Productized services refers to selling custom services like design, SEO, or website edits at a fixed monthly price. It’s a very attractive business model because it solves many of the problems a typical agency faces while offering a much more scalable way to grow a company.
Productized Services Advantages
Offering a monthly subscription to a productized serviced keeps revenue consistent. There will be some churn, but most customers are signing up for long-term service.
Rather than selling custom services to individual clients, a much simpler value proposition can be offered that is easy for buyers to understand.
Focusing on standardized services allow companies to offer clear deliverables that can be easily and cheaply outsourced. It’s the difference between developing a custom website or offering unlimited minor WordPress edits.
With standardized offerings that can be outsourced, costs can be drastically reduced.
A business that doesn’t rely on highly specialized consultants can be grown much easier.
Productized Services Opportunities
Almost any service sold in an agency can be productized to be sold as a monthly subscription. Rather than charging a one-off fee, think of how you can turn your service into a monthly subscription.
SEO, design, website edits, social media management, illustration, content marketing, lead generation, etc. can all be sold as a monthly service.
In-person services like heating and cooling, landscaping, car ownership, tool libraries, furniture leases, and more, are also being turned into monthly subscriptions.
Examples of Companies
The gig platform Fiverr.com is a great place to find validated business opportunities. Fiverr has a wide range of inexpensive productized services that can be started small, yet offer the potential to become substantial businesses. The number of jobs completed for all its freelancers are listed, so you can clearly see what is popular and how much people are paying.
I’ve gone through all 196 Fiverr subcategories to discover promising business opportunities. I provide many specific examples below. Hopefully, you’ll find some inspiration for your next business venture.
The Fiverr Startup Opportunity
On Episode 116 of the My First Million podcast, Sam Parr and Shaan Puri had a short discussion on the main opportunities with Fiverr. (Start listening at 35:10) Here are the highlights from the conversation:
I think I could do this in a matter of 30 days, is build a company by going to Fiverr.com finding one of two things:
One, the most impressive $5 bit of work. Something like … “are you kidding me this is only $5?” then I would make my own website and make it look amazing and sell it at a massive uptick and then just manage the contractors to get it done.
The second thing that I would do is find talent on Fiverr ….
I would find a Fiverr job that was positioned poorly and I would reposition it and market it just like this, so for example I found this guy that would do cartoons. I would just say, oh I’m going to just make it strictly dog cartoons. send me a picture of your dog … or I will narrate this thing for you… Custom voice mails by the guy who sounds like blank… Donald Trump impression voice mails.
You take impression guy who does a good Donald Trump impression… and this is Donald Trump wishing you happy birthday for $35 as a service… You just fix the positioning.
What is a Productized Service?
A productized service refers to taking an hourly service and converting it into a limited scope offering at a set price.
- Instead of selling graphic design services at $60 per hour, you could offer a $199 logo package.
- Rather than custom websites of widely varying complexity and scope, a web developer could offer landing pages at $299.
- Xavier Coiffard’s started a $250 startup submission service that will submit your company to all the top startup directories.
- Roast My Landing Page recently passed £20,000 with landing page critiques.
Almost any hourly freelancing or consulting project can be turned into a set price productized service. The model works for graphic design, consulting, coaching, website maintenance, content creation, social media management, online marketing, and almost any hourly service you can imagine.
WPCurve was one of the first and most widely known productized services. They sold unlimited minor WordPress Edits for $79 per month. Instead of trying to find and hire developers to do hourly work, WordPress users could have a team of skilled developers on-call to quickly fix small issues whenever they arise.
WPCurve grew rapidly and later sold to GoDaddy. Now there are many other companies offering similar services.
Why Productized Services?
Imagine if every Uber driver had to bid on each ride like most freelancers and agencies do now. It would be a nightmare for both drivers and riders.
“Get a 3 Minimialst Logos in 3 days with 3 edits for $199”
“Let’s set up a meeting to discuss your requirements and we’ll come back with a proposal next week.
Productized services with upfront, fixed pricing benefit both buyers and sellers.
Benefits for the seller:
- Discrete, limited-scope products are much easier to market, deliver, and scale. The product can be clearly explained and the deliverables clearly understood.
- There is no need to write lengthy proposals or have a long sales cycle for every new client. Your website can explain the offering clearly.
- Get paid upfront instead of billing for hourly work after the project is completed
- Become very good at a narrowly defined service
- Create clear work processes so that it can be outsourced or delegated and business can be scaled more effectively
Benefits for the purchaser:
- Much easier to understand what is being offered
- Saves the time and hassles of meeting with and evaluating agencies and freelancers
- Buying a small project with limited risk is simple and easy. The worst-case scenario is that you ask for your money back because the productized service wasn’t delivered as promised.
Fiverr Productized Service Opportunities
Here are some specific examples from the 196 subcategories on Fiverr. Be sure to further research the categories you are interested in to find related ideas. There are a wide variety of services under each category.
Want the Full Spreadsheet?
If you are interested in the full spreadsheet of the 196 Fiverr subcategories and the first 48 gig listings in each, Subscribe to my free IdeaEconomy.net Creator Newsletter. I’ll make the spreadsheet available to subscribers.
Example 1: Million Dollar Tagline Writing Service
The husband and wife team behind the Sucantare Fiverr account have 8521 completed orders for their “I will create a perfect slogan or tagline” service offered at three price points: $100, $125, and $150. It’s very likely that this service alone has earned the couple over $1 million dollars in revenue. This is just one of the many services they offer on Fiverr.
The couple also owns the VerticalFold marketing agency. I suspect their success on Fiverr is generating leads for the agency.
Example 2: 2 Million Dollar Resume Writing Service
Richard Lambert is reported to have earned over $2 million with his resume writing service. His most popular service has over 11,500 sales now which starts at $75. He’s expanded to cover letters, Linkedin profiles, acceptance letters, and more.
Example 3: Keyword Research Services
Wajihafatima has completed over 1050 “I will do SEO keyword research and competitor analysis” at the $10, $20, and $40 price points.
What’s interesting here is that Gotchseo discovered that someone on Upwork is buying her $10 service and reselling it for $75. There are many arbitrage opportunities like this on Fiverr because the platform tends to attract low-price-point customers. With Linkedin announcing their own gig marketplace, there will be many more arbitrage opportunities like this.
Example 4: Million Dollar Voice Overs
Back in 2019, Joel Young was reported to have earned over $1.5 million on Fiver. He has over 2600 orders for his “I will record a radio quality professional male voiceover” gig at $1 per word. He now offers phone greetings, explainer animations, and whiteboard videos.
Example 5: 6-Figure Copywriting Gig
Levinewman has almost 4000 sales of his “I will write a professional FBA Amazon product listing description” service starting at $65. His “I will create unique sales, ad, and website copywriting” gig also has over 2000 sales starting at $55.
I love the Amazon product listing focus. That could likely extend into product photography services, paid ads, and Amazon SEO.
Example 6: SEO Website Audits
Jacob21 has completed over 860 “I will provide expert SEO report, competitor website audit, analysis and video review” gigs starting at $60. While this is not as impressive as some of the other examples, I’m including this category because of the potential to take this offline.
Glen Alsopp has recently published a lengthy post on how he made over $100,000 doing website audits that started inexpensively and went up to $8000 for a comprehensive report.
Glen details a complete blueprint of what he did in that post. A service like this could be the foundation of a very successful SEO business with a variety of related services that can be sold beyond the reports.
Example 7: Jesus Videos
For an example that is not business-focused, check out SocalChrist’s Jesus video greetings. He’s done over 14,000 personalized messages from Jesus that start at $10. Not bad for a direct connection to God. He advertises that “Jesus can be serious and or funny! Jesus will say ANYTHING you want. Yes, even THAT, you potty-mouth!”
Services like this would be perfect to promote on social media because of the potential to go viral. Check out the massive following that James Friedman has built for his funny photoshop edits. It’s a brilliant way to promote his non-profit foundation that supports the social and emotional well-being of children.
More Interesting Opportunities
Here are some more Fiverr gigs that seem promising. There are many different types of gigs in each subcategory, so please take some time to fully explore the niches you are interested in.
- “I will create professional twitch logo , overlays and screens” 1649 gigs startings at $30
- “I will do professional business card design” 1311 gigs starting at $50
- “I will design and format your book for kindle print, createspace” 2084 gigs starting at $10
- “I will create mobile app ui and website ui design” 2582 gigs starting at $15
- “I will design a youtube banner for you” 1671 gigs starting at $40
- “I will write a pitch for your kickstarter or indiegogo campaign” 2359 gigs starting at $90
- “I will write about your music on my blog” 3069 gigs starting at $5
- “I will write SEO articles or website content up to 600 words” 1673 gigs starting at $5
- “I will transcribe audio and video accurately” 1549 gigs starting at $10
- “I will do professional video editing and post production” 8569 gigs starting at $50
- “I will put your lyrics to music or write lyrics for you, acoustic guitar, songwriter” 1400 gigs starting at $100
- “I will do custom shopify coding and fix shopify code for your store” 1768 gigs starting at $15
- “I will design and develop fillable PDF form” 1364 gigs starting at $15
- “I will find you a winning product for your dropshipping or amazon business” 1800 gigs starting at $40
- “I will predict your future using vedic astrology” 1103 gigs starting at $20
Want the Full Spreadsheet?
If you are interested in the full spreadsheet of the 196 Fiverr subcategories and the first 48 gig listings in each, Subscribe to my free IdeaEconomy.net Creator Newsletter. I’ll make the list available to subscribers.
Building a Startup Beyond Fiverr
While there are many successful Fiverr freelancers, it’s a competitive marketplace. Potentially even larger businesses can be built off the platform. Approach the productized service as a business, rather than freelance work and you’re likely to find customers that are much less price-sensitive. Start by differentiating your business so you uniquely stand out from other freelancers and companies.
How to Differentiate Your Service
Find a popular Fiverr service and see if you can differentiate it with better positioning. Here are some ideas:
1. Unique Positioning
Make your service unique by focusing on one particular in-demand trait.
Idea A: Video greetings from Santa Claus.
Idea B: Embarrassing postcards.
2. Industry Specialization
Rather than offering a general service to anyone, specialize in a particular market.
Idea A: Instead of website audits, do website audits for home improvement companies.
Idea B: Instead of a broad resume service, specialize in resumes for nurses.
3. Create a Mini-marketplace
Package together many productized services so you can offer a one-stop marketplace.
Idea A: Voice Over marketplace in a variety of accents and styles.
Idea B: SEO marketplace of inexpensive gigs, similar to what Growth Geeks does for marketing.
4. Combine services for a more comprehensive offering
Idea A: Rather than ghostwriting, offer a complete ebook writing, editing, and design service.
Idea B: Add logo design and domain availability research to a business naming service.
5. Language Specialization
Fiverr is predominantly English. Focus on services in a different language or country.
Idea A: Birthday greetings in foreign languages.
Idea B: Translate Shopify stores to Japanese.
6. Turn One-off Services into Recurring Subscriptions
Idea A: Monthly content writing subscription like Content Sherpa .
Idea B: Recurring subscription to website customizations and maintenance like WPBuffs.com.
See if you can mix and match differentiation strategies like these to come up with something else. For example, a monthly blog post writing subscription for dentists.
Productized Service Blueprint
Once you have a unique service that you can position more distinctively than the competition, build it out into a real business. If it works on Fiverr, there is likely substantial demand from people who would never think to use Fiverr. Here are some basic ideas:
- Create a professional website for the service
- Utilize cold email outreach and direct sales to find customers
- Use paid advertising to generate leads
- Regularly publish valuable content optimized for search engines to demonstrate your expertise and find leads
- Become active on relevant subreddits and communities
- Promote your service through affiliates
- Hold webinars with related businesses where the host can earn affiliate commissions.
Other Considerations to Finding the Perfect Startup Opportunity
With Upwork’s new fixed price Project Catalog and Linkedin’s upcoming gig marketplace. There will likely be many arbitrage opportunities to buy low-priced services on Fiverr and resell them at a substantial profit with the right positioning. (Check out Example 3 above for a specific example.)
Let Artificial Intelligence Do the Work
Many of these services can be augmented with GPT3 type AI tools. Technology is rapidly developing in this area, so it’s worth keeping up with what can be done. Check out the large number of tools that already exist for copywriting, logo design, and more. It won’t be long before computers outperform humans in many of these services. Can you automate any of these services with machine learning to minimize the amount of human labour required?
Higher Value Services and Consulting
Think beyond the first service you are starting with. A low-priced productized service can be a great way to sell other services and consulting in the future. Businesses that know and trust you are much more likely to pay for more expensive services in the future.
Productized Services Startups
Here are some examples of productized services businesses for more inspiration:
DesignPickle — graphic design
ManyPixels— graphic design
Pixel True — illustrations
Fairpixels — logo design
Rocking Book Covers — book cover design
ContentFly — content
iWriter — content
Scribble — content
Content Sherpa — content
Scribly — SEO focused content
Audience OPS — content creation
Smart Lead Magnets — lead magnets
Scribe Writing — book publishing
Hubsnacks — Hubspot tasks
WP Buffs — WordPress website maintenance and support
Podcast Motor — podcast hosting and editing
Cashflow Podcasting — podcast editing
Growth Geeks — marketplace of marketing gigs
$99 Social — social media management
SocialPrim — social media management
FlatRateSocialMedia — social media management
100PoundSocial — social media lead generation
Hypegrowth — Twitter marketing
What Fiverr Gig Can You Improve On?
Fiverr can be a great source of inspiration for your next startup. There are countless proven services with clear market demand. Take your favorite ideas and combine them to better serve a particular niche. With better positioning, delivery, and marketing you can charge more and build deeper connections with customers for more future opportunities.
In yesterday’s newsletter, I wrote about how I like the productized service business model of Scribe, the book writing and marketing company. A productized service is basically a limited scope of services offered for a fixed price. This is in contrast to doing custom services in a typical service business where you have to quote and sell each project. The TropicalMBA has a more nuanced discussion with Maryl Johnston, founder of the online bookkeeping firm Bean Ninjas, around that business model. They are some drawbacks, such as the long time until profitability compared to just consulting. Also, a general productized service business can be a race to the bottom as new competitors enter and lower prices.