Internet businesses usually follow an arc of evolution — like most businesses, in fact.
You might start by offering a service locally. If you’re a coach, designer, consultant or health-based service provider, you usually start this way.
Stage 2: Get a website
Then, you decide that you should have a website. Why?
- To increase the perceived level of expertise and to look more professional
- To have a place to send people so they can find your hours, make an appointment (with an online scheduling service) or read about your services
But soon you realize that with your website, you can reach people outside your local area. You can take on clients via email and phone.
Stage 3: Expand beyond local
To expand your horizons, you do 3 things:
- Start a blog to attract people to your website
- Use social media to create a following
- Write a regular newsletter
But you’re still offering a service to individuals. As a result, your time is taken up — hopefully — with clients. This limits your income because you have only so much time in a day.
Stage 4: Offer events & products
The solution to expanding your income is to offer events & products. How does this work?
First let’s talk about events.
Let’s say you offer a 4-session course–4 hours. Perhaps your hourly rate is $100/hour. You offer the course for $200 so people pay 1/2 your usual rate. This is very attractive to them. If you get 5 people to take the course, you make $1,000 for 4 hours work, increasing your hourly rate to $250.
Look at it in table format.
|Type of service||Cost for each person||Hours worked||People helped||Total income||Rate/hr|
|Individual||$400||4 hours||4 people||$400||$100/hr|
|Group event||$200||4 hours||5 people||$1,000||$250/hr|
That’s pretty powerful, isn’t it?
Now, let’s talk about products. There are lots of types of products, but for now I want to discuss products that don’t involve your time. They are self-contained and delivered electronically.
A product could be:
- An inexpensive e-book costing $4.95 to $24.95
- A self-study course costing $49 to $249
- A site membership costing $9 – $99 per month ($38 – $1188 per year)
- A webinar recording costing $24 – $97
There are many other options and you can include personal attention in your product to increase the value — and price.
Let’s say that you sell 10 e-books per month at $9.95 each. That’s $99.50 (there will be some processing charges subtracted). It isn’t much, but it’s like an extra client each month — and once you set it up, you don’t have to do very much to make that money.
Once you develop a small stable of products, you can offer them in your newsletter. In my PowerPoint Tips Newsletter, I always have a Product of the Month. I offer a 15% – 20% discount. This simple step brings me a nice income each month with very little work.
Why I’m hot on events
I’ve written several e-books and given loads of webinars. Even if I write an e-book based on content already on my blog and get my Virtual Assistant to put it together, I need to edit and adjust formatting. This is time-consuming!
I believe everyone who wants to expand into products needs an e-book. In fact, it should be the first product you create, but events bring in more money with less work.
For example, I did a series of 5 webinars on PowerPoint-related topics. I made decent money from them. But now, I’ll market the recordings to make even more and the money will flow in effortlessly.
My 1-hour webinar scripts are usually 10-15 pages and a webinar sells for $47 to $59. Compare that to 50 pages for an e-book that sells for $19.99 or so. Writing that e-book takes lots more time and sells for less.
Which stage are you up to?
Where is your business in its evolution? And where do you want it to go? Do you have questions? Leave a comment!