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Productized Services, Brand Positioning for Services, and Starting a Marketing Consulting Business

How do you know when you have a high-trust relationship with a client?

How about when they text you on Thursday evening to ask if they can pay 3 billing cycles worth of invoices you (unknowingly) failed to send?

For not an insignificant amount of money…

…that happened to me, just this week.

As a result:

  • My low trust in SAAS was (further) justified.

  • My trust in my bookkeeper eroded quite a bit.

  • And my trust in my client skyrocketed.

Then, I saw this the next day:

Trust is eroding everywhere (and with good reason). I see so many people focused on winning attention rather than trust—even though their business model is delivering services not advertising or “data services” (aka digital human trafficking). Often at the expense of trust.

Trust, not attention, is the most valuable asset in your business. It’s also a great way to stand out in the current market…and will only become more valuable as AI like this advances.

How can you invest in building trust? What time, effort, and resources currently devoted to winning attention can you shift to efforts that build trust?

— Ian
Founder, The Pro Solo

Business strategy

Productized services offer pre-packaged solutions with clear features, prices, and processes. Unlike traditional service providers who tailor solutions for each client, these businesses standardize their offerings, making them scalable, predictable, and customer-friendly.

Brand positioning is the process of setting your business apart from your competitors. Its goal is to associate your firm with an idea or category in the minds of people who might buy your services. Positioning strategies can take many forms, but not all are appropriate for professional services firms.

ConsultingSuccess: If you’re an expert marketer, you can take your experience, expertise, and skills to start a marketing consulting business. A marketing consultant helps client businesses create effective marketing campaigns that will reach their target audience and turn them into loyal customers.

Principles vs. tactics

The internet has made it so that no matter who you are or what you do, you cannot escape the tyranny of the personal brand. For some, it looks like updating your LinkedIn connections whenever you get promoted. For others, it’s asking customers to give you five stars on Google Reviews.

Marketing gurus suddenly have lost their oracle. It's time to reset your sights: communication is not the goal, understanding is. Media has always been loaded with bias, but that doesn't mean we don't need it. The less clear you are, the less likely you are to get results.

CivicScience: over a fifth of U.S. adults say customer loyalty programs are ‘very’ important to them in choosing where to shop and what brands to buy. The majority of Americans prefer free loyalty programs, except Democrats. Free shipping, the ability to earn larger discounts, and gaining small discounts were the clear top three among U.S. adults, including across each age group.

The Future

WEF 2002: The world could face lithium shortages by 2025. Credit Suisse thinks demand could treble between 2020 and 2025. Lithium producers are growing anxious that delays in mine permitting, staffing shortages and inflation may hinder their ability to supply enough of the battery metal to meet the world’s aggressive electrification timelines.