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Will Your Productized Service Sell? Here’s What to Know

October 24th

Offsprout is the only WordPress website builder for freelancers and agencies.

Creating a packaged or productized service is a great way for any freelancer or agency to boost revenue and offer something of value to clients.

But just because you can make a productized service, should you? Do you actually have something that will make the lives of your clients easier, or are you just looking to make “easy money”?

The answers to those questions do matter, because if your productized service doesn’t produce something of genuine value, it won’t sell. Or, it will sell right away, but you will suffer from heavy turnover rates down the line.

So, how do you know whether or not your productized service will sell? Here are a few things you should know…

Your Target Market Matters

Productizing a service is essentially about making someone else’s life easier – it’s about having a solution to a problem. Not only that, but a better solution than anything else out there.

If they don’t have time to do something that they need done on a regular basis, your service or offering does it for them (thus saving them time).

If they don’t have the staff support to get things done, your service does the job for them (so they don’t need to hire in-house).

The list goes on, but the point remains: Your service needs to meet needs.

That’s where your target market comes into play. Your service won’t (and shouldn’t) be for everyone. It should be designed to help a targeted group of people, because of one reason: traffic.

Getting traffic becomes significantly easier when you know exactly who you’re looking for, and when you start your offering, you’re going to need traffic. You will need to figure out:

  • Who will be buying your service?
  • Why they are buying it? (Will it save them time? Will it help them in some other tangible or intangible way?)
  • Where do they hang out? (So you can insert yourself into those places and get noticed)

Without a clearly defined market, you may struggle to find a good foothold in the industry, no matter how great your idea is or how much it may help.

Your Pricing Structure Matters

The second big thing you need to decide is how you will price out your services, because you’re ultimately selling a product.

This can be difficult for many first-timers looking to turn a traditional service into a productized one. Normally, a freelancer or an agency would charge by the hour, or by the project, based on different criteria.

But a productized service needs to be sold en masse, which makes pricing a little more strategic. There are several ways you can go about pricing your service, but the two most popular are fixed scope and flat rate.

  • Fixed Scope is where you have a flexible pricing structure based on plans or tiers, but you make it clear to your customers what you will and won’t do. For example, you may offer to build websites for them, but you don’t include marketing (or you may offer a separate plan that includes an offering, but won’t include social media, etc.)
  • Flat Rate is exactly what it sounds like: a flat fee for everything you do. You are essentially anchoring your price against the potential value of the service you’re offering. You’re saying, “Here is the price we’ve valued our service at, take it or leave it.”

So, which is the right solution for you?

It doesn’t necessarily matter as long as your customer values the service above the price. Ultimately, you can charge whatever you want, and as long as your target market will pay for it, you’re succeeding.

The real question remains this: Will your target market pay for it?

Your Value Proposition Matters

According to Dan Norris, founder of WP Curve, the key to successful productizing is offering something that has recurring value.

Your productized service should be able to be used on a regular basis. Even if most of your business comes from one-off jobs, you will want to find a solution to a problem that people have on a monthly basis.

WP Curve came up with this idea for their productized model:

Problem: Website owners don’t want to do the little tasks that come along with running a WordPress site themselves.

Is this problem recurring? Yes. There are always plugins and themes that you need to update when running a WP site, and there are always various small issues that come up.

Solution: Offer unlimited WordPress fixes and tasks for a flat monthly fee.

You should be able to come up with your own similar responses for your service. If you’re not quite sure of just how much value your service will offer, you can ask these questions:

  • What do my customers come to me about on a regular basis?
  • What complaints about the industry or task do I frequently hear?
  • What are they doing that costs them the most amount of time every month?
  • Does what I’m offering solve those problems for them?
  • Does what I’m offering offer them a way to solve their own problems?

Ideally, your productized service will solve their problem for them – a “done-for-you” solution, but there are also productized services that offer DIY solutions.

But, whichever route you choose, you want to make sure that you’re making their lives easier or solving a problem they couldn’t solve on their own. If you can do that, your service will probably sell with very little effort.

Final Thoughts

While creating a productized service can be a great option for boosting revenue and maintaining a loyal customer base, you have to ensure that your service offers real value to a certain set of people before you can actually start selling it.

Perhaps most importantly, you should focus on the value proposition of your service: will it actually help people on a regular basis?

You also need to determine exactly who your service will be helping. You don’t want to keep your market so broad that you don’t know where to start marketing. You should be able to say, “Here is my market, here is where they go, here is the advertising I can do.”

Finally, you want to set your pricing structure in such a way that it’s both affordable for your customers but also makes you money (that’s why you’re in business, after all). The two most popular options are fixed and flat rate, but you have flexibility to be creative as long as it meets your end goal.

Remember that in the beginning stages of launching your service, you will probably go through a lot of trial and error. That’s okay. As long as you’re meeting your goals and solving problems, you won’t have any trouble selling your productized service.

 

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