How to Earn Money on the Side: An Earn1K Review
By James Kerti | Saturday 07 June 2014
I heard that Ramit Sethi was launching a new online course called Earn1K on the Side, and it piqued my interest.
I was looking for ways to generate additional income. The course seemed like a good fit.
(Note: From personal experience, I would **not* recommend taking this course or another like it if you don't have a stable financial situation of some sort. Make sure you're setting yourself up to succeed. More on that later.)*
I signed up for Earn1K as soon as registration opened, and I'm glad I did.
I'm not going through all the features of the course in this Earn1K review. You can read about those features on the website.
Instead, I want to highlight the three most important takeaways I had from it.
These are the things I learned that have fundamentally transformed my life and businesses.
1) Validate your idea at the beginning to set yourself up to succeed.
I see a lot of people mess up at the start and never recover from it.
They have an idea for something they could do to earn more money, and then they spring into action, buying business cards, setting up a website or a blog, and going to networking events to pitch their services.
Then, three months later, they've done a whole bunch of work and don't have any clients or revenue, nor do they have insight into where they went wrong.
And they understandably feel discouraged and want to give up.
If you follow the Earn1K model, you'll go through some easy-to-execute steps at the beginning to see if the idea you have is worth acting on, if it's actually solving a problem that people are willing to pay you to solve for them.
You don't need business cards, or social media, or a website to test it, and those things will actually get in the way at the beginning.
Instead, you'll test the idea in the real world by getting as clear as possible on who your potential clients are, and meeting them and getting in their heads as to what their problems are and how you can be of service.
Start with finding out what people need, rather than what you want to do.
This insight helped me immensely in getting involved in basketball, both as a scout and as a web designer. I talked to dozens of people in the industry and noticed that I kept hearing the same things that people needed help with over and over.
And I stepped in to help.
By validating your idea early on and getting some quick results, you build confidence and momentum without wasting your time and energy.
This one insight has been foundational in me generating tens of thousands of dollars in revenue and lasting relationships with key clients and friends.
2) Speak your customer's language: benefits, not features.
To summarize, features are what you do. Benefits are what your customers get.
I'll give you an example from my web design business.
My customers need new websites for their businesses.
They want more sales of their products and services. They want to generate more leads. They want those leads to convert better.
Those are benefits.
My clients don't particularly care what database software the site is running, or what specific hosting company we use, or what content management system we use.
They just want something they can use that works and that will get them the results they want. They don't need to understand all the details.
It took me some time to fully internalize this lesson because I came from working in software where I was around other tech people all the time. I experienced setbacks while I figured out how to communicate the technology work I did to non-technology people.
It's an extremely important lesson, and equally important is the second part, speaking the customer's language.
What words do they use to describe their problems?
As Ramit says, "When was the last time someone sat down with you and asked you sincere questions and was sincerely interested, genuinely interested in your answers? It doesn’t happen very often, so when it does, we love it."
If you can show someone that you understand their problem, by listening to them and speaking the same language they use, you create an incredibly powerful connection between you and them.
That connection is the foundation of your business relationship.
3) People have to be able, willing, and motivated to pay you to work with you.
Yes, it sounds obvious, but this area is the single biggest challenge I ran into when I first started freelancing.
Moreover, I've met literally hundreds of entrepreneurs who are struggling with this same problem.
Here's the thing.
You need to find people who, first and foremost, have the money to pay for your services.
A lot of coaches (especially life coaches) make this crucial mistake, trying to sell their services to people who are broke.
They can't pay you!
Secondly, the person has to be willing to pay you to solve this problem. It has to be something they care about enough to pay for.
For example, I like cooking, so I'm not going to hire a personal chef. If you tried to sell me on the idea of you cooking me food regularly, you'd be wasting your time.
Finally, they have to be motivated to take action on it.
This insight is the key one that too often gets overlooked because it's part of them being "willing." Anyway, It took me a while to learn this lesson.
Someone may have money and a problem they know they need help with, and they may even feel like it's something they'd pay for.
But if they're not feeling motivated to take action to solve the problem now, they're not going to pay you for it.
They don't just need to logically think it's a good idea to work with you--they have to feel it too.
The problem has to be big enough for them to want to fix it right now.
Earn1K Review Conclusion
Look, I've generated tens of thousands of dollars in revenue thanks to Ramit and Earn1K. All those ideas and strategies from Earn1K have been the foundation of my businesses.
Not only that, but I've gained a foothold in my dream industry thanks to the contacts I made using these strategies.
I hope this Earn1K was valuable for you, but don't just take it from me.