You are a service provider. Whether you’re freelancing or running your own business, you want to sell your services to customers who value you and who are willing to pay what you’re worth.
It should be easy. After all, you know there are people out there who want what you can deliver. You know they’re paying people who deliver work well below your standards — and sometimes they pay them more than you charge. There is no reason that you should not be getting more business. What you need is a platform that puts you on top of the market.
Are You a Product?
This is not meant to objectify you, rather, it’s about marketing your services effectively. If you market your services as a fixed-price product, then you can attract clients who are wary of cost but still want the services you’re offering. This is how you “productize” yourself. You, or your services, become a product you can sell.
How to Productize Your Services?
Start by asking yourself what services you can systemize. The idea isn’t to make your services inflexible. The idea is to balance the constraints you need to produce your service for a fixed cost and the customizability your clients need to get what they want. Standardize what you can, while leaving room to meet your client’s individual needs for a fixed price.
To improve your profitability, you can:
- Make a blueprint that describes how to implement your fixed-price service.
- Use online tools to automate as much of your service as possible.
- Set simple, profitable prices.
- Use the look and feel of your service to market it as something tangible for your customers.
- Train your people to provide the value you promise profitably.
What Should You Productize?
Productized services balance what can be systematic with what must be customizable. This empowers you to create a service you can sell profitably at a flat fee.
To do this, you need to identify services that have repeatable patterns. Create a system that leverages those patterns by creating customizable templates. Test your templates to ensure they’re effective through customization for a variety of customers. Any service that passes the test can be productized.
What Are the Benefits and Risks?
Productized services establish trust by reducing the customer’s risk, which empowers you to attract customers who are unaware of your reputation. You benefit by increases in productivity. If done well, it also ensures you can profitably deliver your services to each customer. The primary risk is that you will underestimate the amount of customization a service may require, which will raise your costs and erode your profits. Testing can reduce this risk, but there are always exceptions. Increasing your access to customers outweighs this risk, especially considering you can always change the price, if necessary.