My #1 productivity + make-more-money hack is…
Writing a case study.
Errr… what? I’m not a blogger!
You don’t need to. Let me explain and show how you can take advantage of that hack today.
I wrote 3 successful case studies:
- $6,667 in 8 Weeks Selling Watches[*]
- $8,873 in 4 Weeks Selling Sunglasses[*]
- $6,242 in 4 Weeks Selling Phone Cases
In total, they made $21,782 in sales and around $11,105 in final profit (after tax). That’s some real cash in the bank.
I didn’t even write these case studies to make a living out of it. All the money I made was just a bonus aside from my usual business.
But why does it work so well? Hint: It’s not because I’m a marketing genius.
In my opinion, there are two reasons why it works:
1. They kept me accountable
I promoted these case studies to friends/followers BEFORE I started the project to build pressure. I also sent weekly emails and posted several times on social media during the project. I didn’t build a huge audience by doing this but a very engaging one. People from all around the world asked me for updates. I couldn’t take a day off. I promised something and people were actually waiting for it.
2. I focused on what has proved to work
Due to the lack of time in those case study projects (4-8 weeks); I couldn’t try many marketing activities. I tried some things and once something seemed to work out for me, I mostly focused on this one activity. I cut out everything else.
This is very comparable with the 80/20 principle of Pareto – in short: 80% of the results come from 20% of your efforts. Find your “20% sweet-spot” and only focus on this to grow whatever you want to grow.
Whether you already found some success or not, both points can be applied to your business/idea.
How to Keep Yourself Accountable
I did it by promoting an upcoming case study to friends and followers on Instagram and my email list. If you don’t have an audience (yet), here are three awesome ways to build pressure:
- Look up Facebook groups where people hang out who could be interested in your case study. Let them know about your project and share weekly updates.
- Share your idea with all of your social media friends. If you’re new to this it will be terrifying (we all have to go through this).
- Reach out to someone you trust/admire (and has experience in the field of your project) and ask if she/he’s cool with sending daily/weekly updates.*
*Currently I’m doing this by sending weekly emails to an 8-figure founder.
The way you do it doesn’t really matter. As long as you let people know about your project, you’re good.
Tell ‘em the goal you want to achieve, set a deadline and agree on regular updates in order to get feedback.
…and yes, it can be embarrassing.
Not because you didn’t achieve your goal*, but because you didn’t take action.
*I wrote a case study on importing backpacks from China and selling it on Shopify. I failed and everything is shared with the internet. [*] – you won’t find any “look at this loser”-comments. Like-minded people appreciate an honest effort and know that there’s no guarantee for success.
It’s all about your effort.
If you have a hard time to put in the required effort, just build pressure by sharing your idea and experience with the internet.
If you’d like to have me as your accountability-partner, send me your 30day goal via email to tim (at) timkock.de
Another benefit of doing a case study project is the documentation of your steps. You have your own blueprint on (virtual) paper. If you’re detailed as f*ck, you write down every single action you took. Whenever you stuck in the future (whether if you want to start a new business or grow your existing one), you can come back to that case study and see what worked in the past and what didn’t.
And this, my dear friend, will bring us to another important part…
How to Focus on What has Proved to Work
In my opinion, many people oversee the goldmines which are in front of them.
They found a certain way to make a little bit of money, maybe even just $10, but stop doing this because this tactic is “not scalable”.
First off: most things are scalable by hiring people. But that’s not even the point here.
Just because something isn’t scalable doesn’t mean it’s bad.
All of the marketing I did for the case studies weren’t that scalable. But still, I made thousands of dollars aside from a 9-5 job I had back then and running my real business.
Imagine what you could achieve if you spend three times the time I put into those techniques!
I was able to fill my bank account with some nice cash by focusing on what has proved to work. I tested a few things, figured out what works the best and simply put in more time into this one action. That’s the secret.
Let’s assume you made your first $10. Wooo-hooooo!
Next step: $100. The math is simple; do 10x the things you did in order to achieve your first $10.
What was it that brought in your first money? Write it down and ask yourself the following questions:
- Where can I find more customers who have similar attributes?
- What was the #1 reason my first customer gave me money?
- How can I reach 10x more people?
The answers will probably seem too simple to you. Maybe even boring. But from my experience, growth happens when you do certain (yes, even boring) things over and over again. While executing these things you’ll learn what part of these things it is, that works.
In one of my ecommerce case studies I made couple of thousand bucks by asking micro-influencers for their feedback about my online store. In return, I offered a discount on all products. It worked. But I could have made more money if I would have taken the time to figure out what part of the feedback-strategy actually was it that made people buy.
- The direct and personal contact via an Instagram direct message, or
- The high discount (50% + free shipping), or
- Involing them into the building process of my business, or
- The combination of it all?
A practical approach on figuring this out could be to set up four Instagram accounts and work with different messages on all of them. Tracked by the amount of visitors/sales referred from an unique (affiliate-) link* you’ll get a good idea of what works the best.
After quite some time of executing this one (or more) task(s), you’re a master of it. You’ll be able to oursource it or hire someone to mulitply your efforts.
The case study can even be used as the step-by-step guide you pass over to the people you’d like to hire to take of it.
If you’d like to get some very practical advice on how to hire virtual assistants while being in the process of growth, I recommend listening to Tim Ferriss and Gary Vaynerchuk here.
In addition to that, I recommend to listen to Noah Kagan here.
If I’d like to hire someone for taking care of Instagram direct messages of one of my online shop’s accounts, I’d only have to send this link: click here.
I could even hire someone who hires other people for me. All they need is that link. For more context, they have a complete case study.
It doesn’t get easier.
Make it Happen: Your own Case Study
Creating such a case study is indeed a big commitment. Especially if you share your intention/idea with people upfront. This builds pressure and it can become uncomfortable. But that’s actually good. It’s like having a mentor who’s watching your efforts and leads you to the success you’re looking for.
Are you brave enough to take the leap of faith and write your own case study?
If yes, post your idea in this Facebook group and I’m more than happy to keep you accountable.