There is another model that can be even easier to build than these three, but it’s not suited to everyone. It’s best for the person who already has a skill or ability that people are paying her for or would if it was made available.
There are many skills that fall into this category:
- copy writing
- technical writing
- language translation
- social media management
- software development
- graphic design
- web development
- audio & video production
- project management
- financial planning
- administrative assistance
- customer service
Avoid the Race to the Bottom
The problem a lot of people run into when they try the online freelance model is that some guy in Bangladesh or the Philippines will happily work for a quarter of what a Westerner needs to make the effort worthwhile. And this is where a bit of business sophistication can go a long way.
There is a new name for an older trend of bundling services. It’s called creating a ‘productized service.’
For example, suppose you offered to translate English to Spanish. That’s a task that is in danger of becoming commodified by software and cheap labor. But what if you targeted existing web businesses that already offered one or a few products that they sold only in English?
What if you offered the owner of the website the ability to reach into the Spanish-speaking market in the US, Europe, Mexico, and Central and South America by translating his selling pages, his FAQ’s, his testimonials, and everything else that contributed to selling?
And what if you did all of that for a set price? And what if, for an additional price, you could also take care of the ongoing customer service requests that come in from Spanish speaking prospects and customers?
Suddenly you’re not selling cheap, common translation, you’re selling a complete package that permits already successful online companies to reach into new markets. It’s a service that is bundled to be sold as a complete package with a clearly understandable outcome – a ‘productized service.’
Now take another look at the bullet points above. See how new possibilities begin to come to mind? This is exactly the type of thing we explore in Step 1 of Safely Leave the Rat Race. Because until you spend time one-on-one discussing possibilities and tactics with a knowledgeable mentor, these ideas and hundreds of others just won’t be part of your frame of reference.
Failure to do this is why so many people are stalled year after year wondering “What the heck can I do online?” A better question might be, “What can’t I do?” The opportunities are massive and increasing.
Toward your personal freedom,
Pete Sisco & Connie Brentford