Clickbank is About More than Just the Stuff
Most of us think of Clickbank as a service dedicated entirely to digital products. A digital product by definition is a something you sell. It might be an e-book about anything from children's stories to an analysis of clinical depression to a guidebook to how to play a great game of golf. It might be a software package that makes life easier or a really cool game you invented. But by definition, it is "something". Which means that in that context, Clickbank is all about the stuff.
One of ClickBank's rules of living for merchants lines up with the product only approach to the marketplace because you are expected to deliver the product within 24 hours of payment and preferably immediately by download. The method of delivery might vary. It can be by download, by email or by directing the customer to a membership site to download the product. Clickbank doesn’t get into the details as long as the customer gets his product inside of the time window.
While the variety of predicts that can be sold through the Clickbank marketplace is unlimited, Clickbank does not have any provision for selling services using their terrific marketplace tools. That 24 hour rule which is entirely reasonable for a digital product is really problematic if the nature of your internet business is a service you provide, even if the outcome is a product. A service is delivered based on a lot of variables that the merchant cannot necessarily dictate. Some services are continuous with periodic payments either based on milestones or on deliverables. In either case, a specified delivery date is questionable and to limit that time frame to 24 hours virtually out of the question.
So many merchants have found ways to take advantage of the excellent marketplace infrastructure and the merchant account services of Clickbank to do business with clients that work within the 24 hour product delivery restriction. A good example is ghostwriting. A customer can contact a merchant using ClickBank's communication resources to make arrangements for the creation of a series of articles. But the actual "product" would not be created within the Clickbank merchandising system until the product is complete and ready for delivery. Then the customer and buy the product which is an outcome of the service and use Clickbank's systems to work with the ghostwriter.
Whether you organize your service to be moved through Clickbank in advance or after you complete the service, the key is for the price to be well understood before logging the project into Clickbank. This is healthy for the business relationship between seller and buyer and keeps your nose clean with Clickbank as well. It might take some work to convert your hourly billed service into a fixed price product. But simply focus on the outcome. So if you work by the hour to produce a requirements document for a project, you can set the fixed price when the project is near the end and you set up the payment vehicle as a Clickbank digital service.
Also keep in mind that Clickbank expects to see delivery. Your service may have consisted of a series of 15 phone calls where you offer expert guidance and advance in your field of expertise. So to create a deliverable, keep your notes per session and prepare a summary at the end that captures the results of your sessions as well as your conclusions and you can "sell" that to your client for the price of the total consulting charges for the 15 sessions.
It really just takes some creativity and ability to not just think outside the box to work within the Clickbank box to offer your services as a digital product. But as an internet entrepreneur, being innovative is second nature to you.