Today, a case study to show you how even the weirdest niche skills can be very, very profitable.
This is one of my favorite case studies because you’ll learn how to take your skills — even if they’re unusual or seemingly not in demand — and turn them into significant income.
Cassie Phillipps realized that she was working too hard for too little money .She was a theatre stage manager, and as you know, I usually make fun of weirdo drama/artsy types because they revel in their poor financial skills and complain that the world is against them.
But Cassie realized how to carve out a specialized niche using her existing skills. Now, she produces exclusive events for the tech industry. She went from $17/hour to $75/hour and works fewer hours than her old job. What if you could do the same?
In this 35-minute interview you’ll learn:
- How Cassie managed to turn specialized niche skills from her stage manager job into a profitable and high-profile freelance business
- Where she chose to invest in her business, and where she’s chosen to save (if you’re wary about spending money to make money, listen to this section)
- Her marketing strategy, where every engagement is a secondary marketing channel
- How she’s developed multiple pricing plans to fit an unusual niche
- How she cultivates repeat business, even with big-budget, infrequent conferences
Listen to the interview here:
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- 0:24 How do you earn money on the side?
- 1:05 Why Cassie’s unusual skills turned out to be perfect for freelancing
- 2:40 Cassie’s old job as a stage manager — lots of hours, little pay
- 3:45 A friend sees her transferable skills, and asks for her help with events
- 4:35 Getting started working a little on the side, and realizing she’s already making more money
- 5:01 It’s not about the technical specifics. It’s about what the client wants.
- 7:59 “We have $5,000 for you, can you make it happen?” Cassie is offered money for something she can do in less than 10 hours
- 8:06 Getting over fears: “What if I’m not the right person?”
- 9:45 Cassie goes from $200 a WEEK to $100 an HOUR
- 15:02 Addressing startup costs and getting over initial barriers
- 16:33 How she spends for value, and invests in her own business
- 16:41 “If you don’t have the confidence to invest $2000-$4000 in something you’re going to be doing for the next 5 years, then you’re not ready to do it yet”
- 11:16 Understanding her clients’ worst fears
- 11:24 How Cassie negotiates rates with vendors, and pays for herself
- 12:35 Specific phrases to communicate her unique value proposition
- 13:35 Cassie cuts her hours, and triples her income
Marketing her niche business
- 19:17 How Cassie gets new clients, and attracts only big names
- 20:41 Cassie’s marketing strategy: work with influencers, and don’t hide in the background
- 22:08 “Niche it down!!” What this means for freelance event production
- 23:57 “By specializing in the startup industry, I can pretty much beat out any other events person”
- 27:15 How Cassie screens clients, diagnoses her client’s real problems and needs, and eliminates the need for hard sells
- 29:38 Creative rate plans
- 31:35 How Cassie guarantees repeat business
- 34:47 Her work does its own marketing
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Do you know your earning potential?
Take my earning potential quiz and get a custom report based on your unique strengths, and discover how to start making extra money — in as little as an hour.