Jobs & Gigs
How to Write a Services Offered ListingBy Emma McAleavy
April 7, 2022
When we surveyed the Listings Project community in the summer of 2020, we learned that over 50% of listers who responded offer services on a freelance or gig basis. We weren’t surprised. We know our community is full of writers, illustrators, accountants, embroiderers, bodyworkers, caregivers, teachers, and other creative professionals who work directly with their clients on a freelance basis. That’s one reason we decided to expand our opportunities section: to help support listers who are offering their services. This guide is part of that ongoing effort. Our hope is that it helps listers in our community who will benefit from your services and skills.
Write a clear and compelling headline
Your headline should clearly describe the service you are offering. Some of our recent favorites from the list include, “Interactive Tarot Readings for Deeper Connection to Self,” “High-Quality Online Lessons in Voice, Piano, and Speech” and “Available for Small Home Renovations or Art Studio Build Outs.” It helps that each of these headlines is clear about the service being offered, and adds a little bit of specificity to entice the potential client or customer.
Tell us about yourself
You can begin by introducing yourself and the service you offer. Feel free to be as creative and personal as you like. You might consider sharing how you first got started in the craft, service or skill you are offering to the Listing Project community. What do you enjoy most about the service you are offering? If you have any specific credentials or licenses that are legally required for you to perform your service, you’ll want to share that as well.
Describe your services
This is your opportunity to make sure the clients or customers who come to you are really a good fit for you. What kinds of work are you most interested in? What does your dream project or client look like? If you are offering a location-based service, do you have specific preferences regarding how far you’re willing to travel? If you are precise and specific in describing your services, the chances are better that the people who reach out to you will be people you can actually work with.
Share your past work and client testimonials
Sharing examples of your past work is the easiest way to communicate what you can do. If you have a personal website, great. But you may also have links to client work, publications your work has appeared in, past events you’ve been featured in. Do you have photos of your work or the space that you work in? Images can go a long way towards helping potential clients envision what it might be like to work with you. Do you have clients who are willing to serve as references or provide testimonials? If so, you might consider including a few quotes from past clients in your listing.
Acknowledge your teachers
At Listings Project we try to discourage an over-reliance on credentials to signal expertise and skills. Focusing on credentials can lead to bias and discrimination. As an alternative, we suggest you include an acknowledgement of your teachers in your listing. We’ve noticed more and more people choosing to publicly shout out and recognize the people who they’ve learned from. In particular, if you practice in a skill or craft that you’ve learned from people who don’t share your identity, we think it’s wise to give credit to these people publicly.
Include your fees
Being clear about what you charge up front is helpful for both you and the client. We know that people with more dominant identities (like white people, or cisgender men, for example) are often more comfortable negotiating their wages or fees. We think sharing your fees up-front is one way to avoid the potential for bias and discrimination in a negotiation. It also makes it more likely that the people who reach out to you will be willing to follow through with working with you. Finally, if you are able to offer sliding scale fees, or special rates for those who experience oppression or can’t afford your standard rates, we encourage you to do so.
Feature image by Alexis Rivierre
Emma McAleavy was Listings Project's Content Editor. During her tenure at Listings Project she brought the stories of our community to life on our blog and in our monthly newsletter. Emma’s writing has also appeared in The New York Times, Outside Magazine, and Architectural Digest. You can follow her on twitter @emmamcaleavy.