How to make $1,000 in the next 14 days without an idea

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris /

Here is the quickest way I know of to start a business and make $1000.

It requires:

  • NO money
  • NO website
  • NO business card

How To Make $1000 Fast

 

It’s very basic.

Find a really well-written “how-to” article. Then offer the solution that article provides as a service to everyone who expressed interest in the article. Use the step-by-step instructions from the article to learn how to offer the service.

No experience required.

Want an example?

Step-by-step process: How to make $1000 and start a business quickly

I’m going to walk you through all three steps. Follow along and do what I do.

Step 1: Find a “how-to” article

Here is an incredibly detailed article on how to set up a retargeting campaign: How to start your first $100 retargeting campaign.

You don’t need to know what retargeting is or have ever set up a campaign in your life. Just read the article.

Seriously, go read it. I’ll wait.

Done?

You now know more about retargeting than 99% of people online. You are an expert (in relation to nearly everyone).

Congratulations!

Tip: A few good places to find detailed marketing how-to articles are Okdork, Backlinko, Quicksprout and Buffer. If you’re not in the marketing world, just search for “How to [insert your keywords]”

Like “How to change the oil in my car” OR “How to lose 10lbs before the end of summer” OR “How to become a real estate agent”. Whatever.

Step 2: Offer the article as a service

Now your job is to take the information in the article you found and offer it as a service to everyone that shared it.

How do you do that?

First, go to Buzzsumo and enter the URL to the article (use the 14-day free trial they offer to do this step).

Use buzzsumo to start a business

Then click the “View Shares” button and this will give you a list of everyone who shared the post on Twitter.

Click on the “Followers” filter at the top left. This will show you a list of Twitter users that have 1) shared the article 2) have a sizable audience (i.e. enough money to pay you for a service).

View the shares in BuzzSumo

Now, you need to e-mail each person on this list with this basic e-mail.

Subject: About Brian Deans article

Body Text:

Larry,

I’ve been following you since last January when I saw you share Brian Dean’s article on SEO techniques.

I love that article.

In fact, I started offering the exact process he laid out in that post as a service.

Wordstream is a really great app and I’ve put together three different SEO techniques that you could use to get more traffic to Wordstreeam (based on Brian’s advice in that article.

Here is a link to the full campaign and some projected results: [link to Google doc you put together that will blow their socks off]

Would love to help you guys implement some of Brian’s awesome strategies.

-Bryan

If you offer this to the top 25 people on the Buzzsumo list, 1 person will buy.

Charge $1,000 for the service.

BOOM! That’s how you start a business and make $1000.

Three examples of people making over $1,000 using this strategy

So, that’s the basic theory. Let me show you three quick examples of this in action.

Example #1: Devesh Khanal

Devesh read a series of articles about conversion rate optimization.

Then he made a list of dream clients who 1) had expressed interest in the articles or topic 2) that he was already familiar with.

Next he reached out to each one.

Here is the email he sent:

Email Pitch from Devesh to Brian

Devesh even included a custom video pitch in each email he sent. Here is an example of one he did for Brian Dean:

The result? He landed over $10,000 in work with Brian.

Read the full story here

Example #2: Jonathan Siu

Jonathan read this article written by Qualaroo a little over a year ago.

Then he made a list of people that had shared the article and that he thought might be interested in having the technique taught in the article implemented at their company.

Here is the exact email he sent:

Subject: Qualroo blog post

Body Text:

Hi Mark,

I just started following you on Twitter because I noticed that you shared Qualaroo’s guide on conversion rate optimization.

I love that article. In fact, I started offering the exact process they laid out in that post as a service.

Your website and blog look great and I’ve put together (based on Qualaroo’s guide) an optimization plan to help you get more subscriptions to your newsletter.

Here is a link to the full plan:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HTxW7LbJjqFHqrZLuoq-iG2LrsY5fDtclG1lwu9U_Bo/pubhtml?gid=0&single=true

I know you’re an expert at this, but if you don’t have the time to do this for yourself, I would love to help. Is this something you want?

-Jonathan

The result? Within six hours, Mark (one of the 5 prospects) emailed Jonathan back expressing interest.

And just a few days later, they struck a deal for a $2,100 contract!

Read the full story here

Example #3: ME!

A few years back I read this article written by Wistia.

I took that article and decided to pitch a few people that followed Wistia and that I was familiar with.

Here is an example of the email I sent:

Email I used to make over $1000

30 days later I inked a $3,000 per month contract with KISSmetrics making videos for them.

Read the full story here

Need more ideas on the right service to offer?

My challenge to you.

Try this 5 times.

Don’t get married to one idea. Don’t look for a silver bullet. Don’t try to make a $1,000,000. Just make $1,000.

I’ve put together a list of 50 articles that are prime candidates to be turned into service businesses. You can download that for free in the Videofruit bonus section.
Make $1000 by using these prime candidates

  • Brian Dean

    AWESOME post, Bryan. I’ve seen several people build businesses from scratch using this exact approach.

    • Thanks Brian 🙂

      • dez82

        Ironic, Purely coincidentally, I’m using Brian Dean’s article for this exercise. Wish me luck. It’s this one http://backlinko.com/viral-marketing

        • Hassan Rashid

          @dez82:disqus, how will you turn it into a service?

        • Love it. Make any sales yet?

    • Zak

      Just came here because of Brian Dean.

  • This is a great idea, Bryan! It’s like a link building strategy put on the business development track.

  • Keith Bresée

    Killer post! Not only are these good biz ideas, but they are great articles that can be used for the skyscraper technique!

  • You’re too smart Bryan. I have to stop reading your posts just so I don’t feel so stupid since I had always prided myself on common sense. I’m giving you a personal nickname of “The King of Common Sense”. Don’t worry if you don’t like it since I’ll probably make up another title for you after reading your next post, that’s how good each of your posts actually are. Thanks for the great info. Safe travels. (and I’m glad to see you have social sharing on your blog posts! Sharing…. done.)

  • Bryan, this is SO smart. The steps are simple and you’ve given us a template to execute on. You are high-level, sir!

    • Glad you found it helpful. Plan to implement?

      • Excellent question. I’m working on my implementation plan right now.

        • @Alzayc:disqus i am using @bharris007:disqus strategy and execute with your “How to get high end consulting clients by sending cold emails” formula. Thank you both

        • How did it go Alzay?

          • Thanks for the follow-up Brian. I followed the steps laid out here, but I got bogged (way) trying to find relevant contact information. However I did execute by sending out a series of Twitter messages. I got favorable response, but no new clients.

          • Now you know what you need to do Brian.

            1) Don’t try to sell on Twitter
            2) Persist past the point that Alzay did
            3) Figure out how not to get bogged down

          • Bryan is 100% right. Please be better than me! Also I have now outsourced this project to a virtual assistant. Just started…so no results yet.

  • Never thought of this – just clever 🙂

  • Using the main principle of this article in the last 2 months has changed my life. And that’s not an exaggeration!

    • You are THE poster child for this strategy.

    • Care to share the details? Drop me a note if you want connect via email brian@insightscope.com

    • Hey!! For the article you chose did you do it for them or just help/coach them on the ” conversion rate optimization” ?

  • Blake Frazier

    Bryan,

    I’ve been following you since today when I saw you share your article on how to make $1,000 in the next 14 days without an idea. I love that article. In fact, I started offering the exact process you laid out in that post as a service. For just $1000 I will generate a list of 50 great articles that could be the seeds of the next great business.

    Would love to help you implement some of your awesome strategies.

    -Blake

    • Meh. I guess you could do that. I would go for a more functional approach though.

  • Wow very nice idea. If you don’t want to make $1000 and happy with less, then market that on Fiverr.com or peopleperhour.com.

  • Very creative! What an easy process for anyone to get started. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thanh Lan Nguyen

    well Bryan, challenge accepted 🙂
    ps: best wishes to your wife!!

    • Thank you Thanh 🙂

      It’s been 3 days. What is your service?

  • Hassan Rashid

    Many times people ask us if they can see our work – how does someone with not experience cope with this? Should we straightforwardly answer that we’re new to this? Anyway, GREAT post! 🙂

    • Here are a few ways to approach this.
      1 – It is totally cool to say “we are looking for our first client” and offer a discount to the first client that signs.
      2 – Use your own business as a case study for the service you choose
      3 – Use a preferred client as a case study for the service you choose. (Bryan spells this out in his Santa Clause formula)

      Most importantly, don’t let anything keep you from executing. Keep reaching out to people until you get a win.

      • Hassan Rashid

        Nice – thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Thats the beauty of this approach, you don’t have to have experience.

      You rely on the experience of the person who wrote the post. Notice this line in the email…

      “In fact, I started offering the exact process he laid out in that post as a service.”

      This puts the ‘experience need’ back on the author.

      You are simply doing what they already researched and tested.

      Make sense?

      • Hassan Rashid

        Such a stupid I am. Thanks!

  • Not to be a smart ass, but this is a serious question so I learn how to qualify leads well — why would someone want to pay me $1000 to do a service for them, just because they shared something on Twitter?

    • I’m sure Bryan will answer.

      My thought is that their willingness to share the post, shows they are interested in it and find value in it. That being the case, they are more likely to accept your proposal. Letting them know you noticed they shared the content, also has the added benefit of showing that you pay attention to them. Everyone likes attention.

      You could take the shotgun approach and email everyone that you think could use your service but targeting your market will get you quicker results with less frustration.

      • That’s what I was supposing too. But, in that case I think they would already know how to do it themselves. Or, is the thinking they can, but don’t have time & prefer to pay someone that gets it & has the gumption to make the pitch?

        • Exactly. They’ve recognized it as something that’s valuable and would probably like to do it themselves if they had the time. But they don’t have the time, and that’s where you, me, and anyone else who follows this comes in.

        • Knowing and doing are two very different things.

          For example: I have a goal to weigh 200lbs and have 10% body fat. Currently I weight 195lbs and have 16% body fat.

          I’ve shared articles on this topic. I’ve read blog post. I’ve read book.

          I KNOW everything I need to do. But…I haven’t done it.

          Would I pay $200 per month for trainer and nutritionist to help me implement. You bet!

          • I see, thanks. So the thinking goes that if they are interested enough in the technique, they’ll see the value in doing it, yet still not be motivated enough to actually do it themselves, then eventually if you approach enough people like this some will want the help & pay for the implementation?

          • Bryan

            Hi, Bryan. My name is Bryan, too. I just came across your interesting article and was especially intrigued by this comment. I have developed a weight control strategy that has worked for me for the past two years. I lost 24 pounds in the first twelve months and kept it off in the next twelve. I have two “students” who have followed the plan as well and they are each on target for reaching their ideal weight levels. I know that two is not a lot, but it’s a start. The plan is simple. No bells or whistles. No special foods. No supplements. No meetings. No starvation. No cleansing. Nothing to buy. Nothing stupid. Just basic stuff. That’s not to say that it’s easy. It’s not tremendously hard, but it’s not easy either. I like to say that being on my plan sucks a little, but not nearly as much as NOT being on it. So, here’s a deal for you. I’ll charge you $200/month to be your weight coach under my plan. And here’s the kicker. You don’t pay me anything until you have lost your desired amount of weight and kept it off for 6 months. If you don’t lose your desired amount of weight, but are nevertheless satisfied, you can pay me whatever you think my coaching was worth. If you are totally unsatisfied (which you won’t be, but still), then you don’t have to pay me anything. What do you say?

      • Yup! It’s not 100% but I most people only share stuff that resonates with them and is interesting. It’s a super easy way to qualify them.

        • Hassan Rashid

          Thanks for the reply – you’re right 🙂

    • Hassan Rashid

      Thanks for asking this – I’m also waiting for @bharris007:disqus to answer

  • This is genius… mind blown! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Sorry if this is a dumb question, but once you have your list of influencers, how do you email them? Some people list their address in their Twitter bio, but many do not.

    • A lot of them have their website in their bio. Visit their website and check their contact or about page. If they’re an influencer they are probably promoting something.

      Check out Bryan’s ‘How to get your first 3000/month contract’ pdf. It tells you in detail how to find someones email address.

      Hope this helps

  • This is a fantastic post, Bryan! I forwarded this to a friend who wants to start a business and make some additional side income to get things going. Keep up the awesome work!

  • This is a great post, but I’m going to be that guy. My crew is image based (Instagram, FB, and Pinterest). Is there a website that can do the exact same thing as Topsy?
    Fingers, toes, and legs crossed….

  • Well, here we go! I just submitted my first proposal using what I’ve learned here and in your other posts about offering a service. It took over 20 hours to create the proposal, haha. I’m sure the next one will go a bit faster now that I’m familiar with the steps. Will see what happens from here!

    • Best of luck Solmadrid!

    • What happened?

    • Hey Solmadrid,

      Curious to hear your final results after 2 months. Did you get any buyers? If not, why do you think that’s the case? I just shipped mine last night so I’d love to hear your experience. Drop me a line if you want to connect via email brian@insightscope.com

      I am planning to post my results in a week or so (good, bad, whatever)

      • Hey Brian,

        My result was not too awesome. haha. They liked my proposal but said they were really busy and asked me to get back to them in a month or so. So in other words, “Thanks but no thanks”, haha.

        I put consulting stuff on the backburner for now because it takes too much time away from my core goal of getting email subscribers.

        May do it again in the future when I have more time.

        Look forward to hearing about your results!

        I’ll send you this via email as well.

        • How many people did you pitch?

          • Oh, not a worthwhile sample at all. I only pitched 1 person. I am
            absolutely positive I would land consulting gigs if I pitched more
            prospects. But I decided to stick with my main goal of getting email
            subscribers, then creating a product to sell to them. I’m putting all my
            time and energy into that.

            My message above was just in response to the other Brian’s question about my result.

          • Focus = good!

            How is your list building progressing?

            What has worked the best?

          • Is going well!

            Best as in quantity-wise = Giveaways, by far

            Best as in targeted subscribers = Sponsoring podcasts, posting my articles on forums, syndicating my content to other websites, and using Twitter.

            I think I can improve the targeting of the giveaways by using a couple of things you mentioned in your recent post. Once I hone that, giveaways will be an unstoppable juggernaut. hah.

          • Shoot me an email (bryan@videofruit) would love to hear the specific results of your giveaways.

    • TwinsTrack Murray

      It does take time to create. I am still working on my email letter

  • OLOYEDE JAMIU

    Nice strategy here Bryan,

    I have saved it in order to implement it later.

    I will keep you updated.

    -Oloyede Jamiu

  • Bryan, this article is AMAZING. It’s 3a.m. and I really need to go to bed, but I am going to follow through on this tomorrow. Check in on me in 24 hours and see how I’m doing. Cheers!

    • Let’s see it Jarrat! I was up until 4:00 AM putting mine together — but I shipped it! 🙂

  • Andrew Medal

    This is for the group:

    What Google doc is everyone linking to for their strategies?
    Article body, re: “Here is a link to the full campaign and some projected results: [link to Google doc]”

    And, how well has this strategy worked for everyone? Any cool success stories/tips?

    • Hey Andrew,

      I took the original article, then summarized, condensed and outlined everything into a one pager over view. I added a high res image at the top with a brief 2 paragraph introduction and a small about me section at the very bottom. I also included a link to my Gumroad subscription page where they can purchase instantly.

      I’m planning to post my results (good, bad, whatever) in the next week or so…

  • Hey, I’ve just been clued-in to your blog, and what I’ve read is terrific. Can’t wait to read more.

  • Damn! Sweetest post I’ve read in a month. Thank you!

    • Hey Andrea,

      Did you get any results? I’d love to hear about your experience.

  • Hi Bryan, great idea and post! However I’m having trouble finding influential twitter users that are not part of or associated with the company that made the original blog post. Any suggestions?

    • Hey Joshua,
      I’d move on to another topic. Bryan’s list was a great starting point but I found something that was a little more recent. I found a few dozen influencers and ended up sending 9 emails for the first batch. Free free to drop me a line if you want to connect via email brian@insightscope.com

      • Thanks Brian!

        • You’re welcome, Joshua. Nice connecting with you via email. Enjoy your week!

  • anonymous

    Anyone tried this and would love to share your results?

    • Hey anonymous,

      I just went through this exact process and will be sharing the results (good, bad, whatever) in the next week or so. Even if my first attempt doesn’t work out, I’m going to keep trying. As Bryan mention, don’t get married to the idea. Now that I’ve been through it once, it can’t possibly take me more than 6 hours to go through it again.

      Shot me an email if you want to connect via email brian@insightscope.com

  • I went through this entire process tonight (it’s 4:00AM local time now…so it took about 6 hours total) and ended up emailing 9 influencers. Getting the emails was by far the toughest part (since these folks are top marketing influencers, their email addresses are often hidden or hard to find).

    I found a great article that was very in depth and the value prop was obvious, but missed a lot of the detail (vague screenshots or unclear instructions). The post had been shared by hundreds/thousands of folks (about 125 were top influencers). I was able to put together some decent copy and a nice PDF document that links straight to my Gumroad product page. I picked the $1000/month subscription because my service could theoretically be monitored and updated each month.

    Bryan — I sent you a separate email with details 🙂 Excited to share my results!

  • Nicole Silliman

    Okay are you saying making an online course, video series or what? I have had an awesome idea to help get more people to my direct sales company but I don’t know if it will be stupid or be information they will buy etc.

    And do I stick to my area of expertise? Or just pick from the list and go with it?

  • Hey Brian, I’m curious what did you use to make your sidebar blog image? “make 1000 banner? Thanks!

  • Hey Brian,

    Great article, really enjoying your site!

    I had a couple of ideas (admittedly, not tested personally), that I think would help with gaining even more traction.

    1) Find a relatively recent how-to article that has had a
    ton of social shares. (Check buzzsumo.com and alltop.com for recent
    articles)….Being recent will help ensure it’s fresh in people’s minds
    and still getting shares.

    2) Try to comment on the post early, so that people will see your
    comment. Share some additional useful insight related to the topic, and
    then mention that you actually can help with the implementation.

    3) Reach out to the original article creator, tell them you have a
    service that can help people implement the process in their article.
    Then offer to give them a small cut of the revenue/sale if they will
    post a link to your service’s landing page within their article.

    4) Interact with people who have shared the article on social media.
    First contact should just be a useful comment about the article, and
    mention you actually perform that service. Ask them if they’d like to
    learn more about it.

    5) If they respond, then shoot them a link to your service landing
    page. This has the added benefit of allowing their followers to
    potentially see your comment as well.

    P.S. Personally, I’d try to find a how-to that is replicable and
    systematic. Also, if it can be a monthly service, even better.
    Finally, think of a service that you could eventually train others to
    do. Then you can scale.

    Cheers!

  • Very interesting and practical concept. Allow me to label it as Business-Idea-As-A-Service: BIaaS. In fact, I just tweeted the same 🙂
    https://twitter.com/kashaziz/status/553822238173319168

  • Than you for this. I’ll be using this in 2015 to build an income stream and hopefully leave my day job.

  • RahulKuntala

    Excellent stuff, Bryan! I found your blog yesterday, shared your stuff and subscribed to your mail list today. Way to go 🙂 Keep rocking.

  • Bryan, I love this idea. It’s out of my comfort zone since I’m very new to internet marketing but have gotten my feet wet.

    My problem is probably a common one. I see a million different ways on how you can make money online and don’t drill down on seeing one through. I really like this one though and I’ll post my results on here once I actually do it lol.

    Thanks for the excellent free info sir.

  • I have a question : how to e-mail each people who share the article on Twitter ?
    Have a nice day

  • Pinoy Truth

    Anyone actually try this?

  • Jay

    So, I think I am missing something you all can help me with. I found an article with 71 influencers. I have a business that I am already using these strategies with. How did you get their email, and how can you say yo have been following them since whatever date the article came out?
    I know I must be overlooking the obvious, but… anyway.. Help?

    Thanks in advance

  • Jeremy

    I haven’t seen anyone post success with this yet…

  • Christopher Jan

    Bryan,

    Not getting results with Topsy; any suggestions on why?
    Here is an example of a tweet that got lots of retweets, but not getting any results in Topsy:

    ….
    http://lptraining.leadpages.net/facebookadvertising/?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=Twitter_PPLA&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=Twitter_PPLA_18_65_US_Lookalike%20_MNF_safe_image

  • Thank you!!! Very useful!

  • Dillon Carter

    Amazing idea Bryan! I’m pouring over the bonus list to try it out now 🙂

    btw, what platform is your site/blog on? I love it!

    • Bryan uses WordPress

  • I screwed around for a long time with no results. Im doing this now.

  • Sunrise AP

    Will this still work ??

  • kadon76

    Topsy just shut down. So we will have to find another way to search Twitter now.

  • This is a great article. BUT for the record. Topsy no longer exists. Just letting you know.

  • Hey Brian,

    This is indeed a great blog post but Topsy is closed now and we are not able to search who tweeted those How-to articles. I am sure you will be having an alternative for Topsy?

    I am here from other article which mentioned your article and I am thankful I am here and learned new things from this article.

    Looking forward to hearing from you Brian.

    Regards,
    Yogesh Shinde

    • Peter Lu

      Same question!

      I’ve been thinking about just clicking through influential bloggers on Twitter and seeing who they follow (like what Devesh said in the interivew, how most of who he followed were really big-shots).

      I’ll do that if no other solution is found, but would like to know if there are alternatives. =)

      • Hey Peter,

        That’s really nice tip, I think we can explore Twitter lists to target audience and lead generation. What do you say Peter?

  • Peter Lu

    Really informative and educational post, Bryan. I’m going to put this to use now.

    I’m compiling a list of people that could use a service, but it seems Topsy has since been taken over by Apple.

    Are there other resources that could be used to find people to reach out to?

    Thanks again for the awesome, awesome info!

    • Hi everyone,

      Although Topsy has been shut down, you can however use Twitter Advanced Search to find people who have tweeted a specific article. Here’s how you do it:

      (a) Copy the URL of that specific article

      (b) Go to Twitter Advanced Search at https://twitter.com/search-advanced?lang=en

      (c) Paste the URL of that article in the 1st line “All of these words”.

      (d) Scroll down all the way to the bottom & click the blue “Search” button

      (e) System will bring you to a separate page, showing a list of some of the Twitter users who have tweeted that article

      (f) To get the full list of such users, click on the “More Options” tab shown on the top right-hand corner of that page.

      (g) It will display a menu of options. Click on the “Tweets” option.

      (h) You’ll then be able to see the full list, or at least a large majority of, the Twitter users who have tweeted that specific article. Just go the bottom of the page & continue scrolling to get the older list of users.

      Hope the info above helps! 🙂

      • Or just dump the URL in the regular ole search field and hit “live” – both will accomplish the same search it seems.

  • Brian Downard

    Bryan, this is GREAT! Can’t wait to test it out. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Clare Fitzgerald

    What a great article Brian. As usual you have delivered the goods.

  • Mayer Miklós

    Wow Bryan, fantastic article. Been a Backlinko follower for 2 years and this idea has never occured to me…

  • Erich Keller

    Thanks Bryan, that’s AWESOME!!!!!!

    What do you think about non-native english speaking people reaching out to natives? Will they take me seriously?

    Cheers,
    Erich

  • Peter Conley

    This is GOLD. I’m starting an attempt at this approach today. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes Bryan.

  • Great ideas Bryan! Thanks for sharing! Just wondering how to access the bonus section??

  • Interesting approach, Bryan. Unfortunately the Download link doesn’t work. It opens a ‘test modal’, but it doesn’t allow to submit the email.

  • Tanweer

    $1000 for a simple service one isn’t expert enough as well as while one can also follow the guideline himself & stating in email that I’ve been following you since January. really? -_-

  • Rank Higher

    Dude you nailed it visit our website for SEO services http://RankHigher.PK/

  • Defiantely testing this out, anyone else not sure who to email for it when looking on buzzsumo, i bring up a list of peopel from an article and am trying to make a decision on the best ones, im going on the looks of them on buzzsumo as in if they would need my services.. maybe im just afriad to get a no…. any suggestions!??!?! @Br@bharris007:disqus

  • i love it , thanks

  • I’m working on this, got my pitch sorted and have emailed a few and waiting to hear back, trying to email about 20 more. Great idea @bharris007:disqus Bryan! As a content strategist & funnel technician, I’ve taking these principles and have pitched to help some small businesses out with sales funnels as well.

  • Hey Bryan,

    I really appreciate the efforts you put into reviewing these useful resources. I was wondering if you’re planning to update the list anytime soon? In that case, you might be interested in trying out our tools https://seotoolscheck.com/

    I suppose your readers would enjoy finding out about it and using it. Let me know your thoughts on this. Or if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help.
    Cheers!