One question I get asked all the time in some form or another is this:
What should I be offering at this stage of my business?
In today’s post, I’m going to tell you!
Do you ever feel like there is an infinite number of possible business models to choose from?
Are you supposed to offer services?
What about products?
Should you do high-end custom services?
Is that even leveragable?
Me? I had to “throw shit at the wall” for a couple of years before I figured out what worked and what didn’t.
I’ve looked back on my own experience as well as that of other successful entrepreneurs and what I’ve realized is that there are 4 key stages to every online business.
Watch today’s video to find out what they are:
Level 1 – FREELANCING + CUSTOM SERVICES
The first level of business is when you’re just getting started, or you’re starting a new idea. During this phase, you are trying to figure out what you like to do in this bigger category, in this bigger industry. You might be new. You might not have a ton of skills. You might be honing your skills. You might be figuring out how you can really help people, what people are craving, what people are asking for.
This freelancing and custom services is what I believe is a reactive phase. It’s not so much about you going out and deciding what kind of work you want to do and people buying it, but telling people, “This is the general category of work I do. This is the industry that I’m in,” and people telling you what they need, and then you doing what they need.
If you are getting freelance projects or writing proposals, you’re doing a collection of lots of different things, this is what I would consider the freelancing and custom services stage.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’m not a big fan of you staying in this phase for too long, and yet a lot business owners get stuck here.
The key to getting out of Level 1 and into Level 2 is NICHING.
LEVEL 2 – SIGNATURE SERVICE
When you niche, you are making a declaration that you are going to get specific and solve a very specific problem. You don’t have to solve that problem forever, you just need to solve it right now for as much time as it takes for you to get known for that one thing. When you niche down and you do signature services, you’re going to start to build a lot more momentum for your business.
This is really when you start making a full time income from your business. In phase one, is part-time, and in phase two, is full-time. Your signature service is when you start systematizing everything. You start creating leverageable materials for your service. You have marketing materials. You have an application form. You know what clients to say yes to and what clients to say no to.
You don’t take on projects that are outside the scope of your signature services. Then what happens is you get to a point where either you decide you don’t want to offer services anymore, or you want to create more leveraged income, maybe you’ve hit a ceiling of how much you want to charge for your services, and you want to create some other income sources.
You have a choice here. Your choice is to create an agency model, where you will have people working for you who are helping you with that client work because you have more than you can handle, and you might need to raise your prices there. Or another thing you can do, which is what I’m going to talk about, is you can launch some “passive” income products, and I have “passive” in quotation marks.
LEVEL 3 – PASSIVE INCOME PRODUCTS
What I really want to talk about is creating little products, little passive-income info products that you will sell on your website.
The great thing about passive products is that they’re great for people who can’t afford your services, who aren’t ready to work with you, who maybe just had worked with someone else, or they’re not going to work with you.
You can still create resources for them. There’s a lot of different ways you can create passive income products. Passive income products can come from leveraged materials you were already making for your services.
LEVEL 4 – SIGNATURE PROGRAM
There’s going to become a point where you realize there’s a greater need and that either you completely want to stop working with clients and you’d like to work towards doing that, or you see that people want to work with you in a greater capacity doing some deeper work that you don’t necessarily want to do one-on-one.
You want to leverage your business. You want to scale. You want to be able to work with more people and help more people. That’s where creating a signature course is going to come into play.
A signature course is an online course group program. It doesn’t have to be an e-course. It doesn’t have to be the type of thing you see everyone else doing. The essential elements of a signature course are that you’re working with many people at a time.