While I’m no expert in side hustles or making passive income and would tell you to check out folks like Grant Cardone or Tim Ferriss who have taught hundreds of people how to set up cash-flow-generating side businesses, I do want to share with you how I was able to make an extra $1000 with just a few hours of work last weekend without spending any money.
The Experiment: Teach An Online Workshop Sharing Your Skills
For over two years I’ve been running a marketing consulting firm that’s helped #1 NYT bestselling authors, Olympians, Fortune 500s, Forbes 30 Under 30 honorees, VC-backed startups, and others with product launches and business development campaigns. After dozen of case studies and running live campaigns for clients to help them do crazy things like set crowdfunding industry records and quadruple sales in one month for more than $250,000 in revenue gains, I realize that the skills I’ve used in a high-touch consulting setting will also be valuable for others in an online workshop setting.
Your skills may be different. The trick is you just have to be good enough at some marketable expertise so that someone else could learn something from you over 60-90 minutes if you were to share what you know in an online workshop or other type of “information” product like a course or ebook. Your skills became an opportunity for a no-risk side hustle when there’s demand from other people for that knowledge.
Setting Up Your Workshop
However, your page need not look or read like mine. There are a few important components of my page that you should follow in order to get the most out of your experiment.
First, you should have a strong headline showcasing that you have expertise in helping your ideal workshop attendee get results they want. Mine reads “I’ve helped my clients double, triple, and even quadruple sales for six-figure revenue boosts (sometimes even within 30 days!)” Another great example is a headline from my mentor Hiten Shah who just posted a similar side-hustle test website for pitch deck reviews. His headline says, “We’ve seen thousands of pitch decks, formally helped 89 startups that have raised $976 million in funding and assisted on $24 billion in exits.” Anyone in sales is going to be curious about my headline and will read onward, as will any entrepreneur seeking funding want to read more of Hiten’s offering.
After your headline, add a clear description of the workshop and the value proposition for your attendees. Be as detailed as possible using 2-3 paragraphs to share why you wanted to create your online workshop and why it is important to your potential buyers. Then, list 5-7 bullet points of what someone will learn from your workshop, which will also help you plan what you will ultimately teach. Each bullet point should be worth the workshop’s price on its own.
Next, include 2-4 testimonials of prior work. Since my online workshop somewhat related to the client work I’ve done in the past, I have 4 amazing testimonials I included on my sales page that show results I have gotten for clients and help build credibility. For Hiten Shah, he has 4 testimonials from entrepreneurs he has helped in the past with pitch deck reviews since he’d done that service for free to help friends for years. The best testimonials share specific, metric-based results you’ve helped others achieve in the past.
Add a specific guarantee to show people you are serious. It isn’t enough to offer a money-back guarantee. You need to be confident enough in your expertise to offer 100% money back and something else, making it more than risk free for your online workshop attendees to register and pay you money. I offer 100% money back as well as a $20 Starbucks gift card to anyone who takes the workshop and finds no value in it. This makes it a “lose-win” situation where it is more than risk-free for someone to take my workshop. If they take it and find the information valuable, then they can implement that knowledge for well more than $99 in value to their business or personal income. If they take it and it sucks, they get their money back and make $20, meaning I lose money. This holds me accountable and fights people’s mental hurdles against spending money even when they know it is a good investment.
Update the information on your sales page as you get questions about it because, as you try to sell your online workshop, you can answer objections and FAQs in the text of your sales page rather than continue answering people 1-by-1, making your presentation stronger.
Price your online workshop between $99 and $199 per ticket. You’ll get higher quality attendees and only need 5-10 sales to make this extra $1K in side income. Hiten Shah has his new services at $900-$2500 which is higher-priced, but he’s also partnered up with another person to drive demand, and has an email list of hundreds of thousands of people. Also, most of Silicon Valley knows his work and will be pointed to him at one time or another. This just means he’ll need even less people to reach his side income goals.
Promoting Your Side Hustle
I sent personal messages to 20-50 friends with a link to the workshop over the weekend, letting them know I’d be posting publicly about it on Monday and that there was only 25 spots available in total. I tested reach-outs including:
- Asking friends to flat-out buy a ticket.
- Asking for introductions to 2-3 people specifically.
- Asking for introductions, but suggesting that the workshop may be good for them too.
- Asking for feedback on the workshop’s sales page.
- Following up with people who previously wanted to buy stuff from me or had wanted to hire my firm but couldn’t afford it.
Figure out what type of messages people are responding to best and send more of those. These should be easy sales because you are messaging friends, the value-prop should be painfully clear, and you are able to use scarcity and exclusivity to your advantage by limiting class size (I limited to 25 people this time) and stating you’ll post publicly about it shortly (meaning they should buy now to ensure they’ll get a spot).
For me, these messages alone resulted in 10 sales in just a couple hours, and now I’m doing a few different activities to spread the offer further, including posting on social media, asking friends and registered workshop attendees for introductions, sharing my expertise online and utilizing “content marketing”, partnerships and offering discounts to certain friends to share with their communities, and perhaps paid advertisements.
If you follow these steps, you should have an online course or no-risk side hustle of your own that will allow you to make an extra $1000 in a few hours. For me, I accomplished this using Eventbrite and Facebook Messenger as my tools and sat poolside in Thailand while I sold these tickets. Next week, I will fulfill the workshop and teach my group from a hotel room in Tennessee before keynoting the following day.
If this was valuable to you, I would love to see you use this information for your own side hustle this weekend. Of course, you should also consider registering for one of the final spots in my online workshop “How To Quadruple Sales In One Month” which only has a few tickets left and was the inspiration for this post. If you have any questions about the workshop or this article, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.