3 Trendy New Ways Online Entrepreneurs Are Selling Their Services — And Killing It
These offer types are popping up everywhere.
Are you an online entrepreneur who likes to keep up on the latest trends?
Does the idea of selling your smarts in new, lucrative ways interest you or excite you?
The pandemic economy has dramatically changed commerce. Even if you’re an entrepreneur who sells services or information and have avoided the snarled supply chains and brick-and-mortar restrictions… your customers have changed.
That means you need to change, too. Maybe that course or workshop or membership or coaching package or mastermind or freelancing offer of yours needs to evolve into something new.
So let’s jump right in. Here are three formats I’ve been seeing fellow online entrepreneurs pivot to that have been absolutely crushing it.
#1: VIP Days
Pricing: $1,000 USD — $10,000+ USD
Clients need your help to remain focused. As Cal Newport notes, many people have days where they never actually do any deep work at all.
They spin their wheels, get pulled in a hundred directions, and never seem to have time to get the important, impactful stuff knocked out. They are simultaneously overwhelmed and underdelivering.
That’s where a VIP day comes in. A VIP day is a half-day or full-day experience that forces both you and your client to slow down, completely focus, and make huge progress.
A VIP day is a half-day or full-day experience that forces both you and your client to slow down, completely focus, and make huge progress.
Here’s a really high-ticket example: A former peer of mine was a highly connected influencer in New York City. He offered a $25,000 VIP day where he sat with you for four hours at his apartment.
After an hour or two of 1-on-1 positioning work on your business and brand to determine who you actually need to be connected with, he would then shoot off some texts and make some email introductions.
You might scoff at this service.
And don’t get me wrong: Four hours for $25K is pretty stiff.
But if you’re running a business, you need to find the right service providers. You also want warm introductions to some very influential people.
From that perspective, $25K is really not that bad.
- A single bad hire can cost $25K.
- A failed advertising push can cost $25K.
- A yearlong business coach who turned out to be gaslighting you most of the time — poof, $25K gone.
As your business grows, the sexy numbers like revenue and profit get bigger, but the mistakes get more expensive, too. It becomes increasingly worth it to pay for access to trustworthy industry partners.
VIP offers should *feel* VIP
Your client is essentially paying a premium to cut the line, step over the velvet rope, and get a high degree of access to you.
In a VIP day, you’re charging a premium for speed. Does someone want you to write an email sequence for them or create their website RIGHT NOW? Charge triple your rates, block off the whole day, and deliver the goods in a fraction of the time.
Amusement parks do this all the time with fast passes. Airlines do this with priority boarding and other perks. You should do the same.
Here are some other excellent VIP day offerings I’ve seen recently:
- Software setup in a day — You help someone get all set up in Asana/Slack/SamCart/LeadPages/Dubsado/Google Drive/Kajabi/something else. They tell you what they want, you help them finalize the strategy, you build it, and then you hand over the keys.
- Content calendar in a week — How would it feel to have all your posts or emails done and ready to go for an entire quarter? Write someone’s content for them — maybe even offer to schedule it out — and then sign off.
- Rapid research + strategic plan — Okay, okay, this was one of mine. Clients didn’t want a publicist, but they did want to know the right outlets to pitch, the right people to pitch, and what to say in their pitch so they could do it themselves. So we did all the research, wrote the pitches, and delivered it on a silver platter in five business days.
You would be surprised at what people will pay to solve their problem now rather than later. Consider giving premium access for a premium price.
#2: “Brain On Tap”
Pricing: Varies, but usually starts at $250+ USD/month
If the answer is yes, consider a “brain on tap” offer. This is a more casual coaching offer in which clients have your ear to answer questions or give guidance whenever they like.
Limit your access to weekdays and set the expectation that you’ll respond within one business day to make this more manageable.
My favorite tool for brain-on-tap offers is Voxer. It’s a Walkie-Talkie app that allows for read receipts. They have a free option, or for $4/month you can get the Pro tier, which allows you to transcribe and/or download any voice memos as well.
Need to show something rather than talk about it? I live and die by Loom, a free screen recording app. Record a Loom to explain or show something, then send the link to your clients in their Voxer channel. Voxer works nicely on a phone, but there is a web app as well if you want to keep your boundaries tight.
There are entrepreneurs all over the place who literally charge $300/month, $500/month, or even $1,000+/month for Voxer access. It’s a light, lean coaching offer that is easy to scale up and down.
Um, WTF, $1,000/month for some voice memos back and forth?
Yes. And this brings up an important point: Time spent coaching does not equal value of coaching.
We have a construct in society that the amount of time spent doing a task equates to the amount of value delivered.
That’s not true.
Example: I don’t charge by the hour for writing, because that would actually penalize me for a skill I’ve spent years developing and honing.
It used to take me several hours to write an article. Now, when I really need to beast one out, I can do it in about 40 minutes.
If I were trading hours for dollars, my improved writing skills would actually result in me being paid less.
The same goes for your subject matter expertise.
Think about it: Someone tells you what they’re working on or where they’re stuck, and in a couple of minutes you can diagnose the problem and recommend a solution and some action steps. That’s mastery.
Your two minutes of coaching could create a huge breakthrough for someone. They’re not paying for the amount of time they’ve been coached; they’re paying for your ability to see where they’re at and guide them accordingly.
So you make your brain available on tap, your clients pay you for it, and everyone’s happy.
“Brain on tap” as a service is wildly underrated.
Pricing: $500 USD — $5,000+ USD
Help your clients implement the lessons they learn each week. Or — better yet — actually do some of the work for them. I’ve done this before in marketing programs where I made people’s lead magnets for them, and they loved it.
Accelerators will become increasingly trendy in the coming years.
Here’s why: Millions of people are bursting into the online space and starting their journeys as online entrepreneurs.
I searched “Great Resignation” just now, and while the search volume is small, the number of pages and outlets mentioning the term is enormous.
Screenshot from the author, taken on October 14th, 2021
So they scoop up an online course.
And then maybe an ebook.
And then maybe a membership or a paid newsletter.
And then in one to three years, these amazing and ambitious professionals will have 20 online courses on their desktop and a moderately good sense of how to make money online.
But they still won’t be getting the results they want
So their tastes will graduate from courses and develop a preference for personalized feedback, coaching, and support.
They won’t have a big payroll yet or be able to outsource tasks to agencies left and right. So they’ll go to an accelerator instead to get the best of both worlds.
Accelerators offer the right mix of direction, accountability, and community. It’s hard to do this online game by yourself; having outside eyes on your efforts can keep you sane and inspired.
The Final Takeaway
Markets change frequently. That magic online business trick that worked five years ago probably doesn’t work anymore.
If any of the above offerings resonated with you, consider giving them a try. You might find that it becomes your new favorite way to serve others in the wide world of online business.
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