Productising not commoditising
Consulting and coaching businesses are great because you get a deep connection with your customers, their problems and goals, and you can begin fast (and start earning money faster) than many other business units.
There are some downsides. That deep connection implies there are always lots of “exceptions for rules”, people flake on paying, it’s time intensive, and there is a whole lot of consumer uncertainty about what they’re buying, and it can be tricky to extricate yourself in the process.
What’s the alternative?
At the moment I don’t have any services on offer so I can objectively tell you what my alternative was, it might well work for you.
I flipped my services into products with sales pages.
To participate me as trainer or an advisor you hit a button. My signal that somebody was interested in my services was cash coming into a PayPal account.
That meant that I didn’t have to be worried about invoicing individuals who wouldn’t pay up. Yeah it still happened more frequently than I’d enjoy, but I got the up front cash even when I didn’t get a last payment, along with the last payment was a low percentage of the whole that I didn’t fret too much.
It meant I only got serious customers rather than freebie seekers or those who didn’t really want to do the work. In my early days I had phone calls at strange hours from those seeking to pick my brain so much I put the current time in my timezone in my contact type. Having to pay money set a stop to this, for the most part.
Productising (productizing for Americans) your service means you clearly spell out what is, and isn’t, in the extent, and there is a fixed cost. The client has full buying confidence since they know exactly what to expect, and what your conditions are if they’re unhappy.
It also means that you can get help, draw in different people, delegate and outsource facets, since again you’re spelling out what you will do versus what will do. Nobody expected me to have the ability to design as well as Rafal however they wanted my own advice. I can code but I’m not going to by my own first choice of developer, etc.
By with an “simple yes” product as my entrance point (a website review), the customer got a taste of what it was like working with me. The men and women who only wanted those pointers went off happy, but there has been a natural cause to go further because executing the information obviously lead to additional needs.
The very best part is that your services can likely be changed into products relatively just, it’s mostly a different perspective on the same thing.
- Who will you help?
- What can you do for all those people which will have the most impact?
- What is that influence worth to them?
- Which are the ingredients and steps?
- How can you call this process?
Put into a sales page, then put in a call to act and … boom.
This subject came up because I’ve had a few discussions with colleagues about the right and wrong ways to achieve this. The worst mistake is turning your service into a “me-too“.
What you’re NOT doing is commoditising — you still will need to provide unique value that provides greater advantage than going with another person. You’re not supplying a set of bullet points which can be compared feature for the feature!
Try it out and let me know how it works for youpersonally!