Many clients ask about what kind of campaign/business/product they should launch, and the recommendation is almost always the same: Be helpful. Almost every single product exists because somebody decided there was a need for a new product/service that did not yet exist. Creating said product filled any void and helped customers solve their problems.
Before reading this post, please note that there is a lot of transparency on this issue and your opinions and ideas will ultimately shape your business decisions.
Why You Should Be Helpful
I would think it is self explanatory, but when you help people, they feel better about you. Even the smallest gestures create feelings and emotions about you and your business.
How Being Helpful Makes Me More Money
Here are a few small examples of how being helpful also made me more money.
- I created a product review page. A random person posted a link to my site on Yahoo Answers and I got a handful of sales from that link alone. I helped someone make a decision, and I made more money.
- I have created a handful of guides (Increase FB Ads CTR, Profitable POF Ads, FB Keyword Targeting, Profitable Dating Ads, Gain Email Subscribers) and people love them. Links have been posted on forums, other blogs, and people continue coming back to comment. Thank you for linking to my content, it makes me happy that people enjoy it and can learn from it.
- I have not posted a referral link to any networks in my blog/emails, and I continue writing great content. People email me specifically for my referral link to join under me because they want to help me since they appreciate my content. If that doesn’t say “thank you”, I don’t know what does.
The important piece to remember here, is that when you go out of your way to help people, they appreciate it. It will not be an instant reaction (I have been blogging here for 4-5 months and just got my first external links) but it will definitely be worth it.
Helpful Business Model Ideas
As always, let me provide you with a few ideas that you can probably use with any niche to build a business.
IDEA 1 – Email List Building Business
I have been working on building email lists to see how this can work best, and I have drawn a few conclusions:
- Give your customer something up front – Over-deliver if you have to, but providing them with a guide, tip, or coupon code up front, will drastically increase the chances they join your list.
- Don’t overload them – Depending on how long you plan to blast them, don’t send multiple emails every day. I would suggest anywhere between 2-5 days for each message.
- Continue helping – Just because you are being helpful does not mean you cannot make money. Offer products/services that will help solve their problems and watch the money roll in!
A lot of marketers are talking about how to build a business around email lists, and you really could use this business model with ANY niche.
IDEA 2 – Informational Business
This has been around forever and is not going anywhere. I personally don’t find this as interesting, unless of course you are writing content about something you truly enjoy. In that case, it should be very exciting.
Here’s how it works:
- Pick a topic you like and start a site/blog.
- Write great (useful/helpful) content for your readers.
- Continue creating content and promote it. Eventually, it should be able to promote itself or with the help of your readers.
- Allow advertising (or manage it yourself) to make money.
That is a very simplified idea of the informational business, but again, this can be used in ANY niche.
IDEA 3 – Product/Service Creation
This is the most advanced of the three business models I’m going to explain. Think about what you do every day online, in your house, car, etc. Do you ever say “wow, I wish I had XXX?” If so, and you have the means to do so, why not create it?
Take this a step further and build it in with either IDEA 1 or IDEA 2. Build your list/site and eventually send them your product. This is great because you can completely custom tailor your product to your customers and drastically increase the amount of money you can make. At that point you can also take on affiliates and REALLY ramp up your income.
Putting It All Together
Let’s put everything together and ‘build’ a business together.
- So you love cars and want to help people save money on car repair costs. I would suggest building a site AND a list, but separating them would be fine too.
- If you build a site, write content about rotating tires, checking tire pressure, changing your oil, checking fluids, monitoring tire tread, etc. Nearly everything you can think about that could go wrong with a car, explain it in complete layman’s terms.
- If you build a list, offer your customer a FREE guide on the 3 most important preventative maintenance measures that will save thousands of dollars (don’t make it so wordy, but I think you get the point). Offer them something to help them and show them you know what you are talking about.
- At this point, continue writing content on your blog and/or publishing tips to your email auto-responder. Every now and then you could either toss in a product guide, or you can make your own.
- Write a complete car maintenance guide for the everyday person. Put seriously everything imaginable in this guide: Making sure your paint is protected, windshield wipers, checking brake lights/signals, changing lights… EVERYTHING.
- Sell the guide and make money from your list. You can then gauge whether or not they enjoy it and/or whether or not you should go into more depth about any specific area within your niche. If tons of people love the guide and want to know how to do XXX, create new content/products for them. Help them!
I think this makes sense how you can do this with almost every niche too. This is not easy and takes A LOT of work. On top of that, there is no guarantee that it will be successful. It’s a matter of building it and believing in it. If you are honestly working to help people and you are knowledgeable about the niche, I really don’t see how it could fail.