Productizing Your Services – Start Now

When Confluence Business Solutions was first started, I called myself a freelancer. I wanted something small and simple and cared about just making sure I didn’t starve to death or live in a box in the alley. Getting a client was a major victory (don’t get me wrong, to this day, we celebrate every new relationship!) and the client called all the shots. They told me what they needed, when they needed it, how we would work together and so on. At the time, I didn’t know any better and heck, they were helping me achieve my goals so I called that a win. 

Nine months later, the Christmas holiday rolled around and all my work opportunities dried up and my sense of success evaporated. Obviously, I didn’t give up, but it did teach me a few very valuable lessons. First, being a freelancer with no direction wasn’t going to work for me, I needed to formalize my work and what I offered. I learned how important it was to create products around my services. Second,  I learned that in the absence of leadership, my clients were forced to fill the void. 

Initially, my intention was selfishly motivated. I wanted to be a bit more financially stable and be protected from periods of financial drought. Finally, I wanted to create opportunities for people to work with me on a more long-term basis. 

My first iteration of productized services was still very simple but it worked and it’s an offering I still make available to clients that need it. However, as the years have progressed, my offerings have become more diverse to better support the needs of my clients and as a result, clients have remained with me for many years. Once again, I learned some valuable lessons. I learned that while my clients drive project goals, the role of the leader should be mine. It was my responsibility to share what I could do for them, how I worked with them. and open the door to future possibilities. And as a result of that leadership role, I was better able to share the value in a longer term relationship. I made it easy for them to picture what it was like to work with me. 

Fast forward several years and let me share a few things that have happened in my business as a result of clear product offerings, 

  • I no longer spend time writing custom proposals
  • I am able to set financial goals with measurable action steps for how I can achieve them (this is huge)
  • I’m able to estimate my time expense and reliably identify how much work I can take on, or when to begin outsourcing
  • Created ease in onboarding new clients
  • Set consistent expectations for how clients and I work together…this is that leadership…acting as the expert and guide that they actually hired in the first place
  • Automation! Having products means I could create a repeatable process for onboarding that could then be automated, removing me from having to send contracts and invoices etc. 

So as you take a look at your business, are you still writing proposals? Are you still customizing your offerings to meet the demands of each client separately? If so, the time is now to make the switch. Here’s what you should consider:

  1. List What Your Doing
    Make a list of the things you are doing/offering for Clients

Spend a few minutes listing all the things you do with your clients. This could be 1:1 work, group calls, mastermind sessions, webinars, resources you give away, etc.

  1. Set Clear Deliverables
    Now, it’s time to start thinking about the logical way to group your services into products. Some may be free and others may have a price. A good way to go about this is to package your services based on what stage or level your clients come to you (ie. first experience, second experience, etc.).
    Packaging for the different options prepares you for creating  value ladder for your customer journey.
  2. Create Tangible Results
    To prepare you for offering your products to clients, know what results you are delivering. Do clients that work with you find increased happiness, or get out of a bad workplace or career? Identify the results that are typical for client success’
  3. Set Pricing
    As you are determining the cost of your different products, market research can help. Don’t just add up the time you are working with clients and multiply by some rate. Be sure you include in your calculations the time it takes for you to create your products, or host them or the benefits they get as a result.  

Wrapping Up

Productizing your service offerings can be a win both you and your clients. Overall, when you productize your services, you save time by eliminating the need for time consuming proposals and contract negotiations, you are better able to budget both your money and time, you are building a scalable business model that can be automated, and finally, you are providing the confidence and leadership your customer expects. 

Need help identifying products in your business, let’s chat!

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