January 25, 2018

“How do I market server admin and support as a productized service?” and more...

When independent software professionals first hear about the concept of productized services, one of the first ideas they gravitate to is support contracts.

In most cases, I advise against this type of an offering because clients tend not to value it, they view it as a cost not an investment, the lifestyle is demanding, etc.

In today’s group coaching session, I talked about the pros and cons of productizing support agreements, when they make sense, when they don’t, how to use them as a “foot in the door”, and other things you could productize instead.

Here is the full list of questions we covered today:

Would you advise for or against creating a free community if I plan to later create some kind of paid membership later? Would it cannibalize the paid group or help it? (timestamp: 2m 1s)

I’m putting together some online training for the DevOps stuff I do; the online course provider has just added a Pay-What-You-Want option. I’m going to give this a go, but do you have any advice or experience to offer on this pricing options? (timestamp: 9m 18s)

I have a couple of clients who have a similar bundle of “basic needs” (keep the server running, administer email accounts...). I figure there are more of these out there. How might I go about marketing such a “basic needs met” package as a productized service? (timestamp: 28m 27s)

You’ve done conference talks, have books, do podcasts, have magazine articles (read yours in .net mag). Have you found that any one in particular was more beneficial to you than others for landing new business? (timestamp: 40m 0s)

When I’m hunting for work or doing work, I have not time for my product development. I’m in a position right now where a good client is a paying client... Any advice? (timestamp: 51m 5s)

I see recently a lot of agencies and lead services for agencies touting LinkedIn. It seems like the only people you can reach on LinkedIn are companies that are also using LinkedIn to prospect. Since you use LinkedIn as a prospecting tool - is this true assessment? (timestamp: 63m 10s)

I’ve had a couple of interesting online and offline conversations this week about collaborating with other independent folk. What are your thoughts about whether this is a good way to amplify the mutual opportunities? Any warnings about what not to do? (timestamp: 66m 47s)

Would you like to know the answers to these questions? Do you have questions like these that you’d like to get answered?

When you join your colleagues in my group coaching program, you’ll get instant access to today’s recording, all previous recordings, and all future sessions for as long as you’re a member.

(Note that all recordings have timestamped links from each question to the spot in the video where I answer it, so you can jump right to the answers you care about without sitting through 10+ hours of video.)

BONUS: Group Coaching also includes a dedicated Slack channel to facilitate discussion between sessions.


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P.S. Would you like to see a sample of what group coaching is like? Here’s a link to a public session I ran late last year:

Group Coaching - Oct 12, 2017 [OPEN TO PUBLIC]