James Sowers’ The Productize Course Review | Can It Help You Scale Your Business?

December 1, 2023

James Sowers' The Productize Course is an online course aiming to guide service providers into productizing their services and scaling. The course is for freelancers, consultants, agencies and other service providers who want to get out of “billable hours.”

The service industry is part of the tertiary sector of economic categories. According to Statista, the service industry contributed 77.6% to the GDP of the US. The Business Research Company expected the global service market to rise to $20 billion by 2027. However, productized service requires entrepreneurs to innovate how they offer their service. And according to ADP, 70% of efforts to change fail.

Reviews on The Productize Course are positive highlighting the course’s community. Although they’re mostly on the course’s website. In this unbiased review, we’ll go over its pros and cons, and if its students are seeing success. We'll go over who created the course and what you’ll get when you sign up. And if there a better business model for you with less risk and effort.

The Productize Course Review: Pros and Cons

Pros

Discussion Thread for Lessons: Every lesson, you get a link to a discussion thread. It shows you valuable questions and insights of everyone who took the lesson before you.

Options for Lesson Files: Lessons are downloadable as videos or audios. It makes them accessible whenever and however you need them.

Lifetime Access: You’ll get access to the curriculum and its updates for a single price

Self-pace: You can go through the lessons at your own time.

Cons

Lack of External Reviews: There are a lot of student reviews on the site, but almost none from other sources.

Changed Owners. The Productize & Scale changed owners three times already. Yet most contents and reviews still mention the founder, which can create confusion.

Price

The Productize Course costs $299 or $100 in 4 payments for a lifetime access to the course

Refund Policy

The Productize Course has 30-day money back guarantee

Origin

The Productize Course was created by Brian Casel in 2014

Can It Help You Scale Your Business?

Yes, The Productize Course can help you scale your business. It provides a guideline for productizing your service. The online course helps you understand your clients to identify how you can productize your service. And eventually hire people to deliver the productized service to your clients. 

According to a course student, Denny Cave, it’s the first to put all productized service information in one resource. It helps starters and seasoned entrepreneurs create a stable source of income. They offer productized service business rather than living paycheck to paycheck.

What is The Productize Course?

The Productize Course is an online training program aiming to guide founders, freelancers, consultants and service providers productize their services and get out of billable hours. It covers identifying the service you can productize, how to launch, and marketing.

What Do You Get With The Productize Course?

You get templates for SOPs, scripts and worksheets. Lessons that are downloadable as videos or audio files. You'll have access to lesson discussions and a private community. The community has a private forum by Discourse and a chatroom in Slack. They also pair members through a Mastermind group matching.

The Productize Course Structure

Introduction

The Introduction preps you to get started for the productization of your services.

Launch

Launch is divided into 6-parts. From why you should productize and how to identify your potential customer. It also helps in setting pricing and packages. The module includes gaining traction through social proof and content marketing.

Scale

Scale focuses on the expansion and stabilization of the productized service. It revolves around building your SOPs, checklists and system for training. It includes strategies for hiring employees.

Grow

Grow is all about the metrics and KPIs. Marketing strategies, sales process and tracking of KPIs are all explored in this section.

Who is The Productize Course For?

The Productize Course is for service providers, freelancers, consultants and agency founders looking to scale their business.

What Do Students of The Productize Course Say?

The students of The Productize Course say that course provided them a way to get out of the billable hours. Jared Gold, founder of Website by Tonight, highlighted the pairing within the community. He said they’re meeting every Tuesday to share their wins and ideas with each other.

Denny Cave from Light Ignite said the course is the first to put together all the relevant ideas of productized service model. Reach & Make Million’s Katya Sarmiento mentioned the course saved her time in negotiating and client nitpicking.

Who Is Brian Casel?

Brian Casel created The Productize Course in 2014. Brian is the founder of online businesses Audience Ops, Restaurant Engine, and ProcessKit. He is currently a web developer working on his latest business venture, ZipMessage. He also has a podcast, Boostrapped Web and Open Threadds.

Brian studied Music, Telecommunications, and Media at Indiana University Bloomington. Then, he took a Bachelor of Art in Arts and Acoustics at Columbia College Chicago in Chicago, Illinois. He currently lives in Orange, Connecticut since his 2nd daughter was born in 2016.

Who is James Sowers?

James Sowers is the owner of Productize & Scale. He acquired it last October 2022 from Sam Shepler, founder of Testimonial CEO.

James is also the founder of Castaway, a service that turns podcasts into blogs and newsletters, and Waypoint Consulting. He’s also currently the director of The Good, a CRO offering service. James also has a podcast called Working Sessions with John Doherty, an editor and SEO expert for 13 years.

James was a First Lieutenant Medical Officer in the Florida Army National Guard for 6 years. He finished his BS in Health Policy and Administration at Penn State University at University Park, Pennsylvania. Then he moved to Tampa, Florida. He completed a graduate certificate in public health policy and programs at the University of Florida in 2013. James earned an MBA from Florida State University in Tallahassee in 2014.

What Other Programs Does Productize and Scale Offer?

Productize & Scale offers other programs like The Productize Crash Course and Monthly Coaching.

The Productize Crash Course

The Productize Crash Course is a free crash course on productized services. The 4-part program is available in video and text if you subscribe to their email list. It guarantees a transition to productized service and 10x for your service business.

Monthly Coaching

Monthly Coaching program lends the coach's expertise to guide you to your goals and solve your problems. The program has a 30-day money-back guarantee with 2 coaching options:

  • Asynchronous Coaching - The coaching is through email, Slack and a ZipMessage and costs $150 per month.
  • Real Time Coaching - Real Time Coaching is further broken down into two:
  • One-Off Coaching - This coaching call is $200 per session. You can buy bundles, save 20% at checkout and claim the sessions at different dates.
  • Monthly Subscription - This coaching program has 2 real time calls every month. There's also communication through ZipMessage, email and Slack. The monthly coaching subscription costs $500.

James Sowers’ Claims

James Sowers claims The Productize Course helps cut billable hours and custom projects. This is possible by building a scalable service business. The course claims to help you sell results rather than time.

James Sowers’ Claims DEBUNKED

Productized service can help you scale, but it also risks losing clients. Especially those who value customization and flexibility for their business needs. Thus, service providers often combine the traditional and productized business model. This is evident through successful productized businesses like Lianna Patch’s Punchline Copywriting. She still offers a custom project tier for her price plans.

What Is A Productized Service?

A productized service ties a specific scope of services at a fixed price. Clients know what they will get at what time with the amount they spent. Since the service is standardized, business owners can hire people to repeat the process and deliver every purchase.

Can Services like Copywriting Be Productized?

Yes, services like copywriting can be productized. Copywriters can offer specific packages. It includes a fixed rate and scope of services. Clients can avail through subscription or one time payment.

Productized Service Examples

  • Bench - Bench is a bookkeeping and tax preparation company which started as 10sheet Inc. in TechStar NYC’s accelerator program. Based in Vancouver, the company offers productized service through monthly or yearly subscription. The Essential and Premium plan are available at the fixed rate of $249 and $399.
  • Punchline Copy - The Punchline Copy is a copywriting service by Lianna Patch since 2010. Clients can choose from her copy, email and site audit productized services. The productized services range from $697 to $3497.
  • Hub Snacks - Hub Snacks is run by Juice Tactics to offer support for HubSpot. The company offers a range of productized services in a price range of $690 to $6790.

How Do You Create A Productized Service?

  • Check the services you’re offering. Which of them has a high demand and a process that can be automated or repeated?
  • Find out why your clients need it. This will give you a better insight into how to package and productize the service. If you’ll be offering it on subscription, tier plans or a onetime purchase.
  • Research your competitors. Understand what they’re doing right. And find the gaps you can fill or do better so you can elevate your productized service.
  • Don’t be afraid to niche down. Productized service caters to a smaller market. And this can also open up opportunities to become an expert on it.
  • Productize your service. Create a specific set of services you’ll be offering at a set price.
  • Ease your long time clients into the productization of the service. You can present the pros of the new business model to your clients so they can see the value of the change.
  • Test and restructure. Pricing and the scope of services can be adjusted based on the feedback you’ll get from your clients. Fine-tune the productized service.
  • Scale. Build SOPs you can use for the productized service and to train the employees you will hire.
  • Monitor your metrics. Adjust what doesn’t work and improve client satisfaction. Then you can find more services you can productize.

What Are The Benefits of a Productized Service?

  • Fixed Output. Clients will have a clear picture of what they will get when they see your productized offers. It lessens sudden and extra task requests. And you can reject these request without worry.
  • Fixed Rate. Productized service eliminates the negotiation for price. It enables you to keep firm on your rates and the output you’ll provide with it.
  • Scalable. To productize a service, you’ll have to make the process repeatable and reproducible. After that, scale and hire employees who’ll follow through your standardized process.
  • Establish Expertise. Productized services enable you to meet all the expectations you set up consistently. This gains you an expert reputation in the niche.

What Are The Drawbacks Of A Productized Service?

  • Niche Down. Productized services address a specific problem for clients. So, your market will be slimmer and the income less than before.
  • High Initial Investment. Productizing a service requires a huge time and money investment to start, set up and refine. 
  • Less Flexible. Productized services have parameters for its scope and specific processes in place. It’s not flexible to accustom clients’ extra requests. 

Is A Productized Service Profitable?

Productized service is profitable if there's a repeatable part in the service you provide. You can standardize this process, then ease your clients into the new business model. After that, you can hire employees to match the demand.

Conclusion: Is A Productized Service Better Than Other Online Businesses in 2023?

Local lead generation is better than other online businesses in 2023, like productized service. The major hurdle of a productized service is finding a repeatable process in the service. Then, once you decide to scale, you’ll have to hire people. And you’ll have to train these employees to deliver the productized service to your clients.

In contrast, scaling in local lead gen is easy because the business model is repeatable. You create a website out of 50+ services available in your city, rank it, and rent them to small businesses. Scaling this business model will simply require you to create more websites . Then these websites as digital real estates can be rent out more businesses.

Local lead generation

For instance, this website for a tree cutting service was set up 8 years ago. It still generates me a passive income of $2k per month. With all the digital real estates I own today, I get $52k passive income every month. I also have a local lead gen coaching program to help you venture into this business model and create a life of financial freedom for yourself.

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Ippei Kanehara
Founder/CEO

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

Ippei.com is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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