For many of those wanting to make money online, getting over that initial hurdle of making your first dollar is where you get stuck. You’re unsure of your skills. You’re unsure of this new landscape in general. It’s intimidating taking that risk. But great things are waiting just outside of your comfort zone.
But how will you overcome that initial hurdle? How will you get yourself unstuck and moving forward? Easy. You are going to do it scared and you are going to push yourself hard. I do my best work under pressure. Maybe you do too.
I put together this challenge because I truly believe if you can achieve a “quick win” in working from home you will be setting yourself up for success. Not only will you have a little money in your pocket, but you will also have the confidence to keep going. All of those first date butterflies will be gone.
For our challenge, I’m breaking it down into the simplest of steps. I’ve attempted to make it as easy as possible so you will have no excuses for not following through.
If it’s important, you will find a way. If it’s not, you will find an excuse.
We will be focusing on small single or bundled services you can offer for $50. You only need two sales at that rate to earn your first $100 fast. If you can bundle together a package worth $50 and make 10 sales, that's $500 in your pocket. If you can make 20 sales, that's $1000 in your pocket. Now, imagine the confidence this challenge will give you going forward? Priceless.
But why one-off services when I could be focusing on retainer packages?
Good argument, but this challenge is primarily for those just dipping their toes into the service industry. Maybe you don’t know what services you want to offer yet and would like to try a few out. Maybe this is your first time working with clients and you want to get a feel for the process before committing to something long-term. Also, this is a great way for a client to sample your services without the pressure of a long-term commitment. I love trying people out with a sample project before signing up for a retainer. And when your project is finished, you can always extend an invitation to work with you again and ongoing.
What kind of things can I offer for $50?
Such a great question! And one that often hangs up beginners.
I’ve put together a quick list to get your wheels turning and that cover a wide range of skill sets. Don’t consider this an all-inclusive list, but let it get your wheels turning.
And also consider your experience and expertise in choosing and pricing your packages. A few freelance writers may feel comfortable charging $50 for a blog while someone with experience and specialized knowledge would feel undervalued at that price point. Choose your offerings and prices as they suit you.
I’ve broken these service ideas down into categories, but I want you to explore every category regardless of whether you think it’s something you can do or not. You may think design services are clearly out of your wheelhouse but things like creating social media graphics are totally doable once you become familiar with design basics, best practices and using an online tool like Canva.
If something is new to you, don’t use your clients as your guinea pigs. Experiment and hone your skills prior to saying, “I can do that for you!” That may mean taking a course through Udemy or the training series available for popular online tools like ConvertKit and Leadpages. There’s a lot of education available online. Take advantage of it.
- Write a Blog Post – depending on your expertise 500 to 1000 words should suffice
- Sales Page Content – this one will require some skill
- Newsletter Content – everyone wants a compelling and personalized newsletter these days
- Email Sequence Content – having a series of emails delivered to new subscribers is much preferred to the one-off download. Round up some of the bloggers best content and create a 5 to 7-day series they can send their new leads.
- Write Author Byline & Bio – We all struggle with this. Create a short Q&A your client can fill out then get to work writing up a great bio.
- Proofreading/Editing – limit this to a certain number of pages or posts
- Article Outlines/Research – do the heavy lifting prior to the writing stage
- Editorial Calendar & Blog Post Ideas – create an editorial schedule based on your client’s topics then brainstorm a few ideas to get them started
- Create Printables – worksheets and planners are hot right now
- Social Media Graphics – Facebook Prompts, Pinterest Images, Instagram Images
- Custom Opt-in Boxes – this one will take some graphic design and HTML skills
- Logo Design
- Easy WordPress Tweaks
- Custom Opt-in or Thank You Page – you can do this with HTML or in a service like LeadPages or Thrive Themes
- Old Post Optimization – update the content, make sure all links are working, add more details, add affiliate links, create a content upgrade, etc.
- SEO Quick Wins – If you are well-versed in SEO, take a look at your client’s site and point out a few things that will show them immediate results. Those instant results can lead into a long-term contract.
- Repurpose Content – take those popular posts and turn them into slideshows, eCourses, worksheets, etc.
- Pinterest Board Cleanup/Optimization
- Idea Generation for Subscriber Opt-ins with Outline
- Online Store SEO
- YouTube Optimization
- Video or Facebook Live Ideas & Outlines
- Setup a Recurring Queue of Social Media Content in SmarterQueue or Meet Edgar
- Custom Business Cards – you design the cards and then ship the approved product to your client
- Whiteboard Animation
- Product Mock-Ups
- SEO Keyword List & Blog Post Ideas
- Platform Growth – Choose one platform like Twitter or Facebook and focus on getting quality followers for your client
- Submission Service – the direction of this one will depend on your expertise. It could range from Linkys to giveaways to bookmarking and beyond. Keep track of where you submitted to give to your client.
- Strategy Call
- Custom Plans – meal plans, workout plans, pantry plans to meet dietary restrictions, another cool idea would be creating a shopping list/meal plan based on the customer's location and favorite store's current sales
- Sales Funnel Map – sales funnels are HOT!
- Advertising Space – banners, newsletters
- Account Setup – newsletter, social media, course platform, etc.
- One-on-One Tutorial
- Gmail Optimization – set up filters and folders to help your client get to Inbox Zero
- Website Critique & Action Plan
Use Your Tools – If you are already paying for a service or tool that allows for multiple social media profiles, use it to your advantage. Many solopreneurs don’t have the budget to pay a social media manager and pay for an expensive tool like Meet Edgar or Sprout Social. You can kill two birds with this stone and not only get your monthly subscription paid for but also make some extra cash renting out those extra available profiles to clients as you schedule their social media updates as well.
At the end of the day, this is a three-step process. Don’t overthink it.
- Determine one in-demand service package. Make sure it’s scalable and easy to implement. You don’t want to lose your possible profit with a lengthy onboarding process. They should ideally be able to pay you, answer a few questions and you get to work. You don’t want a lot of back and forth for days on end.
- Set up your landing page. I’ve seen this done in a number of ways. You can set up a one-page WordPress site that describes you and your service offering and includes a PayPal button or you can set up a simple sales page on Gumroad that you can direct people to.
- Get involved in Facebook Groups. This is one of the fastest ways to find potential clients today. There are groups that allow you to share what you have to offer. Many groups, however, will require a more soft approach as blatant self-promotion is prohibited.
A few groups where you can post your sale:
- Virtual Assistants for Bloggers
- VA for Hire & Pinterest-Friendly Content
- Elite VA Buy/Sell Exclusive Content
- VAs for Hire
- VAs for Hire – Content group
- VAs Buy, Sell & Barter
- The Printables Hub
A few groups where women business owners and bloggers congregate and you can make yourself known by answering questions and offering advice:
- Influencer Entrepreneurs
- Freedom Hackers Mastermind
- Digital Nomad Girls
- Creative Superheroes
- The Savvy Community
- Freelance to Freedom Project
- Social Boss
- The Entrepreneur Incubator
Platform-specific Groups – these platform-specific groups are a great place for those with specialized skills. It’s probably not worth the time investment if you can’t service these individuals, however.
You can’t jump in selling, however. Watch for opportunities to help. At that point, share a few tips and state how you would love to help them further and one-on-one if necessary. It’s an easy way to set the stage and get them into outsourcing mode.
Please be forewarned you can’t jump onto Facebook today and then not come back for three weeks. This is very much a “nurturing” process – getting people to trust you and see you as an expert. Your time and effort will pay off. While you are waiting for it to pay off, get your wares listed in those first few buy/sell groups I listed above and consider a few to list on Fiverr.
The key to success on Fiverr is in the upsell. You will want to choose a very small offering to start and then expand on it in the upsells which allow you to charge up to $995 for your Gig. It sounds crazy, but people are going to be more apt to click on that $5 offering and then add on to it than click on the $50 gig to begin with. Human nature.
As an example, when I was offering author submission services on Fiverr several years back I would submit the buyer’s book to # sites for $5. If they wanted it done faster than 3 days, it was another $5 or $10. For an extra $5 or $10 I’d submit to an additional # of sites. That Gig alone took me to Level 2 Seller and earned me over $3,000. And most of my customers were repeat buyers. It didn’t take me but 10 minutes to complete the sale so it was well worth my time to list on that platform as opposed to trying to seek out these authors off-site. I really didn’t have any desire to become a VA to authors and perform an A-to-Z book marketing service. I was happy to carve out a nice little piece of the pie, however.
Fiverr has a few examples of what’s trending on the site right now. Much of it are things we discussed above like eBay and Etsy store optimization. Spend a little time digging through the site to see what’s getting a large number of reviews and what’s not.
If you need to brush up on your skills, I’d recommend Udemy.