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eBiz Weekly #17

Avoiding Stupidity and Making Money on Instagram

Hey there,

Writing to you from Amsterdam this morning, about to hop on a flight to Singapore. I’ll be in Bali by tomorrow.

My first time there, will be checking out Ubud first. Any tips or recommendations?

If so, drop them in the comments 🙂

Before I jet off, here are a few bits and pieces related to online business I think you’ll find interesting…

$30K/Year On The Side Writing Resumes

Some great takeaways in this interview:

  • Noticing that he “had over 1,500 LinkedIn connections and nearly all of them were employees,” he asked himself what service he could provide to them.
  • He became an “expert” at writing resumes by buying a course on the topic and going through it.
  • He launched his business with a post on LinkedIn, offering a free resume review. Half the people who took him up on that became paying clients. (This is the same as The Billboard Method you’ve heard me mention before.) There’s a screenshot of one of his LinkedIn promos in the article.
  • He started with a low price and kept raising it until he got diminishing returns.
  • Some encouraging words at the end:

You’ll often feel like you can’t do this or you’re not worthy or it isn’t worth it. Those are just roadblocks along the way that get you off track. Everyone has those. You just need to keep pushing forward.

Avoiding Stupidity

This is a great concept to keep in mind: most success is achieved by avoiding stupid mistakes rather than by doing anything particularly brilliant.

In the words of Charlie Munger (via Farnam Street):

“It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent. There must be some wisdom in the folk saying, `It’s the strong swimmers who drown.'”

What are the stupid mistakes you see your competition making? How can you avoid making the same yourself?

I asked those questions in our private Freedom Business Builder community recently and a freelancer responded:

For writing: Going into oversaturated niches like travel and expecting to find lots of high paying clients. Can avoid by picking the topics that are actually in demand. Hint: it’s things people DON’T want to write about that makes you lots of money.

Ground Zero Case Studies

I mentioned this last week but wanted to point you towards the article again as we’ve since added three real-world examples of such case studies: UX and product design, editing services, and product photography.

Took me a long time to find a good photography case study. Seems like most photographers don’t recognize the value of showing “how the sausage is made.”

The Extra Mile

I’m a big basketball fan, so I love this article about the San Antonio Spurs and their secret team dinners.

There’s a great lesson in there for anyone running a service-based business, online or off. Jeremy Threat was a 29-year-old restaurant manager who went above and beyond in preparation for one of those team dinners…

[Threat] explains how hours earlier, when he had learned that the Spurs might be coming in, he’d recalled a Wine Spectator magazine feature that had listed many of [Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich’s] favorite wines. He explains how he’d called a nearby friend who possesses a deep cellar, how his friend had hauled in about 120 bottles worth roughly $50,000 in total, how Threat had built the list that Pop now holds of 54 wines

Popovich was so impressed that he bought 20 bottles of wine that night, more than $15,000 worth.

As a result…

A few days later, Threat’s star begins to rise. Word spreads. He’s interviewed by the local paper. Guests begin pouring in, asking for Popovich’s list. And within a couple of years, Threat will go on to work with the acclaimed Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. There, he’ll engage with some of the biggest wine connoisseurs on the planet.

Making Money On Instagram

Ever wondered how Instagrammers make money?

One way is by selling presets, which are custom filters for Adobe Lightroom that other people can use to achieve a particular photo aesthetic.

This article in The Atlantic goes into more detail, and notes that preset packages can sell for up to $200.

Hold Fast

As per Brennan Dunn, you should be very hesitant to negotiate your freelance rate…

“Almost everyone who asks for a lower rate will pay what you originally quoted. Because I work — both directly and through osmosis — with literally thousands of freelancers, I can tell you it’s pretty rare to find a client who walks because they can’t score a last minute discount on a project.

Also, this is the surest way to degrade your professionalism. Professionals hold fast to their prices; amateurs don’t.”

That’ll do it for this week.

Rock on with your legendary self.

Niall Doherty
eBiz Facts

By the way...

Recommended Resources
Check out our collection of the best tools and resources for building an online business. Web hosting, email marketing, productivity, top-rated courses, etc.

Travel Hacker’s Toolkit
Our top recommendations for digital nomads: cheap flights, avoiding jet lag, booking accommodation, a travel-friendly credit card, a free VPN, etc.

Start Earning Online
A free crash course to help you build an online business, consists of 11 videos shot in Spain, Russia and Montenegro.

Freedom Business Builder
FBB is a private community of online business builders. Our 300+ members range from people just starting their first online businesses, to experienced online entrepreneurs earning thousands of dollars each month.

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  1. Hi Niall, I would suggest dropping in and checking out Bali Rescue Dog Squad, and Bali Rescue Society. Dogs (animals) are not treated well and animal welfare is non existent pretty much in Bali so these people are stepping up and doing an amazing job on donations only and volunteer efforts to rescue starving, suffering, injured abandoned dogs, check out @balirescuedogsquad Alison who is the founder is amazing, bring some dog toys/beds/blankets/ for the puppers! Thats the only way they survive.

  2. The ARMA Museum of Art and culture in Ubud is something. They have cultural shows in the evening, of traditional Balinese dance, etc. You’ll find a coffee shop and a very nice restaurant inside. If I remember well, they offer visitors a free coffee. Enjoy Bali.