Chapter 1 — What is Drop Servicing & Shopify
Drop Servicing or Service Arbitrage is the online concept of reselling services for a profit.
A drop servicing business is a website (using Shopify) where clients can buy services that you then out source to freelancers from platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork and others.
Here’s a quick illustration of service arbitrage.
Isobel is in the market for a logo for her yoga business and finds your website advertising exactly what she needs for $200.
You receive the $200 from Isobel and in turn hire a freelancer (e.g. from Fiverr) to create the logo for Isobel.
The designer is doing logo designs for just $50 so you pocket the $150 difference.
That’s service arbitrage or drop servicing plain and simple.
You handle the website, finding clients (marketing), talking with clients and hiring freelancers while your clients enjoy a done-for-you service and your freelancers get more gigs.
It’s a WIN-WIN for everyone!
Why Should you Start Drop Servicing?
Now if you’re reading this article, it’s very likely that you’re interested in doing some kind of online business.
Maybe you’ve looked into dropshipping, print on demand, blogging or other business ventures but haven’t really found your pick yet?
Well, drop servicing might be for you.
Setting up a drop servicing site is easy as pie (thanks to Shopify) and so is finding and hiring freelancers as there are simply too many to go around.
The only real challenge to drop servicing is finding clients and promoting your business.
But that’s a skill you can develop.
And a skill you SHOULD develop.
If I didn’t have marketing skills, you wouldn’t be reading this post. None of my blogs would get any visitors, none of my dropshipping sites would make any sales, none of my drop servicing businesses would find clients and so on.
Marketing is the #1 key to success in online business.
So with drop servicing, you have an easy ‘IN’ to learn the ropes.
Just like you have with drop shipping.
But drop servicing has an edge of drop shipping being that it is far less saturated as a business model and thus you’ll find a lot less competition as you would with drop shipping.
Another edge to drop servicing is that you can start almost completely for free.
For just $29 a month (the price of a Shopify account) you’ll have your drop servicing business up and running.
You can combine this with free marketing methods (as we’ll discuss in a bit) and you have an online business ready-to-go!
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a drag-and-drop website builder like square space, wix and other platforms you may have heard off.
The difference is that Shopify is made for eCommerce and is the #1 leading platform for exactly that.
This means that they have a built-in checkout system so you can easily accept payments from your drop servicing or service arbitrage clients.
You can get started with Shopify for free using the 14-day trial and afterwards you’ll pay about $29 a month.
That’s nothing considering this is YOUR online business.
Why Should you Use Shopify for Drop Servicing?
Shopify is created to make eCommerce easy and accessible to everyone.
Even those with absolutely no technical skills.
If you can navigate a Facebook account, you can navigate a Shopify dashboard.
On top of that Shopify has thousands of tutorials online (youtube) to help you get started and their 24/7 support is always there to help you out.
And we’re not talking about email support that takes ages to reply here, we’re talking about chat support that (if allowed) will even go ON your dashboard and fix issues for you.
Shopify is the real deal and the best option for anyone looking to start drop servicing, regardless of technical experience.
Chapter 2 — How to Find a Drop Servicing Niche
When looking for a drop servicing niche, you want to go as minuscule as possible.
Don’t start a general service arbitrage business where you simply upload hundreds of Fiverr gigs and patch them off as your own, that’s not how it works.
Instead you want to focus on a small, niche target audience and become a go-to agency for that audience.
Starting a logo business isn’t easy.
You’ll be competing with the biggest agencies you’ve ever seen in your life and quickly get discouraged.
But what if you didn’t become a logo business, what if you became a logo agency dedicated to people like Isobel?
What if you became a logo business specifically for yoga instructors?
There you have a niche and dedicated target market: yoga instructors!
You could try ranking for the keyword and have clients find your niche by searching for ‘yoga instructor logo’ and target other keywords with yoga-specific content marketing.
Since you have a target audience, you can now find yoga instructors on social media, fora, and other places online and message them with an attractive proposal!
When these yogis find your website, do you think they will ever want to buy from a generic agency afterwards? Nope!
Why go to a general agency when you can buy from one that is dedicated to her craft, that’s the power of niching down.
So how do you find a niche online?
Ideally, you will start thinking about yourself and your knowledge, skills, hobbies and so on.
The most ideal niche for drop servicing is one that your have extensive knowledge about, this will help you with finding clients and communicating with them.
So think about your hobbies and skills, what kind of niches and markets can you imagine?
For example let’s say you love snowboarding.
You could create an agency that provides services to snowboarding professionals, semi-professionals, amateurs, instructors, the list goes on.
Think about what services these people might need.
Do they need logos? Video editing for their footage? Websites? Someone to create their custom snowboard design? The list goes on.
Examples of Drop Services
- Video editing
- Web Design
- Web Development
- Social Media Marketing
- Graphic Design
- Logo Design
- Branding packages
- Lead generation
- Virtual assistance
- Script writing
- Product modeling
- The list goes on
TIP: Check out Fiverr categories page for services inspiration.
Chapter 3 — How to Find Freelancers for Drop Servicing
Once you have found a target audience through a niche or microniche, you can start looking for services and freelancers.
The most obvious starting point is Fiverr, this is the most well-known freelance platform out there and freelancers on this platform have to follow strict delivery times which bodes well for your business.
But Fiverr is not the only platform out there.
There are many freelance marketplaces you can pick and choose from, many of them will have cheaper services than you’ll find on Fiverr.
Other platforms include:
Finding freelancers is easy, the web is full of them.
Finding good and reliable freelancers will take some extra digging.
For this reason I recommend you start with Fiverr as generally the Freelancers there are easiest to work with, even if they are a bit more expensive.
Remember, with drop servicing, you are never tied to a freelancer, and you can always change them up.
Read also: How to start drop servicing with Fiverr
Chapter 4 — How to Create a Shopify Drop Servicing Website
Create a Free Shopify Store
The first step to creating a drop servicing website is to sign up for the free Shopify trial.
You only need an email address for this, no payment information is required until the trial is over.
Setting up your account is very quick and pain-free.
Shopify will ask the following info:
- Email address and store password
- Address information
Once signed up, you will instantly gain access to the Shopify dashboard.
Add services to your website
Next up, you can start by adding the services to your brand new drop servicing website.
To do this, navigate to Products > Add product within your Shopify dashboard.
Here, you can add a Title, description, price and image for your first service.
You should uncheck the ‘this is a physical product’ so Shopify knows this is an online service won’t ask your client for a shipping address.
If you plan on charging different rates for this specific service, you can add variants by checking the box that reads ‘this product has multiple options, like different sizes or colors’.
Set up the legal pages
Luckily for us, Shopify is able to generate this for you.
In order to set up your legal pages navigate to Settings > Legal.
On this page, you can generate them by pressing the create from template button for each of the sections.
The legal pages generated here will be listed on the checkout page for your Shopify store.
To be safe though, you should also have these setup in the footer of your main store.
To do this, you can copy-paste the content into a separate page. So navigate to Online Store > Pages and click on Add page.
Add an appropriate title and copy-paste the contents from your generated policies. Do this for each of your policies.
Next, you’ll want to create footer links to these policies. For your navigation settings, navigate to Online Store > Navigation.
Do this for each of your legal pages and hit save menu when you’re done.
Add contact page
Clients should have an easy way to contact your drop servicing agency. For this, you’ll need a contact page.
To create a contact page, navigate to Online Store > Pages and click on Add a new page.
Give the page an appropriate title (e.g. Contact Us).
You could also write a small paragraph urging your customers to contact you with any questions they may have.
To turn the page into a page with a contact form, you’ll need to change the template of said page. To do this,look to the right side of the page, you will see a menu that reads Template.
The base template suffix reads ‘page‘. Change this to ‘page.contact‘ and hit save.
Now all you have to do is add this contact page to your navigation menu.
To do this, go back to your store navigation — Online Store > Navigation.
This time, select main menu. Then add menu item and add your contact page.
You can also add the contact page to your footer menu if you’d like.
Setup your payment settings
Customize your Shopify theme
You can configure your theme settings by navigating to Online Store > Themes in your Shopify dashboard.
From there, you can choose to customize your theme and access the free and paid theme library.
Shopify has 9 free themes. All of which can be customized completely to your taste.
Select the theme of your preference and add it to your theme library.
Next, click on the green Customize button to customize the home and product pages of your store.
In this customization window you can setup your logo, fonts and color palettes.
You will also be able to configure your homepage through drag-and-drop sections that you can add and remove to your preference.
Add a custom domain
There are two ways you can add your domain to Shopify.
The easiest way is to buy your domain directly through Shopify.
The best way, however, for a number of reasons such as getting a custom email address, is to get your domain from a third-party service.
Here are some examples of third-party services:
Or whatever service you may already be using for another website.
Installing a third-party service domain requires a little bit more work, but it’s really not that difficult.
All you need is access to the DNS settings of your domain.
To gain access to the DNS settings you will have to go to the control panel of the service you picked and change the following things:
- Change WWW CNAME record to shops.myshopify.com
- Change A record to 220.127.116.11
- Verify your connection in your Shopify dashboard
This article by Shopify will cover how you can setup a third-party domain for most registrars.
Alternatively, you can also google ‘[name of your service] + Shopify’ to find instructions on how to do it for your specific third-party service.
Or you can watch this video-tutorial that will help you connect a third-party domain.
Launch your service arbitrage website
Once your payment settings are set up, you’re as good as ready to launch your store.
Shopify stores are always password protected during development. To make your Shopify store live, all you have to do is remove this password.
You can do this by navigating to preferences — Online Store > Preferences and scroll down to the section that reads ‘Password Protection’.
Here, you can uncheck the menu that reads enable password.
Once unchecked, save the page and your Shopify store is now live!
Chapter 5 — Finding Clients for Your Drop Servicing Business
Finding clients for your drop servicing business is the hardest part and the only thing standing in-between you and your success.
But as I’ve illustrated earlier, getting familiar with marketing is important for every part of online business.
So mastering marketing for your drop servicing business will help you in other aspects of online business as well!
There are couple of methods (both free and paid) to promote your drop servicing business.
Free methods include:
- Reaching out through email
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
Paid methods include:
- Facebook Advertising
- Google Ads
Bonus Chapter — Everything You Need to Know About the Shopify Dashboard
The Shopify main dashboard has 10 sections:
- Online Store
This is the first page of your Shopify dashboard and the first thing you’ll see whenever you go to your dashboard.
Here you’ll immediately see how many visitors and orders you had on that particular day.
You’ll also find a bunch of tips and recommendations from Shopify on this very page.
This is where all your orders will end up.
You’ll see exactly who ordered what service, their instructions and get access to their contact details so you can email them if you need more information for the service.
This is where you’ll add and manage services to your service catalog.
This page contains all your past customers and their contact details.
Here you can see your in-depth order analytics.
On this page you can find your best sales sources, your top landing pages, top countries, top services and more helpful data.
This is where you can setup Shopify-integrated marketing campaigns such as email marketing, snapchat ads, google ads and more.
This is where you can create coupon codes for your Shopify store.
This page is where you install new apps to improve your Shopify store.
For example you can install an app for an FAQ page, for a live chat function, customized product options and more.
This is where you’ll manage the appearance of your Shopify website.
This section has 6 subsections:
- Blog posts
Themes: You can add and customize your Shopify theme here.
Blog Posts: You can add blog posts and work on your content marketing here
Pages: This is where you add new pages to your website
Navigation: This is where you edit your main and footer menus
Domains: This is where you setup your custom domain
Preferences: This is where you edit the title and description of your website (this is what shows up in google) and also where you install your Facebook pixel, Google analytics and disable your store password.
This is where you’ll manage the back-end of your Shopify store.
In the general settings you can manage your store currency, timezone and address.
Under payments you can edit your accepted payment options.
The checkout tab lets you edit your checkout page.
You can also setup taxes, store languages and legal information within your settings.
Drop Servicing FAQs
Is Drop Servicing Easy?
Drop Servicing is easy to set up using services like Shopify and Fiverr. This doesn’t mean that starting an online business is easy though.
Starting an online business requires hard work and time investment, without it, you will not succeed.
That being said, with the right mindset and work ethic, I believe anyone can make a comfortable living through drop servicing.
Is Drop Servicing Profitable?
With drop servicing, you are fully in charge of your pricing model.
Yes drop servicing is profitable.
It’s very common to make a 2x 3x and even 4x markup within the drop servicing business model.
Is Drop Servicing unethical or immoral?
Many businesses outsource work to subcontractors.
I would say drop servicing is only unethical or immoral if you’re completely lying about your workflow.
If you’re pretending to be the person providing the services, that is unethical.
But if you’re upfront about being a business that works with qualified freelancers, there is nothing immoral or unethical about your business model.
What do I Need to Start Drop Servicing?
All you really need to start drop servicing is some money (around $100 minimum), time, a computer and an internet connection.
You can start drop servicing from anywhere in the world.
Is Drop Servicing For You?
If you’re looking for an easy to start online business model, drop servicing is likely a good option for you.
Expect to put in the work to see results, this is no get-rich-quick-scheme.
Shopify Drop Servicing Summary
Hopefully, this article has taught you how you can get started with drop servicing through Shopify.
Drop servicing is the perfect business model for those looking to get started with online business without breaking the bank.
As this article pointed out, drop servicing really is quite easy using Shopify.
You can have your own drop servicing website set up in minutes, without technical knowledge or dashboards too complicated to navigate.