From time to time I’ll come across a social media group conversation with the question, “What are packages and how do I put them together?” I’ve also seen questions around bundling services. If you’ve ever wondered about packaging your services or bundling services, keep reading.
Understanding Service Packages
Packages are actually pretty simple. It’s a pre-selected grouping of services. Your business determines which services will make up the package so your customers can determine which package meets their needs. HINT: Keep the choices to three or four max. Too many choices gets confusing and a confused customer will not choose. A confused customer will shop elsewhere.
Packages are all around us in various industries. When it comes to creating a package in the services industry some people freeze and get stuck. Because services aren’t tangible it feels hard but it’s no different than the packages you can touch such as a container of snack food bags. At the grocery store you can purchase lunch bag size snacks pre-selected and grouped together such as chips, popcorn, and pretzels. Or, you may choose a package of Doritos, Cheetos, and SunChips. Each package has been pre-selected with the customer’s tastes and needs in mine.
When you assemble your services packages think about what makes sense together – think about natural add-ons and how your customer will be using the services. Remember which services your customers typically buy next and in which order so if someone wants a complete process your package will take them from start to finish.
Let’s look at social media as a package we can easily relate to. Social media services are generally focused on these four main areas: 1) strategy and planning, 2) copywriting of posts, 3) scheduling of posts, and 4) monitoring and/or interacting on the social media platform. While each of these areas can be a stand-alone service if you wanted to create a package you could combine several of these services into its own package.
One package could combine copywriting and scheduling posts. Another package could combine all four segments of social media. You determine what goes in the package based on your skills and expertise.
The benefit of a package for your customer is that they get everything they need for one price. The price stays the same month after month. There are no surprises.
The benefit for your business is if the customer purchases the package with all four segments of the social media services, your business can more fully support the customer as a whole. Your business will have an understanding via the strategy and planning to know what to write for the copywriting of the posts. The posts will focus around the direction, goals, and events the customer is working towards. The scheduling will take this strategy and planning in mind so the peak times and target audience interests are capitalized. And the monitoring of the platform permits your company to take advantage of interest and interaction momentums in the moment when the conversations and engagements are hot. Your customer will be thrilled when they see the analytics numbers climbing (and sales conversions taking place) compared to numbers before working with you.
As you consider your services and how to put together packages think about which services make sense to group together. Just as the example of copywriting and scheduling go hand-in-hand you will find relationships between other similar services. This reminds me of the blogging example: If you are adding a blog post to a WordPress website an add-on that can become part of a package is applying SEO to this blog post. Another add-on for the package can be boosting the post to social media.
While some use the terms packages and bundles interchangeably I prefer to think of these as different. A package is grouped with services pre-determined by your own business to sell to your customers. A bundle is a grouping of services that a customer may select individually and request to be provided as a group. The bundling is customized to the customer’s specific wants and needs. The bundle may not be grouped in the same customized way for each of your customers. Individual needs are considered with a bundle grouping.
In my own business I do both packages and bundling of custom groupings to meet my clients needs. Someone inquiring about my services may know they need specific things in a package but may not need everything in the package and may wish to substitute a service. Let’s use this illustration as an example: The customer may have a copywriter on staff so a social media package that includes copywriting, scheduling, and monitoring on Facebook could be custom bundled to account for copywriting being provided. The customer may ask if my business could create graphic images for the text the copywriter has provided. And a new bundle grouping of services – graphic images creations, scheduling, and monitoring – could be custom created for this customer.
In the end whether you create a package or bundle your services for a customer these really aren’t hard to pull together. You know what your rates are for a single service so adding additional services is merely adding in the rates for each service in the grouping.
An Exercise in Assembling Your Package
Try this visual exercise to help with putting together packages. Draw a circle in the middle of a sheet of paper. Inside the circle name your core service. Extending out from that circle add spokes with each add on for that core service. You can have as many spokes as you want. I generally add in everything I can think of. The max.
This maximum becomes my top-level package. Once you know your maximum it is much easier to take things away to create a mid-level and an entry-level package.
Being Clear in Your Offerings
The most common mis-step I see others making when it comes to packages or bundling services is not being clear in what the customer is buying in the package. Be very specific in what is included…and what may not be inclusive. Leave no room for doubt.
When in doubt consider the packages of snack bags at the grocery store I mentioned. For each package option the customer knows exactly what they are getting. Outline your packages so that a customer will see fully what they get. If you’re open to customizations you can add this on your web page. You choose what’s best for your business offerings and if that may include only packages, only bundling, or both options. Some don’t want the hassle of assembling a bundle so that option doesn’t become part of their business model or offerings. And, that’s okay.
Have a niggling question about packages or bundle groupings? Add it to comments or send me a private message.