Content marketing may be one of the most complex services to sell out there.
The whole process of delivering a content marketing service, from analyzing your clients needs, their current processes and results, to crafting the new strategy, preparing new content, sharing it across different social media channels, and measuring new results – it’s a lot to handle.
All this without even mentioning the paperwork you need to get done in the meantime, such as proposals, negotiations, back-and-forth emails, payment reminders, and invoices.
How can you find time to scale a content marketing agency in such an environment?
How can you not overwork yourself, fight for your life to reach deadlines, and not go crazy when negotiating with your clients?
A solution to all those problems that’s gaining more and more popularity now is productizing your services.
But would that work in content marketing?
Let’s find out!
What Is Productized Service In Content Marketing?
Productized service in content marketing is basically any content marketing service you’re already offering, but sold for a fixed price and with a fixed scope, which in turn helps with standardizing your processes.
So this could be crafting a content marketing strategy for $1000, paid upfront and delivered in two weeks or doing a website analysis for $500, delivered in 3 days, always with the exact same scope that you define prior to client’s purchase.
Productized services in content marketing most often take the form of clearly laid out one-time services, packaged monthly services, or 1:1 consultations.
Is It Worth It To Productize Content Marketing Services?
Anyone with services being the foundation of their business model can admit that it’s hard.
It’s hard to sell something our clients can’t necessarily see or even imagine before actually getting the results.
Think about how long it takes you to buy your favorite peanut butter while doing your grocery shopping vs how much you think about trying out a new hair salon to get a haircut.
The answer is a no-brainer.
That’s why we, as seller-providers have to get out of our way to picture our offerings to the client better. And productized services do just that.
They ensure more transparency for the client and give us more efficiency, more time for ourselves (yes, that’s possible!), and the possibility to scale our business. So, yes! It’s definitely worth it to give productization a try.
Which Productization Model Is The Best For Content Marketing Services?
If you want to catch up on the different methods used in productization, go ahead and check out our latest article on the productized services business model.
Now, if you already know a thing or two about productization models, you may be wondering which one of them works best for content marketing.
We think that 3 models in particular should work best in productizing content marketing services: one-time, recurring, and the done-with-you model.
The One-Time model
For the one-time model, we’ll take a social media analysis as an example.
So, our example content marketing agency decided to test out productized services and set up the following one-time service:
Social Media Analysis
This one-time service includes:
- an analysis of 20 previous social media posts on Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, or LinkedIn
- a list of things to improve
- an action plan for future posts
Delivery time: 5 days
The one-time model will work particularly great, because as a content marketing agency you can create numerous mini-services that can be easily sold separately. You most-likely already have established processes and know exactly how much time and resources do you need to complete those services.
You can find plenty of real life examples of one-time productized services from content marketing on Fiverr. That is a real mine of productization, even when it comes to content marketing.
The Recurring Service Model
Next one is the recurring service model that’s basically a package of your services sold on a subscription basis.
As a recurring service model example, we’ll take a monthly content marketing care package.
Monthly Content Marketing Care Package
This service includes:
- content care: 10 new articles
- social media management: 10 social media posts
- results analysis
The recurring service model makes it easy to increase the customer lifetime value, if you properly nurture the relationship with your existing recurring clients. It’s also great for giving online businesses a more stable and reliable revenue.
Again, you can easily find many real-life examples on Fiverr to take a peek at how others package their content marketing services.
The Done-With-You (1:1 Or 1:Many Consultations) Model
Content marketing specialists can also take advantage of sharing their knowledge and expertise with others via the done-with-you model.
This basically means having a 1:1 consultation with a client during which you’re sharing your expertise on a specific topic. The client then uses that knowledge to take care of his own content and marketing.
Once you get into the groove of it, you can scale this model by offering 1:many consultations, educating more than one person at a time, and of course, earning multiplied revenue.
So our example will be a:
1:1 Consultation On How To Nail Google Ads: a one-hour consultation with an Google Ads expert that will leave you with a head full of ideas, a complete analysis of your last campaign, and an action plan in hand.
If you type in 1:1 content marketing consultation in Google, you’ll be met with many real-life examples, one of which is the That Marketing Girl team that offers a 1:1 consultation for $499.
You can also sneak a peek at various productized coaching services that also tend to use the done-with-you model.
8 Mistakes To Avoid When Productizing Your Content Marketing Services
Now that we know more about productization in content marketing in general, let’s get what we all came here for: the 8 mistakes to avoid when productizing your content marketing services!
Mistake #1: Productizing Everything At Once
Productization seems amazing and in many cases can really make your business turn for the better.
But as with every major change in the way you run your business, you can’t jump head-first and swap all of your services for productized ones, because that would be a quick way to break your neck on that water.
What To Do Instead?
What you should do instead is test out how deep that water is, aka, create one or two test productized services and see how well that goes for you and your business.
Mistake #2: Productizing Without A Plan And Prior Analysis
Productizing without a prior analysis and any plan in hand is a quick way for a productization disaster.
The worst you can do is productize without a sensible plan in hand.
What To Do Instead?
Analyze, plan, then take your time to analyze and plan again.
Analyze your custom services, see which of them are repeating more than others, those will be your best shots at productization. Take a close look at your processes and create a step-by-step blueprint for the services you want to productize. Think of the pricing as well. Will you offer add-ons, different pricing tiers, different pricing for rush delivery? Planning matters.
Mistake #3: Productizing Before Having Even Served A Client Before
This one may seem a bit weird. But we still find it essential to list.
If you haven’t really been in the service industry just yet, but want to open up a service based business, don’t hop straight into productized services.
Unless you’re going for Fiverr or another similar platform. Such platforms are pretty well-structured when it comes to the productization processes, so the guidance will be the most valuable.
But if you don’t want an intermediary to take those fees off of your earnings and you’re planning on hopping in on productization without having served a client before, then we’d suggest going for a few custom services first to establish some solid processes.
What To Do Instead?
Find a few clients and deliver your services as custom ones. Then take notes and think about what your clients need most. Maybe there was one service that got ordered more than others, maybe your clients asked for the same thing.
Plus, by then you’ll actually have established some processes, you will know what works well and what doesn’t. You’ll know how much time, resources, and people delivering your services take.
Mistake #4: Not Giving A Fixed Price
Not setting a fixed price for your productized service is one of the biggest mistakes we’ve noticed people make.
A fixed price is the core of a good productized service and it just has to be there, visible to the client.
Many people do a half-way productization, packaging their services beautifully, setting the scope of the service, setting the delivery time, doing basically everything BUT saying how much their service costs.
What To Do Instead?
Estimate how much the service you want to productize should cost to bring you revenue and make sure that your customers will see the price you set.
Mistake #5: Not Having A Clear Scope Of The Service
How can your clients buy your productized services off-the-shelf if they are not sure what they’re getting?
Not having a clear scope of the service is yet another major mistake in productization. Content marketing itself is a pretty complex idea, let alone having different content marketing services with vague scopes or no scope at all.
What To Do Instead?
Make it as simple for your clients to purchase your services as possible. Don’t overcomplicate things. Each productized service you create should have a clear, transparent, and understandable scope. Plus, it helps you stick to it and avoid over or under delivering.
Mistake #6: Not Offering A Self-Checkout Option
Not giving a self-checkout option for your clients defeats the whole purpose of trying to set up a productized service. After all, productized services are to be sold just like products. And while in the store, you don’t have to call a sales representative to swipe the card at the register.
What To Do Instead?
It’s pretty simple to avoid this common mistake. All you have to do is have the self-checkout option available for your clients. Don’t unnecessarily elongate the purchasing process by forcing people to book a call or fill out a questionnaire before paying.
Mistake #7: Going Beyond The Scope Of The Service
Overdelivering when selling productized services makes no sense for a couple of reasons.
First of all, you most likely started productizing your services to gain more time and increase your revenue. How can you do that if you’re not actually completing more orders, because you’re overdelivering with every one of them?
Many business owners tend to overdeliver, especially at the very beginning of their road to success, but don’t repeat that mistake with productized services.
What To Do Instead?
Your clients know exactly what they’re paying for thanks to the scope of the service and know how much they’re paying for that service. You don’t have to overdeliver for them to be satisfied.
Mistake #8: Not Giving Your Clients The Option To Book A Call
Just because your clients will be able to purchase your service off-the-shelf, it doesn’t mean that they won’t have the need to talk to your team.
Maybe someone will hop in with a really interesting, complex, and long project that you’d love to take on on top of delivering productized services. Maybe someone just needs help choosing the service they want to purchase. Such clients may be disappointed when they don’t have the option to get in touch with your team.
What To Do Instead?
Don’t cut off the book a call option completely. Make sure that you have it easily available to make your prospective clients feel like they are being taken care of and listened to.
Conclusion: Creating Productized Services Within Content Marketing
So how to create a successful productized service in content marketing?
First, focus on not repeating the 8 most common mistakes we’ve just touched on.
What’s of significant importance is to avoid going all-in for the productized service business model when you’re not yet sure if it works for your particular niche in content marketing or your way of operating your own business.
Moreover, make sure to always have the four pillars of productization in the back of your head when productizing your services:
✔️ fixed price
✔️ fixed scope of the service
✔️ fixed delivery date
✔️ the option to pay now
There are many examples of productized services you can get inspired off of when creating your own productization business.
If you’re thinking that the done-with-you model would be best, go ahead and check out productized consulting services that specialize in this particular way of productization.
If you’re more on the side of creating a monthly subscription for your content marketing agency, go ahead and check out productized web design services or lead generation agencies.
And if you’re thinking about going in for the one-time productized service offering, check out Fiverr for the strike of inspiration.You can be sure to find something that fits your niche and by now you probably can already feel your first content marketing productized service unfold.
How To Choose The Right Software For Running An Agency?
Download this buying guide to learn how proper software can help raise your ROI and improve work-life balance by streamlining your processes. Don’t let chaos keep running your business — take the wheel instead!
Frequently Asked Questions: Productized Services: Content Marketing Edition
What Are Productized Services In General?
Productized services in general are clearly defined services with standardized delivery processes and fixed prices. They help service-based businesses sell more efficiently and avoid common headaches associated with selling custom services, such as the endless back-and-forth with the clients, constant reviews, edits, and scarily big scope creep.
What Are Some Examples Of Productized Services In Content Marketing
Productized services in content marketing can take different forms. For example, you may set up a one-time social media audit that you perform for your clients in 5 days for $500. Another example could be a monthly content marketing package that includes an audit, content creation with 10 articles, 3 video posts, and results measuring, sold for let’s say $2000. Or a one-hour 1:1 consultation with a client to help them with their content marketing strategy sold for $1000. And remember that productization examples don’t end there, search the web for more inspiration.
What To Avoid Doing When Productizing Content Marketing Services?
There are quite a few mistakes to avoid when productizing content marketing services. But we think that the most crucial mistakes to avoid are not testing out productization first on a few test services before going all in on the change, not leaving an option for your clients to book a call/talk with your team before purchasing, not including a self-checkout, and not providing a fixed price for the productized service you’re creating.
Which Productization Model Is Best For Content Marketing?
We think that 3 productization models fit particularly well within content marketing, and these are the one-time model, the recurring model, and the done-with-you (1:1 or 1:many) model. And that’s because you can easily create one-time services within content marketing, such as a simple audit, you can package your services for the recurring model combining all the essentials into one, and you can also share your expertise with others using the done-with-you model.