Profitable ideas feel impossible to come up with.
I’m not an entrepreneur and have no business degree. I wouldn’t know the first thing about writing a business plan. Yet I’ve created a 7-figure online business with insanely high profit margins.
I’ve given this strategy below to 1000s of my customers, but you’re getting it for free. What I’m about to share breaks every business rule (and it’s perfect for ordinary people to follow).
Test ideas like this
In the old days you’d spend a year coming up with a business idea, validating it, talking to customers blah, blah, blah.
The internet and AI have sped up business. The snail pace ways are dead.
The modern way to find a profitable business idea is through posting content on social media. That’s right, writing is the foundation of everything.
When you post on social media what you’re doing is sharing ideas. As you get better at it, what you’re really doing is providing answers to problems you know how to solve.
Post on social media for 90 days straight. Write down the five ideas people loved or engaged with the most.
Choose an idea you’re NOT passionate about
Sounds wild, right?
Everyone tells you to follow your passion like you’re Little Red Riding Hood on her way to grandma’s house to make love to a wolf. But passion is flaky and it needs habits that feel like a prison sentence to keep it running.
The most profitable ideas are the ones you’re obsessed with. Read that again.
The trap normies fall into is they chase ideas they think will be profitable. They get led down a dark alley with a creepy man in the pursuit of making the most money possible from an idea.
But when an idea is trendy — like starting an Amazon FBA business a few years ago — and you just pursue it for money, eventually you end up frustrated or bored. So you give up.
Choosing an idea based on how much money it could make is the worst idea.
My most profitable idea has been turning my obsession with writing into an online business that helps others do the same. I don’t have to try. I think about my obsession 24/7. I even work on it on my days off.
What’s your obsession? Build your business around it.
Use content to build an unconventional email list
Profitable ideas make lots of cash. Cash comes from customers. Customers find you based on how much distribution you have.
The dumbest thing people do is try to launch an idea without having any distribution. What’s distribution?
- Social media reach
- A large email list
If you have no one to sell your idea to, I can already tell you the outcome.
You’ll make close to $0…unless your daddy gives you a few hundred thousand dollars to run ads. Or unless you convince a venture capital vulture to invest in your idea and use the money to buy ads.
So many people skip this step.
They have the “build-it-and-they-will-come” mindset which leads to bankruptcy. People don’t buy unproven ideas with no social proof.
Funny lesson I learned:
People buy from people. S-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o…if no one knows who the freaking hell you are through social media, they ain’t buying.
Start an email list using tools like Sub$tack or ConvertKit. If you already have an email list, spend more time growing it than you currently do.
Build a secret community
The gurus preach about email lists like it’ll solve world hunger.
Email lists are great but they’re often one way. Influencer sends email, followers read email, then silence.
Without the 2-way communication you can’t get feedback on an idea. And you can’t get external contributions to your idea.
That’s right, the best ideas don’t only come from your sexy brain. No. Ideas iterated on by a community are more powerful. They’re more likely to stick. They’re more likely to solve a real problem instead of a fake one.
The best way to achieve this goal is funnel email subscribers into a community. Not all will join but the serious ones will. This community is secret because it can’t be googled.
The only way someone should be able to join your secret community is by being on your email list.
There are several types of communities:
- Free community in WhatsApp, Telegram, Discord
- Paid community ($5-$10) a month
- Mastermind — high-end price with rituals, live events, in-person events.
The mastermind is the hardest one to build but I’ve found it creates the most profitable ideas. Don’t start with this option though.
Most communities suck. Why? They’re ghost towns. There’s one reason why: the members aren’t working toward a specific goal.
Don’t make this mistake. Don’t make a community topic-based. Build it around an operating system, challenge, or goal.
Once you have a community, you start conversations. You interact. You find out what problems the community has. Then you pitch ideas. See if any work or generate lots of conversation.
A bright idea will pop out within 3–6 months.
Launch a free community off the back of your email list (no matter how small it is).
Make love to survey monkey
I’ve always loved the monkeys at survey monkey more than the chimps at MailChimp that banned me for life without any reason.
Sending surveys is an underrated strategy.
Most people have a bright idea, have an orga$m over it, and think they’re Einstein. Their ego ends up preventing them from ever having it be successful.
I email different segments of my email list every day. Read that ten times!
Not a day goes past that I’m not asking someone for feedback because I don’t want my tiny brain to think it’s smart. Have a bright spark then instantly see what people think.
A great survey question: what problems are you having with this topic/goal/industry?
The responses from the surveys form the sales copy for your landing page, and the copy in the emails you send to sell your eventual product/service.
This technique works because when you frame problems and sales copy in the words of everyday people who’ll be buying it, it makes more sense.
No one does this. Instead they write sales copy that sounds like a used car salesman and add a countdown clock that’s about to blow up in 60 seconds if you don’t act NOW! NOW! NOW!
Use surveys to become smarter.
Pro tip: sell the first version of the product or service to the people who responded to the survey.
Use Google Forms or Survey Monkey to start sending surveys today.
Launch products and services below cost and almost go broke
The bean counters heads are on fire. “You F-ing crazy Denning!”
Yep. Insane in the brain, sir. The goal of launching a product or service isn’t to make money. A proven idea must be your main aim.
When I launch a new product I sell it for a low price that sounds like clickbait or as if I’m joking. It lets me see what people want. Plus, the first version of everything is terrible. So discount the price to allow for it.
I’d rather 100 sales at $10 in the beginning than 2 sales at $10,000. Why? If I can nail the product that sold to 100 people for $10, I can probably to turn it into an insanely profitable product later on.
Here’s what wannabes forget: online businesses are funnels. Even if you only sell a $10 product it can lead to a more expensive product. I like the front end of my business funnel to be low-cost and low barrier to entry.
Stop trying to become a rich b*tch on day one.
Once a product is validated and selling (20–50 sales), it’s then time to survey the customers who bought it. You’re looking for improvements you can make. Once you know what they are, then ship the updates ASAP.
Then launch the same product again with a higher price. Repeat this strategy until you hit the magic spot of highly profitable, and affordable enough to get the right number of customers to meet your money goal.
Launch your first paid offer to a group of people via email.
Make the idea more profitable by digitizing it
Some of the best ideas start out manual.
Like your first idea could be as basic as selling 1–1 coaching. But as you get more traction, you want to find ways to make an idea more profitable by selling less of your time.
One way to do this is to take a manual product or service and digitize it. Coaching could become an online course. Or selling journals and shipping them yourself could be done by a fulfillment center.
An idea can then be made more profitable by:
- Building systems in software such as Notion (so the business becomes more repeatable to run).
- Outsourcing the work to virtual assistants so you can focus more time on the tasks that make the most money.
- Introducing automation through tools like Zapier.
Don’t be a hamster running on a treadmill forever, otherwise you may as well work a nightmare cubicle job. Set your profitable business idea free by investing less time in it in return for more money.
Get prices on virtual assistants. Watch a few Youtube videos on how to use Zapier. These actions will at least give you awareness of what you’ll need to do in the future, so you’re ready.
That’s my simple strategy to build a profitable business idea.
It’s made me millions and can at least make you $100K in the next year if you execute it properly and don’t try to be a business genius.
Go take action then let me know how you go.