In honor of the new year, we’re going to have a special class. I’m going to teach you how to make some money.
The strategy is very simple: you’re going to create an offer and email it to 50 different business owners per day. This is the exact strategy that I used to start my digital nomad career in January of 2018, plus I’ve also updated it with some additional tips you can use if you want to supercharge things.
This guide is intended to generate fast money. You can literally start doing this today and be making money tomorrow. Realistically it will probably take you a week or so because the correspondence will be done via email and it may take some time to handle the details of the back and forth.
Freelancing for dummies
There are no convoluted steps in here. You are literally just emailing people with your offer, sorting through the interested replies, and closing the deals as best you can.
I am not going to tell you to do anything complicated like start a YouTube channel or make a website just to start looking for customers (although I will explain some optional strategies like these), because this guide is supposed to be quick and easy.
The idea is that you’re spreading your message to at least 50 people per day. If you do that for 30 days, you will have exposed your offer to 1500 entrepreneurs.
I don’t care how stupid you are, if you ask 1500 people to pay you for a service, I 100% guarantee you’ll find someone willing to hire you. Probably more than one.
The benefit of doing things this way is that over the course of a month, you will have the opportunity to constantly iterate your email templates until you find a combination that works. Maybe charging the client $400 is too much, so you adjust the price to $300. Or you make two packages – one for each price point and give them a choice.
Play with it. See what works.
I guarantee that if you do what I tell you to do in this guide you will have clients by the end of the month. Even if you’re a complete retard.
So without further ado, I give you…
@YallaPapi’s 10 Magical Steps To Making Money Online
- Find a customer
- Offer them a product or service in exchange for money
- If they say yes, go back to step 1
- If they say no, ask them why not
- If it’s a legitimate concern, tell them to contact you if things change
- Just kidding – it’s never a legitimate concern
- Solve their fake problem by using “what if” statements and steer the conversation towards the cost of the product/service
- Offer them a deal
- If they say yes, go back to step 1
- If they say no, go back to step 1
This is it right here ladies and gentlemen. This is the magic formula that’s going to get you on your feet so you can start building your empire. And since I know there’s a chance that you may be dumb as shit, I’m going to do my best to explain it to you in such a granular way that minimal thinking is required to start executing.
Find a customer
This is the internet. Customers are everywhere. Every website is a customer. Every member of the forums you visit is a customer. All of your Facebook friends are customers. Steemit users are customers.
Everyone. Literally everyone has the potential to be a customer.
I personally like to sell services that have a broad appeal like social media marketing. Every business (and even some vain individuals) are interested in this kind of thing. Most of the time it’s just for the ego boost. Fortunately for us, entrepreneurs are some of the most vain people on the planet.
For our purposes, we are going to be pasting emails into a spreadsheet and using something called a “mail merge” to send them all at once. There are simpler ways to do this but they cost money. This one is free.
To find the email addresses, you have two choices.
You can either Google the businesses one by one and paste their emails into the spreadsheet (use Google Sheets). Or you can buy a list of emails. There are plenty of places you can do this, but again, this costs money. If you don’t have money, just do the free version.
When I wanted to find crypto clients, I would go to ICOalert) and scrape email addresses from all of the individual sites. It took me about 45 minutes to get 50 as sometimes they didn’t have their email listed on the page so I had to get it from the company Facebook page. If I was feeling adventurous, sometimes I would just fill out the contact form on the company’s “Contact Us” page.
That said, you can use any website that has links to a lot of businesses. Yellowpages.com, Yelp, Craigslist… whatever.
These days, I use Paigham Bot to find my customers.
Paigham Bot is a contact form submitter that automatically fills out tens of thousands of contact forms per day. You can read my comprehensive 5000+ word guide on using Paigham Bot here.
I’m sure you can imagine how useful that would be for lead generation.
BONUS: If you are looking for some additional sources of lead gen, you can try these options:
- Subreddits that talk about your industry
- Facebook groups and pages based on your industry
- Use a contact form submitter like Paigham Bot to do outreach
- Use a bulletproof email server to spam the internet
- Google Adwords
- Facebook/Instagram paid ads
- These additional subreddits where shameless self-promotion is okay:
Offer them a product or service in exchange for money
If you have products, by all means try and sell them. But chances are you don’t have a bunch of products lying around, so most of you are going to want to stick with a service.
Plus, it’s hard to come up with a product that businesses across the board will want to buy. Staplers maybe?
Anyway, pick a service that all business could plausibly need. Here’s a few ideas:
- Blog management
- Article writing
- Business development
- Facebook page creation
- Instagram account growth
- Twitter management
- Pinterest page growth
- Web design
- Email marketing
- Lead generation
- Traffic generation
The great part about this strategy is that you don’t actually need to know how to do any of these things in order to make money. You can always outsource the work to someone on Fiverr if you want. All you have to do is close the deals.
Of course you could just do the work yourself and pocket the money. The benefit to this is that you’ll actually learn a new skill. This may come in handy when you want to hire people in the future as you’ll be able to better tell if they know what they’re doing.
Another option is to strike a deal with a company that has an affiliate program. I do this sometimes now with my contact form campaigns.
I contact the company and tell them I’m a lead generation expert. If possible, I convince them to give me a branded email (or something close to a branded email) and then I run the campaign as if I were on their team. I put my affiliate link in the initial email so that I’ll get credit for any sales that go through.
You don’t have to do things this way, I just find that it makes the work more efficient. The software does the lead gen automatically, and then the company I’m an affiliate for services the client. All I have to do is write a few emails back and forth, but once I’ve iterated sufficiently into some templates that convert well, it’s just a matter of copy and paste.
At this stage in my development, I’d rather do things this way than actually do the work myself. But when I was just starting out, I never outsourced anything because I wanted to make as much money as possible.
But either way can work. And as I mentioned before, this is the EXACT strategy that I used to get my start as a freelancer. Ghetto as fuck – but it worked.
Assuming you’re using the C and P strategy, you’re going to want to load the emails into a Google Spreadsheet. Then you’re going to want to download a plugin called Yet Another Mail Merge (YAMM).
A mail merge is basically just a fancy way of saying you’re going to email a bunch of people at once from your email address without using CC or BCC.
With YAMM you’re allowed to email 50 people per day on their free tier. I believe their paid tier allows you to do 500 per day. So you can step it up if you want, but that’s up to you. I think their paid tier is like $20 a year or something.
I used Gmail as my email provider for this, so if you somehow managed to make it to 2019 without Gmail account, now is a perfect time to set one up.
One useful feature is that Gmail will allow you to set up and save form emails (they call them “canned responses”) that you can send out to your different campaigns. Since we’ll be doing this on a daily basis, we’ll use this feature to save time.
Here’s a link that explains how to do it.
Option 1: Bury them with information
Once you’ve got your email template all set. Just run the mail merge with YAMM and select the template you want to send out.
Here’s an excellent link that talks about how to send cold emails.
I talked about this in my Paigham Bot article, but basically you have two ways to send a cold email:
- Give them tons of information so they can decide immediately if they want to work with you
- Just give them a taste of what you can do to pique their curiosity and encourage further correspondence
It’s up to you to find out which strategy works better. Currently I’m using the second one, but when I started out I was using the first one. I would send a 700 word email that was broken up into parts like this:
Introduction: (Hi my name is…)
Background: (I found your site on ICOAlert…)
Free advice: (In order for your project to be successful, you need to do x y and z…)
My offer: (I can help you with all of these things…)
Samples and proof: (Here’s some samples of work I’ve done for similar companies)
Call to action: (Hit me up if you want to hire me…)
I’ve found this works well if you are branding yourself as a freelancer or one-man-show. YMMV.
Keep in mind that in order to use this strategy, you’ll need to actually provide samples. If you don’t have any, then you COULD just point to some similar samples and saying that you did the work involved. If you do this then you run the risk of companies checking, although in my experience they seldom do.
I’ve had maybe 3-4 people send a message to the pages I’ve listed as samples trying to notify me that someone was claiming ownership. Isn’t really a big deal IMO, but then again I also come across as a professional in my emails and would include several links to my social media profiles as well.
Option 2: Short and sweet
The second option is much simpler:
Introduction: (Hi my name is…)
Reason for contacting: (We provide a service for businesses like yours…)
Call to action: (If you’re interested, let me know…)
Experiment with both and see what works best for you.
You get paid to talk
Normally, if people aren’t interested then they simply won’t respond.
Occasionally you’ll get @$$holes who will rage at you for sending them unsolicited emails, but just ignore them. Resist the temptation to make a witty comeback as it’s a waste of your time. We’re doing this to make money, remember?
The responses you get will mostly fall into one of the following categories:
- How much is it/Can you send me a proposal?
- Do you do X? (Where X is a service that you didn’t mention in your initial email)
- Can you show me samples?
These questions are all essentially the same: the client wants to know what you’re going to do for them and how much it’s going to cost.
In my experience, the best thing to do here is come up with a detailed plan that explains what and how you plan on doing for them. This is where your second email template will come in handy.
If our first email template was the initial contact, then the second one is for interested parties.
When I was using this strategy, I would send them something like:
Greeting: (Thanks for the response…)
Proof of thoroughness: (After taking a look at your project…)
Plan/Proposal: (Here’s what would work best: A, B, C, etc…)
Price: (The total for all of this is $X00/$X,000)
Optional Price Reduction: (If you’ll let me use you as a reference, I’ll give you a 20% discount)
In theory, you can use this template for any of the positive responses you get from leads. If the client asks a specific question that’s not covered in the template, then just add a few sentences in the beginning of the email so they know it’s unique and not a template.
Client asks, “Look great, but do you guys do Twitter?” (No mention of Twitter in the original outreach)
First few lines: “Hey John, thanks for getting back to me so quickly. We actually manage quite a few Twitter pages for our clients, so you could say we ‘do Twitter.’ ;)”
CUZ THAT’S HOW I TAWK
Use your own judgement on what kind of tone you want to take with the client. In my experience, you want to be professional but still let them see you’re a real person.
When I have phone convos with clients, sometimes I talk about my personal life. I’ll complain about my wife and kids (I don’t have a wife and kids), or if I feel like being honest then I’ll tell them about how much fun I’m having on the beach in Thailand.
This works best with small business owners.
If you’re talking to a braindead “Marketing Director” of a corporation who got her job because she has a 4 year degree but no entrepreneurial experience to speak of, then you’re going to want to be a bit more professional.
But all entrepreneurs respect the grind and know that what they’re doing isn’t taught in McUniversity’s Ivory Tower, but rather on the grimy streets of Hustleville.
Some clients will want to get on the phone with you. It’s up to you if you want to do this, but I recommend that you do. It’s great experience.
Learning to speak with business owners is an incredible skill. Once you can confidently hold a convo with an entrepreneur, a whole new world opens up to you. And being comfortable selling over the phone is easily one of the most valuable skills you can learn in the business world.
Most of the time, they just want to make sure that you’re not a complete retard or Russian hacker who’s cooked up an elaborate scheme to get their Facebook credentials.
In my experience, the best way to speak to business owners over the phone is to NOT try and sell them. This is not a hard sell here like in retail where once the customer disappears, you’re never going to see them again.
When you sell a service to a business, you communicate with them on an ongoing basis once they become a client. You can’t pressure them too much during the sales process (unless you’re selling sales training).
Furthermore, they already want to buy what you’re selling. Otherwise they wouldn’t be wasting their time. Unless they’re from India, in which case they’ll waste your whole fucking day and never buy anything from you. There are exceptions, blah blah blah. But generally not.
(NOTE: If they are of Indian heritage and from somewhere OTHER than India (USA, Mauritius, Fiji, etc), then they are actually great customers and will buy with very little convincing. Go figure.)
When you want to sell over the phone to business owners, the best thing to do is play it cool.
Make it seem like you have lots of leads and are just following up with them to see if they’re interested in becoming a client (which ideally should be the case anyway). They’ll likely have a few specific questions for you and as long as you can answer them to their satisfaction, then they’ll feel good about hiring you.
Think of it like a date: she would love for you to be a normal and cool guy that she could maybe have sex and get into a relationship with, but she just wants to get to know you a little better to make sure you’re not a serial killer.
Once you get this communication style down, it gets pretty easy.
If a client is on the fence, you can always offer them a slight discount to push them over the edge. Negotiating deals deserves an article all to itself, but for now just know that if you want to offer a deal, wait until the client tells you no first. Don’t offer it right out of the gate.
Tenacity = Godmode
If the client decided to hire you, good shit. You got one.
If they didn’t, it’s all good. Maybe they’re busy. Maybe hiring you isn’t high on their list of priorities. Maybe you accidentally pasted the wrong form email in your response to them or called them by the wrong name. It happens.
But remember that NOTHING beats persistence.
All you have to do is wait a few days and contact them again. I went over this in my Paigham Bot article a few weeks back, but the best thing to do is shoot them a quick email a few days later that basically says:
“Hey, do you want to get the ball rolling on this thing? If so, here’s a payment link.”
Obviously you’re going to word it differently than that, but that’s the message you want to convey.
Sometimes you’ll get a response and then you can take it from there.
If you don’t, just a few more days and send them a deal.
“Hey, that thing I wanted you to hire me for last week that was $500 is now $400. If you still want to get started, here’s a payment link.”
Again, I went over all of this in my PB article. So if you want a more in-depth look at exactly how I communicate with clients, go read that.
When it comes to negotiating, I would recommend that you don’t let customers bargain you down too much.
Yes, some money is better than no money. And looking back, I regret 99% of the deals that I turned down, but still – once a client sees that you’re desperate for business, it’s just a matter of time before they start making bigger and bigger demands.
PRO TIP: Have a starting price in mind as well as a minimum price. Never go below your minimum price, and never drop the price more than twice to the same client. And if possible, space the discounts a week apart, each.
Give yourself a fighting chance
There are some other tactics that you can use to help yourself succeed with this strategy. Most of them are free.
One thing that I recommend you do, especially if you’re just starting out, is to get your social media accounts looking sexy.
First of all, forget about all that bullshit you’ve heard about social media being bad for you and bad for society. That’s loser talk.
Think about it objectively for a second:
Social media sites are the biggest and most popular websites in the world. They enable you to connect with celebrities, professional athletes, and entrepreneurs in virtually any country. And you can use them completely for free.
Yes, if you use Instagram like a smooth-brained 14 year old who is looking for an escape from her unstimulating suburban life, then yeah it’s bad for you.
But if you go into it knowing that the majority of the world’s population is on at least one social media platform, then you’ll understand how powerful these tools really are.
Facebizzle my nizzle
I stopped using Facebook back in 2014 after one of the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts started blowing up my news feed and stressing me out.
To make matters worse, FB is the go-to site for when you meet someone new and want to stay connected with them without exchanging phone numbers. So because the 1000 or so people I had on there were all people I had met in real life, I was hesitant to use it in any regard. Big mistake.
When you give a client your personal Facebook page, they’re able to see that you’re a real person and not some shady subcontinent dweller running an IT scam.
And if you ARE a subcontinent dweller, hopefully you’ll be able to set yourself apart by using proper English and making your page appealing to your standard Western business owner so you can shake the stigma associated with people from your region.
Another great thing that FB has is groups. These are a great place to find people who are interested in whatever you’re selling.
Not to mention the fact that if you post about your new business venture on your personal page, some of the people you know in real life might turn into clients.
LinkedIn – The Original Circlejerk
This is a no brainer, especially if you have a B2B service.
To be fair, I think LinkedIn is a gigantic circlejerk – way bigger than Steemit (if that’s even possible). But who the fuck cares what I think? I’m just one person.
Am I going to let my ego get the better of me and think unproductive thoughts like:
“LinkedIn is just a bunch of wannabe Silicon Valley celebrities using empty corporate buzzwords to make themselves seem intelligent.”
Well, yes. But I can also see things for what they are and set up a sexy looking account.
There’s a saying in Yiddish: “If I am made to eat pork, it had better be of the best kind.”
If I am made to set up vapid social media accounts, they had better be of the beautiful kind.
Your blog (that hopefully doesn’t suck)
If you don’t have a blog, you need to make one and start populating it with some sexy articles. Or at least articles with clickbait titles.
One of the reasons I chose to continue hosting my blog here on Steemit is because of the community interaction. People are financially incentivized to comment on each others posts which is also good for me. It makes my blog seem like it’s actually popular.
Shit, if I wanted to, I could probably negotiate influencer deals where I write articles about a product/service in exchange for getting that product or service for free.
Fun fact: last time I was in Thailand, I almost did this for a 30 day digital nomad retreat. They still wanted me to pay the “at cost” price though, so I didn’t end up going through with it. But when you have one or more platforms where you are regarded as an influencer, these types of doors begin to open up for you.
If you don’t have a blog and don’t feel like putting effort into writing anything interesting, you can just steal content from Reddit and format it. I highly doubt anyone is going to do a Copyscape search for whether or not you were the original author.
It’s not 100% honest, especially if you claim to have written it. So you may want to consider rewriting the article. Or at least changing the title.
All that said, I noticed that the response rate to my emails skyrocketed when I started including links to articles that I had written. Very powerful.
YouTubers be like
Regularly making videos on YouTube is a new project for me, but one thing I experimented with when I started using Paigham Bot was including a link to an unlisted YouTube video where I verbally explained the process for the service I wanted to provide (managing a client’s Instagram account.)
Not only was this a great way to get views on my YouTube videos, but it also showed the client that I was a real person and willing to show my face on camera.
You’d be surprised how far that goes when you’re cold emailing someone and asking them for money.
Instagram – Good for retail, but what about B2B?
To be honest, unless you’re selling a service that has to do with social media (or specifically Instagram), you can probably skip this one. This generally works best for products because it’s a very visual platform.
Stuffed animals, beauty products, clothing, whatever.
Nobody wants to see pictures of you at your friend’s birthday party. Unless you’re a hot girl or a super ripped dude.
Twitter – I don’t get it
I still don’t see the point to this unless you’re a reporter or obsessed with politics. Skip.
When you have some gray in your beard
One thing that you’ll realize after freelancing for long enough is that it’s basically like a job.
Yes, it’s a job that you can do anywhere in the world, but it’s still a job. And jobs kind of suck. Unless they allow you the possibility of becoming world famous, which in case you can score sweet sponsorship deals where companies send you free shit just because you exist.
But if you use the strategy I outlined here, it’s likely that eventually you’ll find yourself extremely busy. You’ll be working long, grueling 4 hour days which somehow you’ll have to find a way to fit in between your 2 hour Muay Thai workouts and 3 hour tanning sessions on the beach.
I just want you to understand what’s in store for you.
Jokes aside, ideally you really will eventually find yourself super busy. You’ll get clients, referrals, and if you’re smart then you’ll figure out something to charge them for on a monthly basis so you can milk them for more of those sweet dollaridoos.
Taking myself as an example, my daily to do list looks something like this:
- Post to my Instagram accounts
- Read and reply to all my emails (I have nearly a dozen accounts)
- Film a video for my YouTube channel
- Edit the video (can take anywhere from 2-6 hours)
- Manage my clients’ accounts
In addition to those things, here’s a sample of stuff I have to do on a semi-regular basis:
- Run a new lead generation campaign with Paigham Bot
- Write a Steemit post (once every two weeks these days, but working on making it more frequent)
- Promote my videos on various Facebook groups (FB sets a limit on posting links on groups)
- Set up a new platform for my brand (Patreon, FB page, etc)
- Try out new paid services (VidIQ, BuzzSumo, etc)
- Brainstorm new video ideas
And in order to stay semi-sane, I need to factor in time to do these things as well:
- Train Muay Thai 2-3 hours a day (sometimes twice a day)
- Spend at least an hour a day at the beach (brown is the new black)
- Socialize with any interesting people in my life
- Go to the local Chabad house for Shabbat dinner (occasionally – depends on where I am)
This isn’t even taking into consideration all the small tasks that branch out from each of those bigger tasks.
For example, I don’t just film and edit my YouTube videos – I also need to reply to the comments, create thumbnails via Canva, and make a post on my personal Instagram page that explains the video and why people should watch it.
These little sub-tasks begin to add up after a while.
Granted, I didn’t start off doing all this stuff from day 1. Last year around this time I had enough time to spend 2-3 hours a day at the beach without feeling like I was slacking off, but I also didn’t have the digital presence that I have now.
And I’m still not where I want to be; but extend the timeline far enough in the future, and eventually I’ll get there. Which brings me to my next point…
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is today
In sales, oftentimes you’ll randomly hear from a potential client who will say something like, “Hey, I got a message from you a few months ago about that service you’re providing. I’ve been meaning to email you for a while. When can we set up a call?”
In your mind, this lead had been dead in the water for months. But in the client’s mind, he’d been waiting for the right time to stop procrastinating and get in touch with you.
You never know when this is going to happen, either. But in literally every single venture that I’ve started (most of which I eventually abandoned), I’ve experienced this lagtime of prospects getting back to me months after I’d already scrapped the project. If I had just stuck with it, some of them would have turned into dollaridoos.
You need to understand that just because the client doesn’t chomp at the bit when you tell him that you can get him to the number one spot on Google, that doesn’t mean that he’ll never become a client. You just have to keep your doors open for business long enough to give it a chance.
A common misconception of new entrepreneurs is that this “starting a business” thing is a one time event. You just do it and then magically you have a business that’s thriving and you can quit your job.
It doesn’t work anything like that. Your clients are human beings too and have their own mental bullshit they need to deal with. Procrastination isn’t just something that happens to people who work a 9-5. It happens to everyone.
You have to understand that whatever it is you’re selling, every little bit helps. You may think it’s a waste of time to post a link on a Facebook post by someone in a group asking for help, but you never know where that can lead.
Aside from my Steemit posts, I never used to do this. But since starting back up with the videos, I’ve seen the power of affiliate marketing. Those videos that I made will stay up forever, and if I can pepper them with Amazon Affiliate links, the commissions will start to rack up. And the longer I do it, the more proficient I’ll get.
It’s like that with anything. It requires a massive amount of work to grow, but once you hit the tipping point you’re not rolling the boulder uphill anymore – it starts rolling downhill on its own.
The strategy that I outlined in the beginning of this article is intended to help you get the ball rolling. It’s not going to help you create a multi-million dollar business overnight, but it will get you to start earning some money very soon. If you email 50 people a day this week you could even have a client by the end of the week.
It really is that easy. But like most things, people don’t believe that it is – so they don’t even try.
Hungry with desires or bloated and tired?
Once you start making money this way, you’ll start to subtly disdain people who complain about their money problems. With no website and no branded email, you’ll have gained clients pretty much just by copying and pasting templates that you’ve refined over time.
No, it’s not passive income. But unless you’re getting royalties from a book or TV show you were on, nothing is truly passive.
However, what you’ll realize is that over time, you’ll begin to want to do less and less work. As I said in the beginning of the article, freelancing is just a job that you can do from your bed. But it’s still a job.
This is why I am shifting my focus more towards affiliate marketing and YouTube. Create the asset once and get paid on it forever. It takes time to get there and it’s not a fast infusion of cash like cold emailing businesses, but long term it’s the superior strategy.
That said, you can combine the two if you’re feeling especially lazy. In other words, you can try using a cold email strategy to sell services or digital products as an affiliate.
I’m currently doing this for a service called Social Bloom (2020 edit: now defunct). One of the campaigns that I’m running right now is basically me posing as an employee and telling them about some great promotion we have going on. I include a link to the pricing page (with my affiliate tracker of course), and if the client makes a purchase I get paid.
The best part is that I don’t actually have to do any work beyond setting up the actual campaign – a process that takes less than 10 minutes.
This is another reason why I love using Paigham Bot so much. I can recycle lists over and over with different offers. All I have to do is find pages that convert well. Shit, they don’t even need to convert that well when I have literally millions of businesses that I can contact while I sleep.
Arriving at your problems in style
We’re all born as naked babies who don’t know shit, and by the time we grow up into adults hopefully we’ve learned a thing or two about how to navigate the world with minimal emotional baggage.
And while money doesn’t directly solve many of life’s problems, I personally prefer to deal with my problems from a tropical beach in a foreign country.
If you guys need help with anything I’ve mentioned in this guide, leave a comment below and ask me what you want to know.