Do you have a full time job but want to begin slowly moving yourself towards a location-independent lifestyle business?
Lots of people want the best of both worlds – the security and safety of a full time job while eventually moving towards their goal of having a business that can support their mobile lifestyle in a cheap destination.
In this article we’ll give you an informal outline for building a part time internet business that you can run on nights and weekends to begin moving towards a location independent lifestyle business.
-This process will take at least 6 months if you have a full time job and plan to work your full time job until you have a solid stream of income from your business
-We in no way guarantee that this will work; results depend entirely upon your execution
STEP 1 – Identify your Service
With the arrival of Fiverr on the scene, a new type of outsourcing has emerged; you can now hire people for $5 USD to do a range of small “gigs” for you. This ranges from logo design to voiceovers to wordpress blog designs. The kinds of things you can find will really boggle your mind.
As a first step, go to Fiverr and identify 20-30 specific “gig” providers whose services you think are acceptable. What you will essentially be doing is hiring them and then white-label reselling their services for a markup. Here are some Fiverr services that we think are pretty neat:
-Presentation design and edits
-Mobile website creation
There are literally thousands of possible gigs to choose from. The best type of gig is ideally one where you have a bit of experience. If you work in Corporate America you might feel more comfortable with something like Powerpoint presentation services or resume/CV editing. If you come from a design background you might want to go with logo design, infographics design, or wordpress blogs.
Test some providers out and decide which ones you think provide good quality for your cash and then bookmark their profiles. You can even have a conversation with them about ordering in bulk for a discount and setting up an ongoing relationship where you send them work for a faster turnover. Quick turnover is particularly important. Also important is to make sure that this person offers iterations and edits free of charge (or at least someone who tends to produce great quality work on the first shot).
Try to be consistent within your brand and services. A company that does logo design and infographics is consistent with their design image while a company that creates wordpress blogs and voiceovers might have a clash of identities.
Once you pick a service, decide how you want to price your service. This is always tricky. You should always go for a lower price point in the beginning to get experience and credibility as you move forward. Good price points for gigs coming off of fiverr are somewhere in the $50 to $300 dollar range, depending on what specifically you are getting done. It’s possible to charge higher but that is usually for more labor intensive and value added projects such as video editing and wordpress website creation – these gigs can go up to $50-100 USD on fiverr, so you can justifiably raise your markup.
STEP 2 – Build your Website
This is important for pretty obvious reasons. Since you are building a web-based business, your website is your storefront, face, image, brand, and reputation on the web. Do not skimp on costs here – you should hire a web design company to create your site and logo. Come up with a simple but catchy company name – the less syllables, the better. Ideally your brand name will identify the service you are providing, such as “Logo Labz”.
You can find solid designers and developers on oDesk and elance. If you are particularly interested in a world-beating high-quality design, you can check out 99Designs.
STEP 3 – Portfolio
You have two choices here – save money or save time.
We suggest that you save time.
You’ll need to build a portfolio of work that you’ve done so that you can convince prospective clients of the quality of your work as well as acquiring testimonials.
We suggest that you find 5-10 people in your personal and extended network who would be willing to exchange a testimonial for your free services. In addition to this, if you work with a visual product such as ebook creation, logos, wordpress, or infographics, you will want to throw their finished product onto your portfolio. After all, a picture says a thousand words. Outsource this work out of your own pocket and you will have saved weeks or months of your time.
STEP 4 – Social Media
Set up a Facebook fan page and twitter account for your new brand. Start adding all of your friends, family, colleagues, alumni, teachers, and whoever you can to both of these accounts. Also make sure you regularly update your page with valuable content, articles, and links. In the testimonial building phase, it’s important to get your “testimonial clients” to share and network what you’ve done.
STEP 5 – Sales and Marketing
If you’ve ever read a post that looks like this….
“The Only Article You’ll Ever Need To Read About Getting Sales”
…..then you should know that it’s a load of bollocks.
There is no one single article out on the internet that will teach you the incredibly complex and difficult process of drawing people to your brand and convincing total strangers to give you cash. You’ll need a lot of patience, trial and error, and effort to figure out what works best for your particular target audience. Social media is an obvious and cost-effective place to start. You can also launch linkedin and facebook ad campaigns to get new leads in the door.
You can also explore HARO (help a reporter out) to help yourself find ways to get featured in the media and get some traffic and publicity. You can later feature the logos of these magazines/outlets on your page as a way of branding yourself. This will also help you hit people in your specific vertical.
The purpose of this article is not to guarantee that, if you follow this outline, you will be rolling around in dough in a few weeks. Entrepreneurship is difficult and anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something. Marketing, selling, and closing clients is more of an art than a science. You will have to find your own path towards acquiring and closing new customers.
STEP 6. Managing Customers and Working the System
You will definitely be wearing all the hats within your business for the first 3 months at a minimum. If you start making some cash, though, you can eventually begin outsourcing a significant amount of this process.
You may eventually want to move away from the fiverr model and hire people on a part time or full time basis to work for you – again, depending on the specific services you are providing.
With time, you’ll realize that there is a trend or pattern in terms of identifying customers, getting in touch, convincing them of your value, and closing deals. With each deal you close, you’ll move closer to a point where you can remove yourself totally from the operations so that you are Working the System, as laid out by Sam Carpenter.
Good luck! We hope to see you soon in Bali, Brazil, or Bangkok.