
- Helps you decide whether you enjoy doing these services & whether you want to continue offering them
- Allows you to get testimonials for your website which is great advertising
- Your beta client might turn into a paying client
- Your beta client will refer you to others if they’re happy with your work
- May give you insight on what to name your services and business
- Gain more clarity on what it is you want to offer and at what price
- Gain more clarity on the benefits of your services to help you write the copy for your website
- Builds your confidence in your services and business
Are you ready to do some beta testing? Great!
Before you head off to ask people to try out your new services, you’ll want to get your ducks in a row. There are a few things you’ll need to do prior to testing.
BEFORE ASKING ANYONE TO TAKE YOUR SERVICES FOR A SPIN, YOU’LL NEED TO:
- Figure out the type of services you want to offer in general
- Plan out the process of taking on a client (Do they fill out a form beforehand? Will you have a consultation call to make sure you’re a good fit? Will you be sending a contract?)
- Know who your ideal client is
- Figure out the details of what you’ll offer your practice client and for how long
- Determine how many beta testers you want to take on at one time
- Determine how many beta testers total you want to work with
- Find beta testers who are in the industry you want to work in
- If possible try to find beta testers who are experts in their industry and/ or have a big following (helps with referrals)
TO CHARGE OR NOT TO CHARGE
Whether you charge for your beta service or not is up to you and your goals. It will be easier to find testers if it’s free, but some services you might not want to offer for free.
For instance, web design is one of those services you might not want to offer for free. If you’re looking to build your portfolio, gain experience, and get testimonials by offering a 5 page website, you may want to charge a small fee. A website is a big project and offering it at a low price is a good way to gain experience and put some money in your pocket for your time.
However, if you’re wanting to offer a small amount of hours for 1 month of work you may want to offer it for free. You don’t need to offer a lot of your time. For example, when I did my beta testing, I offered 2 hours of work a week for one month and I offered it to 3 people. That was enough to get my name out there and have a full client list in no time.
Also take into consideration if you are new to a skill. If so, you’ll probably want to offer your services for free to get people to say “YES!” and give you the experience.
If you have a lot of experience at a skill (and are able to share examples of your work), you might want to consider charging a small fee for testing. You want this fee to be low enough that the tester has an easy time of saying yes.
GO GET YOUR BETA TESTERS!
If you beta test with the right people and offer the services your ideal clients want, you’ll be booked in no time. Just keep your eye on the prize and remember that testing has many benefits and will pay off in the end. It may feel weird offering your services for free when you need the money, but if done the right way you’ll have so many clients knocking on your door you’ll have to turn them away!
And if you want to know more details about beta testing your service (or products), check out Beta Lab. It dives deep into properly creating your service or product, packaging it, and testing it out.