Freelancers: How to Productize Your Service

As a freelancer, you started building your business to be able to fund the life of your dreams. But you soon got caught dealing with sales pitches, proposal writing and price negotiating for each and every job. Unfortunately, if you don’t win the job, you’ve lost that time and energy with no pay to show for it.

And if you did win the job, chances are the price of your work and the scope of the project had been negotiated down to fit the client’s budget.

Not exactly a win-win.

Does this sound familiar? If you are a freelancer, then you can probably relate to this endless cycle which can seem almost impossible to extract yourself from.

It’s the life of a freelancer. And while it’s great being a freelancer and working for yourself, the extra work that can go into getting a client job and negotiating the fee can be exhausting.

The idea of productizing your service could solve this problem and completely transform how you run your freelance business.

So, what exactly is productizing?

Productizing is the concept of removing billable hours and systematizing your processes, all while charging a flat fee for a set scope of work.

With the typical freelance model, you have an hourly rate. You connect with a potential client. They tell you their needs, you pitch your services. The potential client asks what you would charge for x amount of hours per month for doing x,y,z services each month.

Now let’s look at the method of productizing this service.

As a freelancer, you may have a core set of offerings.

Obviously, your offerings will vary, but pick a core focus for what you ‘d like to offer. For example, if you are a virtual assistant, you might offer podcast transcribing, client management and scheduling, or perhaps blog post writing.

Pick one core offering around a pain point that customers are willing to pay for in order to get it off their plate.

Once you pick the service you want to offer, clearly set the scope of work (for example, “editing of 4 blog posts per month with upload to WordPress and sharing on 3 social media platforms”), then set a flat rate for this service.

  • Set rate.
  • Set scope of work.
  • No negotiating, no pitching and no gray areas on what you will do for your client.

You might be wondering how this is productizing since you are still offering a service. Well, yes, you are still offering a service, and initially, you may still be doing all of the work.

The big picture concept is to record the processes for what you do so that as you get more clients you can remove yourself a bit more and have other people doing the work.

This is could be a great way to scale up your income without working 90 hours a week. Simply document everything you do and how you do it – and then hire others to do the work.

If you are thinking of starting a service-based business, why not skip the freelance model and go straight to productizing? You'll find it easier to grow your business if you do.


Sarah Arrow

About the author

Sarah Arrow created the popular 30-day blogging challenge back in 2007. Since then 750,000+ business owners have learned to blog and grow their business through her content, her challenge and her blogging books.

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