How To Build A Product Inside An Agency
The agency world can learn a lot from the lumber industry.
"The lumber industry sells what used to be waste — sawdust, chips, and shredded wood — for a pretty profit. Today you’ll find these by-products in synthetic fireplace logs, concrete, ice strengtheners, mulch, particleboard, fuel, livestock and pet bedding, winter road traction, weed killing and more."
- Jason Fried, Basecamp.
You might recognize that name.
Basecamp was the "waste" or byproduct of Jason Fried's web agency.
They needed to better manage their client projects.
So they built software.
That software is now one of the most successful projects management platforms for small business owners.
Guess what, they don't do services anymore.
One that can and will eventually replace and surpass your core services.
Selling your by-products is even more lucrative in tough economic times. We saw that first hand for our clients in 2020.
Finding new revenue streams from things you’ve already created helps pad your cash flow and keep the business churning.
Maybe it’s a workshop on how you do things or built something.
Maybe there are some templates or assets in there you can turn into something else that’s profitable.
It's how we made the transition from agency services to coaching and training and you can too.
Transcript / MP3
What's good. Everybody Greg here with all agency at all, agency.com. And in this video, I want to share a simple tactic to add a new revenue stream to your digital or creative agency that isn't you selling your time or your labor.
Welcome back guys, Greg here. And like I said, um... , there's a huge topic, at least on this channel around productizing your services, packaging up and delivering your digital or creative agency services as a product. And that's really all about getting paid for your thinking and not your labor, but time and time again, we hear people say, but Greg, I don't know what I would package up from my services. I don't really know where to start. This won't work for my service. We've heard it time and time again. So what I want to do is I want to share a simple exercise to unlock for you a possible new revenue stream that can be turned into either a digital course, just a product high ticket coaching or consulting program, two day workshop, et cetera. And it's a simple step of reverse engineering from something you already do.
And this is exactly what we did in our agency. When we were looking to kind of transition from done for you, time for money services, into something more leveraged like consulting and coaching. Now, I can't take credit for this, although we did a or the term, but this was the process that we went through from our sales funnel and automation agency into training and coaching. But I got to give credit where credit is due. Uh, my friend, Chris DOE, over at the future in his book called pocket full of dough, uh, which looks like this is where I kind of learned this term of sell your by-products. And in this book, Chris goes on to say, no matter what we do or make, there's always byproducts being produced. And in making something, you will create many other things. All inventions are made from smaller components.
And this kind of reminds me of, if you're in the digital endocrine creative space, you've probably heard of a company called base camp. Jason freed is the, uh, one of the co-founders of base camp, but they started off as a creative agency. They built websites and things like that for their clients. And they were inundated with projects that they felt like it was difficult to manage. So they built a software which is now base camp. Uh, if you haven't heard of base camp, you've been living under a rock. It's a project management tool, um, a team collaboration tool that a lot of small boutique agencies, uh, use freelancers use ultimately sorts of businesses. Use it to manage their team and run their business. Anyway, they were having trouble managing their projects. So they created this software to help themselves internally and long story short. Now it's become something that is the whole company.
They stopped to do agency services because they had this amazing software. Now for you, it might not be software. We definitely have some clients where it is, but that's not the only byproduct that is going to be an option for you because your process, your intellectual property is likely also something that can be turned into a product. How you think, how you approach certain things, your methodology, that knowledge coupled with implementation or assets that you used internally to help your client go from a, to B are byproducts. And if you look at, um, their blog, this is the signal versus noise blog. Jason freed the base camp guys. They said the lumber industry sells right here. The lumber industry sells what used to be waste sawdust chips, right? Shredded wood for a pretty profit today. You'll find these byproducts in synthetic fireplace logs, concrete ice, strengtheners, mulch, particle board, fuel livestock and pet bedding, winter road, traction, weed killing and more.
And so he says everything listed above is a by-product. Lumber was originally cut for boards for building oil was originally drilled for fuel corn and soybeans. Originally Frank farmed for food. But today these industries have figured out how to use the waste to make even more products. They're squeezing pressurizing, refining, heating, cooling, and otherwise processing leftovers into money. So you can do the same thing, whether it's your process from helping your client go from a to B, um, or maybe in order to get them from a to B, there is a template that you use or assets that you've created to make your life easier. Those can become products. You could have a client come to you for two days and walk them through that, that asset that you use internally to have them get to the exact same result. You can put 20 people in the room for us.
That's how we started. We built sales funnels and automation using a tool called Infusionsoft. Now keep now we use active campaign. Well, we would build webinar funnels. We built a lot of them, and we saw that the most successful had some key ingredients. And so we had those prebuilt about 85%. We just needed to put the client's copy into it. So every time we brought a client in, we weren't starting from scratch. We were essentially selling, utilizing that by-product to make our life easier. And once we realized that we said, Hey, well, we can sell this to people that maybe can't afford our services and we'll show them how to use this by-product to implement themselves. So they paid us less than our done for you services, but in a way where it was not time for money, we give them the automation pre-built, that was the by-product for us.
And they have, they watch a couple of videos to follow how to apply it and install it inside of their business. And then we offered up some coaching and consultation to make subtle tweaks so that it was unique to their business. That was our first step towards selling something that was one to many and not tied to our labor. You can do the same and you might be thinking Greg, but creative. Well, I bought a two day workshop from a brand agency. I went into a room with five to 10 other people, and they took me through a process that was actually built into a workbook. And at the end of the two days, I had a playbook for our brands, the messaging, our brand voice that I now show to every new employee, any creative person we hire, we give this over. It shows how we should sound, what we should look like.
All of that, those things. He took his process that he used for his done for you clients and turned it into a two day workshop. And he coached us and walked us, guided us through how to fill in this workbook because he had done it hundreds of times with his clients one-on-one and now he's selling it to a room full of five to 10 people turning that room into, you know, multiple five figures. That is a whole new revenue stream, just repeating his process, that once he did himself, he and his team utilized. Now he's showing you how to utilize it, to get the exact same result, same methodology, same principles, just packaged a different way. And it was all stemmed from that workbook, that process that he created, that he's now exposing the bi-product and monetizing call it the waste that workbook that he did internally was waste for him to get his client from a to B.
And now he's taking all of us through it and that's a new revenue stream. So if you're looking to make this transition and you want to add a new revenue stream, that isn't tied to your time and or your labor, look at the tools waste inside of your own process, serving your done for you clients in your digital or creative agency, whether it's they start with a problem and here's the end result, what are the things that you use inside the middle there to get them to that result? Likely you will find your bot, your byproducts, and my friends. You can sell your by-products to add a new revenue stream. So if you found this video useful, go ahead and click the subscribe button and the notification bell, because we release a new video each and every Thursday. Now, if you're a digital end or creative agency owner, and you're looking for more training like this, I'd like to invite you to our free Facebook group, all agency.com forward slash group and or click the link below this video hop on over there. We do trainings like this in addition to the YouTube videos each and every week where we can jam collaborate and come up with ideas to help you grow and systematize your agency. Hope you had a good one. See you soon.