May 16, 2018

Good examples of "Productized Consulting"?

I was wondering if anyone here knew of some well executed examples of "productized consulting". So consulting gigs not based on hours or projects but packaged in a product.

I've made this: https://startupaudits.com/, a while ago and haven't pursued it but I'm interested to learn about people/companies who've successfully done this.


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    Hey Bram! My project is actually a productized service (unlimited design-as-a-service)

    Other productized services / consulting:

    1. Boss-as-a-service (made by a fellow Indie Hacker https://bossasaservice.life)

    2. DesignPickle (perhaps the most well known and most successful productized service)

    3. WPBuffs (also made by a fellow IH, Wordpress tweaks-as-a-service)

    4. WPCurve (acquired by GoDaddy, same as WPBuffs)

    5. Etc etc!

    I also run since a few months a small neutral FB group discussing productized services: https://www.facebook.com/groups/192719694795609/ (no self-promo is allowed there, just honest and thoughtful discussions on that business model, hope it's ok to post this here!)

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      Thanks for the shout out, Robin! Love your FB group :)

      I guess we've been somewhat successfully thus far? Here's where we're at: 250K ARR, <8% customer + revenue churn and >$2,000 LTV. We've made progress, found nice product-market fit and are clearly solving a pain point for WordPress website owners and agencies looking for a technical WP partner.

      But this doesn't mean we haven't had our fair share of challenges! #1 has probably been accelerating growth. Most of our focus until now has been on content marketing but it's not moving us forward quite as much as I'd like. Probably why I'm finally hiring somebody who can do it better than me haha: https://wpbuffs.com/hiring/ (if you know anybody who would be a good fit, feel free to send them our way).

      Other challenges have been pricing our care plans correctly. We've just started really experimenting in that area to see where we should be and it's slow going, but the more we experiment and measure, the better we position ourselves to the market and against our competitors.

      Plenty of other challenges as well. But overall we're trending positively (although not as exponentially as I'd like). Feel free to read more about us on IH :)

      https://www.indiehackers.com/interview/how-to-make-21k-mo-managing-wordpress-sites-30eda898c9

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      thanks Robin! I joined your group :) and will check out the examples - did you get a chance to look at startupaudits.com?

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        Just a heads up, I noticed a bit of Lorem Ipsum text still there around the pricing section.

        Good site though. Clear service offering.

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          Yeah I was tinkering around with the website after getting some feedback here :) thanks!

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    Take a look at Gruntwork and read about how they got started too. They began consulting and then productized their services while still maintaining a bit of a consulting presence. Very similar trajectory to Basecamp.

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      Great recommendation thanks Victor!

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        You're welcome!

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      awesome, will check it out - thanks Victor!

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        No problem!

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    Also, https://nerdpilots.com - Unlimited website development for creators.

    Bumped into them via https://nerdpilots.baremetrics.com

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      cool will check it out,thanks!

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    I’ve just started https://hitmetrics.io which is essentially a web analytics consulting agency packaged as an unlimited productized service. More than happy to get in touch given that our nature of work is in consulting.

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      looks good! What is your biggest challenge?

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        So far it’s been on establishing credibility and building a brand name. What about your experience so far?

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          I haven't really "gone out there" with this proposition yet - My goal is first to get more testimonials by doing audits for a discount/free to optimize my workflow.

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    Another one that I use is www.audienceops.com which is actually created by the dude who made this site https://productizeandscale.com/ which has some great content relevant to this discussion.

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      Met Brian at MicroConf. He's the man :)

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      awesome will check it out, thanks Fotis!

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    Some examples are:

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      thanks, Will check'm out!

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    I would say https://DEVY.io - Unlimited Web and App development for a fixed monthly fee :)

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    Hey Bram!

    Just wanted to give some feedback on startupaudits and also just wanted to throw out that I loved Startup Watching and I'm sure it's gone into great hands but you did a great job with that.

    I like the concept of Startup Audits and have often wanted to do something similar since people seem to gravitate toward asking me for advice. I like the "no bullshit" approach too.

    So here's a few thoughts:

    • It would be great to see an example of a report that you give back so that someone gets an idea of the value you are bringing

    • You already know about the lipsup orem text

    • The pricing seems high in terms of who this is for; i.e., do your target customers have the ability to pay and is this "teardown" something they will find valuable enough to pay for? Most startups are usually always trying to do everything they can for free or winging it....as you know...haha....perhaps you could do a 30 minute call that you charge a lot less for and assess the situation first because then it's going to be 100 times easier to sell them while you are on the call than it is on a website....I have found this to be true in so many cases. People talk with me and then the sale becomes a done deal if they are the right customer.

    That's just my 2 cents but it's honest feedback :)

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      thanks a lot Shane!

      • yeah I'm going to add a sample report

      • good point about the the first call, what do you think would be suitable price?

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        You are welcome. Well I’m definitely don’t thing it should be free....because you’ll be adding value right away. But perhaps you keep them to 15-30 minutes and then charge a small fee like £99 or £49 or you could even go night like £129 but since it’s a qualifying call I would nit go higher. The main point here is that you are pre-qualifying and not devaluing your service :)

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          great, thanks for your feedback :) will work on this!

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    I'm working on creating something similar for my freelance clients. I got tired of writing different proposals for every freelance website I built, so I'm starting a simple "themed site as-a-service" type deal. This is what it looks like so far: https://websites.parkeragee.com/

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      cool will check it out! Awesome name btw, my newborn son is called Parker too :)

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    Oooooh, the project I'm working on right now is right up this alley, but a few days off launch.

    If you reply to my comment here, I'll keep the notification un-ticked so I'll remember to post back when I launch.

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      do it, I'm interested!

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        Okay, thanks @bramk, I'll check back in as soon as it's done and shoot you a PM!

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    The one that comes to mind is 'Evil Martians' which is an instant development team for big and small companies. http://evl.ms

    I've been wondering about this myself, particularly from the content/marketing front.

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      cool, will check it out :)

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    Very cool stuff Bram!

    Currently building something in between that and trying deliver the best value for my clients for conversion optimization and design (http://cortes.design), maybe you can use find some ideas there.

    Also building a fully productized package to redesign an optimised 1-2 page website in 2 weeks (http://www.cortes.design/sprint-package).

    Since we have similar goals, happy to discuss ideas with you ;)

    Best of luck!

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      cool! I love your landing page, I'm not a designer so may take some inspiration from your ;)

      What's been your biggest challenge?

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        Thanks Bram, sure happy to have it as an inspiration for you ;)

        My biggest challenge is focusing on only one lead capturing method at the time since everything takes time to get results and throughout most of this process I don't get any feedback on what is working so I don't know which one to focus most of my attention on in order to get the projects. I really should get a mentor for this as it's the thing holding me back the most atm.

        Why haven't you pursue this yet?

        I noticed on your website that you have worked in dozens of startups, what did you help them with then?

        Cheers!

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          Interesting, I also think acquisition will be difficult, focus definitely helps when figuring out what works.

          I didn't pursue this as I was working on other stuff + became a father :)

          I've worked with dozens of startups on their product dev, go-to-market strategy, launch, pitch decks.

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            Thanks a lot for sharing, congrats on becoming a father btw ;)

            But will you try to focus more on these audits soon? How have you acquired those clients before?

            Happy to continue this conversation via email and help eachother out! :)

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              thanks! not sure when I'm going to focus on this more but wanted to get some insights and gather feedback before I do - previous clients came through my network, my newsletter and startupstash.com