Fuck The Furlough – How To Make Money With Your Brain Without A Job

In this post I’m going to teach you how to take all the knowledge you have in your head, and put it to use making money for you while you don’t have a lot of work to do.

You’re going to learn how to create a product FROM SCRATCH with ZERO technical skills, no expensive equipment and nothing more than you PHONE.

Plus, I’m going to give you £30 in credit to get the product designed and formatted. How’s that for awesome?

If you’ve been furloughed (fired, let’s be honest), it means that you’re still kind of working but not really. However, you also have more free time on your hands.

Plus, I bet you’re now wondering if there is a better alternative to putting your income in the hands of someone else? How about we find a way to make you some money on auto-pilot, without having to do the work?

Am I going to make millions?

Yeah…probably not. At least, not right away. It can take time.

Look, making money online is like everything else. If you stick at it long enough, you’ll get better. But with a guide like this, hopefully you’ll see results a little faster. And you’ll at least see the possibility of how to make money without working in a job.

People buy brains

More specifically, they want your brains. Think of the world as a group of zombies. They’re after your delicious brains filled with delicious juicy knowledge.

  • Do NOT under estimate how valuable your life experiences, knowledge and skills are
  • Even if you feel you’re not offering anything different (you are), people still want your knowledge. If they want one set of brains, they want another

Everything from home cooking, to gardening, bookkeeping, copywriting, translations and home fitness has millions of potential customers looking to get at your version.

I don’t know anything…

You might be thinking that you don’t know anything worth selling or teaching. Which is categorically false. For a few reasons.

  • Just because you know how to do it and maybe even millions of other people know how to do it, doesn’t mean that new people aren’t discovering it for the first time. There are entire industries built around teach people to swim, tie a shoelace, cook pasta, boil an egg, run a 5k race, write email subject lines and write a C.V.
  • If you haven’t learned anything EVER by definition you thought it was valuable enough to learn and retain – other people will too

But what if I only know something really niche?

That’s even better! Let’s say that you know the absolute single best method for cooking wholewheat pasta lasagna. You have a really specific recipe for what bechemel sauce to use, the types of tomato and whether to use beef or a beef/pork mix.

Sound specific? There are entire WEBSITES dedicated to just cooking with wholewheat pasta and YOUR recipe is worth money.

  • People who want to learn about cooking wholewheat pasta or writing email subject lines usually will want to learn MORE about that specific subject.
  • As the number of people on the internet grows, hyper-specific micro-niches will also continue to grow. Vegan cooking isn’t specific enough anymore. It needs to be Italian Vegan Wholewheat Cooking. Or Subject lines for selling kitchen equipment.

It’s also worth remembering that people don’t buy what you’re selling necessarily. What I mean by that, is that you might be selling a very specific method for cooking or writing or marketing or whatever. But what they’re buying is a better future version of themselves.

Maybe they want to eat healthier or impress their friends. Maybe they want to feel more confident when writing emails. Maybe they want to have a plan so they have some more clarity over their life.

The point is that no matter how niche or specific your skill, someone out there will probably benefit from it because you’re already benefiting from it. And the BENEFIT (better future version of themselves) that they buy might not be immediately or obviously linked to your skill.

How to turn your brain into income

We need to divide this into a few parts, but this will help you create a digital product that you can sell over and over and over, without increasing your workload at all.

  1. We’ll decide what you’re going to teach people
  2. We’ll create the benefits and sales/marketing BEFORE we build
  3. The world’s fastest product creation framework
  4. Package, publish, promote

I use this framework over and over and over. It’s helped me create courses, coaching, audio products, reports, guides, workbooks, best-selling books, programmes and much more.

With it, you’ll see how you can quickly create a product that sells on auto-pilot, without you having to do the work over and over.

What are you going to teach people?

This will be the hardest part of the process. Either,

  • Because you have no idea what you’d teach or
  • You have 1,000,009 ideas of what to teach people

So I’m going to share with you a process I use to decide what I’m going to create.

  1. Make a list of all the things that I’m at least, pretty good at
  2. Cross off anything that I don’t love to teach
  3. Cross off anything that isn’t valuable to people

Simple right? In an ideal world, you’ll ask your customers what they want to learn and what they’re struggling with. Maybe if you’re already in a particular industry you have a pool of leads and customers in your audience you can ask.

If you don’t have anyone and you’re literally starting from scratch, that’s cool too. Just think of something in your “sweet spot” that is something you’re good at, something you love to talk about and something that people would see as useful (valuable).

If you’re still left with a few options, then good, you’ve got a few products.

Create the benefits and sales/marketing BEFORE we build

One of the big mistakes that people make is they spend thousands on creating a product (with course plugins and tools, video platforms and websites) before they even know if it’ll sell.

Also, they invest too much into the delivery of the product. Which kills their business because they have to sell thousands of dollars of product before they’ve even broken even.

We of course are smarter than that. We’re going to take a different approach.

  1. We’re going to decide what the value is, what the benefits are and what the sales/marketing message is before we build
  2. We’re going to create a super simple, easy and cheap product that tests a market for you

Sell futures, not features!

Let’s take your core subject and topic and create a tonne of benefits (i.e. reasons for someone to learn it and buy it). Benefits are better future versions of someone that they can envision. Sell futures, not features!

“An online report and PDF” is not a benefit. That’s a feature. If I can replace any of the words with another METHOD or delivery system, it’s probably a feature.

For example “6.8 inch HDR10+ 4K multi-touch screen” is a feature also. Because we can change the size of the screen, the resolution, if it’s a screen for phones or a TV or the quality of the colours.

Results ≠ delivery

People get way too focused on how they deliver their core topic. They see that as a benefit if it’s a course or report. It’s not. The method that you use to deliver your results is not the only method.

For example, let’s take the below sales pitch for a product.

In 2020 I’m going to show you how to create a product FROM SCRATCH, sell it and generate income on auto-pilot while you sleep! Imagine your partner getting annoyed at all your phone notifications because your PayPal account gets sales all the time and you’re doing something else!

Does that sound like something you’d like to buy? Does it sound valuable? Can you envision a future that’s better because of what I’ve written? What are some of the benefits?

  • income on auto-pilot
  • lots of payments
  • create a product from scratch
  • income while you sleep
  • scalable income and sales

Why do I care?

Now can you tell me what the product is? What is the method of delivery for that product? Can you tell me how I am delivering those results?

No – because not once did I mention the blog post. Or report. Or course. Or coaching. Or software. Because it doesn’t matter.

So we need a list of benefits and better futures that customers get, when they buy from you. What are those benefits? After someone buys from you, what does their life look like.

Ultimately, WHY does someone want to learn this topic?

Some things to think about when writing benefits.

  • Emotions and feelings are powerful sales motivators. People buy because they want to feel something, or stop feeling something
  • If you can change how someone sees themselves or what their status is, you’ve got a killer product
  • If you can describe a part of their day that they hate and flip it, they’ll see it as more real in their mind.

For example, let’s look at some of the below benefits. We’ll choose 3 different topics that you could teach. Email subject lines, running a 5K race, cooking with wholewheat pasta.

Email subject lines

  • Know with absolute confidence that your emails WILL get opened and read
  • Write subject lines that are SO good, people will begin to recognise you sent them an email JUST from the subject line
  • Jump out of bed excited to send your first email of the day because it WILL result in sales

Running a 5K race

  • Imagine knowing that just a few weeks ago you could barely run and now you’re proudly crossing the finish line of your first 5K race
  • Warning: People WILL ask you what’s changed when they see you and you might get sick of answering
  • Sleep better than ever and get a good nights rest due to changes in your “run system”

Cooking with wholewheat pasta.

  • Nothing beats a home cooked lasagna! You know you can smell how good the sauce, pasta and cheese smells!
  • You’re going to be SICK of people asking to come round for dinner and REQUESTING your lasagna
  • Wholewheat pasta can be flavourless but we’ll show you how to add MASSIVE flavour and texture

Benefits are a future that people can see themselves in. AND you might have noticed that there’s a little curiosity in most of these bullet points? That’s because humans can’t resist a secret or “what if?” If you can add curiosity to your benefits, you’ll create very desirable products.

Motion in the ocean

Next up, we’re going to create a small product that PAYS for your future products. It’s critical that you understand that flagship courses and products and programmes aren’t born from thin air, they evolve from smaller products

High level – this is what my process looks like.

  1. Create a ton of blog posts about different topics
  2. See which blog posts get the most clicks, traffic and views
  3. Create a free download or template based on the topic with the most views
  4. Test the free PDF download or video behind an email optin on my website
  5. See which gets the most download and sign ups
  6. Create a small, cheap product based on that topic
  7. If it sells well, create a better more expensive version
  8. So on and so forth

This method means I never create a dud product because I’m letting my customers and audience decide what they want to buy. If I create a load of free content around topic A, B and C. I’ll see which the most popular is and test a free download (like a template or cheat sheet) and if that’s popular, I’ll launch a small product.

When you create products you WANT products that don’t sell. That’s why we create the sales message and benefits first. If you wanted, you could test a sales page with those benefits and if you don’t make a single sale, you know that your audience aren’t interested and you can try something else.

However IF you are starting from scratch I can totally see how the testing route might not be for you right now. Which is why we’re going to skip to step 6. on the list above and create a small, cheap product.

It’s going to be a written report or audio training or a download of some sort. Something that someone can read/consume in an hour and get some use out of. We’ll sell it for around $20 and if it works, you can create a better product later and sell that to all your customers.

Many people won’t know this but Sell Your Service started with a few PDF downloads and audio training programmes. Eventually that grew into webinars, coaching, software, media, memberships and speaking gigs.

One final note, ladies you’ll already know this, but gents, it’s got NOTHING to do with the size of the tool. It’s how you use it. DO NOT think that “minimum viable product” means a 54 page PDF with worksheets, course materials and a membership site.

It MEANS 1 hour of audio or a few pages MAXIMUM. I have paid $97 for a 5 page PDF guide that forever changed my sales copy. I’ve also paid $10,000’s for a live-in-person training event that was so bad I left by lunchtime. The size of the delivery (package?) has NOTHING to do with how valuable it is.

The world’s fastest product creation framework

Let’s get into product creation mode using this framework. I’ve used this for books, courses, coaching, memberships, live talks, events, software and more. It’s that good.

You however are going to use your phone and a transcription service like Otter.ai (free transcription. Also this is an affiliate link which gives me a small kickback).

  1. What’s the main topic title?
  2. What are the 5 – 7 milestones they must learn?
  3. What are the 5 – 7 learning points, per key point?

What’s the main topic title?

Take a piece of paper and write your main topic at the top. If you want, write a subheading which is also a benefit.

For example: Writing Killer Subject Lines. How to write subject lines so powerful that people can’t help but open and read your emails.

5 – 7 milestones

This is the meat of your content. All you’re going to do is write out 5, 6 or 7 key points that people must learn or know about your core topic.

  • Ideally we want insights, things they didn’t know, steps, milestones or disruptive ideas that challenge what they know
  • 5 – 7 is a good number
  • They can be sequential if you like. But they don’t have to be. For examples you could say Step 1, Step 2 etc. Or just have 7 insights that people need to be aware of.

Write out your milestones on your paper. Make sure to leave 5 – 7 lines or some space under each milestone to fill out some learning points and details..

These are essentially the “lessons” for your topic. If our topic is writing killer subject lines, our milestones or lessons might be:

  1. Subject line template
  2. Split testing to determine winners
  3. Writing to open and writing to click
  4. Curiosity based headlines
  5. Benefit based headlines
  6. Power hacks like RE: [brackets] and %personalization%
  7. My top performing (and failure) subject lines

Those are 7 key milestones or ideas that people must know about the topic of writing subject lines.

Learning points

Now, I’m going to flesh out the learning points for the milestones. We have our topic, we have 7 milestones or “lessons” and we have 5 – 7 learning points per milestone. Make sense?

  1. Main topic
    1. Milestone (lesson)
      1. Learning point 1
      2. Learning point 2
      3. Learning point 3
      4. Learning point 4
      5. Learning point 5
      6. Learning point 6
      7. Learning point 7
    2. Milestone (lesson)
      1. Learning point 1
      2. Learning point 2
      3. Learning point 3
      4. Learning point 4
      5. Learning point 5
      6. Learning point 6
      7. Learning point 7
    3. Etc.

You could probably use just the milestone as a prompt. But it helps to have a little more direction. We’re just breaking down each milestone into easy steps or a process that someone can follow.

Some good jumping off points your learning points might be:

  • common myths or a mistake that people believe around this topic
  • interesting fact or data that supports your milestone
  • simple steps that people can use

Write out 5, 6 or 7 learning points per milestone that people need to understand per lesson. For example, with our topic of email subject lines, we have the “Power hacks like RE: [brackets] and %personalization%” milestone.

  • Power hacks like RE: [brackets] and %personalization%
    • Using RE: in a subject line
    • Power words like FINALLY and WARNING
    • Using names and personalization
    • Brackets, squares and punctuation
    • Emojis in subject lines
    • Avoiding spam terms
    • Speak like a human (slang, umms and phrases)

We’re beginning to flesh out what you know about a subject and you might surprise yourself with what you know!Pro tip:If you can think of ONE benefit for every single learning point, you’ll SMASH your sales campaigns and have tons of value to offer your customers.

Package, publish, promote

Now comes the hard work – making the product.

I’ve already mentioned your phone and transcription service like Otter.ai. All you need to do is open up the voice recorder app on your phone and start talking.

Use the milestones as topic titles or chapter titles and just talk. Talk to your phone like you’re talking to me. Don’t worry if you get a brain-freeze and take a long pause, that’s why we’re recording it.

Create an audio file and talk for 10 – 20 minutes per milestone (if you can do more, go for it). If you’re thinking that there’s no WAY you can talk for 10 minutes about one of your milestones, don’t panic.

Just record what you can. You might surprise yourself that you know more than you think. Also, if you start talking about something which you’d forgotten to write down OR you just thought of it mid flow – AWESOME! You just recorded some bonus content for your customers! You’re already adding value to your product!

Create an audio file, save it and upload it to a transcription service like Otter.ai. Let the transcribers do their magic and download your written transcription version.

£30 free credit for design/formatting

Boom. You’ve just got a written report that teaches someone a specific skill and makes you look like a genius. Plus, you can sell it.

Throw that content into a Google Doc and give it a little formatting (headings, titles etc.) or head over to peopleperhour.com (affiliate link again) and get £30 free credit for someone else to add some design flair to it.

Now you’ve got a product that looks like it’s worth paying for. Plus, you could edit the audio and add that in as an added bonus to anyone who buys.

That’s as simple as you can create any kind of product and in the future I’m going to show you how to sell them on automation, as well as set up sales pages and checkouts.

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.