Alright, now that we’ve covered some ways you can start monetizing through affiliate relationships, which is a great way to start creating passive income right away so that you can concentrate on growing your audience and creating great content, I want to dive into brainstorming ideas for service creation.
How to brainstorm ideas for service creation
Why service creation?
When you’re first starting out, it’s likely that you won’t have a ton of resources available to help you with creating an actual product, and since service-based offerings are typically you trading time for money, it’s a good place to start when your focus is to figure out how to start monetizing your business.
What about scaling?… I don’t want to trade my time for dollars anymore!
Yep – we’re definitely going to dive into how to scale in our next chapter when we start brainstorming ideas for product creation :) …But first, it’s important to understand that you won’t always be able to scale – not in the beginning at least.
Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Okay, let’s start our brainstorming out by focusing on:
Finding out what the need is FIRST – what your perfect customer’s pain points are; and
THEN we’ll start talking about how to find ways you can create a services that can help solve that pain point (solutions).
Find out what the need is first
Ask yourself questions like:
What are some questions or requests that keep coming up over and over again when my audience reaches out to me?
What are some of the common themes that my audience gravitates towards in response to my content?
What are some of the recurring struggles people are talking about in the online communities I’m a part of that are related to my business idea?
Start by creating a list of all the things your audience (or those in your online communities) come to you asking about – or for.
What are the recurring themes that come up?
Try and make a list of at least 15 things you hear from your audience over and over again
Now it’s time to brainstorm solutions
Next, you’ll want to start thinking about ways you can solve the pain points your audience is coming to you with.
Perhaps the most common form of service creation is coaching, so that’s definitely an idea you might consider.
Some other service-based ideas that might help solve your audience’s pain points:
Taking on parts of a process that your audience doesn’t want to do
Software as a service (SaaS)
A community support forum
Okay, let’s break each of these down so you get a good feel for what might actually be involved.
Coaching is an amazing service not only because it’s in high-demand, but also because it gives you direct access to your perfect customer. While they’re learning from you, you’re also learning from them – uncovering new pain points and valuable information about what they’re struggling with.
You’re also making a huge difference in people’s lives, all the while, helping them also make a huge difference in others’ lives. This creates a great ripple effect and can be very rewarding and fulfilling.
Note: as a coach, above all else, you need to value and respect your own time. Don’t undervalue your time, and don’t let others take advantage of you.
Depending on your level of expertise and the amount of credibility and authority you’ve built up, I would recommend charging anywhere from $100 / hour to $1,000 / hour (and beyond if you’re REALLY good). ;)
Huge range, I know. But only YOU know what your time is worth.
If you find that one-on-one coaching is taking up too much of your bandwidth, or you’re not able to take on as many clients as you’d like, then you might also consider offering group coaching at a discounted rate.
You can check out the page John created for his coaching here.
Taking on parts of a process
One of the first products John ever created at EntrepreneurOnFire was called Pod Platform. It was a service-based offering where podcasters could sign up on a monthly recurring fee basis to send John their complete mp3 files.
Why would someone want to send John their mp3 files?
Because there are a lot of podcasters out there who don’t enjoy everything that comes after recording and editing, like tagging, uploading, submitting, scheduling… Pod Platform would do all of that for you.
There are also several podcasting services out there that will edit for you, create show notes for you, find guests for you… The opportunities to create services around certain parts of a process that people don’t enjoy doing are endless.
What parts of a process might you create a service around for your audience?
Software as a service (SaaS)
This one is a bit more advanced, and probably not something you’d create if you’re just starting out. There is a lot that goes into creating a SaaS offering, and so unless you’re a developer or have knowledge in this area, it’s probably not something you’re going to look at as a viable option.
However, if you do have the background (or a team of people who have the background), then software as a service might be an option.
Examples of SaaS products:
Webinar Ninja (a webinar platform that brings a lot of moving pieces together to help you host and present webinars. Fire Nation special! Enter code EOFIRE at checkout and save $100!)
Mobile apps (this might include productivity apps or a podcast app)
A community forum
Sometimes all people need is a platform to help them form a community of like-minded people who are there to help support and hold them accountable.
You could be the one to create a community forum that you host and then invite people into for a monthly service fee or other pay option you choose.
Determining what’s actually viable for you and your business
Now that we’ve covered your service creation brainstorming (so you first came up with ideas brought to you by your audience, and then you came up with some potential solutions), it’s important that you think about which of your ideas are actually attainable for you.
If you’re thinking about one-on-one coaching, then how many clients will you actually be able to serve?
If one-on-one coaching isn’t an option, then can you offer group coaching in order to serve more people at once?
Don’t know what makes sense because you’ve never tried it?
Start testing! Everyone’s bandwidth and everyone’s business is different. No one is going to be able to tell you what your time is worth or how much time you have – YOU decide that.
Here’s another example of how we got started out with services
After John launched the podcast and started gaining credibility and authority in the podcasting space due to his ranking in iTunes and his ability to land big name guests on his show, others who wanted to start their own podcast reached out to him for help.
Their biggest questions were around how they could start a podcast and launch with the same type of success that John had.
- Where do I start?
- How do I know what to podcast about?
- What should I name my podcast?
…were among the most common.
That’s when John realized there was a need for one-on-one coaching when it came to his perfect customer’s biggest pain points.
They wanted someone to walk them through the process.
So John started offering one-on-one coaching, and that service was one of the first ways we started monetizing EOFire on a recurring basis.
Remember, creating the right service-based offerings is about listening to your audience.
Okay, now that we’ve covered brainstorming ideas for service creation, let’s brainstorm some ideas for product creation!