Past Episodes

Episode 113:I Will Solve Your Problem, and You Will Pay Me

What separates a consultants proposal from a contractor's proposal?

Episode 110:Why You Shouldn't Be On Call 24/7


Episode 109:Productized Consulting for Drinking in Meatspace


Episode 107:Project Scheduling, a How To


  • How should you effectively schedule projects? (ex: no deadlines on a Monday)
  • How do you best estimate a project length?
  • How do you schedule work around a break (sabbatical, etc.)
  • How do you ensure that client's respect deadlines?
  • How do you 'reset' expectations if there has been a bit of drift?

Episode 106:Writing Time is Sacred Time


Episode 104:How to Say "No" to Clients

What's the best way to give a no to clients?


  • When should you say no to clients?
  • What's the best way to give a no?
  • How should you politely turn down small projects?
  • How do you avoid making compromises in scope?
  • How do you fire bad clients?

Episode 103:How to Have a Good Phone Call

How do you have a good phone call with a prospect? How do you prepare enough?


  • How long should the call be?
  • Should you leave a buffer after the call?
  • Should you prepare an agenda?
  • How do you determine who is leading the call?
  • How do you end the call?

Episode 102:Reading, Writing, Doing

What's a good balance between educational content consumption and doing the work?


  • Time management
  • Reading may just happen. Optionally: intentionally schedule time around it Implementation: when you finish a book, how do you decide what to read next?
  • Tape flag ("This is a thing I want to remember")
  • Highlighting
  • "This is an interesting thing to know about" and then apply later
  • Rereading to extract notes / directives

Episode 101:Speaking at Local Meetups


  • Subject of meetup
  • People at the meetup
  • Go to one before speaking
  • If you don't have a good meetup, start one, but don't be the first to speak
  • Good places to host a meetup
  • Good places to announce a meetup
  • Scaling/growing your meetup (as you grow, make sure there isn't an in-group and an out-group)
  • Avoiding Groupthink in Meetups (Creative Mornings: Someone manages it for a fixed term and then passes it off)

Episode 99:The Actual Doing of the Thing

How do you transition from being an "overthinker" to a "doer"?

Episode 97:Positioning: How Specialized Should You Be?

How do you know when you've specialized enough?


  • Know your target market, like Ecommerce
  • Know niches within your target market, like Women's Fashion and Beauty or Every Day Carry
  • Identify if there are 20-50 companies in your niche in your target market; identify if of those 20-50 there are 15-20 companies that are paying for consultants, have paid for consultants, or are looking for help solving a problem

Episode 96:Shipping Physical Goods

This week, Nick and Kai dive into the world of shipping for online businesses. (Hint: There's a reason Kai likes selling courses!) We've both run businesses that shipped things to people. What does it take to ship things to people? Learn about Kai's previous eBay businesses and how Nick handles shipping copies of his books to customers and clients.


Episode 94:How to follow up with clients after a project

Why follow-up? What outcomes are you looking for? What makes good follow-up? What resources do we recommend? How often should you follow up? What should you say in your follow-up? Who should you be following up with? What's your next step?

Episode 93:Webinar Quickstart Guide

Why run a webinar? What outcomes should you look for? What tool(s) should you use? How do you prepare? How do you prepare your content/presentation? What's the format to follow (20/30/10 -- 20 on presentation, 30 on questions, 10 on pitch)? What do you do with the webinar video after the webinar?


Episode 92:Referrals From Past Clients and Teams

You work with a client. They have a great team. You part ways. Their team members eventually part ways, too. Then they reach back out.

Episode 91:Welcome Packet Overview


  • Why use a welcome packet?
  • What's included in a welcome packet?
  • When do you send a prospect a welcome packet?
  • How do you update your welcome packet?
  • When shouldn't you use a welcome packet?
  • How do you get started?
  • What tools do you use to create a welcome packet?

Episode 90:A Single Shot of Bourbon

What do we do when we lose deals?

Episode 89:Closed Doors

Why is it important to close enrollment in courses, and what's the strategy and thinking around opening enrollment?

Episode 88:Speaking from the Right Dictionary

What do you need to do when you want to get more specific and double down on an industry?

Episode 86:When Should You Offer a Money-Back Guarantee?

Money-back guarantees are helpful in some situations, and really harmful in others. When should you offer a money-back guarantee, and what should the conditions be around it?

Episode 85:The Dreaded Price Hike

How do you know when to raise your prices? Quantitatively and qualitatively, what signs should you look for?

Episode 84:Educational Products: Creating Your First

What defines success for the product? What type of info product makes sense? What's high impact / low risk? How do you figure out what to make? How to promote it if you have a small (or no) list? What should you aim for after you've created your first educational product?

Episode 83:Podcast Equipment: The Travel Rig

In this episode, we dive into The Travel Rig that Nick bought for recording interviews and group panels at conferences or events. If you want to learn more about on-the-road podcasting hardware, listen to this one. (A 'nuts and bolts' episode)

Episode 82:Why Aren't We Making More Money?

In this episode, we answer listener Max's question from Twitter: "Why aren't the two of you making more money?". We go inside our own businesses to examine what we're working on. We discuss when you can say "I have enough" as a business owner and stop focusing on growth.


Episode 81:Should You Offer a Free Call?

In this episode, Nick and Kai discuss if you should offer a free strategy call as a consultant and where an intake call should fall in your client intake process.

Episode 80:Self-Care

In this episode, Nick and Kai discuss how to care for yourself when you're running a business.

Episode 79:Recurring Revenue

In this episode, Nick and Kai discuss recurring revenue for freelancers and consultants: What are the different options for recurring revenue in your business? Taylor Swift is mentioned exactly once.

Episode 78:Whale Clients

In this episode, Nick and Kai discuss how to manage your business when you have a whale client. What should you do? How do you future proof your business?

Episode 77:One Single Fact About Olive Oil That Will Absolutely Shock You

How do you make great infoproducts, and how do they fit into your product ladder?


Episode 75:Writing, Publishing, and Daily Emails

How frequently should you publish? It's probably more often than you're currently publishing.

Episode 72:Skip Steps 1 & 3

What are our quarterly goals? Why are goals important? What shape should they take?


Episode 71:How do you write more as a freelancer or consultant?

In this episode, Kai and Nick discuss how you can write more as a consultant and revisit the importance of reusing your existing writing as 'grist for the mill' (repurposing it for other uses). This is a good one!


Episode 70:What do you do if a prospect stops responding after you send a proposal?

In this episode, Kai and Nick discuss what to do if a prospect, lead, or client stops responding after you send a proposal and different systems and strategies to use to overcome this obstacle.


Episode 69:Dear Savvy Entrepreneur

Nick and Kai do a deep dive on important business strategies that you need to know about. Also, if this is your first episode of Make Money Online, we're so sorry.

Episode 68:The First Thing Bought

In this episode, Nick and Kai discuss the importance of the 'first thing' that a customer or clients buys from you (be it a product or a service) and how that transaction sets expectations for the duration of the relationship. Nick and Kai also briefly discuss how to get started with your first product.

Episode 67:Making Retainers Work

In this episode, Nick and Kai talk about how retainers function for freelancers and consultants and the benefits of costs of offering retainer based offerings. Nick and Kai also discuss alternative to retainer based engagements to increase your client lifetime value.

Episode 66:Travel Time is Sacred Time

This is another in our series on how to travel well as a freelancer or consultant. In this episode, we talk about treating your vacation as sacred time, what (and how) to pack, how to deal with airlines, and how to vet restaurants.


Episode 65:How to Fill Your Client Pipeline (and What to Focus on This Month)

In this episode, we answer a listener question: If you woke up and had 0 clients and wanted to start filling your pipeline, what do you do?

Episode 59:Pig 5 Syndrome

How do you deal with crowded markets, and how do you fine-tune systems in the long run?


Episode 55:Customer Service as a Consultant

We talk about the importance of customer service as a consultant.


Episode 54:Nü-Positioning

How do you update your positioning over time? And what if your work is more "touchy-feely"?

Episode 52:One Year of Making At Least, Like, Twelve Bucks Online

You've been listening to this podcast for a year now -- Thank you; we're so sorry -- so we've provided a retrospective episode to look at the highs and lows of Make Money Online.


Episode 49:How You Track down Your Number 1 Skill to Start off Your Consultant Business

What do you do? Wait -- before that -- how do you figure out what exactly it is that you do?


    A wonderful reader wrote in with this question:
  • How do you track down your number 1 skill to start off your consulting business?

  • Nick and Kai proceed to break down why (and why not) to start with your skills, how to identify valuable skills, and how to make sure that what you're offering is something that the market -- most likely -- needs. Probably.

    Want to submit your questions for us to ponder over and eventually answer? Tweet at Kai.

    Also, positioning.

Episode 48:Getting Unstuck When You Feel Stuck

You are staring at a computer screen for too long. Stop that. Get off the internet. Pause this podcast if you have to. Leave your phone and smartwatch at home. Go to a park. Sit on a bench. Stare at a pond. There are ducks in the pond. Ducks are kind of jerks, but the way they swim is cute. You don't know what time it is. You can hear traffic faintly in the distance. Others care about going someplace, it seems, but you don't.

Episode 47:How To Deal With Constraints When Consulting

Constraints - real or artificial - are a way to impose a restriction on what problem you can solve and how you can solve that problem -- like the problem of these show descriptions being limited to 211 chara

Episode 46:It's The Economy, Stupid

How, as an independent business owner, should you handle a shock to the economic (or psychological) system of your country?

In this episode of Make Money Online, we talk about how to secure your business against economic disruption, why you should always be thinking about how your industry will change over the next few years, and why it's important to diversify your income stream from purely consulting to consulting, information (educational) products, coaching, mentoring, etc., in case one stream drys up.

We also discuss about the importance of positioning as a consultant. To survive in a down (or changing) economy, you need to have strong, specific positioning that identifies both the target market and the expensive problem that you solve. Why?

Because in a changing economy, generalists are the first against the wall when the budget is cut.

Thanks for listening. Best recommended with a strong beer or a nice, sippable whiskey.


Episode 45:Kai Buys a Tent

How did Kai prepare for taking two weeks off of his business? What did Kai learn by forcing himself to make this space? What was the Burning Man like?


Episode 44:Risky Business

What is risk? What's the definition? How does that factor into client objections? How do you overcome these objections?

Episode 43:nickd Buys a Dog

Who is Basil, the world's greatest organism, and why is he so wonderful?


Episode 42:The Problem, She Is Forever Expensive

How do you research expensive problems and craft offerings to solve them?


Episode 41:This Episode Will Be Delivered in March 2017

We're working to provide the maximal amount of value from this episode, and we'll be delivering it then – at which point we'll be permanently raising the price to $1,000. We're terribly sorry for the inconvenience.

Episode 40:Don't Be the Bottom

Why don't we work with recruiters or any other third parties?


Episode 39:Thoughts on Products

Are products a way to replace services, or do they help augment your services?


Episode 38:Pricing Your Services

How do you price yourself as a consultant? What's the difference between pricing as a consultant and a contractor? What's the difference between pricing on time versus on outcome?

Episode 37:The A/B Testing Manual

We discuss Nick's new book, The A/B Testing Manual. That's it. That's all we do today.


  • The A/B Testing Manual
  • Periodically Yelling for Profit
  • Note: Nick said there would be a money-back guarantee at one point in the episode. Then he thought better. Now there is no such thing. In fact, if you buy a copy of The A/B Testing Manual, there are no refunds of any kind. We apologize for the error.

Episode 36:How You Signify To People What You Do

How do we present ourselves to different groups of people? Folks who have no idea what we do, folks who know too well what we do, ultra-nerds, etc.


Episode 35:Kai's non-planning v. Nickd's overplanning

You have $38 and need to get to Hong Kong in 18 hours. How you respond determines what kind of business you get to run.


Episode 34:Impostor Syndrome

You're incompetent and don't deserve to be a consultant. Except you're great. How do you resolve that?

Episode 33:Setting Healthy Boundaries

As a consultant, setting boundaries in work and life is absolutely critical to running a successful business – and not letting it take over. You never learn this in school. There is no Boundaries 101. How do you start? What do you do?


Episode 32:Three Rotting Rutabagas

What do restaurants have to do with independent consulting businesses? We try, and partly succeed, at answering this question.


Episode 31:What Nick Does

Kai interviews Nick about what he does, what A/B testing is, how he started Draft, the type of projects he's worked on in the past, and the types of projects he wants to work on in the future.


Episode 30:What Kai Does

Nick interviews Kai about what he does, what outreach / digital public relations is, how he started his business, the type of projects he's worked on in the past, and the types of projects he wants to work on in the future.

Episode 29:How To Prep Your Clients For Your Travel

It's one thing to be totally awesome at traveling. It's another thing to travel a lot. But how do you preserve your client relationships while traveling?

Episode 27:The Pepsi Gravitational Field: Make Money Offline

In this special episode of Make Money Online, we talk about automating systems for client intake and email management with our friend Kurt Elster. This was recorded in front of a live audience at Double Your Freelancing Conference in Stockholm, Sweden.


Episode 25:Freebie Offerings: There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

In this episode we talk about the advantages and what goes into free offering in a consulting business.


Freebies are tough. Give away too much and you decrease your value to clients. Don't give enough away and you're stuck without enough prospective clients. Today Nick and I discuss the ups and downs of both sides.

Violet Hour at Home

Episode 24:Passive Income: Fallacies and Truths

In this episode, we talk about the idea of passive income – which a lot of people find to be the holy grail of a durable freelancing practice. What is passive income? What forms does it typically come in? How passive really is passive income, anyway?

Sponsor: This episode of Make Money Online is brought to you by Just Fucking Ship (, a book by Amy Hoy about how to ship your work, create something others want, and break down the barriers that are stopping you from success. Take a look and buy Just Fucking Ship today for only $19.

Episode 23:Incorporation! Taxes! Insurance! These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.

Kai and Nick discuss incorporation, taxes, and insurance and give you, dear listener, a bit of advice on the steps you should take to secure yourself in these three areas. Needless to say, neither Kai nor Nick are lawyers, accountants, or insurance brokers and are not qualified to give legal, tax, or financial advice like a qualified professional. All information in this episode is simply our personal opinions. For best results, you should consult a lawyer, accountant, insurance broker, or bookkeeper local to you with knowledge of your industry.


Episode 22:Masterminds: A book club for the eldritch horrors of running a business

What are masterminds? Why should independent business owners join one? What do you need to watch out for? How do you grow one? How do you grow the group as business owners? What if your mastermind starts to suck?


Episode 21:nickd Buys A House

Yes, the system is fundamentally stacked against you and there is nothing you can do about it. Yes, you are abetting a series of societal problems that are probably larger than you – and which you are probably too busy in your own life to address. No, there’s no way to know whether you’re doing the right thing. Yes, there will be a dog – eventually. No, the dinner parties won’t get any better. Nor will your friendships. But the house is something. Your stuff looks better in it. Block everyone who doesn’t understand.


Episode 20:Periodically Yelling for Profit

Why a mailing list? How much to charge? How should you get members? How does it ladder into other services? What's the precedent for this?


Episode 19:Grist for the Mill

Kai and Nick discuss the importance of repurposing your content as a consultant, 'using your sawdust,' so to speak. You can turn one piece of content (like a podcast interview) into a series of articles, a webinar, or additional pieces of content that are all relevant to your audience. Also? Jam bands and what you, as a consultant, can learn from The Grateful Dead.


Episode 18:What's Your Favorite Positioning?

Positioning 101: Why positioning is important

In today's episode we discuss:

Episode 17:Swimming Up the Entropy Chute

What would your job look like if you didn't have computers?

In today's episode we discuss:

Episode 16:Choose Your Own (Negotiation) Adventure

What is negotiation? How much money do you leave on the table by not negotiating properly? How do you negotiate as an employee vs. as a consultant?

In today's episode we discuss:

Episode 15:Working With Experts

Another reader question: “It sounds like you both have expertise in the products you're selling, but feel like any expertise you have in the business side is learned via trial and error. Is that so? If so, why not consult yourselves with a business expert?”

In today's episode we discuss:

Episode 14:MMO Mailbag 3: Nick on Out-Pricing the Competition

In this third and final mailbag installment, Nick answers the question "how does he counter the many low-cost, ‘stack em high sell em cheap’ so-called Designers online currently bidding in 99Designs?"

Episode 14:MMO Mailbag 2: Establishing Prerequisites

In this second part of a 3 part mailbag episode, we talk about our prerequisites in working with somebody who we think we can get the best results for.

Episode 14:MMO Mailbag 1: Kai on Podcast Outreach

In this first of a three part mailbag episode, Kai talks about podcast outreach.

Episode 13:Your Incremental Steaming Abomination

Today we're talking about product ladders and how they're so important to your product development activities. What is a product ladder? Why is it important? How does it connect with your positioning? How do you upsell people effectively? When do you know to create a second ladder? What does a second ladder look like?

In today's episode we discuss:

Episode 12:Hiring and Working with an Assistant

In this episode we talk through the ups, downs, and considerations of hiring an assistant for your business.

The Meta Episode That Both Our Assistants Will Listen To

  • How we decided to hire
  • The process we followed to hire
  • How we vetted candidates
  • When to hire vs when to not hire
  • The challenges of hiring (or growing as a business owner)
  • Mistakes people make when applying (application process, negotiating focus on portfolio & past work vs future work/details of the job)
  • Why we - two people say we don't want to hire or have a team - hired assistants


Episode 11:“Go Back ‘Draft Evidence’ On Kickstarter Right Now”

Today we're taking a look at Nick's Kickstarter campaign – and reviewing what you can learn from it.


Episode 10:“The Importance of Research”

Good research is essential to anyone wanting to excel in any business, and in particular any online business. We break down how and why we do all of our research for our projects.


  • Why is research important?
  • How does research fit into business?
  • Specifically, how does research fit into each of A/B testing, IX design, Outreach, Marketing, and SEO?
  • What methodology do we use for research?
  • How do you iterate research?
  • How do you throw away research?
  • How do you make a good customer survey?
  • How do you act on research data?

Episode 9:“A Week in the Job”

We often reflect about what A Week In the Job of an online entrepreneur looks like. Today we dig into it, with all its glory.

Episode 8:“Getting the Heck Out of Dodge”

Nick went on vacation. What happens before you go on vacation? What happens after you return? How do you manage client expectations? What happens if a client oversteps their boundaries?

Episode 7:“Are You Pineapple-Worthy?”

Today we're digging into onboarding clients, students, and customers. Why care about your onboarding? How can you do it better?


    References in This Episode

  • Nick's Welcome Packet
  • Kai's Welcome Packet (nick's welcome packet with white-out applied throughout)
  • Sunn o)))'s welcome packet
  • Big Ideas

  • Set Expectations
  • Explain what you're doing and what they'll be doing
  • Explain what won't be happening
  • Give direction for questions

Episode 6:“On Writing a Book: Why Write a Book?”

Writing a book is high on most content creators list. But why? What is the allure of writing a book for makers?


Episode 5:“Non-Horrible Business Right-Sizing”

How do you scale your business without sacrificing the quality of work your customers have come to expect?


Episode 4:“Kai Buys a Pen”

In which our hero learns about the Supercomplication and other sundries.


Episode 3:“How We Got Started”

How did we begin our businesses? Where did we come from? And because scale is the only thing that matters, how do we do so?


Episode 2:“Make Money Online”

Now that we are talking to one another, how can we make money online? Methods are discussed; sacred cows are thrown into volcanoes.


Episode 1:“Click Here to Download Your Free Chapter”

Who are we? What is this? What gives us the right to run a podcast? This is horrifying.