📦 A Creative Way to Make $100K/Year

Brainstorms Issue #21

Brainstorms Issue #21

A Creative Way to Make $100K/Year

It’s hiring season!... or at least it feels like it is.

In the last few weeks, I’ve had 3 of my friends come to me asking for help with their resumes, cover letters, and job applications. 

Frankly, I didn’t think I’d be able to help much - I’ve only been “employed” a few times in my life.

Nonetheless, I agreed. A second set of eyes couldn’t hurt, right? 

A couple things stood out - 

  • They all had the same generic cover letter and resume templates - which looked bland

  • They all sucked at showing what makes them different than everyone else applying for the position

These are smart, hardworking people who’ve done and built interesting things.

Yet they all struggled to convey their value in a clear and interesting way.

In other words, they didn’t know how to market themselves. 

Marketing is something I could help with. 

So here was the plan:

  1. We’re going to ditch the boring cover letter and resume,

  2. We’re going to show employers why they should hire my friends rather than tell them why they should hire my friends. 

If you want to stand out, you gotta do something different.

How are we going to do this? 

By using something that I call “out-of-the-box” resumes.

Here are some examples 👇

Essentially, you’re taking all the information that you’d put on a sheet of paper (boring) and displaying it in a fun and different way.

Why do I love this? 

It breaks through all the noise hiring managers have to deal with and sets you apart from everyone else.

If I received something like this from an applicant, they are at least going to get an interview - which is exactly what a resume is suppose to do.

The only challenge was putting these boxes together - it’s a huge pain in the ass. And, unfortunately, I couldn’t find a service to do this for me.

Which got me thinking… Someone should turn this into a business.

The value proposition here is simple, break through the noise and consistently land interviews.

You’re also saving the customer a lot of time. They don’t need to figure out how to get the design made, print it on the box, and ship it out. But, I wouldn’t lead with this. 

Let’s, do some quick napkin math to test the financials. 

This service is most applicable for jobs in sales, marketing, design, tech, etc… Given that these jobs all pay $60,000+, you could easily charge $50-$100/box. 

At that price, the ROI for the applicant is a no-brainer. 

If you want to hit $100,000/year, you’d need to sell 2,000 boxes at $50 + shipping each per year (or 167 boxes/month). Keep in mind most people apply for 2-3 jobs at time - so this should be easy to hit.

Your main costs will be the boxes, printing, and shipping (which your customers would cover). 

After calling a few print shops, I’m confident that your total COGS would be <$10/box.

Note: To keep COGS down you could offer a digital template, rather than printing it. Here’s an example 👇

Alright, so the rough math checks out, now let’s talk about how I’d build this:

To start, I’d try to sell this to 10 people using LinkedIn or Reddit. It’s very easy to find people applying to jobs on these platforms.

Direct message these people with a clear offer and a link to your landing page. 

Your landing page needs a few things:

  1. A clear value proposition like “The easiest way to land an interview”. 

  2. A few 3D renderings of boxes so they can see what they’re getting.

  3. A Typeform to collect all the relevant information that you’ll use to create the box.

Note: to get the 3D rendings just go to Fivver and hire someone. 

That’s it, with a bit of hustle you should easily be able to get 10 people to test this out on.

I love this idea because it has a word-of-mouth marketing (aka a degree of virality) advantage and has shareability built-in. People will want to tell other people about this.

Admittedly, this business isn’t perfect:

  1. It requires some work - you’ll need to work with local print shops and ship the boxes out yourself. 

  2. It’s a small-ish opportunity - I don’t think this could ever be a huge business but I’d be happy to be proven wrong!

  3. It doesn’t work at scale - part of why this works well now is because most people don’t apply to jobs this way. If this takes off, you’ll lose the uniqueness that gave you an edge

Thanks for reading - now get out there and build it! 

Catch ya next week, 

Keevin ✌

Looking for more great content?

Check out all the past issues here.

Want more ideas? Check out this week's podcast where Wes Merrill and I talk about alcoholic drink fountains, Airbnb Haunted Houses, and Tools for Adulting.

P.S I'm working on getting these uploaded to Spotify and other platforms.

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