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Offer your help to businesses for free, and they will likely hire you later on
A business model I like doing pretty often is contacting 1,000s of business owners and offering my consulting services for free. Well, I offer them for free to a certain extent, I won't do any of the work needed, but I will tell the business owner what to do and where to buy software or services if needed.
I thought of this idea about two years ago when I was helping a friend with their website. I was thinking, "My friend is very grateful for my help, and will gladly buy anything I recommend, so why am I not passing out affiliate links?" and the free consultancy was born!
Now I offer my services for free and direct people through my affiliate links, which I get a commission from, and sometimes the person I'm helping will hire me to do the work for them
Reach out to thousands of business owners
One thing you can do to increase your chances of bringing on clients for your free consultancy is using a contact form filling service and having them enter your information along with your pitch. These services will automate the process of going to a website, filling out the contact form, and submitting everything. You enter the information you want to send out, click "Send," and wait for the process to complete. Most of these services are web-based, which means you don't have to keep your computer running to finish the process, and that means you can sort of "Set and forget" about it until the next day when emails start coming in
Another way to contact these business owners is to scrape their emails, set up an email sequence, and hope to hit their inbox. This is much more complex but tends to be cheaper in the long run, and you will usually have more freedom doing it this way. If you're not tech-savvy, you should go with the form fill out services and avoid a few headaches lol.
Use your skill sets to help with anything you can
I've been working online since 2003 and have developed a lot of skills, not just SEO and Content Writing, so I usually can help a business owner with anything website related. I can't do the programming or design for them, which is why I suggest the DIVI theme where I get a nice commission but sometimes I have to recommend them to a designer or programmer that can help where I can't.
When you're talking to these business owners, you can give them a rundown of all your skills, or you can email these to them, and you should always remind the person that you're not charging for your time. They will almost always ask, "What's the catch? How are you going to make money out of this?" and you should be 100% honest by saying, "I don't make money by telling you what to do, when to do it, and where you can get things for it. What I do make money on is when people start doing the work themselves and realize they need 15 extra hours in the day to complete everything. I come on board and help out, which is when I would get paid, but I never charge for the advice I give out "
Sign confidentiality agreements if you need to
Almost every business out there will be worried that you're a spy trying to steal their ideas and market them as your own. This is why you should never shy away from an NDA form put in front of you or emailed to your inbox. You should gladly sign them, send them back, and start helping the business owners with anything they need. If you don't sign the forms, you will instantly lose a potential customer, and you can kiss that paycheck goodbye lol.
I've had plenty of people pitch an NDA form at me, which I signed right away and sent back, and it turns out they rarely have something unique, but they will usually bring me on board at some point, and that's when I get paid
Get paid when the work becomes a job
You need to know when advice stops and work starts because that's when you need to start collecting a paycheck. You can give them all the advice in the world, but as soon as you have to strike a key on your keyboard to code, design, do SEO, or anything else, then you should start charging them. I've had plenty of business owners say "Well, can you do this for free this one time and I'll pay you every time after that?" and my answer is always "Sorry, I give advice for free but if I have to do the work, that's when I have to charge for my time " (Remember to use emojis. They show you are an actual person, and it will help lower the guard of the person on the other end).
Offering your time for free, as long as you're not working, is something that can bring in a lot of clients. You'll need to know your pricing before you start offering free help. Otherwise, you'll run into walls like "Well, I can get that for $50 somewhere else" and you just lost a sale. Do plenty of research before launching, know what niches to stick with, use affiliate links when giving out free advice, and charge people for your time if you need to do all the work yourself
Thanks for reading
- Tommy Carey