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Spoiltchild Design

Irish Business Women Conference - Aftermath

Just back home from the Irish Business Women’s Conference and had a fantastic time. A big thank you to everyone involved, both organisers and attendees for making it so worthwhile. A great choice of speakers through out the day offering a good mix of nuts and bolts advice, long term strategy and personal experiences.

Thank you to everyone who listened to me talk. I was a public speaking virgin but you made it a great experience and I loved it. While I know there is lots of room for improvement I now know I want to do it again and do it better :) You have created a monster! To be honest I was impressed with the fact I pushed myself and got up to do it. It feels great to stretch yourself and thanks to Finola for persuading me to do that. The quality of the talk itself can only improve for next time !

One point I touched on in the talk was why you should think about productising your service, what ever that may be. I truly believe that every service business can and should do this. Both for the service offered and for marketing. The opportunities and returns it offers are too hard to ignore. Talking to a few of the members at the event and it seems quite a few are already going down this route. Its something I will try to expand on in a post over the coming months. Perhaps for the next Barcamp...

Speaking of blogs there was quite a few bloggers in attendance at the event, Having managed to miss every blog/tech related event over the past year it was great to finally put faces to words. Clare was official photographer and her fantastic work can be seen here on flickr. Keith blogged the event live. Annette did a fantastic job of Chairing the day and managed to wrap up the day on time. The first for any event I have ever attended. And Conn of Edgecast Media recorded the day as podcasts and you will find them here over the next couple of weeks.

Highlights for me were meeting and talking to everyone I only knew online.

All of Aldaghs (Alternatives Marketing) talk. It seemed like all the things she recommended you avoid we learnt the hard way so if anyone missed it listen to the podcast closely.

The Google girls as they became known. Good overview of Googles services and how they can help a business.

Good food and fantastic hotel with truly nice staff in the Knockkranny House Hotel. One of teh few hotels i have been to where the photos matched the reality.

Eileen of Dine to meet and how to do PR right.

Anna and her Wealth of Women exercises. It works for men too and my wife and I had a few interesting comparisons and revelations for each other at the end.

My only regret was not having enough time to catch up with some of the other forum members. Next time Aileen.

Again thanks Frank and Finola and everyone for making me feel like a VIP.

And finally some alternative coverage of the event :)

  1. Looking forward to hearing the podcast of your talk.

    When you say productising your service do you mean producing actual products (like Toddle) or changing the way you sell your services in some way?

    Eoghan McCabe    May 21, 08:46 AM    #
  2. I mean doing what you do every day but instead of selling it in the form of a service sell it in the form of a product. You mention Toddle. At the end of the day it is simply selling a newsletter design over and over. I can design a newsletter for a client and sell once or design a newsletter as a product and sell many times with the sales and processing automated.

    Its done in a way that means I can still continue my day to day service business unaffected. In fact it can be positive for the service business in that it can help position you as an expert in a particular field and bring in additional business from clients looking for customisation beyond what is offered in your product.

    Alan    May 21, 09:06 AM    #
  3. The most obvious example of this is Template Monster. I am not saying Template Monster is the model to follow just that it is one of the first and most well known forms of productising design.
    Website design templates have their place online but the practice is looked down upon in the creative industry and that might reflect badly on your service business. Although I think some designers forget they are also in business to make money.
    Of course there are ways around this, you can simply create another brand from which to sell the templates and separate it from your consulting brand. What I am seeing happening lately is the image of productisation moving away from “templates” and being wrapped up in the image of a service. But at the end of the day it is just selling a design or site over and over.

    Alan    May 21, 09:31 AM    #
  4. Thanks. It’s clearly a very attractive proposition (work once, earn many times over) but I presume it needs to be done in a smart way. I’m going to think hard about it. Toddle is good because it’s the type of service you expect to buy templates for and noone will look down on it. Pixenate seems to be another good example of this. I think Walter is getting customisation business on top of his product sales.

    Eoghan McCabe    May 21, 09:39 AM    #
  5. Exactly and you can be sure Walter charges a premium for his time. No one knows or can know Pixenate better then him.

    Alan    May 21, 09:48 AM    #
  6. Alan – your point about developing your product funnel is spot on for professional services firms particularly.

    This strategy enables you to create new streams of revenue particularly in relation to clients who perhaps would like to invest in your services but are not able to at this stage – or perhaps may never be able to.

    Consider building your marketing funnel from the top with no-cost lead generation through to different products and serives and your most expensive service/consultancy at the bottom.

    Over the last 2 years I have taught this strategy to over 500 business leaders across the globe on a programme I teach. In Europe less than 3% of professional services firms adopt this strategy.

    So what product could you have created so that you did not leave money on the table when speaking at the IBW conference? Happy to talk with you about some thoughts for your own practice if you are interested and it would be of help.

    Krishna De    May 23, 12:34 AM    #