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Productised services: The feast that could end your freelancing famine

Productised services: The feast that could end your freelancing famine

There's a good chance you've heard of productised services as a freelancer and thought yeah, not for me. But lemme show you why they might whet your appetite.

There's a good chance you've heard of productised services as a freelancer and thought yeah, not for me. But lemme show you why they might whet your appetite.

If you struggle to put a dollar amount on your time, click here to grab my Free Pricing Calculator here and run your numbers for yourself.

It’s the best way to work out your unique recipe for your prices.

CHEFS NOTE: This blog explores the benefits of a productised service for freelancers. BUT if you don’t know what a productised service is or want to learn more, download my free mini-guide here.

One of the secrets to freelancing success is knowing how to price and structure your offerings in a range of different ways.

Most of us work on a model that requires a fair bit of back-and-forth with potential clients. They make contact and then we jump into the whole ‘tell me about your business and what you need’ process. This can be emails to-and-fro or a discovery call, followed by you building and issuing a proposal.

Unless you’ve offered a ballpark figure during your communication, the proposal may be the first time they see your rates. By this stage, you’ve already invested time and energy into a project that you may not even end up securing (for any range of reasons). While I’m certainly not discouraging you from working this way (this is how I make a lot of my money), you may able to boost your profits and productivity by including another pricing method; productised services.

Imagine you’re running around doing errands, heading to various appointments, and suddenly realise you’re starving. It’s probably been a while since you’ve eaten, and you don’t have a lot of time. You need to grab something quick and easy that not only satisfies your hunger but gives you the energy to keep going with your busy day. On this particular day, you don’t have time to sit down and order lunch, nor do you really need to. You head to the nearest drive-thru and order yourself a burger.

In this scenario, a burger is a great choice.

You know exactly what you’re getting (cheese, a beef patty, etc) and how much it’s going to cost. It also provides a good nutritional balance while tasting great. You don’t need to ask the drive-thru staff a million, clarifying questions, and within minutes your hunger will be satisfied. You simply select a burger from a set menu, make no changes to it, pay for it, and continue your day with a full belly. There will almost certainly be future times where you carefully research a restaurant, sit down, order a meal, and create an entirely different experience to your drive-thru burger. However, on this day, a Double Quarter Pounder is exactly what you need.

While I wish burger-eating was customary with every client, this drive-thru story is a metaphor for productising your services. The McDonalds staff do provide you a service in that they cook, build, and serve you a fresh burger. However, it’s being sold to you as a product.

As your freelance career progresses, you’ll likely find that clients are often needing the same things.

A branding package with specific inclusions if you’re a graphic designer, or a set number of reels and captions if social media is your jam. When you bundle up these inclusions into a specific, no-frills package, you’ve productised your services. There are a range of reasons why offering productised services can benefit your business (and you know we’re about to deep dive into those), but in the very least, it can cut out a whole lot of time and energy.

You can add an e-comm element to your website where the potential client can select the productised service that they want, add to cart, checkout, and pay on the spot. This means that by the time you contact them to kick things off, they’re already a paying client.

Curious about Productised Services for your freelance business?

Pinch my mini guide to find out the key ingredients to include and some examples of how other freelancers have made it work too!

So what are the tasty benefits that your next productised service could bring to your freelance business?

Ditch the inconsistent income struggle.

Inconsistent income is one of the biggest challenges freelancers can face. There’s not really ever a guarantee of work, and it’s up to you to find your next client. Even when you do secure a new project, you likely won’t be paid up front. Bespoke quoting usually involves the back-and-forth communication I mentioned earlier, which means you’ll be putting in time you’re not being directly paid for.

Having productised services available can help to create a more consistent workflow (and, therefore, steady income). For potential clients, the whole process is streamlined and straightforward, making you more appealing than some of your competitors.

Clear and specified packages mean they know exactly what they’re getting, and how much it’s going to cost. It also suggests that these are services you offer frequently, so are highly proficient in. With the right setup on your website, you could literally wake up one morning to find your next project has already been added to cart, checked out, and paid for in full (all while you slept soundly on your high-quality mattress).

Overcome the struggle of the juggle

Time management and workload can be another juggle for freelancers. Soon enough (if you haven’t already), you’ll likely find yourself with multiple projects happening at once. Juggling them all, prioritising, tracking who’s paid and who hasn’t, and digging up your notes from discovery calls can be a bit of an overwhelming nightmare.

The more time you spend doing all of this, the less hours you’re being directly paid for. Suddenly the project deadlines approach and you’re working late nights and weekends (even though you became a freelancer largely to stop this from happening).

Offering productised services can really help minimise the juggle and provide a streamlined approach to managing your workload. You can automate certain aspects, work more efficiently, reduce admin time, and carve out more hours to focus on high-value creative work.

Pave a clear pathway for your ideal clients to find you.

Marketing and finding new clients are easily the bane of many freelancer’s existence. As a creative, there’s likely an infinite number of problems you could be solving, and figuring out how to market those can be a nightmare. Intricately understanding your demographic is pivotal to successful marketing, but even that can be a challenge at times.

Being able to promote specific, clearly defined service packages makes it easier to effectively communicate the benefits of hiring you, and therefore target your ideal client. Clarity in marketing leads to a much higher conversion rate, and it’s a lot easier to market something specific.

Having clear packages with set prices immediately overcomes a ton of potential objections, leaving the gate wide open for your new clients to knock on your door and grow your customer database.

Scope creep be gone!

Scope creep (and project management overall) woes can be easily overcome with productised service offerings. Every creative freelancer has stories about projects that blow out because the client keeps asking for more. Sometimes they want to add or remove items, and other times it’s a never-ending barrage of revision requests.

Scope creep can be incredibly stressful to navigate, especially when you have to tell the client their requests are going to cost extra or that you’re simply done with it all and can’t allocate any more time/energy. It can blow out your entire timeline and cause a domino effect on subsequent work.

The simple and clear nature of productised service offerings means scope creep is far less likely. Everyone knows exactly what they’re getting and how much it’s going to cost.

If a client has purchased a productised service and ends up wanting something different, it becomes a bespoke project and you’re entitled to issue a new quote with a new timeline. If this ruffles their feathers, politely refer them to the initial package inclusions that they agreed on and highlight that their requests are additional.

The pricetag is the pricetag, and you can be confident in that.

Pricing and negotiating challenges have kept more than one freelancer awake at night. As I’m sure you may know, the psychology behind pricing can be incredibly complex (hence why I’ve built a career teaching other freelancers all about it). There are so many variables in pricing a bespoke project (and you can read more about that here), and it can seem as though every new client throws you something you’ve never considered before.

You might worry about charging so much that nobody can hire you or charging so little that it’s an insult to your skills and creativity. Add onto that the dreaded “We like you but it’s more than we were expecting. Can do you it cheaper?” and you’re hyperventilating and calling your mum at 2:00am.

Productised services are fix priced, meaning you only have to decide on the price once (until you decide to raise your rates. Read how to do that here) and then stick to it. Potential clients are less likely to attempt a price negotiation, and if they do, it’s much easier for you to shut it down.

This is the price, other clients are happily paying it, and they’re welcome to take their business elsewhere if it’s too expensive. People who attempt a price negotiation on something fix priced are actually doing you a favour. This can be a major red flag and one you’ll be glad they revealed early on. Fixed priced productised services really help to minimise uncomfortable pricing situations while clearly communicating your value.

You’re only one (super) person, but scaling productised services is way easier than cloning.

Scaling and growing your business becomes a little easier when productised services are on your menu. Bespoke projects often mean you can only work on one project for one client at a time. There’s usually a lot going on and you end up with little capacity to work on anything else.

Services that you productise offer a pathway to scalability because they can be more easily replicated and offered to multiple clients at once. By addressing the same, specific pain points for your clients, you can achieve greater stability and efficiency.

Chances are that the services you choose to productise are ones you could (basically) get done in your sleep. Take advantage of your proficiency in these areas by taking on multiple projects at once, therefore scaling and growing your business.

It’s important to understand that productised services should be added to your menu, but not replace other pricing methods you currently use.

Productised services also need to have clear inclusions, terms, and conditions (you can find the inclusions checklist in my free mini-guide). When it comes to contracts and product inclusions, ambiguity usually favours the consumer. Make sure there can be no misunderstanding or multiple interpretations of what you’re offering.

Productised services are ideal if you’re wanting to niche down and avoid being lumped with freelancers who have less experience or expertise. If you’re ready to scale your business and learn exactly how to build a productised service, make sure you’ve got a ticket to my Productised to Perfection Masterclass (included for Freelancer’s Pantry members).

You won’t always know the best freelance services to offer until real clients vote with their dollars. Once they do, you can build a juicy offer around the outcomes that your clients value the most.

See you at the masterclass!

Ready to build your first productised service?

The masterclass to help you build, price and serve your first (or next) productised service in your freelance business.

Discover the juicy profit potential that lies within the sweet buns of productised services!

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