If you’re a service provider, or you run a done-for-you, service-based business, I’m betting you’re really freaking good at what you do. I also know that a service- or client-based business is one of the best ways to get started if you want to work for yourself.
Low overhead, minimal start-up time, and you can start working with people pretty much the same day you decide to open up shop. At a certain point, though, you get really good at what you do. Clients fill up your calendar, your prices go up, and you have to start turning away people or putting them on your waitlist.
You have a choice: scale to an agency model (which requires you to still work in the business) or you can turn your services into a more product-based model.
Now, this is usually where service biz owners and pros start to look at me funny.
“That’s great for some people, but it wouldn’t work for my services.” or “I’m too integral to the process.” or “My services are so custom to each client, there’s no way to turn that into a product or template.” I also hear a lot of service pros saying, “Well, since my process is so complex, I’ll need to create a course.”
That’s not necessarily true. What do your clients come to you for? Is it to have their specific pain point removed or have a project completed, or is it to get walked through every nuance of your process? My bet is it’s the former.
People want a solution to their problem, and they want it now. They can’t sit on your waitlist and they can’t spend 84 hours going through a course to learn the one thing they need.
If you’re a service provider or business owner thinking, “There’s no way people would buy a template from me, or want a product over my service,” let’s look at that thought for a minute. Why is your brain telling you that it won’t happen?
Because our ego is already finding a way out, a way to stay “safe.” You may have a deep-rooted belief that keeps you stuck where you are, or that makes you think you have to work really hard for every dollar you make. You may also worry that you won’t make as much money, because the reason people come to you is to… well… work with you.
But the truth is, when you turn your services into an exceptional digital download product, you can serve more people, make more money, and work less. It’s not just me that has found success — there are other people out there killing it with their service-turned-products, too.
Now, before you start thinking, “Ugh, I don’t want to make a course or a training like everyone else. Nobody buys them!” I want to calm your worries. I don’t want you to create a course. I want you to create a specific product that solves a specific problem.
My favorite thing about dCommerce™ products (the phrase I coined to show how digital products are different from physical products or online stores) is that it helps the people you’re trying to serve most get the result they really need in less time.
People don’t have a ton of time to go through a whole course, right? But they do have time to do a quick worksheet, checklist or fill in a template that helps them get their biggest pain point relieved.
On top of that, courses are saturated and they tend to overwhelm people. If people are looking for a fix to their problem, they want to know you have the fix—and that they can get it fast. They don’t need to become you. They need a tiny portion of your skillset.
Looking to boil your service down into a digital product? Here’s my biggest suggestion to prevent overwhelm (for you and your potential buyers):
Think about the entire journey a client goes through. If you’re a web designer for example, maybe people are looking to add a podcast page to their website. Whether you offer a template or a checklist to get them started, it’s a clear and valuable solution to their challenge.
Not sure what your particular solution should be? Look at your processes, templates, systems, checklists, etc. Those are already things you can turn into products for people.
Still coming up blank? Think about the most common questions you get from clients or customers. Think about specific questions and how you’d answer them in just a couple minutes for them.
You can also think of certain customers/demographics that need a particular approach to a problem. For example, going back to the example of a web designer, let’s say you work with business coaches and nutrition coaches to build their websites. You know that both coaches need to have more of the certifications and qualifications front and center, but they both have different things to mention.
Maybe you create a guide to boosting social proof on their website, with an individual download for nutrition coaches (with prompts for them to fill in their degrees and training) and another one for business coaches (with prompts for them to fill in business names they’ve worked with).
You’re great at what you do, and you want to help more people. You don’t have to stop doing client work if you create digital products. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! I’ve worked with people who are able to only work with their dream clients, or only take on special projects, because their regular income is provided by their digital downloads.
Just think: more income, more time, fewer clients. Digital products will change your life in ways you can’t even see yet!
If you’re finally sold on the idea of creating a digital download product, but have no idea what you should create or what should be included in it, I have a special guide for you. Totally free!
Inside the Ultimate Product Creation Plan, I cover:
Let’s get you started with a digital product that turns your business into an ATM, so you can offer services or client support because you want to, not because you need to.