Building Your Product-Led Revenue Engine

The old way of growing a service business is out. Here's what's replacing it...

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It’s the end of the year. A year that was rougher than usual on the professional services industry.

We knew shit had gotten real when iconic consultancy, IDEO, slashed 1/3rd its workforce. 50% eliminated since 2020.

“It’s the end of an era!”

No it’s not.

That’s a stupid, short-sighted phrase of the founder who’s not paying attention.

That’s just the flow of business. That’s life. That’s transformation.

And as we know, change doesn’t just close a door and shove on. It always, ALWAYS opens another in it’s wake.

The door being slammed shut here? It has an inscription on it that reads, “100% Pure Service Business.”

Behind that door are dinosaurs who obsess, only, over utilization and billable hours.

Their revenue is tied to headcount. Heads of people that trade time for money.

Their sales cycles are multi-months, filled with long slogs of pitching, creds decks, and case studies.

They dump all of their marketing dollars into SEO, website optimization, and ads.

They tire of the endless rollercoaster that stifles their growth: Prospect. Close. Fulfill. Repeat.

Their revenue engine is sales-led. The moment people stop selling, cash dries up and the company shrinks out of sight.

For years now, the market has been closing that door. They don’t want to spend time in pitch meetings.

They want to see and experience your company’s value directly. They want to know and trust your work, before committing.

They want painless, risk-free shopping. They want freemium.

But the dinosaurs dig their heels in, “That’s not how service businesses operate!”

Why not? Because that’s the way it’s always been? Good luck with that.

In the meantime, me, you, and the Passive Profits tribe are out in search of the next door…

Cracking open a new door

Turns out, that new door is just down the hall, in a quiet wing of the house. It’s the one that says “Product-Led Service Business.”

Behind it are a mere few pioneers obsessing over growth levers that enable them to build once and earn forever. A welcome departure from renting out themselves and their people for a buck.

They’re experimenting with product-led sales.

They’re launching simple, no-code digital products to fuel self-sustaining revenue engines.

Engines that create new revenue streams, while bolstering revenue from existing core services.

Engines that don’t rely on slick salespeople, but earned trust and delivered value.

And they’re fucking killing it.

Not because they’re printing money. Some are, sure.

They’re thriving because they’ve discovered a way to grow their businesses:

  • without painfully long sales cycles

  • without trading time for money

  • without slimy sales tactics

  • without all the burnout

As their business grows, they’re reinvesting that recouped time and profit into building resilient businesses that thrive without them working 24/7/365.

They’re enjoying their lives again. They’re spending time with their families.

These are the conscious entrepreneurs I’m building a community around.

These are the creator-founders I’m building this newsletter for.

I’m so happy you’re part of it.

And I’m proud of you for peering behind new doors…

Just a word of caution:

When you set out looking for that door, be careful not to accidentally enter the one labeled, “Product-Led Software Business.”

That one will be cracked wide open. As you glimpse inside, you’ll find a thriving, vibrant community of SaaS-based founders.

Turns out, they figured out product-led growth eons ago.

Now it’s our turn.

See you inside?

P.S. Maybe we’ll find some IDEO execs experimenting with product-led?…

Backoffice brief

Stuff I’m thinking about, working on, and happening in my life.

📕 Growth lever: ebook

Since it’s kinda become my job to research and experiment with viral growth levers, I spend countless hours each week learning from other creator-founders.

My favorite learning resource are the deep dives from Growth in Reverse.

Growth in Reverse newsletter

Just this week, I was inspired by several accounts of business owners creating ebooks to grow their audience. Nothing novel, but they work.

And so I’ve begun building my ebook. It’s working title is Product-Led Growth in Service Businesses: How to Create and Market Your First Digital Product.

It will be a major upgrade from the 4-part Your First Product series I wrote earlier. Keep following along to see my process and progress.

🏀 Feeling my age

I signed myself and a group of friends to play in a men’s basketball league. Because I was an athlete as a kid, I assumed I’d step on the court and dominate.

Woke up this morning with more injuries than I can count. And we lost. By a lot.

📊 Newsletter stats

👋🏼 Howdy to Tara, Büşra, and 2 more creator-founders who joined the Passive Profits community this week. We’re at 120 and counting.

📣 Want to earn a free coaching session with me?

Jay Melone
Creator-Founder @
Passive Profits


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