Productivity as a Service

A business that's turning down customers...🤔

Brainstorms Issue #25

This Week's Partner: Wonder Tools 

Wonder Tools is a free weekly newsletter that showcases new and useful products. Past posts have highlighted everything from creative ways to use Notion & the best new presentation tools to a fun, free site for creating data visualizations. Here's my favorite edition.

Why I love Wonder Tools? 

  1. It's an awesome way to discover tools and products I never knew about (this is great for business ideas)

  2. It's short, easy to consume, and well-written 

Subscribe free here.

Productivity as a Service

So, I had something juicy tee’d up for this week and threw it out the window (don’t worry, I’ll come back to it in a future week.)

Why?

Well, it all started when I saw this Tweet👇 

My first reaction was “what the f*ck is a productivity coach?”

On one hand, it sounds like I’m just paying someone to tell me to do things. On the other, I’m the king of procrastination. So eliminating my unproductive days is an enticing value proposition.

Needless to say, I was intrigued... so I texted the number 🤷‍♂️ 

100 people in front of me?!?!

When a business is literally turning away customers, it’s a signal that something’s working.

Upon further research, it appears Mike from WeFocus isn’t doing any marketing.

The dude doesn’t even have a website and he only works through SMS (texting). Based on comments in the original Tweet Thread, it sounds like the service is growing solely from referrals.

Another interesting signal.

I decided to do some digging into the productivity/accountability coach market.

First off, this isn’t a particularly novel idea. But, most of the sites/services for productivity coaches look like this, this, or this. No offense, but they could use some sprucing up.

Additionally, there are some tech solutions in the space that are working quite well.

For example Focusmate, a service that pairs you up with a random person so you can be each other’s accountability partners for a 50-minute session.

Focusmate gets 2M+ monthly visitors and shows no signs of slowing down. 

Lastly, I found a productized service called Commit Action, which pairs you with a productivity coach that you meet with once per week to set goals.

They get 75K month visits and their product costs $300/month.

My napkin math tells me that they’re generating ~$225,000 in revenue per month.

Note: That number comes from this math 👉 75,000 visitors * 1% conversion rate * $300 AOV

Rather than build a full tech solution, I’d start a productized service around productivity coaching. That’s the sweet spot for an opportunity in the space.

Let’s say your goal is to get to $10K/MRR (that’s 100 customers at $100/month).

Here’s how I’d do it:

  1. Pick a Niche: Looking at the current market, most productivity coaches work with everyone and anyone. While their service may work for everyone, niching down would help them with both targeting and marketing. I recommend starting with bootstrappers, IndieHackers, and/or makers. You could go even further and just do e-commerce, SaaS, or agency owners.

  2. Create an Offer: For this, you’re going to need a landing page and a method for helping people be more productive. Is it through 1:1 meetings? Daily text reminders? Asynchronous Loom videos? Just pick one. People care less about the product and more about the results, so sell the benefits, not the features.

  3. Start Marketing: Here are some ideas to get your first 100 customers:

    1. Product Hunt Launch: With the right marketing copy and launch strategy, this alone could get you over 100 customers. Here’s a free guide to launching on PH.

    2. Content Marketing + Cold Outreach: Luckily, your customers are online (Twitter, Reddit, IndieHackers, etc...). I’d start by creating 1 high-value post/day and engage with 150 potential customers/week (DMs + comments). The key here is to not hard sell, but add value to the conversation.

    3. Influencer Marketing: Stealing a page out of WeFocus’s playbook, work with an influential business leader and get them to publicly endorse you. To me, this high-risk high-reward, so don’t put all your eggs in this basket.

  4. Build an MVP: This is the last step for a reason. Don’t build a whole process before you have customers. If you don’t have deep expertise in productivity, don’t sweat it. Here are some ideas for an MVP:

    1. Partner with a Coach: There are loads of productivity coaches with great products but terrible marketing. You act as their lead generation engine and they act as your product.

    2. Learn Productivity Best Practices: You don’t need to be an expert to help people, you just need to convey your ideas clearly and add value. Take a few courses, work with a few experts, and create a system that y

Thanks for reading - now get out there and build it! 

Catch ya next week, 

Keevin ✌

Brainstorms Greatest Hits

Check out a few of our fan-favorite issues: 

Want more Brainstorms? Check out all the past issues here and listen to the podcast here.

How'd you feel about this issue?