It’s a good question. Because while almost all the selling and traffic generation techniques I teach work equally well for both product- and service-based business models, there are a few unique challenges faced by those selling services that warrant special discussion.
If you’ve developed valuable skill sets or picked up certifications within your industry over the years, offering your consulting services to local business owners can be a lucrative way to make money online. Whether you’re an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there’s likely a local business owner who’s willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant from Karyn Greenstreet and then use my guide to crafting an effective cold email to convince them to hire you.
Mobile applications are more popular than ever, and people are willing to pay good money for ways to manage their lives from their smartphones. If you have a great idea and happen to know coding, you can run with it and create your app yourself. If you just have an idea and don’t know the ins and outs of how to turn it into a reality, there are plenty of software developers looking to collaborate with people on app creation.
You see people make money online and you’d like to do it, too. It can’t be hard, right? Well, not if you have a great online business idea. Here are the best online business ideas from a variety of entrepreneurs, plus a few of our own tips.
You probably have a pretty strong idea of what makes a good website. Is the design clean and easy to navigate? Does the content make sense? Luckily, there are plenty of people out there who want to hear your thoughts. And they’ll even pay you decent money for it (most sites pay ~$10 per 20 minutes, or ~$30 per hour!)
I’m really interested in the wave of productized consulting that seems to be swelling up recently. To put it in layman’s terms, an individual (usually a freelancer or consultant) who has a very specific skillset packages their services up in a way that makes it appear like a product. Some people are hesitant to work with individual freelancers, but if you look and sound like a company, they are much more at ease.
Ask yourself, “Is the product expensive?” There are costs associated with manufacturing, distribution, reselling, etc. If your product isn’t expensive (at least $50 or more), there may be no profit left by the time you sell the product.
After that, you’ll need to be familiar with the other major players in the space who might be good partners or acquisition opportunities, as well as an intimate knowledge of how to raise funding, market your product, hire and manage the best talent, and keep yourself financially above water.
Do you enjoy taking surveys? Some companies will pay people to take surveys so that they can gather valuable consumer and user data. It might not be the most interesting way to make a buck, but you can find websites like CashbackResearch.com that offer cash for your opinions.
Not only will this multiply the money you’re bringing in in a serious way, but it protects you against any sudden changes in the market or in your business. Remember that old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket? A few hours a week committed to just one or two of the following opportunities will put you in a much stronger position to be financially safe and independent.
You can never assume that providing information about what you’ve done for other clients will enable visitors to your site to make that leap and picture what you’ll be able to do for their businesses. You need to be very, very specific about what you’re offering. To help you do that, look at other similar service providers and ask yourself these questions:
Many major retailers will pay you for promoting their businesses on your websites and social media pages. They might pay you in cash or gift cards. For example, some restaurants might give you a gift card if you check in on Facebook or Yelp.
Remember, you can offer the freemium model mentioned previously if there is no scope to achieve high advertising revenue. You could even be teaching others how to make money online, while doing exactly the same thing for yourself!
Telemarketing services are great for appointment setting as well as creating warm leads. More and more companies are looking to outsource their marketing efforts and this is where you could fit in. Telemarketers charge £15-30 per hour depending on the size and type of operation.
You might not have even heard of Zappos, an online shoe store. Well, that goes to show how big the internet really is and how big your online business could be. Maybe it might even come to close to the acquisition of Zappos by Amazon for a reported $900,000,000.
This was very helpful. 2 of my most recent ideas are in the top 3. I ‘ve let fear and just being overwhelmed keep me stagnant and now I am just at a point where I am ready to take action. I know I will be successful!
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is selling someone else’s product by referring customers to their online store. If you can create content (on a blog) or a resource so valuable to the people looking for a certain product and then send them to where they can actually buy it, you’ll receive a predetermined percentage of each sale.
Do you constantly come up with witty one-liners? Do you dream of the days of Mad Men-style advertising? If you’ve got some branding chops or just come up with imaginative copy, there are lots of opportunities to make money online through company naming and slogan contests. If you think you have a knack for names check out namingforce.com and squadhelp.com. If you dream of coming up with witty copy, try coming up with company slogans on Slogan Slingers and Get a Slogan.
If you need some guidance on how to connect with influencers, download our free step-by-step guide, “How to Connect with Influencers & Land Interviews.” We even include the exact “copy & paste” emails we used to contact Sir Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington and many more A-players.
Bridging the gap between online and offline shopping and getting people over the uncertainties of online shopping is key in converting customers. In order to do this, online retailers must create a flawless shopping experience that caters to the needs of their customers. Four Mine is an online jeweler specializing in diamond engagement rings and wedding bands. What’s unique about us? We offer a free try-before-you-buy replica ring service. Our high quality diamond simulant and metal alloy rings look and feel as close to the real ring as possible. Consumers can try their favorite three styles at home, with no obligation to purchase.
Similar to selling your freelance services, you can also start selling your knowledge and advice in an area you specialize in as a coach or consultant. If you can bill yourself as an expert, there are tons of people out there willing to pay for your time.
Taking a successful business model from someone else and building on it is no crime. In fact, it is how most leaders build businesses. It doesn’t always take a “stroke of genius” to get to the top. But when those once-in-a-lifetime ideas strike, your window to act may be small. I don’t accept the idea that all of the good ideas have been taken. These five unique businesses are proof that you can find prosperity, even in a market that may not have even existed when you first had your idea.
Your platform should give you the flexibility you need to stand out, the data orchestration you need for operational efficiency and the low total cost of ownership that lets’ you reallocate dollars to marketing spend, not technology debt.
Parking is at a premium in most thriving cities. Renting an unused space in your driveway or vacant deeded parking space can generate additional income. Advertising availability on Craigslist exposes this opportunity to local people, and up-and-coming apps like JustPark also allow you to easily rent out your parking space when it’s not in use.
Are you a web designer? You can make serious money designing websites for individuals. If the thought of having a one-on-one client is too limiting, you can also create website templates and sell them on sites like ThemeForest or CreativeMarket. You can also sell them on your own site.
If you’re serious about making money selling things online, it’s pretty much impossible to not recommend Shopify. The platform gives you everything you need to get your online store up and running in less than a day including a custom domain, beautiful templates (so you don’t need design skills), secure payment options, and they can even take care of marketing and shipping for you. Whether you’re selling your own products, designs, or curating other products for people in your niche, Shopify is the best option for powering your online store.
Choose your niche and check for demand: The golden course combination is when you can find an in-demand niche that aligns with your skills and unique experiences. A great way to do this is to use Google Trends and Google’s Keyword Planner to look for average monthly search volume for keywords related to your proposed course content. Are people actively looking for high-quality information about this subject? Of course, if you’re already creating content for a blog, coaching service, or a site like Medium, you can test demand this way for free just like Bryan did.
You know you have the right product, who your customer is, and how to set up your business. It’s time to get the physical product. We’ll walk you through different ways to source your product and how to avoid common pitfalls.
But here’s the reality; the internet has opened up so many possibilities to people regardless of age, location, or background to build a sustainable, online business or side project that can make extra money online every single month.
We went micro-niche with Chicken Armor poultry saddles when we were unable to find chicken saddles/aprons that were affordable and didn’t need to be laundered. Chicken saddles are worn by chickens like a vest and help to protect their backs against mating and molting injuries.
Although if you already have built yourself a strong audience, whether through your content or your social media, then you can dive straight into their “Growing Business” plan, which gives you access to even more features for just $10.
Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
For one, you’ll want to have a high level of domain experience within the industry your startup is going to operate. This means a deep understanding of your customers, the issues they face, and an idea of potential solutions they’ll be willing to pay for. This is the minimum you need to get started.
If you’re a skilled worker in a specific niche, like marketing, design, or software development, there are specialty marketplaces that cater just to you. These are amazing places to make money online as you know that the people visiting them are looking specifically for the skills you have. Check out places like 99Designs or Dribbble for designers, Cloudpeeps for marketing and SEO professionals, and TopTal, Crew, or Gigster for high-level software developers. Once you’ve built up your development skills, you can begin building a brand for yourself as a higher-value consultant and start charging brands for larger projects like implementing an entire WordPress security overhaul or migrating a website from http to https.
Founded in 2003, Small Business Trends is an award-winning online publication for small business owners, entrepreneurs and the people who interact with them. It is one of the most popular independent small business publications on the web.
We personally use Infusionsoft at Foundr, because we have a subscriber list of over 300,000 people. For someone just starting out, however, there are several tools out there that you can use to get your email marketing into shape and even create automated email campaigns.
Entrepreneurship has always fascinated me. I’m amazed by the pride and sense of accomplishment that comes with building your own business, and I respect the risks that come with working for yourself. Even if your venture fails, as a business leader you still learn valuable lessons that you can use to make your next attempt more successful.
It’s sometimes hard to comprehend just how much people love t-shirts. And with the right niche, marketing, and tools, you can create an online t-shirt business that makes you extra money online while you sleep. (Even Bloomberg and Forbes feature stories from entrepreneurs who’ve done just that.) Services like TeeSpring make it easier than ever to create a t-shirt drop-shipping business where they handle the sales, printing, and shipping, and you’re only responsible for design and marketing. For more tips, check out this simple guide to launching and marketing an online clothing store by my friends over at Selz.
You’ve heard of antique dealers and even car dealers, but what about dealing in domains? Domains are internet real estate and like real estate they could be considered as an investment. Don’t just buy any domains, spread your risk with a portfolio and make sure you hold out for the highest price possible.
Every day, couples in love get engaged. And every day, couples who have fallen out of love separate or break an engagement. When the latter happened to Josh Opperman, his fiancee was kind enough to return the engagement ring, and he didn’t know what to do with it. Since the wholesale markup on engagement rings is insanely high, he would have taken a huge loss in returning it. So instead, he started his business, I Do Now I Don’t, an online marketplace for unwanted engagement rings. Customers can buy rings at prices far cheaper than you’d find at a traditional store, and you can sell at rates that are better than you’d get if you tried to return the ring. Business started booming, and now you can buy and sell other jewelry items there too.
Starting a business these days is also surprisingly cheap. If you’re dying to get out there and start making money online, but you think that surely you’ll need thousands in the bank first, we’re about to prove you wrong.
Do you love the feeling of waiting for something in the mail? I know I do, and that’s why I tried out Something Store. A few years ago, I saw a piece in a popular magazine about an online store that sells mystery objects. I was intrigued. For $10 (no shipping cost), they send you a random item. It could be anything in the world. Since 2007, they’ve shipped over 50,000 “somethings” to customers who wait with anxious anticipation.
The audiobook industry is booming, yet only 5% of books ever get made into audio format. If you’ve got a background in acting, or if people have said you’ve got a voice made for the radio, you can make extra money recording audio versions of independent and popular books. Sites like ACX connect authors with audiobook performers. So, whether you’re an author looking for more ways to sell your book, or an actor/voice actor looking to make some extra income, you can sell your services online.
If you can engage clients and build up attractive social media profiles, then you will be able to attract clients, which makes this a service with value. Again, these projects are posted on freelance sites such as People Per Hour and Elance on a regular basis, so you can start building up clients straight away! Check out these amazing statistics for LinkedIn!
A lead magnet can be anything from a YouTube video, to a cheatsheet, a webinar, or even an ebook. As long as it’s filled with information that your audience wants, you can promote your lead magnet anywhere in order to get more signups to your list.
Once you’ve gathered a list, put together a template outreach email (as you’ll be doing this over and over) that’s short and clear with expectations. Tell your potential interviewee who you are, what your podcast is about, and what you’re asking of them. Do a few test interviews with friends and family to make sure everything is being recorded at the quality you want and then book your first episode.
4. Now start posting content that supports your partners. For example, if you post a story on cruising the Mediterranean, partner with a cruise provider to promote a travel deal. They will have no problem throwing you a decent kickback for every verified sale.
Selling graphic T-shirts is big business. Customized T-shirts with clever sayings or graphics are ideal for online sales. Sites like Teespring allow you to sell customer shirts. Teespring’s unique model allows you to design the shirt and get buyers lined up to purchase it. This saves you from the initial investment in stock and the time on processing and shipping orders, though you’ll likely make a smaller profit on each shirt sold.
People on your email list are not only more likely to be customers, but you can use the power of email to help nurture a lead by regularly sending them quality content through something like a newsletter.
Though recycling has been popular for years, practical-use items made from recyclable items and materials are quickly becoming more desirable. From clothes and bags to water bottles and wallets, these unique items are high-quality goods that let people show off the positive difference they’re making for the environment. Alchemy Goods was originally born not out of ingenuity, but of necessity.
Do you love teaching people something new? Are people always asking you to teach them how to do a specific task? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you should definitely create a course. Sites like Udemy and TutsPlus are always looking for new instructors and class ideas.