Why All Service Businesses Should Have Digital Products

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6th August 2018

When you run your own service business, there is not a lot more satisfying than getting a new client. It doesn’t matter where that client comes from – referral, networking or one of your other marketing efforts – you’re likely to get excited!

The trouble is, for many, this is where the relationship ends… at the end of the first sale.

  • A coach may offer a ‘package’ of coaching sessions…
  • A consultant may offer a set number of hours or the delivery of a specific outcome…
  • A complementary therapist may offer a one-off appointment or it may be a fixed number of sessions…

But what happens after that?

The problem is that generally, the client is allowed to lead the relationship.

They are offered a solution to their problem: they have their coaching sessions; the consultant comes in and makes their recommendations; they go for their appointment, and then that’s it. Problem solved, from their point of view!

But I that really the end?

I think it’s a mindset thing.

In each of these sectors there is so much more that could be offered to the client. There will always be other issues they are having which can be worked on. There are always other things which can be sorted. There will always be something else you could offer.

If you are good at what you do, and you genuinely want to serve your clients the best you can, then you should be looking for these opportunities during the initial work you do with or for them.

In my experience, this is where digital products have their part to play.

Working with service businesses over the last 20 years or so, I have yet to find a business where there wasn’t something we could create.

So, what do I mean by ‘Digital Products’?

There are many different options, which can include:

  • Reports
  • Whitepapers
  • e-Books
  • Online Courses
  • Membership Sites
  • Webinars
  • Coaching/Mentoring
  • Apps

What are the advantages and why should you look at creating your own digital products?

The first thing to look at is what you are trying to achieve… are you creating a product which will act as a lead generator? Are you going to create a product which will generate income? Are you looking at creating a sequence of things which take a client along a path of progression?

Let’s explore some of the options available to you.

Free Stuff

The most common and most recognised option is to create something which can be used as part of your lead generating process. A ‘Lead Magnet’.

Offering a free report or free audio series as an ethical ‘bribe’ in exchange for a prospect’s email address has been around since I first started internet marketing, and is even more commonplace today. Most of us have experienced this and signed up for something at one time or another.

Yet with free stuff being so common, another problem has surfaced… people aren’t just signing up for anything and everything anymore, they are being far more selective, in part, I believe, because of the expectation of being inundated with emails constantly trying to sell other products in which they have no interest!

This brings me back to my point on mindset…

When you TRULY understand the problems your clients are having, which you can genuinely solve for them and help them have a better business, or better life, then you can create and TARGET something which will have the right appeal to your target audience.

It isn’t even about selling at this point. It’s about ENGAGEMENT. Creating a list of the right people who have expressed an interest in the information you offer, and interacting with them. Building their confidence in you… know, like, trust.

Mindset can also prevent you from focusing on the right clients. It’s all too easy to get hung up on building a big list. 

Just because someone has signed up to your list to get the free report doesn’t mean that they are a prospective customer. Many people sign up to get access to the free information and then either unsubscribe or just sit on your list, doing nothing.

And that’s actually fine. They are not the people you are after. They are just after free information. All good. Wish them well, and move on.

Focus your message on providing solutions for the problems they are having. Things will resonate with the right people. These are the prospects you are after.

You want to build a RESPONSIVE list. You want to have a list where the people on it engage with the information you send them. You want to have a list which is full of people who genuinely value the information you send to them. These are the people who are likely to convert into paying clients at some point…

But this is only the first step.

There is another problem…

When you run a service business – exchanging your time for money – there is a limit of how much work you can do and how many clients you can have. Once your available time is used up, that’s it. There are only so many hours in a day, right?

So this is where the next option comes in.

Paid Products

Most people will have purchased a digital product at some point. Maybe an ebook, or an online course, or even joined a membership site. It’s a great way to deliver content and has become an accepted way to consume information.

Advantages of having paid digital products in your marketing funnel include:

  • You can create ‘passive income’
  • You are not limited by time
  • Once the product is complete, there are no production costs
  • You can help and serve more people
  • You are not restricted by geography, the world is your oyster!

There are many different paid digital product options available to you, limited only by your imagination!

The most common question I get when talking to clients about creating paid products is “How do I get people to pay for my product?”

I have a separate section for Lead Generation, but again, I believe it’s a mindset thing… You need to start by BELIEVING in what you do. Believing that your product is of genuine benefit to the people you are targeting.

And then you need to focus on building relationships with your prospects… use free products to get the engagement, and then follow up, follow up and follow up some more…

But, and you need to be careful here, it needs to be done in a way which is genuinely beneficial, not just hard sell into your paid products…

Build the rapport. Engage with them.

So that’s some of my thoughts on why Service Businesses should have digital products…

In the next post, we will explore some of the digital product options in more detail.

Featured Photo by Al x on Unsplash.com

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