During the week of February 16th-20th (2015), I spent approximately 3 hours writing a few emails and one web page. The week after that, brought in just over $3,000 of income from those emails and that page.
How did that happen?! How was I able to earn $1,000/hr for the work I did?!
A Few Small Wins, A Home Run!
Not quite a year ago, I moved my WatchMeCode.net screencast site to a subscription service. Previously, you could only buy individual screencasts or bundled packages. With the new model, you could only pay a monthly subscription to access to everything. This has worked out pretty well for me. There have been rough spots, but over-all, it has provided a steady level of income for me.
But over time, I started getting more and more requests to be able to buy individual screencasts, or packages of screencasts – the way things used to be. Recognizing the “Shut up and take my money!” that I was hearing, I found a way to do the subscription model as well as bundled packages.
I released my first bundle the week before Christmas, 2014. Sales were ok. I think I hit 20 total for the week, and brought in about $800. Then in January, I released another screencast bundle and it didn’t do quite as well. I sold not quite 20 copies and brought in around $600. Still, this wasn’t bad. I was only spending a handful of hours on putting the bundles together.
Through these first two bundle sales and the feedback that I was getting, I realized something very important about my products. Not everyone was able to, or willing to, pay for a monthly subscription. People still wanted to have access to my screencasts, though. And once I started making them available to everyone – both on a monthly subscription basis, and on a one-time-sale basis – I was able to increase my customer base significantly!
All of this leads me up to the last week of February, 2015 – that’s when I hit my first real home run with these screencast bundles, bringing in more than $3,000 for approximately 3 hours of work.
Over the last however-many-months, I saw people asking for something and I wondered if I could provide that thing – a different way to obtain the screencasts that I was producing. This was something I had done before, so I found a way to make it work easily with my new site setup. The result was my being able to leverage existing content – content that I had already produced for my monthly subscribers – and sell that content in a different way, more than doubling my revenue for the month of February.
Leverage is a powerful thing – and it’s something that my friend John Sonmez has been talking about lately. He’s done an amazing job of leveraging his work to find new opportunities and new ways to promote that work. From podcast appearances, to articles in major websites, John has re-packaged and re-used content that he had already produced, and has been able to earn more traffic and more income from his products because of this.
Finding the right place to apply pressure can be the difference between success and failure. Leverage can help you lift an impossibly heavy object with little effort, double your website’s traffic, or help you earn $1,000 / hr.
Leverage Is Hard Work
While it’s great to talk about leverage and see the amazing effects that it can have, there’s a lot of hard work to get to that point.
John spent months of full time work writing his Soft Skills book (a book that I believe should be on every developer’s desk, by the way). It was only through the efforts that he put in to this book, that he was able to create the leverage he needed.
I have spent years creating screencasts, and put hours of effort in to each screencast I produce. I had already done the work of producing and release my screencasts on my subscription service. It was only because I had done this work, that I was able to create the leverage that I needed.
There are no shortcuts to creating leverage. It requires hard work, paying attention to your audience, persistence, and more work. But if you can find a way to make your efforts profitable in the first place, then you may also find yourself looking at a point of leverage on which you can lean.
Want To Earn $1,000 Today?
Charles Max Wood said this to me, after my first day of sales on February 23rd:
Want to earn $1000 today? You can (a) consult 6.5 hours at $150/hour or (b) sell stuff you’ve already made in a different way.
I put in the hard work. I kept at it, in spite of my desire to throw in the towel and quit. And when my point of leverage was presented to me, I chose option (b) and earned $1,000 because of it.