Should Your New Idea Be A Product Or A Service? The Pros & Cons
So you've come up with a new amazing idea but you're currently unclear what to do with it. You can easily transform it into something like an evergreen e-course or maybe a pre-recorded masterclass. But there is also the option to turn it into a service that would allow you to work intimately one-on-one with clients. So how do you choose?
I've run into this block plenty of times over the past couple of years, especially with content that is really in-depth. Recently, I went back and forth for a long time trying to figure out if I wanted to turn my current one-on-one package, The 90 Day Blueprint into a 1-on-1 coaching service or take the idea and turn it into a workbook that my audience could access on my site and Amazon. Ultimately I decided to turn it into a coaching package because my goal at the time was to focus more on working with clients while I worked on long term projects behind the scenes.
If you're currently feeling stuck between deciding if your new idea should be a product or a service, I wanted to run through a few pros and cons of each that will help you to decide which will be a good fit for your big idea.
not sure if your new big idea should be a product or a service? start off with this post!
creating a service (the pros)
Working with someone intimately during let's say a 1:1 coaching service is usually on the pricier end due to the fact that you have someone's full attention. Depending on exactly what the service entails, the profit margin also tends to be pretty high as well because It doesn't take much to work with someone as a service provider. Typically just a computer, internet access and some sort of client management system. Again this will depend on the type of service that you offer. Graphic and web designers may have to invest in more programs and tools in order to fully provide for their clients.
If you're someone who thrives off of one-on-one connections, then another pro of offering a service would be the relationship you'll be able to build with your clients. Instead of giving them everything they need and allowing them to go through it by themselves, you have a chance to walk your clients through the entire process and offer feedback based on their specific needs. It also provides accountability that you wouldn't necessarily be able to provide if you decided to turn your idea into something like an ebook.
creating a service (the cons)
Offering a service isn't necessarily all rainbows and butterflies. A few cons include having to always be present. Unlike a course that can be created and released for your audience to work through on their own. Working with someone in a service can require a lot more work from you over time. This can become tiring especially to someone who doesn't necessarily thrive off of constant human interaction. Also the case can be made that by strictly offering a service can limit your income. You'll either have to take on more clients or raise your prices so that you're not hitting an income cap. Another con can be solely depending on clients to book you in order to bring in consistent income.
creating a product (the pros)
Creating an online product does have its perks. Typically they are a lot easier for your audience to opt-in to due to the lower price point compared to a 1:1 service. And for you and your customer their is no obligation to get things done by a certain amount of time. After its created and released you have the option of leaving it on your site for anyone to purchase and your customer can take their time going through the content. Also, a big idea can easily be broken into several smaller products creating multiple streams of income for you.
decide on whether to offer a product or service based on how you can better serve your audience.
creating a product (the cons)
With a product, although it may be created around a very specific topic it won't be tailored to each individual need your customers may have. If that is important for you, then turning your idea into a 1:1 service may be a better route. Also depending on your price points, you'll either need to set up your post-launch marketing strategy to ensure that sales continue to roll in or offer multiple products at multiple price points. You never want to feel like you consistently have to "launch" in order to meet your income goals each month.
As you can see, there is really no right or wrong with choosing to offer a service or a product. It all boils down to how you want to interact with your audience and exactly how much time you want to put into your work. One thing I want to mention as well is that you don't have to just choose one. I prefer to launch a service because I love the relationships that I get to build with my clients but I also love the fact that I can easily break that service down into other products as well. Remember the workbook I was talking about before for the 90 Day Blueprint? I can still offer that for people who may not be ready to invest in a business coach just yet.
If you're graphic designer, you could easily offer both design services (where you do it for them) and you can offer a pre-recorded workshop that shows them how to design their brand themselves.
ACTION STEP: Take some time to figure out how you can take your idea and turn it into both a product and a service to better serve your audience at different stages!