How To Productize Yourself: Resources & 4 Actionable Tips

How to productize yourself? A guide from Zendo
To productize yourself is to take your best assets, your story, or your skills, and turn that into a business. In this guide, we share our view on the idea of productizing yourself, going from different resources to actionable tips.
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Do you need a big company to have a successful business?

Coming in as a pile of fresh cookies, the idea of productizing yourself teaches us how to make use of something we already have and know — ourselves.

Whether you’ll decide to productize and sell your skills as services, create a whole brand on YouTube or TikTok, or monetize that podcast you’ve always dreamed of, you can do it all without a colleague in sight.

In this guide, we’ll focus on the idea of productizing a solo-run business, and making a brand out of yourself.

We’ll also take a look at one course that teaches that specifically, and take our time to give it a review.

Let’s dive in.

What Does It Mean To Productize Yourself?

Maybe you’ve been working as a graphic designer for a few years now, perhaps practicing video editing in the evenings, mastered a unique foreign language, or have always been told you’re great at public speaking.

Productizing yourself is taking the things you know you’re good at, and turning that into a business.

You can either come up with productized services based on your skillset, make a whole brand out of yourself, or combine both to achieve the best results.


To put this into perspective, let’s say you’re a copywriter, working a regular 9-5 for quite some time now. Thanks to that, you have the skillset you can productize into easily understandable, bite-sized services.

So you start with a one-time service — a 1000-word article delivered in 3 days, sold for $250. If the sales go well, you can expand your offer with an unlimited article requests subscription sold for $5000 a month.

You then go a step further and decide to teach others about copywriting on YouTube, doing consultations and coaching sessions, charging $300 for an hour of your time — making yourself and your success story the ultimate brand.

But, even though that sounds great in theory, you may now be wondering how exactly you do all that?

Don’t worry, we have no intention of making this article vague.

First, we’ll share a few places you can use to learn about productizing yourself from others, and then we’ll share some of our tips.

Productize Yourself: Starting With Resources

Our first move learning about anything is 99% of the time heading straight to Google for answers.

And when it comes to productization, most of the content on this topic takes the form of articles. In fact, we wrote some ourselves.

Shameless plug incoming.

On our blog, you can read about productized services in general, find out how to set up a productized agency, learn about the difference between value-based and productized pricing, or check out some real-life productized businesses examples.

But, in the depths of the World Wide Web, you’ll also find some YouTube videos, podcasts, a book or two, and a couple of paid courses.

And we want to talk more about these options specifically.

Communities & Courses

These two often go hand in hand. Experts in productization or simply those who have successfully created a productized-based business, share their knowledge over a course, most often creating a community in the meantime.

And that’s how we have Naval Ravikant, with his $24.99 course on productizing yourself. Naval is an investor, investing early in companies like Uber or Notion, as well as an entrepreneur, co-founding AngelList.

He productizes himself through a podcast, sharing information on wealth & happiness, among other topics. If there’s any quote you’d come across from Naval’s productization course, it’s this one:

“Productize has specific knowledge and leverage. Yourself has uniqueness and accountability. Yourself also has specific knowledge. So you can combine all of these pieces into these two words.”

The course’s description says that it gives us practical exercises, a roadmap, real-life examples, and more.

We also have Dan Koe who’s a writer and brand adviser, specializing in one-person businesses, with his course of Digital Economics. Dan also shares his perception of the topic on free resources, like his YouTube videos or newsletter.

But there’s one course we want to focus on specifically.

And that’s one coming from a business we’ve already analyzed on our blog, and that is a multimillion design agency — Designjoy.

Brett William’s Productize Yourself Course & Community

Brett Williams, the founder of Designjoy, built an extremely successful solo business, utilizing productization. Specifically, productized unlimited subscriptions.

We won’t get into the exact details of Brett’s story here. If you’re curious about where it all began, and how he managed to pull off such a successful business, read our article about Designjoy. 👀

What’s crucial here is that Brett decided not only to productize his design services, but also himself. Creating a detailed course offering his blueprint for a productized business based on his story.

The course is called Productize Yourself, and comes with something much more valuable than the lessons themselves, it comes with a whole community of like-minded people.

Productize Yourself — Our Review

First of all, we have to congratulate Brett for making a course that doesn’t feel like one. What do we mean by that? It’s not that we don’t learn a thing through Brett’s course, on the contrary, we learn a lot, but it’s the way we learn that we believe deserves a round of applause.

Brett makes all 34 lessons available in his course feel like a genuine chat with a successful, yet down-to-earth, friend over coffee. ☕

He’s not at any time talking down to you, it’s all even a bit chaotic and pretty raw. You can hear the satisfying clicking sound as soon as Brett finishes recording a lesson.

And while Brett doesn’t tell you exactly what you have to do to productize your services, he shares a lot about his specific business, the setup he uses, and the lessons he learned along the way. So don’t expect a step-by-step guide or too much information about different productization models. Rather, anticipate subtle tips that aren’t available anywhere else.

And what’s just as valuable as the lessons themselves, each member gets access to the community Brett created. You can make posts, read about other people’s stories, comment, ask for advice, and share your newly launched productized business. It’s a pretty wholesome community of supporting people trying to find new ways to do business.

Now, the most burning question — is the course worth paying $149? We believe it is.

Free Resources

But if you don’t feel like spending money to go through an expert’s course, you don’t have to. There’s plenty of free resources to use.

We recommend grabbing a pen & paper, and diving into the rabbit hole of YouTube videos, podcasts, and LinkedIn posts.

Listen to other people and businesses’ stories, and try to apply that to your situation. You don’t have to stick to businesses from your niche, go for anything productized, and adjust it to your thing.

And if you prefer more of an active approach, we encourage you to comment on the YouTube videos you watch, join the discussions about productization on Indiehackers, or skip right to the next paragraph.

A More Hands-On Approach

Diving into theory is one thing, but getting lost in the loophole of having to know the topic perfectly before jumping on that new train, is a whole different thing.

In fact, we learn the most through action. 

Marketplaces, Like Fiverr

A quite frictionless approach to trying out productization is actually through marketplaces, like Fiverr or Upwork. Again, this approach will not cost you anything, except some of your time.

Productize yourself: an example productized business on Fiverr's marketplace

There, you can easily package your services, price them, and see if there’s any interest from potential customers.

The marketplace will also let you browse through hundreds of similar offers to the one you want to launch. Don’t be afraid to analyze the competition before you step on the stage. 

Software, Like Zendo

If Fiverr’s not your thing or you don’t want to expose your offer to clients just yet, you can also test set up your new brand using productized service software.

Productized service software platforms like ManyRequests, SPP, or Zendo give you the option to set up different types of productized services, pricing them, selling, but also managing everything that comes after.

Take Zendo for example.

If you decide to set up a productized one-off service, you’ll have the option to define the parts of your service, enhance it with add-ons, add a price, a custom-made order form, and more.

Productized services set up on Zendo — subscription service example

If you decide to go for a subscription-based service, you can define multiple packages, billing cycles, sale prices, highlight the best option for clients, and more.

But besides sales, a software platform like Zendo will let you easily manage the orders and requests coming in for your new business, with features like a real-time chat for client communication, kanban view for easy overview, or a completely white label client portal.

Setting up your new productized business using software may fall in both paid and free category, depending on the tool you choose. Some offer a free trial, while others go for a fully functional free plan.

Our Tips For Productizing Yourself

Putting this all together, you now know what it means to productize yourself, and know exactly the options you have for learning more on the topic and testing this new idea yourself.

But before you run off to start your new journey, we’ll share a few tips to help you get through the process of productizing yourself as smoothly as possible. 👀

#1 Choose Your Fighter

The first tip we have is to research the different productization options, and go for the one or ones that make the most sense to you and your business.

There are one-off options, whole subscriptions, done-for-you, done-with-you, consultations, and unlimited subscriptions.

Moreover, productizing yourself may not necessarily equal productized services.

You can also simply productize your story, for example, on social media or by writing a book, and then use the magic of marketing to monetize it.

#2 Use The Right Channel

Speaking of marketing, do not forget about it.

Productization was once a new idea, as everything once was. But a novelty can’t stay novel forever. Many people have now caught onto productization, and are trying this business model out.

If you decide to launch your productized business now, remember that there may be dozens of similar businesses launching with you.

Attract people by making your business stand out.

Focus on defining the customer avatar you’re after and the right customer acquisition channel your potential customers & leads may hang out in. Depending on your business or niche, this may be something as simple as Reddit or as complicated as Google Ads.

Many would argue to say that we’re currently in the creator economy. Take advantage of that and tell your story on social media.

#3 Don’t Be Afraid Of Getting Help

A solo-run business means only two hands on deck and 24 hours on the clock. You can only do so much.

Don’t be afraid of asking for help, and research which tools, if you’re on a tighter budget, which free tools, can help you in the process of productizing yourself.

If you’re going for productized services, there are whole, even free, productized service software, like Zendo. You can also go for a combination of different free tools, like Trello & Airtable combined with Stripe. However, that approach requires much more manual work.

If you’re going for a new YouTube, TikTok, or any other social media outlet, be sure to use Buffer or any other free tool for scheduling your future posts.

And no matter the productization model, a little marketing won’t hurt, so be sure to research the right tools to enhance your SEO, Google Ads, or copywriting skills, like good ol’ ChatGPT.

#4 Don’t Ditch Your Full-Time Job

Last, but surely not least.

Unless you have a very fluffy financial pillow lying around in case of an emergency, it makes sense to simply stick to your job while working on productizing yourself.

Educate yourself on the topic, analyze your situation, write down goals, choose your strategy, test run your new idea, and work on acquiring those first clients after hours and on the weekends.

Blinded By The Hype: Tread Carefully

We know that a multimillion business run all by yourself sounds divine.

But before jumping head first, quitting your 9-5, make sure to put on the anti-hype glasses on, and think if the productize yourself approach is actually the right thing to do.

Do your research.

Analyze what others did best, and what mistakes you can avoid. Join the communities you find online, take part in discussions under YouTube videos, browse through IndieHackers, Fiverr, and social media.

And remember that it might take a few months until you figure out the secret sauce used to make more money with productization.

Now go and get that first client!

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Frequently Asked Questions: Productize Yourself

What Does It Mean To Productize Yourself?

To productize yourself means to turn your best assets, like your skillset or your unique story into making money. It could be as complex as launching a whole new business with productized services, from one-offs to subscriptions. Or something as simple as creating a new YouTube channel to share and monetize your story.

Do You Need Tools To Productize Yourself?

Believe it or not, you may not need tools, a whole website, or even a landing page to start the process of productization. Depending on the scale your new business is going for, you may need to simply create a new account on a selected social media platform, or launch your services on Fiverr. But if you’re going for a bit more complex productization business, you may take advantage of productized service software, no-code website builders, or social media scheduling tools.

How To Productize Yourself?

There’s no universal blueprint for productizing yourself, and that’s simply because everyone’s different. But our best piece of advice is to, before taking any trajectory, do your research. Find the right resources, learn, and plan the process of productization out. That way, you’ll be able to decide if you need to create a content plan for your new YouTube channel first or start by mapping out your new productized services. Feel free to get inspired by others, and create your own version of a business similar to other successful solopreneurs.

Is Productizing Yourself And Productized Services The Same?

Productizing yourself may mean launching a productized service business. But it doesn’t have to. Productized services are clearly-defined services, from simple one-offs, like logo design sold for $500, to more complicated ones, like an unlimited design subscription. But productizing yourself may also mean going for something as simple as sharing your value with the world, that is selling your story. You may teach others how you’ve managed to overcome your anxiety & depression through mindfulness or what your work as a video editor actually looks like.

Picture of Aleksandra Dworak
Aleksandra Dworak
Content Writer

Lifts weights at the gym and of off reader's shoulders to help them skip the daunting research part and get valuable information instead.
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