Do you find yourself slipping into the business void of feast and famine, project to project web design work for clients? You’re not alone. Most web designers go through this. I sure as heck did when I started out. But I did two things to help break free from the feast and famine cycle:

1) I started my website maintenance plan to build recurring income
2) Unknowingly, I began productizing some of my services

Now I’m not sure what you think of when you hear “productizing,” but early on, I didn’t really think there was any way to make web design services a product. Boy was I wrong. In fact, not only can you productize virtually every aspect of your services but it’s the best way to scale your business profitably, avoid the feast and famine and your clients can benefit greatly from productized services.

My guest in this episode, Brad Hussey was formerly a freelance web designer who had the struggles I just mentioned but changed his life when we started productizing. He now teaches what he learned and in this episode, will give you all his top tips, tricks and a proven path to follow to productize YOUR web design services.

And the good news is, you can productize all of your services like he did, or just some of them like I did and take a hybrid approach. I can’t wait to hear how this helps you in your web design journey!

P.S. Brad has a sweet, short, free course that he set up specifically for you as a “Thanks” for listening (I’m going through it now and it’s awesome)

Be sure to get access to that at bradhussey.ca/joshhall

In this episode:

00:02 – Podcast prelude
04:41 – Greeting to Brad
07:58 – Come to Jesus moment
11:41 – Selling value
13:20 – Definition of productize
16:16 – Some examples
20:15 – Productized value
26:00 – Distinctions
27:27 – Being unremarkable
31:31 – Change your mindset
38:11 – Value of outcome
41:23 – Standardized screening
47:19 – Showing generalization
54:23 – Don’t be a tool
54:30 – Consultant thinking
1:04:24 – Clarification
1:07:11 – WordPress examples
1:18:37 – Having constraints
1:20:49 – Systemized
1:21:56 – System on a software
1:24:28 – Recap
1:25:28 – Where to find Brad

FREE Training at BradHussey.ca/joshhall


Connect with Brad:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #131 Full Transcription

Josh 0:14
Hello, Friends, Welcome into the podcast. This is Episode 131. And you are in for a treat. And this one my friends, because in this episode, we’re going to talk about how to scale your business by “productizing” your services. And this is what’s so interesting about this episode is that when you think about digital products, if you’re like me, you probably think about other than something you like physically buy that as a physical product. You probably think about courses, or training programs or consulting or something like that. But what if I told you, you can 100% productize your services, whether it’s web design, or SEO or maintenance, or retainer of hours, or copywriting, whatever you’re doing for all your clients in regards to web design, you can actually productize those in a number of different ways. And better yet, you can actually probably you can use a like a hybrid approach to productize some services, and then have more custom bespoke style custom services along with products.

Josh 1:19
For this talk. I brought in somebody who is an absolute pro at this. This is Brad Hussey, who helps web designers do just that he Well, he helps freelancers in general, but he has a lot of experience, as you’ll find out in web design. But we talk all about that how you can productize your web design services. And as we went through this conversation, it dawned on me and I think I mentioned this later on, it dawned on me that I had started productizing my web design services, and I didn’t even realize it. And what’s more, I didn’t even realize that the majority of my income, and how I was able to close and sell better was by my productize services, I started packaging up my website packages. And one thing I did when I started doing SEO just as a quick example, before we dive in his I was doing SEO Services, you know, kind of randomly, and I didn’t really sell that much of it because it was kind of confusing.

Josh 2:13
Well, I offered, I kind of wrapped up this SEO product called SEO boost. And I talked about this in my SEO course for those of you who have been through that. But I created this product. And then all of a sudden, I started getting a lot of clients buying that. And I think it’s because it was a product that was much more digestible, because they understood, okay, here’s exactly what’s involved with that, here’s how it’ll help. And it kind of dawned on me that I started productizing, my web design services and they sold the best. And we talk all about how you can productize your services. Again, whether on a huge, you know, macro type of level with all your services. Or if you just want to have, like I did productize services that go along with your bigger web design services, you are going to get so much value from this episode, you’re going to be able to scale a productized Digital Service. There’s so many benefits to it. I’m so excited for you to go through this episode, and to hear from Brad on how you can customize and productize your services right now to help you boost your sales and scale your business. So I’m super pumped for you.

Josh 3:19
And I do want to mention Brad has an incredible resource. We mentioned this later on. But it’s worthwhile talking about right now, because I’ve never seen a guest create such a cool landing page for my listeners. But if you want more after this episode about productizing your services, Brad did create a free little course for you. It’s at Brad hussey.co/JoshHall all one word. It’s a really great little graphic that he put together, I was super impressed. So I wanted to make sure I mentioned that for you because it is a great additional resource if you’re ready to go to the next level after this.

Josh 3:48
And by the way, I mentioned my SEO course I tell you about how I productize my services. If you are doing SEO, and you’re interested in making some sort of digital product out of that, in particular, join my SEO course today. There’s a link below for this post. for that course on this post at Josh Hall.co/131. I would love to welcome you into my SEO course and I will show you how you can productize your own SEO plans and you can create an offer like I did which is called SEO boost for your clients as well. And without further ado, here is Brad again check out the resource mentioned that Brad hussey.co/Josh Hall. For more if you like this, and you’re ready for more, but for right now here are the basics of productizing your web design services can’t wait to hear how this one helps you out. Enjoy.

Josh 4:41
Brad welcome onto the podcast, man. So great to have you on.

Brad 4:44
Oh, Thanks, Josh. I really appreciate it. This is going to be exciting.

Josh 4:47
It is going to be exciting because we’re going to talk about the wonderful world of productizing or productization I don’t know what the correct word is there, but

Brad 4:55
It’s so unstandardized that nobody knows.

Josh 4:57
Who knows if standardize is a word who knows. We’re gonna have some fun. And this is obviously something that I’m super passionate about very near and dear to my heart with being a course creator now. And while a lot of my audience are still web design, freelancers, there are many who are finding out, they’re quite entrepreneurial. And inevitably, we want to get out of the rat race and the hustle of new client, new project, new client, new project and hourly work, to be able to build something that you can scale and essentially sell while you’re sleeping. And that’s what we’re going to talk about here. And I know you’ve got a lot of experience in this and you have an incredible audience that you help do this. So before we dive in and start having some fun, man, do you want to let everybody know first off where you’re based out of? And then if you could summarize what you do, what would you say?

Brad 5:42
Sure. Okay, so I’m based out of southern Alberta, Canada, near the Rocky Mountains, kind of we’re in the prairies, beautiful countryside sort of area. Many people might know it as kind of the general area of the Calgary Stampede, you’ll get a big Stampede up there.

Josh 5:59
How’s the Wi Fi out there?

Brad 6:01
You know what, I got great Wi Fi right here. We just got we just went away to a cabin for a couple weeks. And that was a little spotty or satellite internet a little bit more shoddy. But where I am, it’s a smaller city, we we got some pretty good internet, I think we’re getting fiber optics set up and everything so.

Josh 6:18
Beautiful.

Brad 6:19
I can I can was banging around everywhere. It’s pretty great. So yeah, so that’s kind of where I’m located. Right north of Montana. You know, for anyone who’s in the States, and you kind of want to get a gauge, I could drive to Montana in no time. But I can’t right now because we’re not allowed to.

Josh 6:35
And a normal time.

Brad 6:36
Yeah, exactly. And kind of what I do is I help independent professionals, usually independent, creative, or technical professionals, designers, developers, writers, who want to be able to work for themselves, or are working for themselves, and struggle to kind of break out of the feast or famine. They keep going client to client, I’ve been through that cycle. And I’ve been working for myself as an independent professional for about 10 years now. So I I know how that works. And I’ve seen the other side of it. And so I just I hate seeing, you know, independent professionals who are really entrepreneurial minded, and they want to be able to provide for themselves and the families and, and take advantage of this really interesting economy that we’re a part of now, the creator economy and make a living for themselves, but they don’t know how to get to it. They’re just going client to client. So essentially, I help those people, struggling independent professionals, whether you’re starting or you’re growing, break out of their current stage and into something way bigger.

Josh 7:38
Awesome. Awesome. I do think it would be great to have a little bit of context and backstory on your experience, Brad. So what was your experience doing service work? And then when did productization come about? Was there like a wall that you hit? Or was there a come to Jesus kind of moment where you’re like, Alright, I can’t do this anymore. Like, what did that look like?

I just came across opportunities and tried and experimented different with different things. – Brad

Brad 7:58
Yeah, so I would say it was a multi phase journey of realizing it. And the resources and information that we have now is vastly different from when I started as a freelancer in 2000. And well, I’ve been freelancing since 2009. But working for myself full time, since 2012. So like, the differences in, like, even the way that we Google, like, the things that we type in Google is vastly different than how I would have typed it in 2009 or 10. Now we just say like, how do I scale my creative business or, you know, the creative economy was not a phrase. And so I just came across opportunities and tried and experimented different with different things.

Brad 8:46
So I was freelancing, doing client work very much the feast or famine, charging less than I should have. And so basically, I when I went full time, it was fine when I wasn’t full time, because when you’re not full time, and you’re just side hustling, again, another new word in the last 10 years, that you’re kind of, it’s a pacifying stage, like you’re you’re kind of protected from the real risk, like you can, you can side hustle all all the time, like kind of on the side and never really feel any pressure. Just go Oh, I got a client that was nice. So an extra $1,000 That’s nice. But when you go full time, and you realize like, Okay, I got a full day, I got a business to operate, I got a family to feed or bills to pay, whatever, whatever your situation is. And you need a minimum amount of money to make a living and you didn’t get into business for yourself to like, barely get by you did it so that you can have some semblance of, of freedom and and growth.

Brad 9:46
And so when you get into that, then you start to really see the gaping holes in what you’re doing and your strategy or lack thereof. So for me, I had enough clients to go full time and to go I can I think I can do this. But as soon as I would finish a client project, this very unusual thing for me would happen where there was no income happening. And then I would have to go and scrounge up some more work and bug some past clients and try and network and try and get some more new clients, I’d land somebody, it’d be pretty good gig. And I’d be busy working on it be busy, busy, busy, I’d make a big paycheck from it. And then I crash down to the ground again, and have little to no income coming in, for as long as it took me to get another gig. And then I started to realize, like, that’s not sustainable. And that’s not why I wanted to get into this for but I wasn’t willing to give up on the freedom. So I thought I gotta figure out another way.

Brad 10:42
And for me, you know, I came across creating, now, this isn’t necessarily the topic of productizing. So I want to tread carefully here, but in my specific journey, I just like, was, like, I’m just going to find a way to teach people web design, that’s a skill that I’m good at. And then I use every day, I’m going to teach people that maybe I’ll rent a room at the university or something like that. But there’s got to be a more, you know, scalable way of doing that. So I ultimately created an online course, and published it on Udemy. and was able to, you know, fast forward that do pretty well with that, make a pretty good, get pretty good success with that. Um, so that helped me open my eyes.

Josh 11:26
I like the first taste of

Brad 11:28
that was like that, you know, that come to Jesus moment, you kind of mentioned there that was that, oh, like my time. Like, it’s not about my hourly Billings, it’s not about the time that I, that I, I’m not selling time, like I’m selling expertise, I’m selling transformation, I’m selling value, I’m creating value. And I really saw how I could create something whether that was a literal product, like a course, or a physical product, or a service, but I’m not, that’s that’s the means to an end, the end is the value. And then if I can scale that value, and because I have access to the Internet, and like almost everyone on the internet, I just need to be able to create value for them at scale. And I can, like, overnight, so I mean, overnight, success is usually like 10 years in the making sort of thing. But you virtually create the massive amount of success or like a really good business.

Brad 12:28
That’s not this traditional, sell your your time for money and try and get client to client and never compound on that always start from zero every time you get a new client. So that was that taste of like there’s more to this. And the internet is really is something magical. And I’m a web designer, but I’m not really seeing the the real power of the internet here until I did this. So so but I did from there was I kind of straddled creating courses and managing that and doing client work service work, raising my rates, I had more confidence, because I had more income coming in beautiful, they raise my rates, I became more specific about what I did, who I did it for. So I just naturally started specializing and becoming more premium. So when I get a client, it’d be like a big paycheck. And I wouldn’t worry about the in between, because I would bridge that through with some core sales.

Josh 13:15
Gotcha.

Brad 13:16
You know. Now, in terms of productizing, which we can get into the definition after is a hybrid between a product and a service to keep it really simple at this moment. That’s something that I only really started to realize in the last couple years. When I started to focus more on courses, and in course based business, e learning type business, my business model more shifted more to that. And I didn’t need to take on too many clients started to miss doing client work. But I didn’t miss the way I did it before where I was just like any client, any price, any project, it was always about, you know, just that

Josh 13:55
You missed your good clients.

Brad 13:56
Yeah, I missed the good clients. And then I started to see a pattern in that was that there were certain types of clients, there were certain outcomes that I enjoyed doing, that I had fun doing, and that I could charge a fixed price for, at a fixed timeline with a fixed outcome. And then I was like, wait, maybe I could only do one thing for one person at one price and then get better and better and keep raising that price. And just scale that scale of service essentially and have it be really standardized. Then then I could do client work my way in like a really concise amount of time and make probably way more money doing client work like just in that way than I ever did when I really was full time with it. So that’s where productizing kind of opened my eyes. Well, and it’s for me, so very similar paths.

Josh 14:45
I definitely feel a kinship with you there because I don’t know how much you know about my journey Brad but I was very similar web design Freelancer started scaling my business to a small team, then started doing courses, grew my business and scaled at while doing courses and then now full time doing courses in this podcast and everything. And I agree, you definitely get to that point where it’s like a light bulb turns on, and you realize there’s so so many more options than you ever thought possible. And I do think it’s really worthwhile diving into the point that productizing isn’t just for course creators or authority builders, there are a lot of ways to productize services. And that’s why I’m super excited to have your expertise in this talk, particularly for my audience of web design, mainly freelancers, who are probably like, okay, you know, I build websites and do some SEO and some design, that sounds great, but how can I make that a product. And I think what’s interesting, too, over the last, probably five to 10 years, is the idea of a product has changed, particularly when it’s a digital product, like 10 years ago, if you think about an online product, it’s something you would buy, it’s something on Amazon or you know, shaving gel or whatever you something that you wouldn’t buy, and then that would be shipped to you. But now, the idea of a digital product is much more vague. It could be in my case courses or a consulting program, or in the case of web designer, and I actually want to throw this question over to you, what are some digital products that you’ve seen web designers in particular be able to offer that aren’t just your trading time for money services?

Brad 16:16
Yeah. Okay. So that’s a great question. And they would, they would fall somewhere on the, it’s called the, the service goods continuum. That’s it. I hate that phrase keeps escaping me. But I was able to remember that time service goods continuum. So basically, it’s one on one side, it’s service. On the other side, it’s pure commodity. So think like a window washer, as the service. And on the far end, it would maybe say like, like a window washing squeegee, that’s a, you know, that’s a commodity you can purchase, and anyone can make that any, you know, place that makes that can make it can make it for cheaper. That’s the point services are the far end. It’s not, it’s not commoditized. The problem is is freelancers now are freelance web designers, specifically, they commoditize themselves in a bad way, where they just essentially the the dummy definition of a commodity is something that can be produced by anybody, for as cheap as possible. And that’s kind of the point, you don’t want commodities to be like really super expensive when you’re trying to purchase them and, and produce them at scale.

Josh 17:24
There is only like a template style site where you have it, you just throw some text and images in there and get it up kind of thing.

Brad 17:31
Yeah, yeah. And like, a lot of freelance web designers, they just commoditize themselves. So they just, they’re replaceable. That’s the real key word here is, can I just look at what you’re saying, you give me a quote, and I just go to somebody else, maybe I’ll take it to Upwork and someone who’s actually faster than you, who is way more hungry than you can do it for 10 times less. Yeah, I’m gonna do that guy. So that’s, that’s like what freelance web designers do all the time. And so breaking out of that, one of the ways, for the sake of this conversation is productizing. There’s other ways, you know, raising your rates specializing we’ve been, that’ll be a conversation for another time. productizing is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to get out of that pick break you out of that, right.

Brad 18:20
Now, some ideas or thoughts or examples that other I’ve seen other web designers do and create to come out of that would fall on that spectrum, that service goods continuum, away from the pure service into something in the middle, okay, now, that could be something like let’s say, for example, an obvious example, at least for me would be okay, I’m a web designer, maybe I create a, like a template, like a WordPress template, and I sell it on a marketplace, that’s like a really obvious example, sell it for 19 bucks, 29 bucks. Now you have an asset that can scale infinitely, you know, there’s work to sell it to market it and everything like that. And to manage it, that’ll be more product based, that’s more commodity based, I can look at your template, create a better version of it, it’s faster, it’s got cooler animations, or whatever. So that’s a commodity.

Brad 19:12
Now, if we bring it closer to the center of the continuum, to more service based, which is not as easily replaceable, especially if it’s specialized, we’re getting to more of the productized service. So it’s essentially a productized service is something that you can that is scalable, that’s like a product, that it is the same outcome at a fixed price in a fixed timeline, usually for the same type of client or the same client, vertical or horizontal. And so now this is where some cool ideas come out where you really could do some some magic. So let’s say you are a WordPress developer, probably you have a lot of those people in your audience. I know that a big part of my audience are WordPress developers, web designers who get into WordPress because it’s more profitable to sell. A skill with a CMS. So selling WordPress services is like anybody can do that, it’s very easy to figure that out, it’s very easy to get someone to do it for cheap. It’s actually not that valuable.

Brad 20:15
But let’s say that you are actually quite good at, let’s say Webflow, as well. So you dig in and you go, I’m good at web flow. Web flow is kind of a hot new tool to have a more popular, WordPress is popular, I’m good at both. And let’s say you find a pattern and your customers or you just realize, you know what, I prefer to do web flow stuff. But I’m really good at WordPress. So an example and this is an actual example, is, instead of just selling web flow services, or WordPress services, there’s a service out there called WordPress to Webflow. In more that there’s probably a few services, but there’s one that I’m thinking of in particular, and what they do is in 48 hours, will convert your WordPress website fully to Webflow. And so and you don’t need to get a custom proposal, you don’t need to go back and forth on a sales call on a discovery call and a roadmapping session and bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, and then send them a quote for them to shop around, you read the sales page, you understand the problem. I’m a WordPress website owner, I would rather have a web flow website, because of XYZ reasons, which is being addressed on the sales page. It’s $2,000. And in 48 hours, it’s going to be on web flow ready for me to rock for next week. I’m in so you click Buy, or you enter your credit card information, you choose the day that’s available, and you click Buy the person on the other end, which very likely could be just one person with maybe an assistant developer to help fulfillment with fulfillment, they get a notification cool, I got a I got a transition or a conversion, whatever they want to call it. Next Wednesday, cool, send them the prep work. And we’ll get it done by next Wednesday and delivered by the following couple days. Oh, and another one just came in. Okay, now we’re backed up now like now we’re booked out for the full month or two months.

Brad 21:59
That’s a productized service. That is a really cool example of hundreds that I’ve seen where some ordinary unremarkable WordPress developer or web flow developer can create remarkable value and flexibility, even wealth by just thinking totally differently than I’m really good at WordPress, I should just sell my hourly rate for $50 an hour, and then try and just get more clients. It’s it’s an old way of thinking. And it’s a limited way of thinking, that doesn’t take advantage of the tool that’s sitting right in front of your face this massive 20 to 30 inch screen that’s screaming at you to do something more remarkable.

Josh 22:43
So it’s it sounds like it’s more of a mental shift from in that case, you know, converting a WordPress site into web flow. Normally, somebody would probably just say, Well, I think this might take me a certain amount of hours, let me give you a custom proposal. It’s more of a This is it. This is the package this is the product might be a little more premium, but you’re going to get something that’s proven, that’s going to be faster that we’re equipped for. It’s what we specialize. And that’s kind of the foundation of this idea, right? Going from service to a hybrid type of model.

But there’s so much market share available that you can capture a slice of that and create a successful business around one product. – Brad

Brad 23:13
Yep, yep. And so it’s like productized services. It dances with commoditization, because let’s say, I see this service, and I go, I’m good at those things, too. I think I can create a better version of that, or a different version of that. Maybe I want to change one of those factors, like they do it for that market. I’m gonna do it for agencies, cuz I know they got money. I know, they got a budget. I know, they like to move fast. And maybe they don’t like the clunky, heavy, bloated, you know, yeah. And I’m not knocking WordPress, I love WordPress. But, you know, let’s say that that’s my audience, I’ll take the same thing. And I can create that version. So in a sense, it is commoditized. But there’s so much market share available that you can capture a slice of that and create a successful business around one product.

Josh 24:03
Well, I think we should make a big distinction between web designers who are client side and working with clients who don’t even know what WordPress is. And they just want a website versus digital agencies, they might partner with who they’re doing more like white label type of work for I actually, I think you could definitely productize services and both, I think it might be even easier for white labels, because you could essentially come up with your packages for the type of sites you want to design if you’re doing those for agencies. And then they’re working with the client to figure out the scope of things that way, it doesn’t become a beast growing legs, or as the client side, I’m sure, and I’ve talked a lot about pricing and packages and how to, you know, put your offers together. Although I’ve also talked a lot about value based pricing where you don’t want to go too low and then have somebody who’s willing to pay you a big 10 $15,000 project and then have you know, $2,000 packages so there’s I think there’s probably more strategies that are that need to be employed on that end of things.

Josh 25:02
But yeah, I definitely want to make that distinction because for everyone listening, and then just for your reference, Brad, my audience is 100%, WordPress. Most, everyone are using Divi. And then I’ve got a lot of folks who use Elementor and some other themes, but it’s mainly freelance web designers who are both client facing, and now they’re doing white label work for agencies. So I think that definitely makes sense for white label. Now for the client facing side of things. This is where productizing seems a little bit daunting and a little confusing, because it’s like, how can I package up my web design services for clients, when I don’t want to limit myself, but I also don’t want to do hourly. I don’t want to get myself into trouble with some fixed prices. What are some tips on that? Because I know of some different ways you can create packages and stuff. But like I said, I’m also a big fan of that value based pricing. For those bigger clients. So yeah, I’ve got some I’ve got some ideas, but I’d love to hear your your

Brad 25:57
Yeah, and I want to hear your ideas, too. But I also want to make a distinction too. So I’m also a big proponent or supporter of value pricing, and specializing those, like value pricing and specializing, those are partnered together, and they’re separate from productize service.

Josh 26:16
Okay.

Brad 26:16
When when a productized service, there might be some, like exceptions, but you don’t really get to value price productized service, right, because they are dancing with commodity. Commodity means prices generally good to go lower. It’s more accessible, people can reproduce that same thing. It’s just what you’re doing is carving out the productize service is in my opinion, it you could be successful with just a product or service. You could probably scale it up to a million dollars or more a year. There’s people who are examples that I have written down that are doing very successful and they have no desire or need to then go to another step and be highly specialized, high value, high revenue like or high price because they’re making six figures a month to buy the product one product I service.

Josh 27:06
Yeah,

Brad 27:06
I’m just gonna keep up with that. So you can just stay there. But the point of a product or a service is to get on I’m gonna I use this term, unremarkable Freelancer and unremarkable on remarkable web designer or WordPress developer. Because I mean it because I mean, what most WordPress developers are doing is so unremarkable. And it’s not meant to hurt feelings, but it’s also meant to light fire under their butt. Because it’s so replaceable. Anybody can be you could take one of my WordPress courses on Udemy be decent at WordPress. And then now you’ve I’ve created more competitors for WordPress developers. So don’t be unremarkable. Find something unique and special that you can package into a productize service. It’s an it’s a step out of that rut of just commodity services into something, something more valuable.

You do have to find something that is your superpower. Like what makes you stand out from everybody else. – Josh

Josh 27:57
I like that it’s a it’s a good kind of harsh point. It’s like yeah, don’t be unremarkable. Because of everything you’re doing is something that somebody else could do. You do have to find something that is your superpower. Like what makes you stand out from everybody else. I know for me as a web designer, I was fairly unremarkable in a lot of things but I was remarkable with particularly the the client side of things I like, I can’t tell you how many clients I said, or I had that said, I’ve worked with, like, you know, a dozen agencies, and you’re the only one that I feel like actually cares about my business. For me, it was like the customer service and the actual care because I really gave a crap about my clients. And that kind of made up for the other chops that I was learning along the way. But it could be different for everybody. I think that’s a really good point.

Brad 28:40
And it’s literally, it’s right in front of our faces or it’s within rather is how do you be unremarkable. And another flip side to that question is, how do you be irreplaceable, or as how do you get away from being replaceable? saying I’m a WordPress developer is replaceable. Someone in 24 hours could learn enough about WordPress to take your clients. So the more replaceable you are, that means the lower your price has to be it’s just naturally how it is the more replaceable, what you’re offering is, the less valuable it is, which means you now have to sell it at a lower price at a higher volume. So that’s a hard game to play. The more specialized, the more unique, the more interesting, the more irreplaceable you are, the more remarkable you are or your offers. That is harder to replace. So when you said, like this intangible of working with Josh and Josh’s agency is like working with somebody who cares. I can’t just go well, I’m gonna just care more. It’s so inauthentic. If that’s not natural to me, then I can’t just replace that because you’re you and I can’t just like be you and better. I can be a better WordPress developer, but who cares because so many other people can do that. But if you’re a WordPress developer with a list See a team. So you’ve got a bit more leverage and speed and skill on your bench. And then you really care. You can like dial it up. And then that’s like puts you so far ahead that you can now charge higher and specialize and charge based on value and command those prices, because where you going to go,

Josh 30:16
Yeah, yeah, no, that’s a good point. And I was thinking back to something you said a little bit ago with productizing. Being that it’s something that can be scaled. And even though like I said, it kind of it borderlines commodity. If you have something, if it’s in the case of web designers with a website package that you build, that’s maybe a few tiers, and then you have some additional ancillary services that accompany that, if you can package all that up. The beauty about that is, I think you said it, Brad, you get to a point where you could potentially take higher projects and value based stuff if you wanted to, but you don’t necessarily need to have you can scale it. And if you create an SOP, a standard operating procedure and have some help with that, for delivery and fulfillment, it really is something that can be scaled. And I think that’s the beauty, particularly about people who are early on. Would you say that productizing almost benefits people earlier on? Because I’ll be honest, when I got started the idea of charging 10,000 or more for a website, I wasn’t there yet. My design chops weren’t great. I didn’t know much about SEO, I just still learning WordPress, like, how would you say for the folks who were earlier on in the journey, if you can learn enough about WordPress and Divi and package up some nice services? Is there almost more opportunity for that?

Brad 31:30
Awesome question. I think so. Absolutely. Because if you are more experienced, and you are doing well, I’ve talked to agency owners, I have a few colleagues in my city, and I’ve worked at agencies and like when I pitched the idea of productizing and I got feedback from them, like I get the idea. But like I don’t have I don’t have a scale problem. I have a small team, we’re really good at selling and we’ve got this unique selling factor. We do pretty well. There’s probably some inefficiencies. In fact, there there would there are inefficiencies that could help them break out of it. And agencies can productize and create a sub firm, and like really dial in like a revenue stream to like feed the rest. But that aside, it’s the beginners who are stuck in this unremarkable way of selling hours for dollars and just selling their time for money. That productized services and the exercise of coming up with something is what breaks you out of that and into a more higher value form of selling good, I’m more entrepreneurial understanding of their business.

Brad 32:39
Because most freelancers don’t see themselves as businesses, they see themselves or rather act as rogue employees, oh, they’re just running around looking for more bosses. You know, so where’s the next client who could just boss me around and then I’ll complain that they didn’t value my whatever. And then I’d find another client, they’re just looking for more bosses, because they’re kind of like a, like, a free agent, kind of literally a freelancer someone who’s free of some sort of organization. And they’re just looking for gigs and work and bosses to boss them around. So I try and break them out of that and to see themselves as actual business owners. So if you want to get into business, freelancing as your transition into business, then be a business owner. And how you can do that is through productizing. It’s one of the ways that will break you out of this old way of thinking, yeah, this employee way of thinking and into how can I create value? How can I standardize and systemize and scale? Right?

Josh 33:40
Well, and I was just thinking, sticking with the folks who are early on in the journey, the problem that I fell into, and I know pretty much everyone does is you just end up doing whatever the client asks you and you do stuff that’s way out of your expertise or skill set. Or even if you’re not an A quote unquote, expert early on, it’s out of anything that’s even in the realm of what you should do. So like I was doing everything for every client that came to me and it was just it was a nightmare early on. Like I once I started refining what I did, and I think this is where productizing could come into play even even if you’re just early on and you can barely put together a website. If your product is a simple Divi WordPress website, a lower end with some basic kind of functions. That’s your product. So when your client asks you, can you come to my office and take pictures of my staff? No, I hire that out. And that’s what I would do. I would literally do all that kind of stuff.

Josh 34:30
And one thing it’s interesting Brad, as I as I’m look, as I’m going through this conversation, I’m thinking back to when I didn’t even realize I started productizing but I did and that was when I first sent my first product was my hosting and maintenance plan. When I offered that I did not realize that was a product but that was 100% a digital product for my clients for my service side. So I was doing custom websites, billing, you know, having a fixed custom proposed one though. But then the product was the maintenance and security and hosting afterwards. Yeah, additional products I started to offer were SEO packages. So I had a couple different tiers of SEO packages, not knowing those were 100% products, because they were like, limited, they were constrained to, here’s the basics, there’s like a fundamental option, which I called SEO boost. And there was different versions of that, if they wanted to do a lot more content SEO, we could do that. But that’s where it would get more into the value base type of pricing. So I do feel like there’s a happy medium, and I think I’m in this just something I thought I’ve as you were talking that last segment, I feel like productizing is definitely a way to kind of bridge the gap and get the conversation started. And that can be almost a lead generator for the higher stuff, right?

Brad 35:44
Yeah, exactly. So that’s like that, that’s where the entrepreneurial thought process comes in. Once you start productizing, and you start doing that exercise, then you start to, it changes the way you think. And I see this, I’ve seen this a number of times when I taught my students specifically how to productize and taking them through exercises and and challenge them on their selling time for money. And getting into productizing. All of a sudden, it’s like you give them the key that so they when you learn the learning exercise, they like unlock something in their thought process. And just like what you said, that thought process of, I created a product. So I had WordPress, management and protection and, you know, ensuring your WordPress site which I built for you for this price. And so this ensures that everything’s all good, it protects your asset, and you know, we’re on it, 24 seven, making sure everything’s taken care of updated, secure, yada, yada, yada. And it’s this much per month.

Brad 36:44
Okay, so you’ve got the product productize service, if you if there’s an element of view, involving your time, now, then you start to realize, like when you create a productized service, you start to realize that that is an entry point into the back end of your business. Now we can you can stop there, if you’re doing really well. And you’re like, No, I’m just gonna stay here and just get the best at this great. But a lot of the times it’s an entryway into feeding the backend of your business, which is really where you make your money. So you validate a client that come in through a productized service, let’s say at 15 $100 $1,500, it’s a low price for a very standardized thing that probably let’s say you can turn around and one day, and that satisfies a smaller tangible need and provides a tangible outcome for them, they see the value, they see your expertise and your competence. And then they go, you know what I actually what I really need is this, yeah, and you go Okay, well, that is not, you know, I can’t do that on a productized service, there’s product and services, fixing your on, on site, you know, SEO or your you know, whatever, like some small piece, that let’s have a value conversation about that. And my company or my agency, my firm, or just yourself if your solo business can take care of that. And so let’s find out the value of the outcome, and what we can do. And then we price based on value.

Josh 38:15
So here’s the big question with how the heck to productize web design services because as you know, and as I well know, and everyone listening knows every website is different They’re, unless you’re doing a like clone type of template style website. If you’re working with a client, there’s going to be different services, different needs different amount of pages, different functionality, different everything there, it’s always gonna fluctuate. So I will say I never 100% productize my web design services. However, I will share with you You asked me earlier what I did to kind of merge both and I’ll share it with you. I’ve shared it publicly before I’ll say here, what I essentially did was I created a funnel for what I dubbed a qualified lead or a questionable lead.

Josh 38:59
If a qualified lead came in, and I felt like this company has a really good budget, I know they do really well. We’re gonna go the custom route. I know right away, this is going to be a high value client, the other productized services that are offered like maintenance SEO and stuff, they’re gonna 100% go for that. So let’s focus on the high level stuff. If it was a questionable lead, and I thought they might not have much of a budget, let’s see where they’re at. I know their projects going to be different but at least want to put them in the the buckets that I have set up. What I did was I for I funnel them to what I did my potential client page. And here is where I had three tiers of websites. And they were kind of like a mini package it was like and I always said starting starting at this is the big thing pricing is starting at because I did not want somebody to buy the first package and then they actually need a lot more than that. And then it’s going to be a tricky upsell and they’re going to be confused.

Josh 39:50
So I always said starting at you know, here’s our base price, which at the tail end of running the agency the base price was 2497. This was like your smaller brochure style. With some basic SEO, the tear out from that was more of a medium style site, 1520 pages, maybe a calendar, some basic functions, a blog, stuff like that. And then the top tier was more advanced sites. And that’s kind of how I funneled that way too. If somebody was looking to pay 200 bucks, they would see starting at 2500 and be like, Nope, that’s not going to be for me. And I didn’t even need to have that conversation. So that’s essentially how I kind of like had a hybrid approach between products, you know, they almost almost productize web design services. But I wasn’t even at that case, I wasn’t using like full templates or anything. I think you could even take the productizing further from there, to where it’s like, if you need this style site, take your template, we’ll build it out. You could you could really productize that if you wanted to.

Brad 40:44
Yeah, yeah. Okay. Now, that’s, that’s brilliant. And that’s if everyone listening right now, who provides services and gets leads in their email, or text or phone or Facebook Messenger, or any of the ways that you get incoming leads, if everybody right now in like, did an exercise for one hour, which is going standardize your incoming lead generation, so that you don’t have to get on the phone or go back and forth on the email to try and qualify your screen a lead, you’d, you’d boost your business, your efficiency and your productivity and your happiness dramatically guaranteed. Like, do that right away, standardize that inbound lead generation and screening because that I agree with you, as soon as I started doing that, I had a type form set up. Or if you wanted to get in touch with me, instead of just emailing me before I just said, everybody, and anybody should email me because every lead is potential customer and every, like, I need to say yes to everything common, like scarcity based approach that most freelancers do.

Josh 41:48
It’s also a pride approach too it’s like, how many clients do you have? Here, here’s the here’s the shocking news for everybody. You don’t want to win the amount of client award, you want to win the Best client award,

Brad 41:51
Oh, there’s Yeah, you should have like a rule of thumb. And I don’t want to go too far off on this tangent cuz I want to come back to what you were saying there. If you could have 10 clients, and that’s it, like 10 active clients a year maximum than that, then that is what you should aim for. Now, some people would want more if you’re productized services, you know, that’s a lower price. Okay, you can take on more clients, if you’re specializing in higher value 10 clients, because then let’s say your goal is like $500,000 a year. And I know that that’s like outrageous sounding number to a lot of freelancers. It’s not something that’s intangible. But let’s just use that because it’s an exciting number. Everybody here listening, was able to generate that in their independent business, you’d be laughing, so let’s do that. Divide that by 10. That’s $50,000 per client. So then, let’s say if that was your goal, and you only want to 10 clients a year. That means that your budget for that client to spend in the year, it doesn’t have to be upfront it could be throughout the year is $50,000. So if your client, if you want only 10 clients a year, because that will maintain your pedigree and your focus and like your real dedication to that clients to get them the value that they’re looking for. If they’re required to spend $50,000 a year with you, then that’s a good client, if they’re willing to, if a client is only going to spend $1,000 a year with you, in order for you to hit your $500,000 goal. Right, right, then you got to get to 500 clients a year, you know how hard it is to get 500 clients

Josh 43:30
Even like even practically like the 10 client thing, if you got 10 clients that were paying you, you know, 10,000 bucks, that’s six that six figures right there. I mean, that’s not what you’re taking home, but that’s technically a six figure business. So yeah, I totally agree it I definitely didn’t mean to derail is too far down that road. The idea? Yeah, definitely. I just wanted to share my funnel, because that’s how I discover like that was the game changer for me was how I funneled the leads.

Brad 43:57
Yep, yep, that’s right, you funnel them and you standardize that entire process. So that when you get on the phone with somebody, you know that they’re pre qualified to purchase x. Or if they’re not going to purchase x, this high value project, but they still are a valid client. Maybe they’re valid for your productize service, and you don’t even need to talk to them. Or maybe it’s just like a live chat window where you just like, quickly answer a couple questions. You know, Monday to Friday, you just are available to answer a few questions, and then they make the purchase for $1500. I’m not talking to you.

Josh 44:34
How do you feel? I’m always fascinated by that. how people feel about this probably in web design, which is when you have something on your your contact form or get a quote form about what’s your budget. How do you feel about that? Because I got my own thoughts on that. But I’ve seen agencies I still see agencies that will have a contact form and they ask what what’s your budget and I know that’s their funnel, that’s where they’re like okay, this person’s under 2000. They’re here. I understand that methodology. But My take is I also don’t want to limit I don’t want somebody to think they should be in that $2,000 bucket when maybe they should be in the $10,000. bucket. What are your thoughts on that?

Brad 45:13
Yeah. Okay. So that question, that scenario of posting your price or, or, or hinting at your price or your minimum budget becomes less of a relevant question, the more you either productize or specialize. So if you’re, if you’re highly specialized, and you only work with one type of client, and you deliver this one, really valuable, you know, outcome, the more specific you are about what you do, who it’s for the outcome you get, the more you could say, the more you can confidently just say, you need a $25,000 budget to even like for us to consider. Yeah, it’s not worth it for us if we’re on the call for an hour. And we really dig in, and we say, okay, so we require a $10,000 deposit. And it’s five grand a month, for 12 months, in order to get that and then someone literally vomits hearing that that’s a waste of your hour, it could have been with somebody who really, really needed you. So in that case, you just post your price. And you say this is what it is like we’re not hiding anything, we only work with these people. Now, that’s if you’re highly specialized. privatization, you post your price, you just you. So if you use your price, as an example, there’s no value, everybody pays the same price for the same outcome, because it’s the same person every single time. So the more you’re productized, or specialized, which is a separate conversation, the more posting your price or telling you the fee is, is actually a good thing. And almost required.

Josh 46:45
That’s what I had with that whole potential client page type funnel that I had, because that was a hidden page. So you wouldn’t find that on my menu or anything. And that was what I sent to people. So they would know, these are the buckets you’re gonna fall into. Whereas the high the higher end clients, I knew that required much more of a custom approach. And that’s where like, on that call, I would say, well, maybe these projects are 5, 10 15,000. And then yeah, if somebody throws up, you know, sorry, I don’t think we’re the great fit. But if somebody is like, Okay, all right, and then I was like, oh, okay, we got one this, this is awesome. Yeah, this is somebody…

Brad 47:17
Yes. So and now the more general you are, the more that you’re trying to figure out who they are, you’re temperature testing, you’re trying to screen you’re trying to figure out, so the more and that is a that would be a indicator, the more you are wondering if you should show your price, or if you should have a minimum budget is in my opinion, the more of an indicator of how generalized you are versus specialized. That would be my thought on that I’ve posted. I’ve done that before in my pipe forums where you have, say, like, choose your budget range to spend with us over the year, what’s your budget? You know, I’ve also positioned it as How much do you invest in marketing services per year in your organization?

Josh 47:18
Oh, okay.

Brad 47:25
$2,000 a year $10,000 a year? And so that’s kind of my way of less being like, how much can I you know, that’s what the client wants?

Josh 48:10
How much are you willing to pay me just put it out there, just throw it out there, put it on…

Brad 48:16
So I could charge you that number. But what I really want to know is like, how much are you? How serious are you in investing in your business per year? Now, that might not be the price that we charge, but it’s more so if someone’s like, Yeah, I don’t spend I DIY everything. I don’t spend anything on marketing, then you’re like, oh, okay, well, maybe you should subscribe to my blog and kind of learn some basics. Yeah. And then eventually, when you’re at a different level, sure. That so I’ve done that before. And so I guess my opinion to be if you the more generalized you are, you kind of have to do that, in my opinion, to try and get a gauge because you might have a big client, you might have a small client is but you don’t know.

Brad 48:53
Whereas if you are specific, and you say, I my service, let’s use an example of a productized service is, let’s say you are a restaurant looking for like a WordPress restaurant site, and you only work with restaurants, or at least your productized service offering his restaurant sites, a restaurant WordPress 3sites. So it’s the restaurant tour. It’s the the restaurant owner, who probably a little bit smaller needs a WordPress website. They can update their menu people can reserve on Open Table nowadays with curbside delivery and all this new tech that’s kind of emerged and needs based on no contact delivery and everything like that, you know, okay, now the site needs to be able to do online ordering, delivery, talking to skip the dishes, white label or Uber Eats or whatever the you know, tools you’re using. So you can bake that in and say, you know, we build WordPress websites for restaurant owners and our package is $2,500 right? You know, then you can Just be specific, because it’s not going to be a chiropractor who goes, You know what I saw that you do WordPress websites? I know you mentioned restaurant owners, but I need a WordPress website, what’s your feet, you’re like, You’re, you’re not our customer, go talk to a WordPress developer or something else.

Josh 50:14
So from a web designer perspective, we’ve talked about some potential services, we could productize being custom website design, which I think you could start potentially like at starting points, but then inevitably, you’re probably going to get a little more custom from there and ideally higher end if you specialize. We talked to definitely about, you know, the templatized approach for for website type of products, which are great to go particularly starting out talking about some SEO type services, you could productize maintenance and hosting, I’d love to hear your thoughts on consulting, and strategy for web designers, I’ve got more and more students who are offering more strategy because what I think what I realized very late in my web design career is that a part of designing a website for somebody is getting to understand their business, getting to know their customer, and you don’t even realize it, but you are a consultant for them, you are a strategy partner for them. And this is something you should be billing for. Or if you’re going to do that have it as a line item or a product. What are your thoughts on that? Like? Do you think that’s worthwhile for most all web designers these days? And it could that be something that really separates them from I’m just your WordPress developer, if you’re actually like, a partner with them in their business, and they could, you know, buy that product for a few months or something like that?

Brad 51:33
Yeah, awesome question. And that if we kind of go back to the beginning of the conversation, what separates you from everybody else? What makes you less unremarkable? What makes you less replaceable? And if you tell me that you’re a WordPress developer, I could literally Google WordPress developer. And I’d have, I don’t know how many hundreds of 1000s of listings show up on Upwork, Fiverr, Guru, whatever marketplaces are available. There’s probably WordPress developer marketplaces stand alone. I have a WordPress course on Udemy. that teaches people to be WordPress developers and I have hundreds of 1000s of students in that course. So that’s like, if that’s any indication. Yeah, it’s like so that’s unremarkable. But it’s a tool like you need to know how to do it. But what can make you more remarkable.

Brad 52:26
So to come back to the consulting, if you can bake that into into your thought process, because what is a consultant, it’s someone who has, who will consult with the client, who will look at the bigger picture to guide them to a more valuable outcome. So if you’re just hiring me to build your WordPress website, you can stop the conversation, let’s say that you go through that funnel, you go through that vetting, pre screening process, you get someone on the call, and it seems like there could be a decent client, you know, minimum budget of about $5,000. So you’re like, Ooh, this is good. They could ask you, and most of them are gonna say like, okay, and you say, Well, what do you need from us? Well, we know we need to do a WordPress website, we need to manage the site ourselves.

Brad 53:12
Most people are going to most WordPress developers, freelancers are going to stop there and go, I can do that. I can build your WordPress website, and I can you can manage it yourself, what else do you need, and you’re like, ah, and it needs to have a calendar and an events page. And it also needs to be able to have a contact form with this many drop down menus and, and this and this, and this and this, and this many admin users so that our account manager team could do this and do this and go, I could do all those features, and all those features and all those features. And then they say, well, what’s the price? Like what’s gonna be good? I’ll get back to you with a quote, you can’t you spend a lot of time produce a quote, let’s say it’s like $2,740. And then they shop around a bit, maybe they choose you. Great, then you go and overwork yourself a lot of out of scope stuff, and you realize what a waste of time that was just for 2400 bucks.

Brad 54:01
So that’s what most people do. I did it a lot. I see it a lot. So what as a consultant, if you see yourself as that first, who just so happens to be in the WordPress world. And that’s like kind of where your tool belt is. So you’re not your tool belt. Don’t be your tool belt, because you can buy a tool belt anywhere else for cheaper.

Josh 54:23
Yeah.

Brad 54:23
So as a consultant, you have the tool belt, and you get to pick which tools for the job.

Josh 54:29
That’s good, that’s nice.

Brad 54:30
Now, take that out as a soundbite. So, think about that. So when you’re talking to someone and they go, I need a WordPress site. Great. Um, why do you need a WordPress website? Well, because you won’t be able to manage my content myself. Like that’s nice. Yeah, WordPress is great for being being able to manage your own content. Why does that matter to you? Because it’s I don’t have to go back and forth to with my developer to update content. I go Well, it sounds like updating content is valuable to you. And you don’t want any friction. So why does that matter? Why does creating content a frictionless experience matter to you? So because my content is actually where my kind of shine, I’m really good at developing content, and I don’t want to have anything in the way. Well, so tell me more about why this content is so valuable. Like, because it’s my content that gets me my best leads, and it’s through my content, and I’ve had the most opportunities, and you’re like, so tell me about these opportunities? What kind of opportunities is your content? Yeah. And then so this conversation is why why why why gets them really down to what they’re actually looking to you for? So they have a problem. And they tell you that they need a WordPress website as the solution. But it’s not they might not even realize what the solution is. So you simply asking why? Why that? Tell me more about Yeah, oh, it sounds like that frustrates you tell me why it gets to the real core of the problem. And then they’ll tell you, I’m contacting you, because my business has been on a steady decline since COVID, for the last eight months. And I’m worried that if four months goes by with this same thing happening, I’m out, I can’t have that happen. Because I’ve got this much money and time invested in it. I know I could do better. And, and contacting you as my, my hope was that you could help me get out of that. And you go, Okay, well, it’s not a WordPress website that you need. That’s part of the game here. Sure. But what I can help you do is turn that those revenue numbers that’s going down and down and down. Let’s turn that the other way and get that going up. how we’re going to do that is going to be vastly different than just giving you a plug in that allows you to just take blog posts.

Josh 56:37
Even even like, I primarily still built websites, that was my main thing. But there was still a lot of strategy that was left on the table that I found. And I think even this conversation, the way you’re kind of phrasing that is beautiful, because if you’re on a call with a potential client, instead of just asking you about website features, and colors if you start talking about their business, and here’s a revelation we had recently. So I have a private community, a web design club with some of my top students. And we talked about this recently, and it’s kind of a challenge we’re doing right now everyone’s doing this is when you get on a call, instead of you know, going into your normal spiel, or just asking about website stuff, ask, tell me about your business. And naturally, that’s gonna just open the floodgates. And then from there, you can decide, okay, what services do they need.

Josh 57:25
If you’re a web designer who is not yet doing email marketing, and social media and a lot of other marketing, even if you’re still just primarily doing website stuff, you can still talk high level strategy with that website, like, maybe instead of a five page website that they thought they need, maybe you actually figured out that they’ve got like three different main customers. And we need to create a really nice journey for each one of these customers on the site. Now, suddenly, you’ve got a 20 page website, that’s gonna have a lot more functions, you also went from a $2,000 project to a $10,000 project. So I think that’s just a practical example of how you could just with that mental shift that you just talked about, Brad, from going from, you know, here’s what I do, here’s the specifics to just tell me about your business. And then let’s talk high level strategy and then nailed down and then you can, then you can offer your productized services, or more higher level custom stuff, if you have it.

Brad 58:17
Exactly. Maybe you have that on the shelf that you can go, I can solve that problem, because that’s a problem. I’m very good at solving, we saw that every single week with this, this is what it is here. Here’s the checkout link, choose your day, choose your time, pay the fee, and we’re ready to go. And exactly the more you think about the strategy and the why behind the project, the more you can actually prescribe a solution. And so that’s what you really want to be able to do it and having the productize service is that gateway, I’ll use a personal example. And I will spare details for confidentiality and such for clients. But I have a productized service. I call it “Done in One Day”. And so I practice what I preach. So I do my product business or my course business, my coaching and training and consulting for my, my students and my student base that I’ve built over the years.

Brad 59:05
But like I said, like I kind of want to be able to work with clients, but not in the old way of just like doing being a go to kind of hired gun. You do it my way for this price, which steadily increases which excludes lots and lots and lots of people, because I don’t really want lots and lots of clients. I just want to work with like one or two really good clients who are willing to pay big bucks. So I can like get them the outcome. They’re more fun to work with. It’s just all around great. So done in one day. I started out generalized, just saying like book my day. It’s a pretty common thing. I wanted to experiment with this new model or

Josh 59:38
I just I just had somebody on Sara Massey. Are you familiar with her with Day Rate Master? Yeah, so she was just on recently? Yeah. And we had a whole talk about day rates, which is fascinating.

Brad 59:49
Yeah, so day rates, not new. It’s just one of many pricing models for freelancers. You charge hourly, charge weekly, charge daily, charge monthly. You charge flat fee, fixed fee, like it’s just one of the pricing models. But what’s really cool about what Sara did was that she created like a productized service around a day rate. Yeah, about just like charging for your day. And then you could jam pack, whatever you want that day, or you can fix it, you can play with it, you can, you know, so I was like, I saw lots of people doing this. And I was like, I want to see how valid This is. Um, so I just experimented and created a simple my own version of the day rate sort of positioning, and book the day, what are my skills and expertise? What are the things I can offer in a day realistically. And so there was a handful of things, you know, setting up a Squarespace site, refreshing your your sales page for your course, you know, email marketing, and ConvertKit isn’t a handful of other things. And so I just like cast a wide net.

Brad 1:00:51
And I started to see patterns, where my clients, specifically where I enjoyed the work and where my clients typically booked me was through a ConvertKit marketing machine, I call it. So the end to end, complete ecosystem for your funnel for your for your business, usually creators selling courses and coaching. And so I thought, I’m only going to focus on that. I don’t want to just get a Squarespace project and then this and then an on page SEO, and then this and this and I don’t want to do any of that stuff. It’s it’s not exciting for me. I’m just going to repackage this entire done in one day for a done in one day, coaching funnel in ConvertKit, or course funnel end to end everything’s all done, packaged up. Now granted, it’s not just done in one day, the implementation is done in one day. It’s very consultative, and I do strategy prior to. I give them lots of homework. And then there’s there’s a there’s a call before and after. And there’s very strategy based so it’s not like you book my day and do whatever you want. It’s very specific, consultative strategy based. And I charge way more than, you know, typically these day rate, people who charge day rates, they usually charge 800 to 1500. I just charged 2500. And I’m gonna raise that even more. So. And it’s just as easy to sell as when I tried it at seven 700 $800. Oh, interesting. I just get clients who were at a different state. Yeah, yeah, who who really value the outcome. And they generally have got more momentum in their business. So when I make a small change, boom, results happen. And they’re very excited.

Brad 1:02:31
So to get to my point, that was my kind of roundabout way to get to the point was, I have this productized service. And so I was on a call with a past client from this productize service. And he, he wanted to he’s launching a product, I’m going to try and spare as many details as possible just for confidentiality, but he’s launching a product and wanted help with that kind of marketing strategy. And initially thought, let’s pick another done in one day. And you could just do a whole bunch of stuff for me. So I was like, let’s get on a call, got on the call, and really asked these questions. Like I said, Why do you want that? And why does that matter? Why do you think that that matters? Why do you want a WordPress site for that? Why do you want this? Why do you want this and got to the point where I found out truly what they really wanted. And it wasn’t just book the day and then build this little funnel and set up this landing page on WordPress. It was I want to be able to make X amount per month in this arm of my business so that I could fund the bigger consultative part of my business got it was like, and so I really found out what they really, really wanted it wanted.

Brad 1:03:41
So I said, Okay, there’s two stages to this stage one is me doing this first part, you know, there’s these things that you need done, setting up the funnel on the machine and all the tech consolidating it saving you some cash here, we can do this. But the bigger part of this is getting you to X amount per month in sales on that product, I can help you do that. I’ll show you. But first, we’re going to start here. And so instead of just saying book, my day for 2500, I charged I quoted for double that. Still, it’s going to be a one day turnaround, because they’re just more value based. So it’s not the productized service. It’s not the ConvertKit funnel thing. It’s something else. But it’s very concise, quick turnaround. And this is where it got really fun for me.

Brad 1:04:24
So a lot of freelancers will just say yes to everything. You’ll be the yes guy or the yes gal, you know, I need this, and I need this and then all of a sudden you start to be kind of like the TaskRabbit. And they just you just do whatever they say. Because you don’t want to lose the job. I got a email back saying like, okay, I’ll agree to this price. If this and this and this and this and this and this, all these things that they wanted to clarify, mainly because they wanted to trust that they were making a good choice. I clarified some of those points saying, Oh, yeah, as a part of the service, this will happen. You know, and that is will happen. But there were a number of things I said. No, I’m not doing that. No, that’s not part of the service. No, that’s not happening. You can do this yourself. You can hire somebody for really cheap on Upwork to do that, and no, we’re not doing that gotcha. It was like a whole bunch of No, not happening. That’s not what I do. Like, Are you hiring me as a hired gun to just like fiddle around in your code base? Or do you want to get to X amount per month? So then they like, immediately were like, yeah, whoa, yeah, I don’t want you to be like, I want you to be that partner to get me to that goal. If I’m burying you with, like, stuff that is eight bucks an hour on Upwork, then I’m actually harming my own business. Yeah. And then it was like, Okay, yeah, cool. I’m in. So I get to do less busy work and more value based strategic work for a bigger price. Because I said no, a lot.

Josh 1:05:47
And I do. I’ve seen that in the value of productizing. I, I mean, honestly, after this conversation, there’s so there’s so much value. And I think I think clients like it too. Because if you put yourself in the shoes of a business owner, if you just say like, they have no idea where their website is gonna land price point wise, it can be a little overwhelming, and they don’t know exactly what you do. And then they’re like, they’re stressed about what they should do. They’re like, what what do I need with a website? What’s involved with that? Do I need social media, what’s even know what email marketing is, if there’s all these other things, it can be really daunting for clients.

Josh 1:06:20
Whereas if they, you know, if you have a consult with them, and they see some starting packages, or some template options for productizing, and then some other productized services like maintenance and SEO, it generally it tends to be a lot more welcoming. And I think it kind of leads the client into just feeling more comfortable with moving forward with you. And I found that when I started offering my SEO boost service, because I did custom SEO Services, not that many people went for it. But oddly enough, as I think about it, now, when I offered my little SEO boost for 499, which was just to do some SEO work on the front page, and the main services pages, basically, I had a ton of people go for it, like almost everyone went for SEO boost, and it was a great foundational, it was like another taste of product, you know, a product. Yeah, type service. So yeah,

Brad 1:07:11
I think that I think this like, that’s awesome. And I think that this maybe dovetails into, we should like come up with some examples of productized services and the varying kinds. So that you know, because we talked a lot about, I mean, kind of straight on a little bit like value based and specialization. It’s all in the same field. It’s getting you out of that rut of selling time for money at really low, replaceable, unremarkable wage, that’s what most freelancers are doing. It’s very unremarkable, and you’re very replaceable. And it’s the reason why so many freelancers are so up in arms, or grumpy about Fiverr and Upwork. And like, oh, you’re selling logo service for five bucks, you can’t get logo service for five bucks. Yeah, you can. There’s right there. And I could do it. And it’s actually pretty good. But it’s a different client, it serves a different market it serves a different need. It’s creating value and solutions for that market who needs commodity based outcomes or services, they just need something quick and easy, dirty, cheap, low budget, you know, we’re pre revenue startup, we don’t want a fancy strategy for 50 grand, we just want $100 logo, we could slap on our Instagram page, and we can just start experimenting with this idea. So get yourself out of that. And so we’ve been talking about this a lot and breaking you into more productizing. And, and value based thinking. So I think we should kind of jam on some examples so that people can see, okay, well, how can I fit my business or my personality, my, you know, clients into one of these models and one of these ideas so that people could start walking away with ideas. So, go ahead,

Josh 1:07:13
I was just gonna say, yeah, I mean, I kind of thought of the majority that I was thinking about, as far as, you know, the website stuff, SEO, maintenance, consulting, strategy.

Brad 1:08:58
So yes, you’re like, yeah, and these are all they fall in. So they fall under a handful of categories. So there are models for productized services. So generally, I think there’s about five. And there could be more as people get creative and thinking, but generally, you have one off projects. So that’s like, you get a client, you do it, and it’s done. So that would be like that done in one day service that I mentioned that I do, or the day rates, generally one off, it’s like, I’ll do this thing for you for this price in this timeline. And it’s done. Like there’s no back end to it. In order to get another client, you got to either repeat that client or get another one. So that’s a one off project. It could be something like a sales page refresh. Let’s say you’re a web designer, and you’re particularly good. You have an audience or an interest or skill in a field.

Brad 1:09:51
So one of my clients in my productize class is a UX designer, but she’s also an event planner. I’m really interested in Airbnb. And so I was like, What if we combine those things? And so she created a service that she never would have thought of otherwise or I wouldn’t have but we jammed on this. And what she created was an Airbnb kind of conversion. So if you have, you’re an Airbnb host. Well, she’ll totally refactor your Airbnb listing set up a Squarespace site for it as well for additional info, but refactor the listing, get you boosted on the listings get you more books seriously. Specifically, the outcome was, you’re an Airbnb host, let’s get you fully booked. And here’s how we do that. So she created with her event planning experience. So how do you create an experience out of you know, she’s a user experience designer as well. So she combined those to say, like, with her interest in Airbnb, to like, I can help Airbnb hosts like rise to the top. So we helped her come up with the productize service.

Brad 1:11:02
So that’s kind of like a one off, you pay for the package. She goes in, does her work, and she’s out. And then you got like, you’ve got your outright. So that’s a one off project WordPress to web flow is a one off project. A done for you Facebook ad, let’s say, a sales page refresh a, you know, like a brochure website for a flat fee for a certain type of person, a restaurant web WordPress website, you book your restaurant site, it’s two grand, it’ll be done by next Monday. It’s always a five day turnaround. It’s a website in a week, it’s whatever. So it’s one off. subscription offer is another model. So that would be

Josh 1:11:43
Like the maintenance plan or

Brad 1:11:44
Maintenance plans, WordPress security. Let’s say here’s some other examples would be something like an online business manager. So this would be less about the web designer, but somebody who manages online businesses, here’s my fee per month, and the outcome you get is x. So it’s not, you’re paying hourly, and then you just give me tasks. Yeah, it’s, you pay me 500 bucks a month, your inbox every week will always be at zero, everything will be delegated. Your your calendar will always be clean and managed and XYZ outcomes. If that takes that person, one hour a week or 10 hours a week, it doesn’t matter, because you’re buying outcome. So it’s a subscription based offer for an outcome. malware removal services, you know, WordPress management, WordPress updates, like, like, hands off WordPress services, like I’m trying to give examples or WordPress ideas here.

Brad 1:12:42
Group coaching and done with you services. So a done with you model is also another consultative approach. You have value and expertise. Maybe you’re not, maybe there’s something in your business where you’re not just selling to your end customer, but you’re selling to people who are like you. Now you can do group coaching for your customers. Like let’s say, You’re create you do a one off WordPress website, or sorry, a WordPress website for restaurant tours. And you have a back end kind of group coaching, where every week you teach them how to manage that site, how to come up with interesting offers, how to repackage their menu items, how to, you know, strategies for so if you’re an expert in the restaurant business, specifically with marketing and in your field, and the product you offered was a WordPress website, you can then offer your insights and value in that weekly group coaching. And you can sell that as a back end offer to your current clients. Or it could be a front end offer

Josh 1:13:43
I like that. They can learn from each other too, which is really cool.

Brad 1:13:47
Yep. And then they learn from each other, you become the expert, you’re the authority, and then you be that becomes a referral source. Hey, you should contact check out Josh’s site here he has a group coaching program for restaurant owners. And every week, it’s like, we do a call on zoom. And I learned insights and strategies that I never would have other real otherwise realized, check it out. someone gets in there, they pay your 100 bucks a month, 1000 bucks a month, 20 bucks a month, whatever your price ranges for this. And then they go actually want to hire this person. Like they’re really good. I’m going to book a call with them. They’re in your ecosystem, they trust you they know you’re the expert. So then from there, it’s a lot easier to sell them something else that can help.

Josh 1:14:27
That’s great. I’m taking notes on these. By the way, this is a great way to put a cap on this conversation with these examples.

Brad 1:14:32
Yeah, I kind of thought you know, we need to give some examples here because we could talk about productizing and specializing all day long, but I want to make sure people know like what does that look like especially for me as a WordPress developer designer, things like this other group, like your copywriter, you could do group copywriting classes, group copywriting coaching, you know, maybe you teach other people like you, so it doesn’t have to just be your end customer. So my end customer For my, you know, I’m done in like my in customer dinner generally is like business owners who run businesses and need marketing done built into their ConvertKit account so they can sell their stuff on autopilot. So I could do a group class on ConvertKit for business owners for six figure creators, and instead of selling them a $2,500 plus service, maybe they’re more technically inclined, and they can handle it themselves. So how do I capture that market? Well, I go for 500 bucks a month, we have like a like a weekly, like insight session, where I teach you the latest. We dig into your funnels, we tweak them, you know, so I’m selling to people who wouldn’t buy that one service or buy something gotcha in that ecosystem.

Josh 1:15:48
Yeah.

Brad 1:15:48
So that would be group coaching done with you services, coaching them, consulting them, you know, to a specific outcome. Now, another model would be unlimited services, this one gets people a little bit queasy, because, like, why would I want to give my clients unlimited access to, to me, that’s my friends. So this one’s a little bit. This one is like treading on thin ice. Unless you do it, right. And I’ve seen a couple examples of being done right. So it rarely means unlimited. Like, it’s unlimited in some way. And it can never be. You can never reach an unlimited amount. Let’s say for example, like I have unlimited data on my internet plan. But I’m not going to use a million gigabytes a month because I can I still only use like X amount. I could probably have a cap on it. And I never reach it. But the fact that it’s unlimited makes me feel like Oh, you know what, I just downloaded this movie and Ultra HD. Yeah, that’s fine. But I’ll never reach the unlimited anyway.

Brad 1:16:50
So, so unlimited to be something like there’s a really interesting example called design pickle. There was on I can’t know which website it was, but they did like a case study on design pickle, the owner of design pickle, an introverted designer, who’s like, says he’s uncomfortable with selling, he feels like insecure about his work. He’s like, kind of a standard, you know, creative person who’s like, I don’t know, I’m maybe not that good. But like, I don’t really want to, like I like doing what I’m doing. But I don’t really like what I’m doing. Because I’m, I’m always critiquing my work. And I wish I was better like this person. So a lot of us can resonate with this person. But he has a service called design pickle. And it’s an unlimited design service.

Josh 1:17:35
I’ve seen an ad for that. It’s like unlimited graphic design for what? $299 a month or something like that.

Brad 1:17:41
Yeah, it’s a flat. It’s a subscription fee. And there’s, there’s a tier based system. And I think it’s generally for like, pre revenue startups, startup founders, people who are like creating software, creating startups and smaller companies, and don’t want to go the high risk Upwork route where you have to like find somebody, and then try them out and try them out and try them out until they finally land on somebody, but then maybe they drop off the face of the planet because they changed their business or they stopped. Yeah, so they want but they don’t have the cash to hire, say high end designer to take care of their design collateral. So what this person did was created Unlimited, monthly, the monthly fee for unlimited design services. And there will be turned around within two days, okay. And it’s for these pre revenue startups generally. So this person knows who he’s working with. And it’s generally logos, icons.

Josh 1:18:35
So there’s, there’s some constraints.

Brad 1:18:36
There’s constraints. Yeah. So if like you come in as somebody who’s outside of that scope, I might not even want to buy it, because his marketing is tailored towards somebody who’s like starting up a new software and has shoestring budget, right, but wants high quality assets. So what you do is, the way that the service is constrained, is that you submit a task. So let’s say I’m his target audience, I’m paying 200 bucks a month, and I get access to the Trello board. And I go, I’m launching a course or I’m launching a product or promo for my, my software, and I need a logo. I need like a an asset, I need a Facebook ad and I need a couple icons. They’re like kind of quirky and silly. So have five tasks.

Brad 1:19:27
Those tasks when you put them on, it’s a two day turnaround time, per task based on when you kind of put it so you can’t just give them 100 tasks, right and say, get all these on in two days. It’s this task is going to be two days this task will be two days after that two days after that. So it sets expectations in terms of turnaround time,

Josh 1:19:47
Gotcha.

Brad 1:19:47
But it’s but it’s still fast and you know, someone’s going to take care of it. And it’ll be ready soon enough. So, and then unlimited revisions, which is another thing that’s terrifying. That stands out to me That’s so that’s where I read this interview with him. It’s basically because it’s the same type of business owner, because he always can expect the same type of client, the same type of assets. It’s very repetitive. And he’s okay with that. Because

Josh 1:20:16
He probably knows what to expect as far as what kind of revisions. What Yeah.

Brad 1:20:20
And generally, the person doesn’t want unlimited revisions. They just need like two or three, like, Ah, you know what, I don’t like that. Can you make this more rounded? Sure. Done. It’ll be two days from that update. So it’s always like, okay, now it’s two days from that. You want another revision? Okay. two more days from that. And because it’s so standardized, he just needs to follow the process.

Josh 1:20:39
Gotcha.

Brad 1:20:40
And I think he’s making 60 grand a month on on the server standard,

Josh 1:20:45
Standardized and constraints sound like to big words in that one. Yeah,

Brad 1:20:49
Exactly. So that’s one example of unlimited services. You could do things like video editing for YouTubers. Yeah. Where YouTubers are creating content creators who create video content course creators, and it could be unlimited video editing in the same process. Hey, I got a video. Here it is. I need to edit it in a basic way. Oh, I need this revision. Okay, it’ll be two days from then it’ll be two days from then. And maybe that’s a higher priced service, because it’s more tedious. Yeah. And so that would be an example their blog content writing graphic design on demand, SEO, you know, unlimited SEO Services, but you put constraints, and it’s a monthly fee. And, and then you can also bring on a team member to handle fulfillment?

Josh 1:21:34
Yeah, right.

Brad 1:21:35
When it’s strapped when it’s systemized, yeah, always the same thing, you know, so get someone who can help you with that. Now, the final model would be service on software, or there’s another word for it. Service service. You know how there’s like Software as a Service, there’s software with the service, I like calling it service on software. Because software with a service implies that you’re providing a software and then a service with it, what you’re really providing as a service on top of somebody else’s software, okay, it could be your own, but it’s generally somebody else’s. So you can piggyback off of the success of the software, the software actually wants you to do that generally, because now you’re just getting more people to come to their, their, their software, and you’re making them happier and getting them more value out of it. So if you’re if you’re really good at a specific software, for a specific type of client, then you can offer a service.

Josh 1:22:29
So that would be like maybe you’re really good at ConvertKit. And you are really familiar with funnels and how to get people in with email marketing, that might be something you could add on to a sales page WordPress site type of thing.

Brad 1:22:41
Yep, yep. So that’s like, That’s precisely my one productize service that I have, that I have on the side, which is, I call it done in one day. But it might as well might as well be called something ConvertKit based, yeah, but it but what it is, is it’s a complete end to end sale system baked into your ConvertKit account, with documentation, training on how it works, so that you can sell more of your courses and your coaching on autopilot while you sleep. So it’s on top of ConvertKit. I’m a ConvertKit power user, I routinely break it by experimenting with different things. And that’s not where my clients in that, in that offer, which are creators, they’re generally pretty busy. They’re doing lots of stuff themselves. I say, just give me the keys, your ConvertKit account. And like one day of time minus like the strategy and stuff. And I’ll hand you back something that turns out sales on autopilot. Does that sound good? And they go yes. Okay, here’s my fee. We’re booked out until next month, if you can wait that long. Sure. Yeah, book it out. So that’s service on a software, it’s productized. If you’re good at Google AdSense, if you’re good at Facebook ads, if you’re good at like, Teachable Kajabi MailChimp, there’s a ton of popular tools out there that you might even use. One of my students is good at calendly which seems kind of unusual.

Josh 1:24:08
Clients need help setting it up, though. Yeah,

Brad 1:24:10
Yeah. Set up the full automation the full booking all the events, train them on how it works. Heck, you can create a group coaching program on managing your automated calendar. calendly.

Josh 1:24:21
Yeah, that’s great!

Brad 1:24:22
Calendly get get on their work, get on their blog, get on their video, get on their podcast, and you’re the calendly expert. Yeah,

Josh 1:24:29
No, that’s great, man. This is awesome. What a perfect cap on this. Because, yeah, that’s great practical examples. So just a quick recap. Then I’ve got one final question here before we head off. Yeah, Brad. So number one, one off type services. Number two subscription offers that are more outcome based. Three done with you type coaching consultant often like group coaching for unlimited services that might be on demand with more limitations or constraints or standards, standardized type stuff with that, and then service on a software that you’re familiar with, or you know, really well i think that’s great, man. Great, great practical roadmap. Listen, dude, you’ve been an awesome wealth of knowledge in this area. I’ve really, really enjoyed talking with you. I think, you know, I know the power of productization. I’m super pumped about I think everyone listening hopefully gets a lot of ideas. I’m sure there’s tons of ideas flooding, trying to figure out okay, what can i productize? How do I want to do this? Where would you like my audience to go to maybe connect with you and potentially find out more about, you know, your services for helping figuring out productization?

Brad 1:25:28
Awesome, yeah. Brad hussey.ca/Josh Hall, I got a page set up there for you with where you can get in touch with me. But specifically, kind of a round up to what we talked about, how do you prioritize, I got a free kind of guide, kind of with some practical tips to help you go through these exercises and productize and come up with a prototype service. And then from there, if you’re in that ecosystem, and you realize you know what, you just want me to help with that, then I’m also in the position to coach you through that through one of a few different ways, but her frat house ego ca slash Josh, awesome, and we’ll link that in the show notes. Everyone can check that out.

Josh 1:26:08
My final question for you, Brad, of these five that you just listed out? What is your favorite? Um,

Brad 1:26:16
I personally like one off project, okay. Because

Josh 1:26:21
I thought you were gonna say number five, I thought you were gonna do like the service on the software.

Brad 1:26:26
You know why I should say that, because that’s my in a sense…this this service, I do a one off project, combined with a service on software. So right, so maybe my answer would be, you take one and you combine it with the other. So one off projects, but in context of this service on software, because you could do a subscription based service on soft, right, you can do group coaching service on software. For me, it’s combining the one off with service on software, because I don’t like having a long term. Like if I have a client who’s like I’m on retainer with that I become less and less valuable, I kind of just become a go to person, you kind of make you eventually kind of slide down into more of a commodity in house person, and they don’t really see your value. I like the phrase, this comes from David C. Baker. He has a great book called The business of expertise. If I’m not mistaken, David C. Baker is his name. He says, I like being more of a liberating force rather than an occupying force. So you go in, you transform the business and you get out of there. Whereas an occupying force is not really people don’t like occupying more like there’s a stick around, you know, so I don’t want to stick around.

Josh 1:27:49
Don’t want to overstay Your welcome. Yeah, especially if it’s high intensive, right.

Brad 1:27:54
So I get your get in create massive transformation. That’s so good that they go, Whoa, what just happened? Can we call that guy back in, and I come in, and I do it again. And I get out. And I like that, because it’s like, like, wipe my hands clean. I could do a good job in a short amount of time. booked me again, if you want.

Josh 1:28:11
Yeah, well, that’s a difference with like a maintenance plan. Because hosting and maintenance as much as I love that it’s never done. Whereas if you do a one off, it’s like, Ah, you can celebrate you can you can get a glass of wine or pop some bubble, whatever it’s done. So

Brad 1:28:25
Every every person listening might look at these different models and go, I like this model better. And that’s more in line with my personality and my goals and my business. Yeah.

Josh 1:28:35
Well, Brad, thanks so much for your time, man. I know we had a nice long in depth chat on this. So I’m super pumped. excited to hear about what everyone takes away from this again, Brad hussey.ca/Josh Hall. We’ve got some resources for you there. So man, thanks so much for coming on. And I’m excited to again, see how this helps people out man.

Brad 1:28:52
Thank you, Josh. Really appreciate it.

Josh 1:29:23
Thanks, Brad.

 

Episode presented by:

Use code WDBC75 for $75 OFF!

Learn how to build or level up your own successful web design business!

Learn the ins and outs of building a 6-figure web design business
• Gain the freedom to work when, where and how you want
• Learn how to get better clients and raise your rates

"Josh’s Web Design Business Course has been such a blessing as I transition from graphic design to web design. This info would have taken me YEARS to gather on my own. It has also given me the most important thing I need to get started working with clients – confidence. Josh is a natural at teaching – he explains everything in an easy to understand way, and makes learning enjoyable. I’m so glad I decided to take this course, it truly is the best investment I could have made as I start my web design business.”

Patty S.

“The course is exactly what I have come to expect from Josh – and more. Great content, patient and thorough approach – and no stone is left unturned. Josh will instruct you on everything you’d want to know and also will go over topics you never even thought of. He’s been there and made the mistakes (now you don’t have to) and had the successes (and now you can, too). This course is a MUST for anyone who wants to get serious about making web design into an actual business. Highly recommended!”

Mike H.

Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts: