It happens a few times a week...
Some poor guy or gal sends me an email because they've heard of the magical power of Sales Funnels and they want to start building them, but...
They don't have anything to sell.
I then spend about 10 minutes writing them a reply on the various ways they could start selling products and services TODAY.
And, well - I'm tired of spending 10 minutes, 3-5 times a week, writing essentially the same thing...
Plus, I know if I'm getting that many emails with the `same question, there are probably 10X that number of people who aren't emailing me.
This post is to serve you.
4 Ways To Start Making Money Online TODAY Even If You Have Nothing To Sell
First things first, this is not an "end all, be all list" - there are more than these 4 ways to start selling something today.
So, if you don't like what I'm about to show you - that's fine. Try something else, it won't hurt my feelings.
However, I've used these 4 methods MANY times and know from personal experience they work and can prove to be incredibly lucrative.
1) Start Drop Shipping
Drop shipping is a model where you don't have to hold any inventory, yet you're able to offer hundreds to thousands of products.
How? Here's an example:
- You go to a site like AliExpress or work directly with a manufacturer
- You find a product you think people will like
- You list that product on an ecommerce store, or within a sales funnel 😉 and markup the price
- When someone buys the product, you take that money, buy it from the manufacturer, and ship it directly to your customer - pocketing the difference
Pros Of Drop Shipping
- Low startup costs - You can literally list products for free
- Low risk - Since there aren't many costs associated with it, you don't have much to lose
- You keep the customers - When someone buys a product, they buy it from you/your business. You get their information and can form a rapport with them
Cons Of Drop Shipping
- Highly competitive - Since there aren't any real costs associated with it, anyone can do it. But, don't let this discourage you, simply do it better!
- Low margins - Comes back to competition. You're not offering anything unique, anyone can offer the same product you are. It can wind up as a race to the bottom unless you're careful, strategic, and make yourself the best option
- Inventory syncing & management - It can be a massive headache to keep track of what is/isn't in stock and when prices change
The Drop Shipping Sales Funnel Model
The sales funnel model you will likely use to offer drop shipping products is what I call the "Front End" or "Classic" sales funnel model, and it looks like this:
Finally, I've written an extensive post on how to start drop shipping with AliExpress that can be found by clicking here.
2) Take Advantage Of PLR And MRR
PLR stands for Private Label Rights and MRR stands for Master Resell Rights.
These are white label digital products like eBooks, guides, video training, and even software that you're able to slap your name on and sell as your own.
That's right! One minute you don't have anything to sell and the next, you've "published" an eBook!
Pros & Cons Of PLR And MRR
The pros and cons list for PLR and MRR are pretty much the same as drop shipping with a couple exceptions... incredibly high margins and no inventory management.
Since PLR/MRR are digital products, there's no cost of goods, which means it's pretty much 100% pure profit! Then, of course, since it's digital, you don't have to worry about inventory, selling out, or anything like that... there's an "infinite" amount.
Beyond that, selling PLR/MRR is incredibly competitive because it's easy, quick, and very low cost to get started. It's OK tho, that just means you need to find a way to stand out - and here are a few ways to do so:
- Changing the cover and title of the PLR/MRR product. This way, at least it looks different than what's out there
- Rewrite the PLR/MRR product and place your own spin on it. This can be a lot of work; however, it can pay off tremendously in the end
- Include other, complementary products and resources with the PLR/MRR you're selling
The PLR/MRR Sales Funnel Model
To sell your PLR/MRR products, you will likely use the same Front End sales funnel model that's outlined in the drop shipping section above.
Simply put, it's the best sales funnel model for selling "cheaper" products (<$50).
Find PLR/MRR To Sell
There are a TON of sites that sell PLR/MRR, but my favorite is MasterResellRights.com.
It offers a massive selection of PLR/MRR for only $19.97/month (hint: join for 1 month, download what you need, then cancel)
3) Offer Productized Services
A productized service is a set service that's sold for a set amount.
There's very little interaction and negotiation.
For example, I'll cut your grass for $40. You spend $40 and are left with a nice, freshly cut yard.
Need some productized service ideas? Checkout fiverr.com, there are hundreds of thousands of them! By browsing through fiverr, I'm confident you'll find a handful of productized services that you can also offer.
Pros Of Productized Services
- You can start offering a productized service this very second, there is nothing holding you back
- Repeat customers are quite easy, unless you mess up the first time
- It's easy to upsell. You can offer more of what they purchased, faster delivery speeds, enhancements, complementary productized services, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Cons Of Productized Services
- You're exchanging time for dollars... unless, you outsource the workload!
- It can be very competitive for simple tasks, so you need to have a unique value proposition (UVP). One of the simplest UVPs is to be the fastest. Most people who purchase productized services want that service accomplished yesterday. By being the fastest (while still providing quality, of course), you will stand out!
Tip To Getting Started
Most people will not purchase a productized service from you unless you have proof you can deliver what you promise.
When you're first getting started, you probably won't have much proof. To change this, offer your service for free in exchange for a review/testimonial and as work you can include in your portfolio.
Once you have proof, the sales will come much more easily!
The Productized Service Sales Funnel
The Front End sales funnel outlined in the drop shipping section above is the perfect funnel model for offering productized services because there are so many upsell opportunities.
However, if you don't want to get that complex, sticking with a simple sales page funnel can still yield amazing results:
4) Sell Other People's Products
If you don't have your own products to sell and you don't want to find one (drop shipping, PLR) or make one (productized service), you can always sell someone else's and earn a commission for making the sale.
Think about a car salesman for a second. He doesn't own the car he's trying to sell you, and he definitely didn't make the car. Yet, he's still trying to sell you the car and when he does, the car manufacturer "thanks" him by giving him a commission.
Why can't you do the same thing the car salesman is doing? Probably not with cars, but can't you help some other business try and sell their products?
Sure ya can! In Internet speak, it's called affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing's Bad Rap
I want to address this real quick because I've seen people turn up their nose the second I mention "Affiliate Marketing"...
Affiliate marketing gets a bad rap because individuals blindly spam promotions for affiliate products without knowing a thing about the product or the customer they're trying to reach. They're selfish and chasing commissions which leads them to do sketchy things.
If you think about it, in any industry you'll find sleazy salesmen. It's just with affiliate marketing, it's so cheap to promote affiliate offers that sleazy salesman can spread the sleaze on a grand scale with ease...
But, you don't have to be a sleazy affiliate marketer.
You can be a good salesman that cares about the products you're offering and the customers you're offering them to.
It's your decision.
Pros Of Affiliate Marketing
- It's easy and costs nothing to start
- All you have to do is make the sale. You don't have to run customer support, deliver the product, or anything like that
Cons Of Affiliate Marketing
- While you may be the one to get the customer to purchase the product, they're not your customer... unless, you make them so! (read the sales funnel section below)
- You don't control the offer, commission, etc. If the seller decides to stop selling the product, or stops offering affiliate commissions, or changes your commission... there's nothing you can do about it. You're at the mercy of someone else. The key here is to promote multiple affiliate offers so you're diversified and not dependent upon one offer for your livelihood
The Affiliate Marketing Sales Funnel
When it comes to promoting affiliate offers, you probably don't want to send individuals directly to the sales page... instead you will want to use a Bridge Funnel:
A Bridge Funnel allows you to re-frame the affiliate offer and incentivize it with bonuses.
For example, let's say I want to promote ClickFunnels as an affiliate. It's a product I use, believe in, and feel good about recommending.
I could simply send you a link to register for ClickFunnels... and, maybe that works OK.
But, if I used a Bridge Funnel and incentivized you registering for ClickFunnels by offering you over $1,000 in free training and resources, you'd probably be more apt to sign up for a ClickFunnels account. Right?
Then, to claim your free training and resources, you'll have to forward me your receipt and I can enter you into my database as one of MY customers. So, not only am I going to increase sales by offering bonuses, I'm able to turn people into MY customers too!
A Few Popular Affiliate Networks
Many companies offer an affiliate program, so if you have a product you want to be an affiliate for, simply Google: [product name] affiliate program. If that doesn't work, message the company to see if they offer one.
Here are a few of the most popular affiliate networks:
- Amazon Associates - sell any product on Amazon and earn a commission
- Clickbank & JVZoo - really big affiliate networks with mostly digital products and huge commissions. Some of the offers on these networks are spammy/scammy seeming, so use good judgement
- CJ & ShareASale - I find both of these platforms kind of hard to use; however, they offer a wide selection of products that you can promote
There you have it...
- Drop Shipping
- PLR & MRR
- Productized Services
- Affiliate Products
... 4 ways you can start making money online TODAY even if you have nothing to sell!
There's no reason why you can't get started!