What if you could create a product that would generate income for you while you’re not in the office, asleep, or busy doing other work? We know, we know. You provide a service, so you might be wondering how you can transform your services into products. We’ve worked through the process outlined below to productize our services, and we can’t wait for you to learn how to do it too. On the other side is value for your audience and a viable strategy for growing your business with less time and effort from you. So let’s get you to the finish line!
What is a productized service?
Let’s start at the beginning. What is a productized service? Here are the deets:
A productized service is work you do for somebody else packaged like a product.
A productized service has a fixed price, and a straightforward purchasing experience, and it’s packaged the same every time.
Why productize your services?
Productizing your services comes with benefits for you and your audience.
For you, the B2B business, you get to sell your services in a standardized, consistent way, and with or without your involvement. Yep. You can opt for set-it-and-forget-it productized services.
For your audience, they receive an easy-to-buy, easy-to-use product that provides value at a set price with a focus on an accessible experience.
So here’s how you do it.
Assess Your Core Offering
Step one is to clarify what you do. Bear with us. Even if you’ve been in business for decades, the switch to productizing your services goes more smoothly if you are 100% clear about what you offer. It’s essential to revisit your core offering to assess whether it’s still airtight or could use an update.
- How would you describe what you do to somebody outside of your industry?
- What would you say if you had to limit your explanation to 1-2 sentences?
- What is valuable about your core offering?
- What problem does it solve for your audience?
Better yet, ask your audience what they think about your services. We recommend conducting customer research regularly to take the temperature of your audience. You can guess all day long, but the insights you need come from them directly.
Bottom line: what is it that you do better than anybody else?
Determine What You Do Different
Depending on your industry, your market may be overrun with productized services. Life coaching. Content creation. Graphic design. It’s a party, and everybody’s invited. So for your productized service to be successful, you must understand what sets you apart from the crowd.
A wise woman and bedazzled attire connoisseur extraordinaire Dolly Parton once said, “You gotta keep trying to find your niche and trying to fit into whatever slot is left for you or to make one of your own.”
There’s no need to be preoccupied with saturated markets; figure out what makes your service unique.
At BCS, we focus on audience research. It infuses our work and the work we do for clients. We also focus on people. We research to understand people better. We offer research to serve our people (clients) better.
What makes your services unique?
Consider the following angles that might illuminate your differentiators:
- Geographical location
- Price point
- Customer service
And more. Say you sell software that makes people’s lives easier. So do a lot of companies. So why should somebody purchase your software over somebody else’s? Your extensive training and onboarding program ensures your audience feels comfortable and confident as they learn how to use your software and creates a positive experience. There’s always somebody there to answer questions and provide guidance. Find out what makes your “software” more than just software.
Solve Your Audience’s Problem
Your audience will not buy into your productized service if it doesn’t do something for them. In marketing terms, your core offering should solve your audience’s problem. Forget stabs in the dark; there are viable ways to understand your audience’s pain points and how your service-based B2B business is uniquely qualified to solve their problems.
Ask your audience.
Reach out to your audience for feedback via emailed surveys, social media polls, or direct phone calls. Inquire about their perspective before and after engaging with your services. Specifically, you want to understand how your service changed their life. For example, if your product helped them feel a sense of community, perhaps your service solved for loneliness.
Dig into data.
Look through your analytics and pinpoint common threads between lost leads, why your customers unsubscribe from email, and what website pages have a high bounce rate. Be curious and willing to see your blind spots.
Check out your competition.
Who are your competitors? What do their testimonials and reviews say? What kind of overlap is there between your audience and theirs? What are they doing well, and where’s their room for improvement?
Productize Your Service, and They Will Come
Once you’ve determined what you do, who you serve, and what solution you provide, you’re ready to productize your service. While you’ll need to expend some resources (time, energy, and money, unless you outsource), you won’t have to lift many fingers going forward once you've successfully productized your service.
These are the must-considers for productizing your service.
Select a format to productize your services.
Choose from video, webinar, eCourse, audio, or an alternative. One of the best ways to guide that decision is to research your audience to find out what content types engage them the most, how they learn, and to what extent they want to interact with your B2B business.
Choose a platform to productize your services.
Depending on how you choose to deliver your service, you may need to look into what platforms make the most sense for your service-based business. Again, let’s use the SaaS example from above. If you’re known for your seamless onboarding, and your audience loves video, you’ll need to look into which video hosting platform works best for your business.
Create valuable productized services.
Always provide value with your productized services. For example, say you’ve decided to productize your services by packaging and selling videos of webinars you’ve hosted. Are those webinars timely or timeless? (Aim for the latter.) Is there value for the audience in the videos beyond simple education or information? Do the videos provoke further action, and are they directly applicable to your audience’s life? Do the webinars solve your audience’s problems?
Ensure a great user experience.
You need to consider an outsider's perspective even if you believe your productized service is the creme de la creme. Have friends, family, or neighbors interact with your productized service and give you feedback on its efficacy and usability.
Streamline the purchase experience.
In the development phase, you’ll need to consider how you want your audience to purchase your productized service. Find an eCommerce platform that works for a productized service. Your productized service. Reduce any sources of friction. Avoid asking for multiple pieces of information from your audience (an email address and credit card info is fine). When they purchase your productized service, keep the purchase experience to three screens maximum. The more hoops you make them jump through just to access their, for example, eCourse, the more irritated they will get.
Name Your Price
Once your service is packaged and ready to meet your audience for the first time, you need to decide on its price. While this blog cannot tell you exactly how to price your productized service, here’s what you need to consider.
What return on investment makes sense for your budget and business goals?
What monetary value can you justifiably assign to the productized service?
What are similar productized services going for?
How frequently do you anticipate updating or revamping your productized service? What might it cost to do so?
What costs do you incur over time (hosting fees, maintenance fees, labor costs, etc.)? How might you account for these costs over time?
Then consider what pricing models make sense for your capabilities and your audience’s wants and needs. Here are a few options to consider:
- One-time purchase
- Lifetime access
- Limited-time access
- Retainer model
- Unlimited access for a monthly fee
Your final decision should fit your budget, take you closer to achieving your business goals, and make sense for your audience.
Market Your Productized Services
Phew. We made it to the end. Once you’ve successfully productized your services, the marketing begins! (We’re biased, but this is our favorite part.)
Audience insights + content strategy + content execution = increase brand awareness and engagement
So, if you’re not in the marketing game, here’s a high-level blueprint for launching your productized services.
- Find your audience (where do they work, eat, and play).
- Create a timeline for sharing your productized service with the world (decide when you want to start notifying them, how frequently you want to touch base, and when to taper off to business as usual).
- Create your core content (start with a landing page to market your service).
- Create supporting content for that piece of core content (blogs, emails, social media posts).
- Choose your channels (at least 2-3).
- Plan your content (schedule ahead of time, put post dates on a task management system, etc.).
- Launch your marketing campaign.
- Track your results (watch analytics, observe what people are saying, monitor sales data).
And if marketing isn’t your jam, you’re in luck; we do it all day, every day. If you want to save time and money while entrusting your productization process to somebody that’s been around the block a few times, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Founder & CEO
Kiley Peters is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a boutique audience research, content strategy, and website creation agency primarily serving brands targeting Millennial Moms or business owners. She is also the Founder of the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurial moms through the steps of starting a virtual business. She also launched the Brainchild Fund, a nonprofit initiative to support women and girls in business and entrepreneurship Follow her on Instagram.more posts by Kiley →
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