Productized Services: Software with a Service, Unlimited Services, Drop Services

Each (hu)man is capable of doing one thing well. If he attempts several, he will fail to achieve distinction in any.

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โ“ What You’ll Learn

  • What is Software With a Service?
  • How do SaaS companies use productized services to attract customers?
  • How can productized services sell unlimited service packages?
  • How to maximize customer lifetime value?
  • What is drop servicing?
  • How to avoid scope creep?

๐Ÿ’Ž Why It Matters

You can stop trading hours for dollars.

๐Ÿ” Problem

Buying services is complex. Customers donโ€™t want to negotiate cost and scope.

๐Ÿ’ก Solution

Productized services offer a fixed price with a clear scope and timeline.

Agencies are like personal chefs who cook everything for everyone. 

Productized services are like restaurants with a menu.


๐Ÿ Players



  • Podreacher โ€ข Repurpose marketing content for different mediums
  • AudienceOps โ€ข Done-for-you content and case studies.
  • Scribly โ€ข Content marketing with strategy and production.
  • Draft โ€ข White-label content writing service
  • 100 Pound Social โ€ข Social media and blog content.

Usability Testing

๐Ÿ”ฎ Predictions

  • Businesses will use productized services as a trojan horse to sell higher-end products later on.
    • PartnerHero starts at $10/hour for customer support. As your business grows they offer dedicated teams and operational support starting at $1,800/month.
    • Avenue builds reasonably priced websites for real estate agents. They triple the price to then advertise the website.
    • HubSnacks offers simple HubSpot services for $690/month but charges 4x the price for support with growth.
  • SaaS companies will court productized services to build on their platforms. The platform attracts new customers by supporting businesses that use it.

โ˜๏ธ Opportunities

  • Sell โ€˜unlimitedโ€™ service packages. You can limit concurrent requests and set turnaround times to maintain profitability. 
  • Use pricing tiers to maximize the value of high-end customers while welcoming entry-level players.
  • Sell services to clients on one platform then hire freelancers on cheaper platforms. This is referred to as drop servicing.

๐Ÿ”๏ธ Risks

  • Scope Creep โ€ข Set guidelines and limits to avoid clients who expect too much. You may find this more difficult to adhere to in the early stages.
  • Race to the Bottom โ€ข Stiff competition will cut into your margins. Avoid this by choosing a defensible niche.

๐Ÿ”‘ Key Lessons

  • Productized services tend to scale faster and easier than traditional agency businesses. 
  • Think about distribution first. Pre-validate by preselling services. Or building an existing customer base as a freelancer.
  • Automate tasks when possible. Find ways to cut costs by automating processes without sacrificing quality.

๐Ÿ”ฅ Hot Takes

  • Scope creep can be useful. Track scope creep to understand what other services customers can benefit from (and pay for).
  • Successful productized services will abandon platforms. The most successful businesses on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork will try to move repeat customers off-platform.

๐Ÿ˜  Haters

โ€œProductized services are more like fast food than upscale restaurants. Thereโ€™s no room for creativity.โ€
This is a misconception. Productized services can build processes without sacrificing the quality customers have come to expect. 

โ€œMy clients only trust me. They would not feel comfortable letting anyone else do this work for them.โ€
Your clients want a certain outcome and think that you are the best person to help achieve it. If they trust you to solve the problem, they should trust you to build a process that solves it. Offload responsibilities gradually to show that your process is just as capable as you are.

โ€œThe standard package from a productized service is too generic to suit my situation.โ€
If the promised outcome isnโ€™t what youโ€™re looking for then youโ€™re probably right. Unique outcomes are possible with productized services but they are not for everyone.

๐Ÿ”— Links

  1. Whoโ€™s building a productized service? โ€ข The tweet behind this report. 
  2. Productize and Scale โ€ข Productized services guides, resources and community created by Brian Casel.
  3. Productization of Services: A How-To โ€ข Pricing strategies for productized services.

๐Ÿ“ Related Reports

  • XaaS โ€ข A look at subscription-based productized services.
  • Marketing Funnels โ€ข On customer acquisition.
  • Consulting โ€ข Get insight into custom services.
  • Lead Generation โ€ข Find and qualify potential leads.
  • Build in Public โ€ข Stay accountable and find customers for your service.

๐Ÿ™ Thanks

Thanks to Maciej Cupial, Brenton, Fausto, Tem, Tarek Zalt, Uwe Dreissigacker, and Rick Jarrell. We had a great time jamming on this report.

โœ๏ธ Harry researched and wrote this report. Dru researched and edited this report.

๐Ÿ“ˆ What else?

Trends PRO #0103 โ€” Productized Services has more insights.

What youโ€™ll get:

  • 46 Productized Service Examples (142% More)
  • 10 Predictions (233% More)
  • 13 Opportunities (175% More)
  • 4 Risks (100% More)
  • 7 Key Lessons (133% More)
  • 4 Hot Takes (100% More)
  • 12 Links (300% More)

With Trends Pro youโ€™ll learn:

  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How can influencers benefit from productized services?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How can consultants build productized services?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How will productized services move upmarket?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How are productized services building communities?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How will AI change productized services?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to find your niche in productized services?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to sell service subscriptions?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How do build and use social proof?
  • (๐Ÿ“ˆ Pro) How to crowdsource solutions to customer problems?
  • And much moreโ€ฆ

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