“Which of my services should I productize?”
This is a question we get a lot.
And the truth is, unfortunately, most people won’t be able to tell you (myself included) exactly what to productize until you’ve done enough work. You can’t productize something you haven’t sold and or delivered before.
It just doesn’t work that way.
If you’re looking to make the transition to productized services and want to figure out what your offer should be, this episode is for you.
Transcript / MP3
What’s good, everybody. Greg Hickman here and this is another episode of the Scalable podcast.
And in this episode what I want to talk about is what should your productized service be?
If you’ve been offering services and you’ve maybe been an agency and you’re looking to make that transition, what should your offer be? That’s what we’re talking about in this episode.
So in this episode, I want to talk about how you should figure out what your productized service should be.
We get a lot of folks that are really new to business, that have been offering a lot of different things and they want to kind of come out of the gates with a productized service.
While in some cases that’s possible, if you haven’t really honed in on your expertise, and understand exactly how you’re going to deliver that service, ultimately how you’re going to market that service is kind of dependent upon you actually doing the work.
What I mean by that is that you have the conversation of well, here are all the things I do.
What and how should I prioritize or what should I productize?
And unfortunately, most people won’t be able to tell you (myself included in that) exactly what that should be until you just do the work.
And so a little story is when we launched System.ly, we were an agency.
And we knew that we were doing Infusionsoft for online entrepreneurs, but that was as far as we had narrowed it down.
I didn’t know exactly what that would look like or what pieces I would like when it came to doing the Infusionsoft for these people or the parts that I wouldn’t like.
And so one of my friends basically challenged me and he said, hey look, here’s the deal.
You’re not going to know what you like or what you don’t like until you just deliver for a couple of different clients in a couple of different capacities.
Which means in the early stages you’re going to have to do a little bit of different stuff for different people to see what parts you like and what parts of it you don’t like.
And in my head, you know, we were originally going to be like the infusion soft, like the WP curve for infusion soft. So many of you watching might not have ever even heard of WP curve, but they were one of the first productized services is like unlimited, unlimited web hosting and support. We’re press support, they ended up getting acquired by Godaddy. MMM. And it was like submit unlimited tasks about, you know, web hosting, wordpress management and support. And they would just do one at a time and uh, for a flat fee of like 100 bucks, uh, the, the new age version of that is like design pickle, amazing business. Um, and you know, for 350 bucks a month, you have like a dedicated designer and they do unlimited graphic design work for like a specific type of design, like ads collateral, not like branding or logos or anything like that.
But like if you need a brochure, you would go to someone like design pickle, right? And so we were like, we’re going to be that sort of business, unlimited requests, unlimited infusion, soft, unlimited funnels for a flat rate fee. And, um, that’s how it kind of started. So I went out and I said, you know, hey potential prospect, like, let’s have a sales call. Let’s have a conversation, not a sales conversation around, um, you know, what is your pain and your problem with, with infusion soft. And basically I’d present a different package at a flat monthly rate. Look, we’re going to do as much as we can each month for you. You just got to let us know what the request is and then we’ll, we’ll go and do it and when it’s done you request the next one. If you have a queue that’s totally fine.
We’ll work through the queue and we’ll kind of give you every time you request something and we’ll give you an idea as to how long it’s going to take to turn around. Now knowing what I know now, if I were to relaunch that service, I probably could pull it off. I don’t think it’s one that I would want to create, but that’s how we started. And so, you know, I had one client pain like 300 bucks a month, one client paying 500 bucks a month, one client paying 600 what client plan of thousand. And each of those arrangements were slightly different, right? One client got a certain amount of stuff in a certain type of stuff and another client got slightly different. But the one, the one I’m kind of constant was I had them all agreed to doing a 90 day trial like, hey look, we’re going to do everything we can each and every month to support, here’s how it’s gonna work and here’s what’s included.
Years was not, again, each client had a different relationship, right? And so we’ve got to do the work for three months and we’ve got to try different types of that work. And guess what we learned, we learned, man, we don’t like this, that and the other thing. We love this, this and the other thing, right? And we also realized, crap in order to do this, that and the other thing. We can’t just charge two, 300 bucks a month or even 500 bucks a month. Like we need to up level the service because of how customized a lot of the work was at that time. And that was something that we weren’t accounting for. There was a lot of unique, how do you tag? How do you design all that stuff that came into play that required us to make the investment a little bit higher than say like two, 300 bucks a month.
So this, I’m telling this story because many of you that are trying to productize or asking these questions was like what should I productize? And it’s not just what’s going to sell and or what clients want. It’s also what you enjoy doing. What actually gets them the results. Because not only were we able to identify, hey, here are the top five things we hate doing and don’t want to do, but here are the things that really, or administrative that aren’t like elevating someone’s business like to the style of impact that we wanted to have. So the lesson here is sometimes you got to do Chesnut in order to figure out what you don’t want to do, right? And you just have to do it like you have to do the work. So if you’re still stuck at what to productize or what parts you want to include and what, what exactly the deliverable should be and you’re just not there yet, you’re Gunna have to do the work working with different types of people, trying it in different ways.
So literally see, do I like this or do I not? Does this add the type of support and value that I want for my client or does it not? And by doing it for I think a 90 day window kind of doing a of wide variety of arrangements for a subset of clients, like we had about seven different clients that we’re going through this 90 day window. And in 90 days I was able to say, all right, like if we’re going to continue working together, here’s what it’s got to look like. Here’s what’s included, here’s what’s not. And that was like the first iteration of what we wanted our productize service to be. But if you’ve never delivered the work, if you’ve never done the work, it’s all just theory, right? So I think the fastest way for you to figure that out is just to do the damn work and find out what parts you like, what parts actually get your clients the results, and how you want to iterate and innovate the offering to the next stage to den start selling phase two of it, period.
Right? So if you’ve been avoiding doing the work, uh, sorry, you’re going to continue to be asking this question and a question that most people won’t be able to answer. He’s just got to do, do the work, do the show, isn’t it? Even if it’s something that you think you might not know that you’re going to like yet, well you’ll find out after you do it for a little bit, you’ll have gone through it and you’ll have the experience to say, no, that’s not for me, right? Or hell yeah, we need to do more of this or double down on this one piece of the deliverable and get rid of all that other stuff. Right? So it’s just the fast path. Having the experience to know how to productize. Because if you don’t have experience delivering stuff for your clients, you’re never gonna be able to identify those loopholes or the ways to streamline getting them to the results, which is going to allow you to productize the delivery part of what you’re selling anyway. So that’s all I got for you today. Do she, isn’t it, that you might not want to do or you don’t?
If you need to do to figure out what you don’t gotta do.
All right. So I hope you guys enjoyed this episode of the Scalable podcast.
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Take it, easy guys.