If you work with clients, at some point in your career,
you've probably been asked, "What's your hourly rate?" or "How much do you charge per hour?"
Now, you and I both know this question isn't totally
relevant, even if you provide services like I do. Because it
doesn't really matter how much I charge per hour. What the
client really wants to know is, "How much is this going to
But they don't want to pay some astronomical hourly fee,
either. They want to feel like you put some effort into
So what you really need to know is, "How much is it worth to
this client to have this problem solved?"
Sure, I could quote an hourly rate. But usually I don't.
They'd be shocked. Because I've been doing what I do for
about 30 years, so I can often write a brochure in "record
time," which wouldn't pay me enough to stay in business.
So I don't charge an hourly rate. I charge for my "smarts"
-- my knowledge and experience. And if the project rate is
within the client's budget, they're willing to pay it.
But how'd you like to get out of the piecework business
altogether? I know I would!
That's why lots of people take the risk of commissioned
sales. That is, they sell something and then get paid a
commission--no salary. And some programs, like Mary Kay,
are two-tier commissioned sales--meaning you get commissions
on what YOU sell AND you get commissions on what your
"downline" sales force sells.
So you and your underlings go out and beat the pavement,
looking for new and returning customers to sell makeup to.
You also keep your eye out for more sales reps who want to
join your team, too. You'd never think of advertising your
product in the newspaper, would you? No, because Mary Kay is
Well, the online world of marketing has taken this a little
farther. It's called affiliate sales.
Some programs pay one-tier and some pay two-tier
commissions. It's basically the same as Mary Kay. But what's
different is that usually you're being paid for "electrons"
instead of makeup.
Someone writes an ebook that you decide to sell for them
through your website. You put it up in your store, and then
you forget it. Every once in awhile, someone buys it and you
get a commission. Maybe you've recruited others through your
affiliate link to sell the same product. They put it up on
their website and make sales. You get a commission every
time you sell the product AND every time your downline
affiliate sells the product.
AND you have the option to advertise the product using pay-
per-click campaigns on Google and Overture (and other
places). You write such a good ad that tons of people click
on it and visit your website. Because you have such a
terrific sales page for the product, let's say that half the
people buy it when they visit.
Now you're cookin'!
You also improve your search engine rankings--meaning you
do all the right things and every time someone searches on
your keywords, you come up on the FIRST PAGE of search
results. So more people visit your website.
And while they're there, they might buy something or not.
Or, they might see a Google ad that interests them and click
off to someone else's site.
You got it! You make money on that, too! And after awhile,
your website becomes your product.
Now you want to add more revenue streams to your business
(firing every difficult client you have and replacing that
revenue with something else...wouldn't that be great?!!?).
So you write your own ebooks or nifty little software
product that you can sell the same way you sell other
people's electronic products, as well as through an ezine. But this time YOU KEEP ALL THE MONEY. Because it's your product.
Unless, of course, you recruit affiliates to sell your
product for you. And who wouldn't? It gets your product out
to LOTS more people. So you have to pay them 40% of the
sales price. What does it cost you? Zip. Zero. Nada. It's
You did all the work up front, so you can collect the money
over and over and over as sales are made.
THAT'S PASSIVE INC0ME!
Lois Carter Fay, APR, is a 30-year veteran in the P.R. and marketing field. She now produces three marketing ezines, Brainy Tidbits, Brainy Flash, and Success Secrets of Women Entrepreneurs. All are free.
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