We’ve already looked at three other models of online businesses: Expert, Market, and Membership.

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
  • editing
  • proofreading
  • 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 offer one or more products that they sell 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 making a sale?

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 why the first step in leaving the rat race via a portable, online income is to:

A) Think of a sub-niche that is exciting to you personally, and

B) Think of ways to create a product or service inside that sub-niche

This is the foundation you need to move forward and start building something durable.

For many people, until they 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 their frame of reference. When you don’t know how to do something, you find someone who does.

Failure to hire a pro to help them is why so many people are stalled year after year wondering “What the heck can I do online?” In today’s environment of exploding opportunity and technology, a better question would be, “What can’t I do?

The opportunities are massive and increasing.

In Part 5 we’ll take a look at ways of Evaluating Your Sub-Niche.


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