Step 1: Find a profitable business idea As mentioned above, finding a profitable business idea is as simple as looking at your strengths. You can d
Step 1: Find a profitable business idea
As mentioned above, finding a profitable business idea is as simple as looking at your strengths. You can do that by answering four simple questions today and finding a side hustle that’s perfect to you.
- What do you already pay for?We already pay people to do a lot of different things. Can you turn one of those things into your own online business?
Examples: Clean your home, walk your pet, cook you meals, etc.
- What skills do you have?Now, what do you know — and know well? These are the skills you have that you’re great at — and people want to pay you to teach them.
Examples: Fluency in a foreign language, programming knowledge, cooking skills, etc.
- What do your friends say you’re great at?I love this question. Not only can it be a nice little ego boost — but it can also be incredibly revealing.
Examples: Workout routines, relationship advice, great fashion sense, etc.
- What do you do on a Saturday morning?What do you do on a Saturday morning before everyone else is awake? This can be incredibly revealing to what you’re passionate about and what you like to spend your time on.
Examples: Browsing fashion websites, working on your car, reading fitness subreddits, etc.
Find an answer to those questions and I promise you you’ll find a profitable business idea.
Step 2: Use the the Craigslist Penis Effect to find clients
If you’ve never heard of the Craigslist Penis Effect (CPE) before, let me say now that it’s NOT about posting unsolicited and unwanted photos of yourself on Craigslist. That’s an easy way to land yourself on a list you don’t want to be on.
The CPE actually describes situations where everyone else is so horrible that, by being even half-decent, you can dominate everyone else and succeed.
Think of those idiots on Craigslist trying to pick up women in the personals section by sending out a picture of their mediocre manhood. They’d be better served writing a few half-decent responses, testing to see which got the best response, and sending that out instead.
That’s exactly what you can start doing to generate effective leads.
Check out the jobs section of Craigslist and take a look at the ads relevant to your business.
If you took the time to write a great email reaching out to these companies, you’ll immediately separate yourself from 99.9999% of others on the site who are just sending boring boilerplate emails that’ll get them nowhere.
This doesn’t apply to just Craigslist either — you can use this with any job site. The key is to just be slightly better than average and willing to test a few different emails.
Here are a few suggestions of great sites freelancers can use to find business:
- Writers: MediaBistro.com, Upwork.com, FreelanceWritingGigs.com
- Illustrators/Designers: 99designs.com, Designs.net
- Programmers: Toptal.com, Gun.io
Step 3: Use the 5-line email pitch to qualify your leads
After you find a few good leads on potential clients, you’ll need to craft a pitch that is tailored to their needs and concerns.
In doing so, you’ll want to stress the BENEFITS of working with you — while not giving away too much information as to how you’ll help. I lost my fair share of clients while I was starting out by giving away exactly how I’d help them in my initial reach out. Stupid.
Because I’m a nerd, I’ve developed a 5-line email template you can use to send the perfect email pitch. It includes:
- The introduction, You’re going to want to build rapport by introducing yourself and how you know about the client.
- The offer. Talk about them. What do you want to do for them? Why are you good for that role? You’re going to want to do some research on the organization to see what they need help with.
- The benefit. Walk them through how your work will benefit their company. Are you going to free up more time for them? Are you going to maximize profits by X amount?
- The foot-in-the-door. This is a classic technique that utilizes an old psychology trick to get the client to agree to a small agreement so you can ask for a larger agreement later.
- The call to action. Be clear with this and ask them if they would like to proceed. The call to action is a critical part of this script.
When it’s all put together, it’ll look something like this:
[Introduction] I read your article about X and noticed that you’ve recently started using videos on your website.
[The offer] I’ve been doing video editing for three years and I’d like to offer to help you edit your videos and get them optimized for the web.
[The benefit] That would make them look more professional and load faster, which is important for your readers. And you’d free up time that you could use to create new content.
[The foot-in-the-door] We can discuss the details, of course, but first I wanted to see if this is something you might be interested in.
[The call to action] If so, would it be okay if I sent you a few ideas on how to help?
Step 4: The Tuner Strategy to charge the perfect price
People always get tripped up about pricing, which is why I always hear questions like:
- How much should I be charging?
- Is X amount too little/too much?
- Should I be charging by the hour or per project?
These are questions every freelancer asks when they start out. And while there are no set rules for rates, there are actually a few methods you can use to find one that works for you.
- Drop Three Zeros MethodSimply take your ideal (read: realistic) salary, drop three zeros from it, and voila, you have your hourly rate!
For example, say you’d really like to earn at least $40,000. Just take out the three zeros from the end and you now have your rate: $40/hour.
- Double your “resentment number”I love this one because it’s both really interesting and effective. Ask yourself: What’s the lowest rate you’ll work for that’ll leave you resentful of your work?
Say you’ll work for $15/hour at the VERY LEAST. Just double that number so now you’ll earn $30/hour.
- Do what the next guy doesThis method is incredibly simple: Go to Google and search for the average hourly rate for whatever service you’re providing. You’ll get a good sense of where to start when you’re charging your clients.
The best part is after you start charging your clients, you can start to take on more or less work until you earn the amount you want.
For example, after you earn your first $1,000, it’s incredibly easy to start dialing your prices up and charge even more money from your clients.
Start “tuning” your rates after your first few clients. Were you making $30/hour? Start charging $40 or even $50. There’s no hard and set rule for how much you should charge. Just start tuning until you find a rate you’re happy with.
Step 5: Use the 85% Rule to invest in yourself
When it comes to starting a new business, too many of us will get overwhelmed thinking that we need to do everything “perfectly.” In fact, many will spin their tires doing things like:
- Starting a blog
- Creating a Facebook page
- Buying ads on Google
- Hiring skywriters to promote their business in the skies
This is an easy way to get burned out, leading us to do nothing at all.
Your goal isn’t to start a blog or create a Facebook page with millions of likes — your goal is to FIND PAYING CLIENTS.
That’s why the easiest way to start freelancing is to take things one step at a time and not worry about getting it perfect.
I’d rather get it 85% right than do nothing at all.
Remember: it’s okay to make mistakes. The important thing is that you get started and learn from those mistakes.
The best way to get started is to begin investing in yourself.
Now, one thing that you will find very common with people who have not taken the time to invest in themselves and learn how this stuff works, is they will create what’s called levels of abstraction.
Rather than just going directly to what they want, they will create all these different levels of abstraction — like making a Facebook page or a blog — that make them feel good, but that actually don’t require them to do the hard work.
This story is from iwillteachyoutoberich.com