How to Bring in New Income Fast by Offering a New Niche Service: Part One.

Starting your own business or getting out of a slump from the one you have can seem like a daunting endeavour. There is so much to do, learn, implement, etc and perfectionism usually gets to the best of us. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Whether you are just starting freelancing or your current business isn’t bringin’ in the income you need, the steps to make it happen are actually quite simple.

I see people all.the.time. trying to overcomplicate things. But here’s the reality:

Making money is just about discovering what you can do, what people will pay you for, and a way to get in front of those people.

I get asked often, how to get out of a freelance slump (or get started in the first place). I wrote a post about my favorite 5 ways to do so here. One of those ways is creating a new niche services and that’s what I’ll be talking about in this mini-series.

I want to show you how easy it can really be. And there is no better way to do so than by showing you in real-time, with a real person.

Introducing….my Frenchy Mathieu (AKA Mamat).

Mamat makes money online

Mamat is a jazz musician and makes a decent living already with this primary passion of his in France. But, we’ve decided to move back to the US. And in the US (or anywhere for that matter) when you arrive in a new place it can take some time to make connections in the music world and start getting gigs and making money.

The international move (with a little Asia vacation thrown in) also means I won’t be able to take on as many full-website clients and would like to have some other less time-intensive services to offer.

With that in mind Mamat would like to start freelancing online in order to bring in some income, no matter where (or for how long) we are in transition.

Mission: Start Making Money Online / Introduce a New Offering for my Web Design Business.

Here are the steps Mamat is taking with my help so that by the end of the month, he’ll be making income online from an entirely new business/offering.

**Important note: this works if you are just starting OR if you have already started but your current offerings aren’t flying off the shelves and you need something new to bring in some extra income.

Step 1: Determine what skills you have and what you like to do.

Mamat is tech savvy, he’s able to learn new software quickly, and is quite creative. As a musician, he knows how to record and manipulate audio files, create video clips, and choose appropriate music for a brand. He also knows his way around WordPress, CSS & HTML. Recently, he was the cameraman and video editor for Heather and I when we were creating our videos for The LEAP Guide.

So with that in mind, here’s the shortlist he came up with:

  • Build websites
  • Edit videos
  • Compose jingles for videos
  • Teach entrepreneurs how to properly record audio and what tools to use.
  • Create a course teaching jazz or drum techniques
  • Create video intros/outros

Although many of these things interest him, he had to consider his primary objective first and foremost: What is the quickest and easiest way to start making money that I can do from anywhere?

From the list above, he decided his best option was to create short videos like intros/outros for video bloggers.

Lesson: If you want to bring some money in the door fast, whether from your existing business or a new one, create a new niche service you can start selling asap. Meaning, not something that you need 6 months to learn or that is a premium high-priced service that would be harder to convince people to buy.

Step 2: Put feelers out for interest about a specific service.

After deciding on a first idea to try, he needed to make sure it’s a service people are actually looking for and willing to pay for. I certainly needed his service so he started with me and created a first example.

We then both reached out to our friends, family and connections, simply asking if this is something people want & need.

Here is some of the response we got:

FB response

Lesson: Clearly, this is something people want and need, so it’s worth moving forward with. If you don’t get this kind of response, go back to your list and choose something else. There is no point in putting a ton of effort into a new service or business without knowing if people need it. Or, to get through this step even faster, put feelers out for 2-3 different services and ask people which one they need.

Besides finding out if people need a service, putting out feelers also gives you an initial interest list of people to contact once the service is ready. Not only do I have these names to go back to, I often grow my newsletter list when I put feelers out like this because people are interested in staying in touch to find out more.

**Important note: Just because people say they are interested, doesn’t mean they’ll take out their wallet when you actually offer it. So if you are really short on time (need money fast), ask some people that told you they were interested to actually pay. This way you’re not wasting more time on the next steps only to find out you can’t actually sell it. In Mamat’s case, he has some time to experiment, so he’s willing to go on to the next steps and take the risk of not being 100% sure people will actually buy.

Step 3: Learn new skills or refine those you already have related to the new niche service.

Now that he has chosen the service he’d like to provide, and gotten a great response that people actually want it, he needed to ensure he had the skill-level necessary to actually execute it.

He researched the tools professional video creators use and found online tutorials and courses to help him advance his skills.

He looked at different video intros/outros that people already had in his target audience, practiced recreating those same effects and found a tutorial on any detail he wasn’t proficient in yet.

Lesson: You don’t need a college education to offer a new service. If you have chosen a service correctly for the objective of making new income fast, it should be something you already have base knowledge of or a similar skillset you just need to refine. If that’s the case, you will likely be able to find help developing the skill on Lynda, Skillshare, or udemy for example.

Coming next week in Part 2: How to get examples for a portfolio, testimonials and first clients who actually pay you!

These first steps should take you 1-3 weeks MAX. Mamat took a little longer because he was just taking time to explore the possibilities. If you are set on bringing in more income, fast, you can do all this in a week or less.

How can you apply this to your business?

Instead of waiting around or pushing harder to market your higher-priced services, find a small problem people need solved now and create a can’t-resist niche solution for it.

As an example: I might not be ready for a 3-month social media management and strategy offer, but I certainly would like someone to create 30 shareables for me right now so I can get that off my plate. Sure, big services bring in the big income over time. But if you need to get out of a slump and make some money fast, keep it simple, keep it small!

Here are some random examples of small niche services you could offer to bring in extra income fast:

Web designer: Google Analytics 1-hour training or SEO optimization for all past blog posts
Copywriter: A naming services for just taglines, product or service names
Writer/Editor: Optin freebie writing services with pdf design included
Social Media Manager: Create quote images with clients’ branding to share on social media.
Videographer/Filmer: Add annotations to all past Youtube videos
Health Coach: Freshdirect weekly grocery shopping (you add it all to the shopping cart online, customer pays and you send recipes that go along with it)
Facebook Advertising expert: Create ad visuals that pass 20% text rule.

Tell me in the comments:

What kind of new niche service could you offer to start bringing in new income fast? And if you’re not sure, tell me what your business is and I’ll put my brainstorming, thinking cap on to help!

Continue reading with the next part in this series: How To Bring In New Income Fast By Offering a New Niche Service: Part Two.

-Leah

P.S. If you are in need of a professional video intro/outro for your videos (and a steal of deal intro price to boot), be sure to get on the list below to not miss out on Part 2 of this series or let us know in the comments below! (See what I did there, gathering more interest to set Mamat up for success and to see if this is a viable service!)

Leah Kalamakis Leah Kalamakis is the founder of The Freelance To Freedom Project and a web designer/developer for brilliant entrepreneurs. When she’s not hanging out in the FTF Community, you can find her people watching on the streets of NYC. Come say hi on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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{ 42 comments… add one }
  • Leah- love this. I just made the leap from teaching to freelance writing/editing, and finding clients can be daunting. I’ve done technical writing, resumes, rental ads, website copy, writing coaching…for friends and family. It’s difficult to know where to start, but a small niche service makes so much sense. I’m going to start brainstorming my new service- I’d love to hear what writing problem you and the FTF readers need solved!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Yes, niching down can really help. I’d much rather hire someone that has a service specifically for what I need that just hiring a general person with experience in many things.

      I see that you do PDFs- that is a great one! That’s one of the things I added on to my design services and was a great way to bring in new clients for a niche service.

      In terms of writing, although not my top priority, now that I’m ready to stop DIYing everrrrything, things I have problems with are writing sales emails during the a launch of a program, optin freebies, or video scripts.

      • Thanks Leah. I had thought of doing launch emails or an email onboarding series (when people sign up for your list) because I know a lot of people hate writing those…I’ll definitely be putting some thought into this. Great posts!

        • Christine I would go for both of those services because I hate doing them but know they need to be done!

  • I’m a designer and illustrator, and I offer lots of smaller services, like hand-painted watercolor logos and custom social media banners. This is a narrow niche with not a lot of competition, and so far I’ve had some luck. I think it just takes patience to build up to where you really want to be. Looking forward to Part II!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Ah that sounds great, hand-painted logos! Definitely niche. I agree it takes some time, but glad to hear you’ve had some luck!

  • Leah, this might be my most favorite post of yours, ever.
    It’s not only the first time I get to see your guy, this is just amazing, high quality info.
    You never disappoint, do you?
    Loads of love,
    M.

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Haha, you haven’t seen him yet? I thought for sure he popped in the background on a skype call or two 🙂 Glad you loved the post Maria, thank you!

  • The inspiration! So good. Wow. I’m a writer and life coach for high achieving women in corporate jobs who to lead a different life. I’m also an ex accountant. I could create customisable spreadsheets that help clients figure out how they would financially handle a change in career path.

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Oh that sounds perfect Ollie, great idea and really needed!

  • Wow — it’s like you read my mind — i so needed to read this today 🙂

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      So glad! Hope you’ve thought of some good niching ideas- although I love your biz in general and think it’s pretty niche.

  • Oh, I Looove case studies, missions accomplished and inspiring stories about French beaus 😉
    Best of luck to you both and thank you so much for the inspiration! I’m having a similar mission this month and totally agree that overcomplicating things is the evil that keeps money away. Get clear, take action, ask for help – always works for me.
    Bisous 😉

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Oh I’m so glad! Good luck on your similar mission!

  • Great breakdown, Leah! Eager to read how it turns out 🙂

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Yes, it’ll be interesting! Love framing everything as an experiment, makes putting new things out there so much easier!

  • Leah, this is EXACTLY what I needed to read today, I have JUST gone freelance this week with ZERO savings or income (crazy I know) and I am daunted by the freelancer/odesk/peopleperhour websites so I’ve been sitting here fretting all week wondering how I am going to get that immediate money and experience in that I can then put into a portfolio/garner testimonials from.

    Thank you SO much for the examples, I can do the social media bits, SEO optimisation, and am also thinking about going down the health coach route as I graduated from IIN this year but didn’t want to do the in-person coaching…

    You are a life saver!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Not crazy at all in my book! I think going all in is the best way to get the motivation and drive it takes to work for yourself!

      Good luck!

  • Super Value as always Leah! Great case study. 🙂

  • Great tips Leah! I’m launching a new lower priced brand identity offering very soon (hopefully sometime next week!) and am glad to see I’ve already unknowingly crossed a lot of steps off your list! Phew 🙂

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Nice! Can’t wait to see it.

  • What a great post! Sometimes it’s the little things you don’t think about but are important. This brought a few ideas to mind! Thanks! 😉

  • Great case study Leah! I am working on coming up with some niche offerings right now. This post definitely gave me some good ideas. I can’t wait for part 2!

  • Awesome ideas, Leah! This article just sparked an idea in me – I’m thinking of doing longer-term graphic design packages as well as a “quick fix” of design (ie

  • Awesome ideas, Leah! This article just sparked an idea in me – I’m thinking of doing longer-term graphic design packages as well as a “quick fix” of design for each of my specialties. Thanks for the great tips! By the way, your video intro looks awesome 🙂

  • Deb

    A personal story loaded with usable tips; awesome. Thanks for this. (and good luck to you both on this adventure!)

  • Maisie

    Hi Leah

    I love the “case study” approach to this post!

    Work is slammin’ for me right now (it’s both overwhelming and awesome). I’ve recently come across several people who need video services… like, yesterday. I’d love to hook your adorable man up with them. 🙂

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      So glad work is slammin’! It’s funny how I never noticed people needing videos before, but now it’s poppin up everywhere. Would love you to send any leads our way!

  • Love this! I have a lot of people compliment my designs (especially my script art) and some who also ask directly if I can do some design for them, which is fun 🙂 I’m going to post this up on Facebook like you and see if I can gain some interest… will report back!

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Oh please do report back! I want to hear how it goes!

  • Love this post and how you tied in all that free consulting you probably give your French beau into a valuable blog post as a case study.

    I’ve been wondering how I could do that with my husband’s success in the ice swimming world… all my PR, blogging and social media advice has paid off and he has a “in the news” page on his website that’s full of links from interviews and articles, and he got his first big name brand sponsor. Perfect for a case study on how to get in the news.

    And I totally need to just get my short blog and video training course launched. I tested the need in a few fb groups and to my email list and got lots of response about the fear and challenges people face.

    My bigger vision is for a 8-10 module course that creates a system, but I can offer a 4 wk course on the basics to getting started with video and blogging. The bigger picture view and finding a juicy program name has stopped me from moving forward.

    My 4 wk launch plan is is laid out but I’ve not even set up my sales page yet…so silly that this is holding me back even though I’m teaching people to “just put it out there” and “perfect is the enemy of done”. (Ahhh I see a blog post in the making!)

    Thanks for sharing your tips in such a personal way.

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      I know how easy it is to get stuck in the little details. I think you totally need to just get it out there! You’ll get so much valuable insight having real students and then you can adjust and pivot along the way.

      And how awesome that your PR has worked with your hubby. Definitely a good case study!

  • LOVE THIS LEAH!! Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I’m a videographer and editor as well and have been thinking of different ways to earn money within my skill set. This is a great idea to implement something small 🙂 I have a great online network, and now I gotta start putting my feelers out there for what people want!

  • Wow! This was a super useful post and exactly what I’ve been thinking about recently.

    I’ve got 2 ideas I’m tossing around…need to put those feelers out! I’m a designer with a love of organizing. I’ve though of doing custom planners, or daily to-do worksheets.

    I’ve also considered offering brand reviews. No design, just feedback & recommendations for DIYers.

    Love the advice you have here. thanks Leah!

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE this approach – and your Frenchy did an amazing job on not just 1 but 2 intros for me! It was time for a refresh of my Challenge and instantly, I had people asking where I got those intros. Made a BIG impact!

    And I’m telling people all the time – niching down can launch your biz. You can grow and evolve much easier when the cash is flowing in the door!

  • Abby

    I had so many people say that pinnable images for bloggers is a needed market. I have a graphic design degree and knew I can pump those out easily….and I’ve done two in two months. For the same client. I don’t know how to break into the circle of people who a) have the money to hire someone to do it for them but b) aren’t so developed they’ve got it all handled already.

    • Leah Kalamakis Leah

      Well first thing is to offer it! Do you have an offer visible that you promote or are you just offering it to current clients of other services? Make it a visible thing on your website. Send it out as a new special offer to your newsletter list. Post in FB groups with a special offer. Reach out to people directly who you’ve noticed don’t do a great job at putting images in their blog and give them some free info about how to do it. Write blog posts about the importance of good images or why Pinterest can help you grow your business and be sure to link to your new offer at the end. Post in groups just educating people on how images or Pinterest will help their brand (with no link). Create a freebie related to it that you promote and at the end of the pdf talk about your service. Do it for a “steal” price (that you still feel like it’s worth your time and are comfortable with of course) that people can’t resist and get some testimonials!

      If you still are only getting two in two months, maybe it’s the way you offer it or maybe it’s not a needed market, in which case, try something new!

      Your point A: there are always people that have the money to hire others to do things they aren’t good at or don’t want to do. As for your point B: people that are developed doesn’t mean they have it handled already. Maybe they’re doing it but would love to hand it off to someone else!

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