Productized services allow freelancers, designers, and entrepreneurs to package and sell services as if they were a physical product — making customers feel almost as if they’ve walked into a store and bought something off the shelf. This makes it easier for service-based businesses to scale and lets customers feel like they’re getting more value for their money.
But there’s more than one way to productize a service. Let’s take a look at each productized services model, along with examples of what these models look like in action.
1. The one-time sale model
As the name states, the one-time sale productized services model involves a one-time purchase. In this model, the customer buys a service and the service provider delivers.
A common example of this is web design. Let’s assume, for instance, that a business needs a new website. It shops around for designers, settles on a service provider, and pays a fee for the design service. This is a one-time purchase that’s not going to repeat.
By nature, the one-time sale model of productized services is limited, and that’s okay. Just because you’re not signing up a customer for recurring sales doesn’t mean you’ll never see them again.
On the contrary, the one-time sale model can be quite lucrative. In many cases, one-time sales can lead to add-on services or ongoing work. For example, a web designer might be able to sell a maintenance package once they’re done creating a client’s website.
The one-time sale model can also help service providers build their portfolio, which can pull in other clients and guarantee steady revenue.
Scribe is an excellent real-world example of the one-time sale model of a productized service. With Scribe, customers pay a flat fee in exchange for a total book publishing package that includes everything from editing and interior formatting to cover design and author marketing.
2. The client DIY model
The client DIY productized services model is a way to scale one-on-one coaching or consulting services by packaging tutorials and guides. The idea is to teach customers a skill or impart some kind of knowledge so they can take it and apply it on their own.
There are a lot of ways to do this. For example, some service-based businesses put together workshops or webinars. Others package step-by-step programs or sell video courses.
A client DIY model can work great for subject matter experts, as it lets them distribute their knowledge on a broad scale rather than working with clients one-on-one.
So how does this look in real life? Consider a personal trainer who normally coaches clients one at a time. This type of business is traditionally very difficult to scale because the trainer is just one person and there are only so many hours in the day.
By hosting personal training sessions online, the same trainer can reach a group of clients. The trainer could also create webinar tutorials and guides, and perhaps even make a spinoff program about nutrition and healthy living.
The client DIY model also works well for other types of coaching. For example, consulting.com has built a successful e-learning platform that teaches people how to start their own consulting business.
Another example of the client DIY model is Optimize My Bnb, which is run by Airbnb expert Danny Rusteen. Through his site, he sells a menu of coaching services that teach Airbnb owners how to improve their listings and get more bookings.
3. The foot-in-the-door model
Most people can’t resist samples, which is why companies give out trial sizes of their products. The good news is you can do the same with your services by using the foot-in-the-door productizing services model.
The idea behind the foot-in-the-door model is to introduce yourself to customers and give them a quick look at what you’re capable of.
While you might prefer to land a big project right up front, there’s something to be said for starting out with nibbles. If customers like the appetizer, they’re likely to come back for more.
For example, a graphic designer might offer a smaller, more targeted service such as a business logo design for $250. If the customer likes it, they’ll probably be more willing to purchase a full branding design package for $5,000.
A real world example of the foot-in-the-door model is SuperFastBusiness, which is run by business coach James Schramko. The site sells various levels of business and internet coaching, but Schramko has also written a book that explains his philosophy and approach to building a successful company. This gives would-be customers the chance to pay $2.99 to get an idea of what SuperFastBusiness is all about before investing more in coaching.
4. The monthly subscription model
The monthly subscription model of a productized service works by having customers sign up for recurring services. This model, which is popular because it produces a reliable stream of income, is particularly well-suited for things like blog content creation, social media management, and any kind of long-term service.
There are many great examples of the monthly subscription model. For example, Boldly lets business owners pay for support staff by the month without the hassle and overhead of hiring in-house personnel. This gives entrepreneurs and small companies a one-stop-shop for everything from administrative assistants and bookkeepers to marketers and project managers.
Now that you’ve seen what each productized services model looks like, you’ll be able to spot them around the web. You can get started by browsing our list of 100 examples of productized services.
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The great thing about each productized services model is that you don’t have to stick with just one. You can combine two or more models to scale your business and start earning more. ManyRequests makes it easy. Sign up for your free trial today and be sure to check out our ideas database for tips and tools to keep your business growing.