Productized services can help you make revenue quickly:
Instead of charging per day or project, productized services are charged by the month. You need less clients to hit MRR, but it can be hard to scale.
Resilience is an essential skill for founders. Build yours by exposuring yourself to controlled doses of discomfort, and taking up a physical sport.
Launched in August. $3K MRR by September. Switching from Facebook ads to building an audience on X grew Mark Gadala's SEO platform fast.
Want to grow your business? Try running a promo in the Indie Hackers newsletter to get in front of nearly 70,000 founders. Use code NEW500 for $500 off an intro section ad.
The Ultimate Guide to Productized Services 📙
by Pete Codes
Productized services are rapidly growing in popularity. For founders, they offer a way to make six figures relatively quickly. For companies, it means landing top talent without the downsides of hiring an employee.
What are productized services?
A productized service is a standardized service provided for a fixed fee per month or per quarter. For instance, a productized blogging company might produce four blog posts per month for every client.
Instead of charging per day or per project, productized service businesses charge by the month. Rather than offering different product scopes to each client, you have a fixed amount of work you do for everyone.
Here are a few examples:
- Productized design service: DesignJoy.
- Productized SEO service: Embarque.
- Productized social media service: Pete Codes.
Pros of productized services
Part of the appeal of productized services for founders is that you can charge a fixed monthly, quarterly, or even annual price for your services.
Instead of designing a YouTube thumbnail and charging by the hour, you can charge for a month for a set number of designs. You get more business from each client you book.
If you have 10 clients paying you $1K per month, that's $10K. It's a lot easier to manage 10 clients on a recurring basis than charge $100 per thumbnail, and have to find 100 customers every month!
It's pretty easy to start a productized service business and start making revenue. It's a lot quicker than SaaS because you don't have to build any software before you can charge people.
Cons of productized services
You are selling your time, which a lot of founders don't want to do. A productized service business does not make money when you go on vacation, or if you get sick. It is also probably harder to sell a productized service in the future if it's based on one person's skillset.
Also, if you want to expand your service business, you'll need to hire.
Productized service ideas
Here are some ideas for service businesses:
TikTok videos for brands: Most people hate getting in front of a camera. Making TikToks requires skills, like video and audio editing, that a lot of people don't possess.
Podcast editing service: If you have a good ear for audio, charge people to edit their shows, add music, and take care of mixing.
No-code website builder.
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In the News 📰
Three Steps to Building a Resilient Mindset 💪
from The Hustle newsletter
Resilience might be the most important skill for a founder, but it’s also the hardest to practice. So, we dug into the science of resilience. Here are three tenacity tactics that you can implement today.
1. Controlled exposure
Oftentimes, the mere possibility of failing can discourage someone from starting in the first place. So, go get some exposure therapy: Gradually exposing yourself to controlled doses of discomfort can help desensitize you to stressors over time.
David Goggins, US Navy SEAL turned ultra-marathoner, advocates for “callousing the mind” through routine stress tests and micro-challenges. It can be as simple as doing a chore that’s long overdue.
In business, that means intentionally taking on manageable risks that scare you. Put yourself out there and be vulnerable. If you never try, you won’t fail, but you’ll also never know how to deal with failure.
2. Build a failure resume
Everyone crafts beautiful resumes to impress potential employers or clients. Why not create a failure resume just for yourself?
By documenting your past missteps, you’ll get a clear blueprint of how you can grow professionally. For each failure, list out:
Scope: Did you start a company? Lead a product launch? The scope determines how big the “failure” was, and helps you categorize.
Context: What was the actual mistake, and its consequences?
Reason: Why do you think it happened, and what was your role in it?
Iteration: This is the important bit. How could you improve to avoid repeating the mistake? How would you crush it next time?
Check out this anti-portfolio for inspiration. Approach it scientifically, viewing each failure as an experiment that eliminates a wrong answer.
3. The mind-body connection
Putting your body through rigorous training takes a ton of focus and discipline, which are the same qualities that will help you weather a career storm.
Many founders turn to physical resilience training and endurance sports, and it may pay off: A 2022 study found that companies with marathon-running CEOs were valued 4%-10% higher than those led by non-runners.
Start with a run. Hike a little further than you’re used to. Stop by a boxing gym. It’s all about slowly, but surely, pushing yourself.
As Mike Tyson says, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” As a founder, it’s what you do after you get punched in the mouth that determines your true success.
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Post Cheetah Hit $3K MRR in a Month 🐆
by Mark Gadala
I recently launched my new SaaS product, Post Cheetah, an AI-powered SEO platform. I launched in late August, and by the end of September, we were already at $3K+ MRR, with zero paid ads.
How it started
I've been doing SEO for over 12 years. When I started finally using ChatGPT late last year, I knew I had to build something amazing to streamline the entire SEO process with AI.
I came up with this idea in January, and started working on it immediately. Since I already run an SEO agency, I was solving my own problem.
Initial marketing journey
I realized quickly that it's very hard to get attention for a new SaaS unless you have endless marketing resources, which I don't. I tried running some Facebook ads to an early access sign up page, but the results were mixed. I had to find another way.
So, I started building up my X following. AI was going crazy on X, so I decided to jump into the "thread boi" trend, and start posting informative, fun threads on how to use AI.
The results were insane. I grew by 45K followers in three months, got 7.5K people on my early access list, and ~6.8K people signed up for my personal newsletter.
I started to message my mailing list to let them know that early signups were ready. This brought on our first users, and I was able to get a ton of bugs worked out, plus some very helpful feedback.
I finished emailing everyone on the list at the end of September, and by then, we had already reached $3K MRR.
Here are my current challenges:
- Finding and building on a sustainable, predictable marketing channel.
- Working on a better customer retention and onboarding process. Churn is currently way too high.
- Focusing on adding features more efficiently.
Discuss this story.
The Tweetmaster's Pick 🐦
by Tweetmaster Flex
I post the tweets indie hackers share the most. Here's today's pick:
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Special thanks to Jay Avery for editing this issue, to Gabriella Federico for the illustrations, and to Pete Codes, Darko, Cyan Zhong, Harry Dry, and Mark Gadala for contributing posts. —Channing
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