Best Ways to turn your services into products

Whether you are a freelancer or a specialist, offering services is a stable business. You offer clients your services and, in return, they pay you money for the service you provide. Your income depends on your time, selling services limits your earn

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Whether you are a freelancer or a specialist, offering services is a stable business. You offer clients your services and, in return, they pay you money for the service you provide.

Your income depends on your time, selling services limits your earnings and opportunities. If you no longer have the ability to take on new customers, you will not get to measure your benefits.

One way to break free from this concept is by building products. With your services repackaged as products, you will be able to estimate your business and serve more customers without giving up more of your time.

What does “Productize” your services mean?

Productize Definition: “Productizing” your services usually mean taking the skills, value, and advice you offer as a specialist or freelancer, and making a product deliver part of that value. Here are the features that your product should have:

  • Scalable – Selling fifty units of the product should have a similar purpose or cost as it takes to sell ten units. With services, you cannot quickly go from serving two customers to fifty customers without changing the money or hours you put into your business.
  • Not Time-Bound – Whether you charge per hour or project, you still need to put time into your customer work. With products, apart from random customer support, you usually do not need to put in additional time or effort for each sale. You will, however, need to spend some time on marketing and building the product.
  • Mass-Produced – Rather than customizing projects for each customer’s particular needs, your customers will receive the same product.

Here is an example that follows the above criteria:

A product photographer might still take photos for corporate customers, but she can scale at least some of her practice by selling and creating stock photos. These stock photos should be standard of what her target market usually needs for their marketing materials. She can sell them directly through her website, or go through a stock photo marketplace like Photodune so that more clients can discover her work. This can lead to extra income, whether she currently has photography customers or not.

Three great productization examples: what products can you offer?

Now that you are familiar with what productization means and what it can offer to your business, it is time to look at the many various products you can provide for your clients.

1. Tutorials and Courses

As a service provider, you have the knowledge, experience, and skills that you can offer to others. This is why organizing paid tutorials or courses are a standard way for freelancers and specialists to get scalable income. You can teach classes, tutorials that share extensive skills that take more than one sitting to learn, or you could explain shorter tutorials that allow your clients to discover an extraordinary skill in a day or less.

2. Books

Another recommended way to package your services as a product is with books. Books help your clients come up with DIY (do-it-yourself) solutions to their obstacles, rather than the usual done-for-you solutions that you’d typically come up with as a specialist or freelancer. These books can be in the form of print books, ebooks, or both.

3. Apps

You might also choose to create and sell software. This could be mobile apps, online apps, or downloadable desktop software. A straightforward approach is to generate Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). These SaaS products are generally hosted on the web and require a user subscription to use.

How to go from concept to complete product?

Once you have gone through the list of products mentioned above, you will have a better idea of which product types you would like to pursue. The next step is to fine-tune that concept and make it more accurate.

Narrow down product ideas.

At this stage, you will need to come up with a few things: the target market you plan to sell the product to, your product’s format, and the problem you are trying to solve. Here are some guide issues you can use to figure this out:

1. Service target market vs. product target market

Narrow down the type of client to whom you plan to offer your product. Who is the target market you are currently reaching with your services? Are you targeting the same audience?

If you are targeting the same audience, recognize the difference between those who purchase your services and those who purchase your products. Why would clients choose your product over your services? Here are some options you can look at:

  • Cost – Maybe people who want to purchase your products have the same demographics as your customers—except they cannot decide to pay you hourly or per project rates. They want the benefits of your ability and experience but have a smaller budget.
  • Convenience – Some people like a do-it-yourself approach because they can do it with their team, or in their own time, rather than hiring an outside expert.
  • Simplicity – Usually, your customers need help with some problems. A client might want to fix one aspect of their business.

 

2. Pick your product topic or purpose

What obstacles are you currently solving with your services? What obstacle do you want your product to solve? As a freelancer or specialist, you are already solving various problems for your customers. You need to pick one issue that you will solve with your product. This could be a problem you have helped current customers with or something different.

3. Choose your product format

Given the target market, you are trying to reach and the problem you are trying to solve, what format best suits the solution you are offering? Here are ideas on what each format does best:

  • Tutorials and Courses – If what you are trying to provide your clients requires a lot of demonstrations or visuals, and this method is best.
  • Books – For solutions that clients can complete themselves, needing guidance or brief instruction.
  • Apps – Can software solve the problem you are trying to help clients with? If it can, and you have the time or skills to build your app, this format might work for you.

 

4. Plan your product creation time

It is also required to figure out how you will find the time to create your product:

  • When do you expect to start?
  • Given your current workload, how much time per week or month can you realistically dedicate to creating your product?
  • Does your convenient time match up with your launch date?

 

Creating your first product.

While you do not have to quit becoming a service provider, you will be running different business model when you productize. This comes with its advantages and challenges. Once you have analyzed your options, you are one step towards creating a more predictable, scalable income.