I love digital agencies.
I hire them, I ran one, and I teach folks how to start them.
A digital agency is a fantastic business to start because it virtually doesn’t require any overhead at all. Your skills, an internet connection, and the ability to get clients are all you need to be profitable.
For some, getting the clients is easy. They have a solid network, they have a knack for talking on the phone, and they know exactly how to help someone and make a profit in the process.
For others, fulfilment is the easy part. They have a natural ability to increase conversion rates on a website, they are skilled at designing a landing page and writing compelling copy, or they love writing drip campaigns and marketing emails.
Clients or Customers
The most critical element of any business is generating paying clients or customers. How you see the user driving your business to profitability is what influences how you work and how you run your company.
Most agencies have a standard model.
We offer this, this, that, a bit of this, and a ton of that. They’ll swoop in, take a look at your current set up, your KPIs, your historical data, and come up with a 9-month strategy to grow your business using these tactics in these areas.
This is a client relationship.
One that is extremely hands-on, consultative, and probably even salesy.
What if we flipped this to a customer relationship?
We’d offer an easily deliverable service, with an extremely clear result, packaged in a pre-determined template, with a set price.
We’re not swooping in to take over the entire department of your business. We’re simply offering the core deliverables on a much simpler basis.
We’re handing you our MPS.
What Type Of Business Do You Want To Run
No matter the skills you have and the orders you want to fulfil, there is an MPS to be deduced from it.
Strategic digital services like consulting or educating are turned into MPSs every day. Building out campaigns, websites, or entire brands are easily developed into an MPS since everything can be delivered in a package in some fashion.
This is exactly what I did with Broker Buffs.
I learned the demographic I was targeting mostly had a different budget than I was anticipating. I nailed down the core result they wanted and the main deliverable they expected, and I trimmed all the fat from my digital marketing agency and turned it into an MPS.
Now, instead of spending hours and hours each week on sales calls and persuading people to hire my agency, conversations like this were rendered useless because my signed, sealed, packaged, and delivered commodity did the selling for me.
We offer one thing and one thing only: Facebook ads for your real estate business.
Niching down on an industry and service was critical to our success because it means we speak directly to the consumer and gives them a ton of comfort before buying.
The trust built up in this stage means we don’t have to hop on sales calls and do anything uncomfortable. The website, the service, the DFY nature, the results, and the price did all the selling for us — on autopilot.
We offer unlimited advertisements to real estate professionals at a fixed monthly cost of $399.
This works for a few reasons.
- The price is extremely friendly to any and all real estate pros.
- The price is competitive.
- There is a critical mass of advertisements someone may want to launch. Meaning there will only ever be so much work for you to do (think about a streaming service, there’s only so much TV you can watch.)
- Everything is defined. There is no discrepancy with how long something will take, the template used to get it done, nor, exactly what & how something will be delivered.
Any advertising agency could clone the model, shrink down their offering into an MPS, and see the same results.
Social Media Management
Another service you may want to offer in your digital agency is social media management.
This is one of my favorite areas to turn into an MPS because it can be done by just about anyone. If you’ve ever used a social media site and have specialized knowledge on anything at all, this is a perfect fit and could absolutely be a major PPP (Predictably Profitable Passion).
If you think you’re determining too specific a niche, remember that I’ve seen social media MPSs revolved around wellness centers, tire stores, and even doughnut shops.
When you speak directly to a certain demographic, all of the customers in that demographic will find you.
Social media management on a monthly subscription basis is easy and viable because many, many organizations need it and only get approached by the big digital agencies who whip out contracts with 6-month, $50,000 agreements.
They just want some activity on Facebook & Twitter, not a Madison Avenue-level marketing agency driving their profile to global fame.
This is exactly why a social media MPS fits with 90% of the businesses on the planet.
Offer a strict & easily defined goal of 3 posts per week, to 1 specific type of person, in 1 solid niche, with 1 fixed monthly price. You’ll be amazed at how easily customers flock and how quickly you hit profitability.
Search engine optimization strategists are some of the most frustrated people starting digital agencies.
SEO is an extremely difficult thing to sell and takes a while to prove and show results from. Because of this, we end up with a lot of folks who are fantastic SEO’rs but without the ability to sell themselves often enough to turn a substantial profit.
SEO as an MPS flips that on its head and turns this job into a hyper profitable business.
I’ve helped founders dismantle their entire SEO operation and focus strictly on Audits.
For a one-time fee of $459, they’ll hop on a 1-hr video call and run all the reports and give you actionable feedback on the current state of your SEO. If you don’t want to do any of that work, they’ll then offer you a discounted subscription fee of just $199/mo to manage it all and do it for you.
After just a handful of new customers, this company hit massive profitability simply by doing the fulfilment they’d be doing anyway at a much lower cost since customer acquisition comes automatically.
Everyone needs logos, fancy icons for their websites, and nifty images for their social media.
Graphic design on an unlimited and monthly basis is becoming increasingly popular. The reasons are the same — people and organizations will only ever need so many orders fulfilled.
It’s much more worth it on the MPS’s side to generate the recurring revenue and have some busy months and some less busy months than it would be to offer everything on a case-by-case basis.
Once profitability is gained on the MPS, fulfilment becomes even easier because more tasks to be fulfilled can be outsourced and quality increases.
This will be discussed further below.
Website management with a setup fee is the best way to get your foot into the door of organizations who are just starting out.
If companies don’t have a website, they surely have no need for much other digital agency work. This is the opportunity to capture sales easily and efficiently.
Focusing on a vertical and service is critical, as always. If web development & website management thereafter is the service, that’s niche enough for me.
If you’re going after SMBs, that’s too wide. If you’re going after restaurants, that’s also a little wide. If you’re going after Diners, that’s exactly the type of specific customer we want in our MPS.
A web development MPS with an initial setup cost of $2,999 & $147/mo thereafter is extremely palatable by any business worth its salt and provides quick and sustainable profits to the MPS itself.
The last type of MPS I want to address is content creation.
I find many, many MPSs writing blog posts and not doing too hot as a result of this. Why aren’t content MPSs killing it as they should be?
…they’re not niched enough.
I worked with one MPS that specialized in converting your existing blog articles to ones more effective on SERPs and rank higher. This is a specific service solving a specific need. A much more successful MPS than the generic ones stating that they’ll write content for you.
I’ve worked with MPSs offering high-quality writing, blog posts, SEO posts, translations, and many other types of niches in this space.
Charing anywhere between $500 & $1,500 is the norm so it’s an entirely viable business for anyone who simply wants to write more and do less agency-level work.
What Type Of Life Do You Want?
This is an important question to ask yourself as you’re building your MPS.
If you have a desire to be the next Madison Avenue advertising Tycoon, building an MPS would still be a great start, but certainly not your end goal in your venture.
If you’re looking to do less work, make more money, and live life on your terms, an MPS is the obvious choice.
Profitability is well within reach very early on. Fulfilment is entirely on your terms. And the workload is either handled by yourself on your couch or by a team that you hand-select.
As discussed above in the graphic design portion, outsourcing tasks and increasing quality is a critical stage your MPS — if you decide to take this route and scale.
The tango to be danced in your early stages of creating a Minimum Productizable Service is that your time will be traded for subscription-revenue very early on.
This could be the main reason you go with this model or could be the level you’re looking to break free from.
Regardless of your end-goal, the early goal remains the same.
Choosing a vertical that has a market of specific people who need specific problems solved is the one and the only thing that will increase your customer base and drive your MRR to the ceiling.
Finding Your MPS
Now, if you found these examples inspiring and you’d like to see how you can find your own MPS or tweak one of the businesses above to make your own, I’d like to invite you to a free 70-minute training where I walk you through how I built Broker Buffs (a 5-figure/mo MPS) and how I’ve assisted in the businesses you learned about above.
I discuss the major things we did to build up from nothing and how I got our MPS out to the masses without spending months failing and draining our bank accounts.