John Murch

Unique Business Models

07 Apr 2011
Unique Business Models

One thing that is always on my mind is the business models. I am always amazed at the various ways you can sell a product or service.

For example, say you want to be a blogger and write content in a specific niche. You could do that whole fail-vertise (great you made $2 today!) with adsense and buysellads and hope that you have enough to make it while you scale your income and traffic.

Another interesting caveat with business is the spend model. How you can leverage spending with confidence because you know your estimated Cost Per Acquisition (eCPA) and your Lifetime Value (LTV). So the more you spend the more you will make in both a short term and long term environment. With a negative capital business you could in theory scale without needing the initial upfront costs because you have locked in your eCPA.

I have spoken about the Monetization Wheel, but thinking outside the box it’s time to review some unique business models.

-Wearing Shirts
-Hosting a Monthly Event
-TechVideo Series

I Wear Your Shirt – Talk about an awesome Job! You wear t-shirts, talk about companies, and focus on promoting yourself and your clients brands online through social media. Iwearyourshirt started out as $1/day on Jan 1st and $365 on Dec 31st growing by $1/day during the year. Now there are 5 Iwearyourshirt people so it’s $5/day and grows to $1825/day. I got the chance to meet Jason Sadler at SXSW who is not only awesome but killing it with model and additional models like monthly sponsors, etc. uBlanket is actually going to be on Iwearyourshirt so keep a eye out on July 8th

Meetup Group – Paid Meetups are nothing new, but could you make a living with it? Depending on how you structure the content and sponsorships, you could. For example, say you hold a meeting once a month and get 200 people. You get a sponsorship for the venue, food, and some other clients (e.g. supports of your meetup like salesmen for a product all your attendees could use). So $20 x 200 = $4000 just for the cover at the door. If you lock in some exclusives you could get that up to $5k or $10k depending on other special events. Not a bad way to make a salary by hosting 1 event a month!

As for an example, although it’s not via Meetup, Graham Lawlor hosts ultralightstartups – It’s really inspiring and amazing to see someone help the NYC startup community as well as have an opportunity to build up a self sustaining business around the monthly event, which is now also being done simultaneously in Boston. He is killing it with video streaming and twitter voting! I am really excited to see whats next for Graham with UltraLightStartups.

Crowdsource a living – There are plenty of new websites to not only leverage a simple skillset (fiverr) but also leverage real talent such as ideas for products with Quirky. Design skills either spec work like 99designs or Brandstack or real design skills posted up on ThemeForest.Net. There are plenty of other crowdsource ways to make a living, but just wanted to mention it.

TechVideos Series- Take a look at Peepcode, they are creating niche videos and charging a flat rate per video or a yearly subscription. In addition to the subscriptions, Peepcode has company payment plans so if you have 3 developers, you can buy once and show to all 3. Finally a way for a company to make money even when it’s being passed around internally. Okay, so what are these videos. Just think of any technical topic relating to development and it’s either been created or in the works. Okay maybe not that granular, but all the hottest topics in development focused around Ruby on Rails such as using git or Rspec.

YouTubeMillionaire – Yes they exist and you would be surprised at WHO is making a killing. Some comedians do well with this model where you have a $0.10 CPM but the video gets over 4MM views so that’s $400.00 now do that 5 days/week for a year and that’s over $100k! The most interesting niches especially on YouTube to watch and see millions of views is Starcraft cometary (H 2 the usky) and even applying makeup. These two niches are a perfect example of someone who enjoys something as a hobby and then show’s how to do what they do in a free environment but now with paid advertisement they can make real money with their knowledge.

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