Are you a book designer looking for more clients and sales? Here's a handy guide that reveals a simple, yet highly effective way to get the exposure - and trust - you need to snag those ideal clients.
Having a service-based business doesn’t have to be complicated. Search for book designers on the web, and you’ll find a sea of different pricing structures, but the same way of pricing: they charge by the hour, page, or word; or a flat fee with add-on costs for images, modifications, additional concepts; maybe extra fees here and there, so on and so forth. There’s no clear cut, tangible structure that’s easy to understand. And if people don’t get scared off by that, they might once they see the complicated proposal.
People like simple. They want a clear-cut structure and know exactly what they get for their buck.
1. Productization is Key
Everyone knows Starbucks. It’s a tangible, branded product. But can you productize a service business? Absolutely! Productizing your services makes it easier for you and others to talk about it. Productizing is taking your services, boxing them up in a pretty package, and giving the package a name. Suddenly, your service has become shareable and memorable. Productization is the key to less work, more money, and more success.
Saves time - There’s no more need for proposal writing, because your services are already set.
Weeds out the cheapskates - You have a clear cut cost for services - so you won’t hear from them. (And you didn’t want them anyway)
Reduces the closing time with clients - the process is streamlined, so anything that needs to be added/subtracted is much simpler, while maintaining the value of your original package
No more free work - you’ll stop giving away your valuable knowledge, because now, it’s a pre-paid package.
Productization results in:
Your process becomes stronger with each client as you learn to manage expectations. Most clients who demand customization become directed to work within the boundaries of your product.
Higher Price Points
Once you have productized your services and create traction, you’ll sell more, be talked about more, and then - you can raise your price.
2. Create a Lead-In Product
Remember the part about packaging your knowledge? You’re going to love this:
Your goal is to turn a first meeting into a valuable product. That way, it is not a free consultation, but a paid service.
This is called your Lead-in: A valued service that “leads in” to your target service, or product. Your Lead-in should be at a price that makes sense to your target product. It’s easier to sell a $1500 target product to someone who paid $150 for your lead-in than someone who only paid $25. Make it valuable so it’s almost too good to pass up. Case in point:
Jill offers a Cover Perfect™ full service cover design package for $1500, which includes three design concepts; up to 3 modifications, 2 images, full spread for print, ebook Kindle conversion, final PDF and jpg files, and finalized deliverables to the printer. Her lead-in is her Cover Perfect™ Consultation: A 1/2 hour phone or Skype conversation that outlines the client requirements along with her suggestions for direction, and a rough design draft, for $150. Once the client sees what she’s accomplished with the consult, they will most likely want to buy in to the Cover Perfect™ full service package, and Jill simply subtracts the $150 from the $1500 fee.
And even if the client decides not to purchase her target product, it was still worth her time. This ensures that Jill does not waste time giving away her knowledge. She’s packaged and priced it.
3. Create a Target Product
When creating a Target product, ask yourself:
Which part of your business do you love doing the most?
Which part of your business makes you the most money?
Which part of your business would every client hire you to do?
Find the service(s) you offer that these three areas intersect - that is your sweet spot, and that is what will make you the most money. Here is where you will find your ideal clients, feel the best at what you do, and be the most successful - which breeds more clients and more success.
Solve the client’s problem - List what you provide in your sweet spot service, and then list the value they provide to solve the problem for the client.
Create a clear, concise process with simple steps and the details in between - Your target product needs to have structure, with no loose ends, and easy to follow. In Jill’s Cover Perfect™ package, she defines how many modifications are provided. For each additional modification, her cost is $100.
Create a clear timeline with deadline date
Have set milestones in the process to show progress and completion - This helps you stay in control, and gives the client the assurance, building trust.
4. Create Three Target Options
As marketing research has shown, patterns of three work best. People like choices, but not too many; and three choices seem to work perfect for comparison. Having three package options are the most effective way to sell your products.
Target option 1:
This is your main Target product - the ideal one every client buys - it offers the best value for your buck.
Target option 2:
This is the lower-priced version of your Target product. To create this, take away some of the services, but keep the fundamentals:
Jill’s lower target product is her Cover Perfect Light™ for $997: Everything in Cover Perfect™, except she offers one design concept instead of three, and 1 image instead of 2. The modifications, conversions, and deliverables are all still the same.
Target option 3:
This is the upsell, premium version of your Target product, with all the bells and whistles. To create this, you would add more service and value to your package, and is priced to accommodate your extra time involved. This is tricky: Because you really don’t want to sell this option if it requires more of your time, so you need to price it at whatever makes you happy to get it. If it takes 20% more of your time, than price it at more than 20% over for the inconvenience. Does that make sense?
Jill’s upsell product is her Cover Perfect Bold™, which includes a 3D cover rendering, submission to Amazon, B+N, and Kobo, and a Facebook fan page, all for $1997 - a more than 30% markup from her main target product.
Service productization by creating a lead-in and three target options following these guidelines can be a very effective and successful way to share and market your services, and you will be above the rest for having memorable, sharable, tangible products.
To your success!