TMBA 227: The Rise Of Productized Services

TMBA 227: The Rise Of Productized Services post image

Damian Thompson from Linchpin is back on the show this week (his first appearance here) talking with me about one of the biggest movements we see in the location independent scene. We talk about what Damian has learned during his first 1,000 days of being a business owner, and how listeners can utilize the lessons he’s learned (and the sales strategies he’s developed) to grow similar service oriented location independent businesses.

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Why starting a productize service cleverly forces you to solve a huge problems struggling entrepreneurs have.
  • Why going after good ideas can cost you tons of time and energy.
  • How to find your true niche in productized services.
  • The critical distinction between a demographic and cashflow.
  • A common 3-year success script for entrepreneurs.
Our basketball tournament was tons of fun, we are already planning on throwing another one in July!

Our basketball tournament was tons of fun, we are already planning on throwing another one in July!

People on this episode:

Here’s 11 Random Productized Services Ideas

  • Sales pages.
  • About pages.
  • Youtube optimization.
  • Split testing offers or opt-ins.
  • Weekly email newsletter services.
  • Platform specific emails.
  • Cart abandonment emails.
  • Lifecycle emails.
  • Press release creation and distribution.
  • Outbound lead generation emails.
  • Membership site services.

Post Image 227Mentioned in the episode:

Listening options:

Thanks for listening to our show! We’ll be back next Thursday morning 8AM EST.



Dan & Ian

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Published on 01.16.14
  • Brian R.

    Thanks Damian. Great thoughts!

  • Brilliant episode guys – one of the all-time best. If I’d heard this a year ago it would have given me a total mindshift about everything…as it is, I was just nodding along like crazy.

    It feels like there are two interlinked components to the model you’re describing: niching down, and having a packaged offer you can slap a “buy now” button on.

    Proof that the first component works: I’ve never spoken to DT, but I referred a friend to him the other day because he said he was considering starting with Infusionsoft. Compare that with when a friend says “I need a website – do you know anyone?”

    A huge benefit of the second component (the “buy now” button) is that you get to skip the whole pitch process. Before we (very recently) went 100% productised we were having a crazy amount of our time being sucked up writing proposals and negotiating rates. Now the client just has to make a straight decision between existing packages.

    Great word Dan and Damian!


  • Thanks Rob, and I’m sure Mish is around here someplace… ;)

    Yeah ditching proposals was the best thing I ever did, I still end up talking to my clients before they sign up BUT the getting started is easy, I tell them to “push the big orange button”

    Piece of cake mate!

  • I love the idea of only cross-selling additional products or services and not pitching them up front, great stuff.

  • 유 Soeren Gelder

    I live between Asia, SouthAmerica/Brazil and Europe/Germany since 2008 all bec of a few laptop businesses and what this guy from linchpin has done is impressive and a good example how to live a location independent lifesytle – digital wise. Awesome talk!

  • The 1,000 day idea was helpful. Thanks! productized service piggy backing on a proven cash flow area makes a lot of sense.

  • Dan

    cheers Chris glad you found it useful!

  • Dan

    cheers thanks for that!

  • Dan

    Good point, the referrability that underlies these types of businesses are hugely powerful… while you are off collecting invoices others and selling your products for you. Thank you guys for listening and all of your support!

  • Dan


  • Dan

    that could really work, Edmund at has had success with this… deeper down the value chain would be providing accounting services… that’s annual and recurring, for example many jurisdictions require you to provide some kind of paperwork or auditing every year….

  • Hire me as a temp and I’ll wait in the lobby too :D

  • I not only think this was a fantastic episode it just further complimented the recent change in your podcast dynamics. That being you have aimed more at exploring the actually process of building a business, product structured services & SaaS – these are both gems and people probably do not realize the value here.

    Dan – I think you should contrast the symmetry between SaaS and ecommerce, the different markets and the automation of either and or both! That would make for a good episode: “What type of business do you run and what we have in common”!

  • Brandon C.

    D&D This particular podcast was absolutely eyeopening! Of course I do enjoy this every week and I’ve been listening religiously now for a couple months with this one being one of my favorites yet! I am in the early stages of transitioning from a wantrepreneur to the best entrepreneur I can be; however, I am still figuring out which niche path will be best suited for my strengths. I am completely motivated to simply just put something out there with a very nice big BUY NOW button on it, just to gauge how far away I am from where I truly want to be (I’ll definitely update in the weeks ahead). Also, keep up the good work!

  • Dan

    I’m trying to follow your question but I can’t put it together!?

  • “Ideas are bullshit… I don’t suffer fools well” #yeahbuddy

  • Dan is my truth serum. :)

  • Awesome Brandon, let us know when you slap up the big Buy Now button!

  • Dan’s 1k Day Rule is one of my faves, although he stole it from David McKeegan I believe ;)

    It’s worth reading the original post above.

  • Thanks Soeren, figuring out how to make it all work was rough, but it’s starting to pay off for sure.

  • Hey, if you’re executing the productized service blueprint, here’s a nice accompaniment to getting your first customers:

  • Adrijus Guscia

    I agree with Dan Norris, service doesn’t have to be always niched down. It depends on market saturation and maturity, the more mature market, the more saturated it is, then you need to niche down deep. But if there is a pocket or a completely new market then you can go broad. Now question is, is WP Curve a specialised product or not. It is and it isn’t.. It’s niched down in sense of website support but it’s broad for the WP market. And it worked because it was one of the first to fulfill the need.

    That is my hypothesis.. would be good to hear comments. I like specialisation, but I don’t think it must be always the answer. :)

  • Anyone who says “this is the ONE way” is an ass IMO. There are many ways to succeed, this is just one I like, know, & trust. :)

  • Adrijus Guscia

    Wouldn’t neccessarily say they compete against each other.. it’s just calibration depending on circumstances. :)

  • Yes, figuring it out needs some time and succes is never a straight line from point A to point B, but some u turns and forwards/backwards included (I wish it would be more straight from A to B…).

  • Seth Overly

    This is the most inspiring podcast I have ever heard on getting started. My 1,000 day (or however long it takes) journey to glory started the day I heard this for the first time. Thank you so much.

  • shit thanks Seth! best of luck

  • yo thanks Chiara!

  • Jake Bowles

    I listened to this podcast, then immediately distributed it to my team to brainstorm ways we could incorporate it in our business (mobile app development), without having to do tons of legwork to make it happen.

    One thing we will be testing is “how big is too big?” for the price of the product, in an industry that typically has contracts ranging from $6K to $100K+.

    We are working on nailing down our process of onboarding new clients & projects so that we can streamline & reduce the length of our project delivery for our fixed price app MVP product.

    I wish we could slap a “buy now” button on here, but the likelihood of a client forking over that amount from a sales page only is slim to none.

    I’m wondering if having the contact form & having to have a conversation will limit the benefit of productized services? Or maybe how we could simulate that effect better.


    (our productized service:

  • wow that’s a great compliment Jake! I really don’t think so re: contact form, even if they want a more custom contract I think having leads come in with some basic understanding of the framework of your products can help you structure expectations and ultimately build up market trust around your product such that its profitability goes up over time not down

  • Way to ship!

    So the secret to “Buy Now” buttons & productized services coming from my personal experience and talking with dozens of other business owners is… nobody pushes the button on their own.

    These are generally not landing-page, impulse buy purchases. They generally “close” on a phone-call and when the customer says “Great how do we get started” We all say “Go push the Big Button” and they do it right there on the call. Not as cool as money while you sleep, but still pretty satisfying.

  • Jake Bowles

    Thanks for the comment Damian.

    It seems we’ll have to really focus on learning how to make that purchasing process as seamless and comfortable as possible for our customers.

    Definitely not as sexy as having payments roll in at night, but I agree that it’s worth it!

  • Angel

    Does anyone what is the name of the book that is mentioned during the podcast?

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