The technology that most of us have in our homes and even our pockets today is astounding when you really think about it. We can talk to people anywhere in the world at the touch of a button and not just talk with the sound of our voices, we can actually see them and talk to them live as if they were in the room with us.
Technically they are, they are in our room and we are in theirs, it is pretty damn incredible when you think about it.
I recently watched a documentary about people who were making money using nothing more than their laptops, a webcam or two and an internet connection to make money. The show was mainly about couples performing sex acts while paying fans around the world watched.
Webcam couple – Kitty and Moses Photo: Rory Mulvey/Channel 4
Now I am not going to going to talk about that industry much, nor do I recommend that you do it, as there were more interesting things that the show revealed and also I wanted to take the information and try and create other business ideas around what I had seen … minus the naughty nookie.
So don’t panic I am not going to suggest that you enlist the wife or husband or partner to become an active member in your new bedroom based business, we will leave that to those who love to perform on camera.
What was interesting was that there was one couple who was travelling around the USA in a campervan and were now earning money by interacting with their fans and being watched while they did the mundane daily jobs.
It was not clear whether they actually had sex in front of the camera much now, which is how it all started, as they were making enough money from people watching them wash the pots, play with their pets, hoover the camper van and play games… it was like a real life ‘Big Brother’ scenario…. but more interactive.
The Fast Pound
One couple said that they loved performing in front of the camera because they could generate an extra £50 when they needed it. It was like a personal cash machine, they would log on via the website/company they were using, wait for people to join them and then they would be paid to perform. People were paying on a per minute basis similar to the old phone call and line rental.
As I say I don’t want to focus on this or recommend that you do anything like this but I couldn’t help think that there must be other things that people want to know or see. I have often thought that in the future music events and live gigs by your favourite acts will become more online pay per view affairs.
So if U2 were playing in London people going to the gig could pay big money for the tickets but at the same time they could live stream the show around the world to other fans who pay a much smaller fee to watch from the comfort of their own sofa.
Could you do a live performance for a small fee where people pay to watch you perform? It could be music, it could be a play or it could be some kind of live TV show.
The Online Course
On Sunday I received an email from a techno/dance music producer who was taking bookings for his music course in October. Now I love dance music and have made my own tracks in the past so out of curiosity I decided to take a look at his music school and lessons and was surprised to see that it was all done online.
I expected that he was running classes at his studio but no, I was wrong. He offered five lessons for £500 and they were all online. After an initial online consultation possibly using Skype or Google Hangout to find out what software or skill you wanted help with or to learn the lessons would then be tailored to meet your needs and done online.
At £500 for five lessons imagine how much he would make if I wanted to learn everything on the list on the advert!
If the software is computer based then they would probably use a system that allows screen sharing but if the lesson was about hardware such as studio mixing desks then the lesson would be through a webcam. It is pretty rare that you would use a service/system that does not do both webcam and screen share options. I believe Skype does both but you might need to use the premium option.
Google Hangout however is free and allows you to do a screen share so the pupil can see exactly what the teacher is doing while he/she is talking through the process and if required the pupil can also share their screen so that the teacher can assess or check that things are being done right.
Recently while doing a Google Hangout with a friend 200 miles away we shared screens and it worked perfectly, he was able to watch me while I showed him something new. So if you have a set of skills that other people might need then maybe you could run a series of online tutorials or consultations.
Languages are probably one of the easiest things to teach online, if you speak two languages like Spanish and English then you could probably charge to teach Spanish to English students of vice a versa. You might even be able to charge to converse in the language with students who need more real native talking to help with their studies. That would mean that you arrange a time, take a payment by PayPal and then meet up and chat online.
I am just thinking through these ideas, there is a growing network of teachers, schools, communities and companies that rely on and offer these online teaching services. What you see in the open public sector usually means that there is also a growing need for those types of services in the private sector.
If students such as language students or music students, as we have previously discussed, are needing professional tuition and if the only way they can get ‘quality, affordable and reliable’ lessons is by using the person who lives several hundred miles away or in another country then it is going to have to be online using a service like Skype or Google Hangout.
The Unique Selling Point
This is and has to be a growing market. It doesn’t have to be just sex shows or educational lessons that make money using this type of service. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone could make money by filling their house with webcams and charging for voyeurs to login and watch them just ‘live’. Nothing surprises me these days, if marketed right I imagine anything could work, even the real obscure things that you wouldn’t expect to be profitable.
Another documentary called Web Cam Girls explored the bizarre world of women who work in the alternative adult industry which included niche interests as watching women taking showers in baked beans or crushing tiny cars in stilettos… I kid you not! It seems people will watch any old thing!.
I mentioned earlier about the pay per view live streaming of gigs, there are so many fantastic resources of free recorded and live music online and there are many people like Sandi Thom who have built careers out of doing free webcam gigs from their homes but I think it is possible that someone could generate money performing live sets online.
Most people might disagree saying that because there are so many free music sites and countless hours of free music online (SoundCloud, Mixcloud, YouTube DI.FM etc) why would someone want to pay to listen & watch a live webcam gig online? But if your music was an ambient and chilled set you could market it as an online audio meditation and combine the two and create a unique service which people might enjoy.
People might join you once a week to sit and enjoy a meditation session as you play your chilled out ambient grooves especially if you were set up on a terrace overlooking the sea on a clear blue day.
There are Middle Man websites like Gigee.me where you can create an account, create an event and promote a live ticketed gig where you will get 80% of the revenue. This would be ideal for those wanting to perform to larger audiences which would suit musicians & producers, comedians, shows & performances and yoga sessions looking at the screenshot below.
Sites like Gigee.me allow you to get set up and promote your events and even test the market without having to spend time and money developing your own site which can come at a later date if needs be.
You can also open up a Gigee store and sell merchandise from the same site which is great if you are a band/musician doing regular live gigs.
Marketing the product/service, giving it a unique angle and finding your market might be a touch harder than just switching on the webcam and being paid for doing a few minutes of ‘whatever it is you want to do’ but it could mean that you make more money.
Success In Anything Comes From Participating Actively
Like everything in life, to make it work and get the best results you will need to actively work on it and not give up too soon. You need to take the business from just started to being established which is where most success will come from.
That is how those couples are making money by doing live sex shows online… they are entering into a very lucrative business that has been around for years and opening up accounts on established (Middle man) websites that deal with all of the marketing, technological and payment requirements this business would need.
For you starting a fresh in a non sex industry, you might need to do a little more work and build up that reputation and become established but once you are making money from nothing more than a laptop, a webcam (comes with all laptops as standard) and an internet connection … you will be able to do this from virtually anywhere in the world.
This is just one of the many ways you can earn money online without having to sell anything to anyone, ever … find out more at: Tim’s Minions Digital Academy