Yo! Yo yo yo yo yo!!
No, I am not obsessed with the Yo app, but I probably will be once I download it.
In other news, it’s summer time! Living’s easy! Yes!
I remember when I was younger and looking at each summer with both excitement and dread. On the one hand I got to enjoy awesome weather, parties with friends, and endless waves at the beach.
On the other, I had to spend 12 hours a day grinding on work I wasn’t pumped about. A “rite of passage” or something. Ugh.
I wanted to write a blog post for anyone out there looking for a nice little summer gig to pull in some cash. Specifically, this is aimed at the younger generation – I would LOVE to see some of you take these projects and run with them. Although I love making apps, there are certainly many, many other ways to make money this summer.
The earlier you get the entrepreneur bug, the better. It would be so awesome spread that energy and grow it when you’re right in the middle of your high school or college years.
Mostly I just wish someone had given me ideas like this when I was that age.
Over the past few years, one of the coolest parts of being in business is being able to learn how money is made. Seeing how people can turn an idea into dollars has always fascinated me.
Now I realize it’s a LOT less complicated than people think, but still requires work, ingenuity, and timing. And a little coffee. Always coffee. Buuzzzzz.
I digress. Below are a few ideas I’ve seen or thought of that are great ways to make a nice little income if you’re wondering what you’re going to do with yourself this summer between EDM festivals and parties in the woods.
Often this can be passive income, recurring income, or just straight hustler income. Either way, my goal is to light a spark that shows you that there is ALWAYS money to be made in any market. This is a vitally important lesson to learn early in life.
These are ridiculously specific because I think it’s good to show tangible examples, but these are widely universal. If you take on one of these and light it up, let me know!
1. Sell bulletproof coffee out of a homemade stand
Note: I’m not sure how the food and license situation works when selling beverages to the public so you need to research this before you do it.
This one blows my mind. I read a few articles about this new bulletproof coffee craze and tried it for myself.
If you don’t know what bulletproof coffee is, it basically blends lots of fat (usually in the form of butter) with high quality coffee to provide a long lasting, smooth level of energy. Lo and behold, the stuff works.
Really well actually. Most people I talk to enjoy it too.
More importantly, this is HOT right now. It’s exciting, there is a buzz around it. That removes your biggest problem – demand. The fact that people like it solves your second problem – lifetime value and marketing (word of mouth).
Even if you live in a small town, all you need to do is put up a sign that says “Revolutionary Butter Coffee: Use the power of good fats to fuel your day” or whatever. That will get enough people in the door at first to get you off the ground.
Basic steps to make this happen:
- Buy a few pounds of very high quality coffee, coffee maker, and organic butter
- Research the best recipes online and test them yourself
- Get someone to make you a funky logo on Fiverr or 99designs
- Make a couple signs + business cards at your local Kinkos
- Build a little wood shack out of plywood and set it up somewhere
- Tell your friends
- Accept payments via Square (on your phone) and target places where people already drink coffee
The rest comes down to operations. Trust me, this would do very well assuming you don’t break any laws. I mean, why is no one doing this right now?
2. Create an almond butter membership service
When you read Tim Ferriss’ book the Four Hour Body, there are a few products that he swears by. Almond Butter is one of them. Go into any high end natural food store and ask them what sells the best.
Almond butter is at the top of the list. The list goes on – it’s a great product that’s good for you. People love it in multiple markets.
Once you know this demand exists for a commodified product, your biggest obstacle is marketing. That’s where this awesome model comes into play. I’ll let Noel Kagan tell his story from App Sumo (he made $1,000 in 24 hours doing this).
Here’s how you do it:
- Setup a quick website
- Identify your customers (Ferriss readers vs Moms going to Yoga)
- Send some emails and FB posts targeting those people
- Follow up with real communication (skype, phone, gtalk, etc)
- Fulfill orders with wholesale butter source
- Repeat, scale
Noel has a great explanation of how this works. When there is a demand like this and relatively low supply of options, you’ll have a much easier time than he did. Shit, I’d be a customer!
3. Teespring for highly polarizing issues
Teespring is a company that sells t-shirts you design. The best part? It costs you nothing – you just make the designs and send people over who want to purchase it. Clearly people think this is going to do well.
For example: I create a t-shirt that says “GIVE ME A HUG” and upload the design. I put in on my Facebook page. People want one too. They pre-order. When we hit a certain number, the order is fulfilled and everyone gets a t-shirt. I get a cut of the profits.
People are trying to crack this code all over the web through affiliate marketing and FB advertising. While that works sometimes, the margins are going to be pretty slim. Why? Because they’re not thinking like an economist.
Big margins happen when there is a clear discrepancy in supply and demand. When people want something a LOT, they’ll pay a lot. Or when there is VERY little of something, they’ll pay a lot too.
So if you’re trying to sell a t-shirt that people kind of want, but someone else is making as a substitute, you’re going to have a tough time.
BUT – there’s a way to capitalize on that.
Think about the last time you saw social media blow up over something controversial or shocking. A controversial soccer goal. A political election. Anything that people get REALLY fired up about. This is NOT the same as “water cooler talk” like what was on Game on Thrones because people won’t get PISSED off about it. You want stuff that people hold dear.
When anything like that happens, THAT is when you fire off campaigns. Make a t-shirt that says “BRING HOME OUR TROOPS” with some edge image to appeal to supporters. At the exact same time, launch one that says “SCARED FOR OUR FREEDOM” to appeal the other side. The more controversial, the higher the demand. The more you’ll sell.
You can do this as often as you’d like depending on how often events arise.
Here’s how you do it:
- Sign up for Teespring
- Setup a test t-shirt and try it out
- Test it on Facebook with your friends next time something big happens in the news or on TV
- Put up T-shirt and measure demand
- Learn, repeat for next event, but scale it with a $50 FB ad buy
- Keep going until you figure out a formula, then scale accordingly
I’ve seen people do this before with AdWords and stuff like that, but never t-shirts. Could be big.
4. Edit GoPro footage
Honestly, this could be a mutli-million dollar company if you did it right. I personally think this is the next big thing in content/video – automatic, intelligent editing. But until we get to that point, you can capitalize on this demand.
If any of you have a GoPro, you understand this problem. If you don’t own one, here’s what happens: You take a few hours of amazing footage, download it to your computer, watch it once or twice, and then talk about how you’ll edit it down sometime and make a quick movie about it. But that never happens.
What if you offered a service to do that? You go to people and say “Upload your GoPro footage to a Dropbox account, I’ll send you a edited video in 48 hours” and you charge based on length. All they have to do is upload it.
Seriously, this would KILL it, assuming your editing skills were decent. You can probably just hire someone to do all that for you, honestly. People would freak out for this type of service.
Here’s how you do it:
- Setup basic website that explains how the process works
- Have everyone who is interested signup with your Dropbox affiliate link (you get free 1G)
- They choose editing package ($199 for a 60 second video or whatever)
- They upload footage
- You or your team in the Philippines edits it down to all the best parts
- Overlay some music
Granted, you need to set expectations so that you don’t lose all your time/money on customer service, but that can be done pretty easily through examples.
5. Become an Airbnb concierge
No matter where you are in the world, I am willing to bet that Airbnb is around. People renting out their homes, rooms, and everything in between to travelers. The biggest problem, however, is that the people who own the properties rarely want to deal with all the inbound requests, greeting the tenants, coordinating cleaning, etc.
That’s where you come in – you handle everything and send the owner a check. You can even prove that it’s a great deal for them with numbers. Want an example? Check out AirEnvy for some ideas.
How to get started:
- Go on Airbnb.com and find all the properties within 20 miles of you
- Talk to friends and family and see if anyone is using Airbnb now and pitch them first
- Message people you find on Airbnb and pitch them
- Start small, then scale
- Hire people to help you
Lots of ways to get flexible with this too (provide tours, insider travel tips, etc for a premium price).
6. Be an Uber driver
Last but not least, try being an Uber driver. Or Lyft. If they’re not available in your area, this might be tough, but that will probably change soon. These guys can make some good money, even working on the weekends (a few hundred bucks a day minimum).
It’s easier than you think:
- Go to your local Uber office and sign up with background check
- Get approved and get your car setup
- Spend a weekend doing 30-40 short Uber trips and ask every driver the best ways to make money
- Start your shift and focus exclusively on surge pricing areas and copy everything else they told you
Just like that.
Be The Cool Kid. Build A Business.
I really hope this reaches someone out there who’s looking to do something awesome this summer. Your possibilities are ENDLESS. You can create any life you want and make any future happen. It always comes down to time, energy, desire, and execution.
If you like this post and want to inspire someone else, please share this with someone you know who is in high school or college. At the very least, it might spark some new energy in them 🙂
What do you do guys think? Did I forget any other good ideas for making money with summer jobs? Leave a comment below and let me know.