✌️ Only 2 business models in the world

✊ Updates from The Indie Creator | Issue #46

Hey friend 👋

Today I want to talk about the only 2 business models in the world, how they differ and in what aspect they are actually common.

Plus how both these models fit into my overall strategy to build a sustainable 1 person business.

But before I get into it, I want to invite you to next week's Indie MBA event. This one is a little different.

It's about a topic we don't talk about enough - Mental Health.

I'm hosting neuroscientist Dr. Christin Chong to give a workshop on meditation.

This is going to be a unique experience for everybody who joins, coz Christin has designed the workshop specially for us - Indie Creators 😀

I think this is very important issue we need to discuss a lot more of, and I'm super grateful that Christin is doing this.

Find out more details, and register for free below 👇

Shout out of the week

I'm introducing a new section this week, where I recommend another creator's work.

And I want to start with Jakob Greenfeld -  one of the most inspiring people I follow on Twitter.

I'm a big fan of Jakob and his work.

If you want to follow his journey and learn from the strategies he is applying as a solopreneur, subscribe to his personal newsletter. Loved the latest article he wrote -

Ironically, I find everything that Jakob does quite insightful, but more than the insights, he inspires me to take action and find my own path as an entrepreneur.

And for that I think you should definitely subscribe to his newsletter and also follow him on Twitter.

Only 2 Business Models

You can only sell 2 things to your customers -

  1.  Products - You make something, and people buy it from you.

  2.  Services - You do something for people, rent your time, and get money in exchange from them.

Every transaction you see around in the world, wherever money is changing hands, it's either a product being sold, or a service being offered.

It might seem obvious when I put it like that, but I didn't see the world like this when I was a corporate slave till last year.

And many people I speak to, who are just starting out don't think in terms of products and services.

They think "how can I make money online?"

Which is a good start.

But you need to understand the bigger "how" behind it.

If you offer only services, you will be renting time for money and will always be on the hook for getting new clients in your funnel every month.

If you offer only products, you will find it hard to make revenue early on. Products are hard to get off the ground, but most of the work you do is upfront. Every subsequent sale takes no effort on your part - Especially for digital products.

Economists call this "zero marginal cost of fulfillment."

Jack Butcher calls it - "Build Once, Sell Twice"

When I first internalized this idea, it completely blew my mind.

The scale of the internet allows us to sell our digital products infinite times. I fell in love with this idea, it was pure leverage, literally at my finger tips.

That's when I launched my first info product early last year. My first foray into entrepreneurship.

But then I hit a roadblock.

I realized how hard it is to actually sell your products 😅

The "Build Once" part is easy, it's the "Sell Twice" part that's a bigger challenge.

Jack has made the idea very simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy.

So then I switched to a services only model, and worked as a product consultant, SaaS copywriter and even a Twitter ghostwriter for a while.

Because services get you to cash flow very quickly, you make good revenue from them. I was able to make enough to quit my job and start working for myself.

But then I hit another roadblock.

I realized just how little leverage I had working as a freelancer. Offering services is cool, but you're always renting time for money.

I wanted to break out of that. (I was doing freelance writing on a per word or per hour basis a one point 🙄)

Then I discovered a hybrid of the 2 models - Productized Services.

You're still offering a service, but it's not tied to your time.

You package the service as a product that clients can buy, with a clear scope and outcome. This is how I grew my Twitter ghostwriting business when I launched TweetForMe earlier this year.

This is also what Alex Hormozi (the guy who wrote $100M Offers) sold the most. Gym Memberships as a productized service.

And then later on, he created a ton of more wealth by selling Gym growth strategies to Gym owners as a productized service.

Productized services are beautiful, but I still think they are more service than product.

Because there is NOT a zero marginal cost of fulfillment.

But they are a better model than pure services. That's why I launched another productized service last night.

So I launched The Landing Page Playbook as well as a Landing Page Audit service last night.

The Playbook is a 6 part framework to craft high converting landing pages, and the audit is basically where I review your landing page and recommend fixes and improvements to increase conversions.

You can check the launch tweet, and get product here.

This is part of my 25in25 challenge where I'm launching a new product every week.

(Btw, I already made the first sale for audit service today, Yay!!! 🥳)

I'm talking about products and services so much because once you internalize these 2 concepts you start to look at your skills differently.

Your job then becomes wrapping your skills either as products or services.

You move on from the "how to make money online" question, to a more actionable question - "What skills can I sell as a services, and what skills do I need to make products?"

And guess what's common in both these business models?


Ultimately, you sell a transformation to your customers, you take them from point A to point B.

You can wrap the transformation in a product or a service and price it high or low, but ultimately it's a transformation.

That's what people pay money for.

So your customers don't care about your business model, they care about their transformation. But you must deeply think about how are you going to deliver that transformation to them.

How can you use your skills to make it sustainable to you while also being valuable to them.

My strategy -

I don't want to rely solely on products to make revenue. Because product sales can be spiky and unpredictable, but if I have a small portfolio of services that I offer then this uncertainty can be offset a little.

That's why I launched the landing page audit service last night.

In a way, even indie masterminds is a productized service that I offer.

It's a well packaged product on the frontend, but I fulfill it as a service on the backend.

BTW, products vs services is a big theme in one of the mastermind groups this month. Most of us in that group are looking to transition from products to services and we have these conversations a lot there.

But we go much deeper because we have a lot more time there.

I always try to form groups based on similar business models, so people can relate to each others' challenges and give each other the right advice. And I love it when people's goals align like they have in this month's groups.

I've realized, the simplest value proposition for the program is this - "Get clarity on the next 3 steps of your business"

I'm not sure it makes for a good sales pitch or not 😅

Anyways, if you want to join the September masterminds then you can get the early bird discount from this link.

You can get help, feedback, advice in your entrepreneurship journey. Whether you're just getting started, or want to monetize your side hustle, or want to start offering services and products.

I'm sure you will find tremendous value in the program. (And if you don't, you can always get your money back 🤷)

Let me know if you have any questions, happy to help 🤗

Moving on..

✍️ Pro Tip of the week

Put more buy buttons on the internet 🤷

Early on, this is your best bet at making more revenue, especially if you're a content creator and not looking to build a software startup.

Then you must have multiple products and services in your portfolio. I've seen the best do it.

The most successful creators have products, communities, coaching, consulting, services - so many different buy buttons bringing in revenue for them.

Even I am trying to do it, you should too -

👋 Bottomline

These were my best performing tweets from last week - 

Don't fall for sexy tweets, business may be simple, but it's not easy.

Insights that pushed me to do the crazy 25in25 challenge -

Don't get confused by all the fancy metrics that get thrown around. Just focus on these 3 -

Thank you for reading 🙏

That's my time this week.  See you next week 👋

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PS: If you want to get a shout out in next week's newsletter, just hit reply and let me know what you're working on 🤗