As a consultant, people pay me for advice, strategy, and information. I’m always looking for unique and effective ways to disseminate that information, including teleseminars, speaking to groups, writing magazine articles, etc.
Normally, I’m paid on a monthly retainer basis. However, quite often I run across business people who need my help for a shorter term. Sometimes just to ask one question or discuss a single problem.
As a general rule, I don’t bill on an hourly basis, so that makes the “short term” situation difficult.
Several months ago, I thought I found the answer. It was called Ether.com.
The promise (from their website) is:
Earn money selling what you say.
Get your free Ether Phone Number. Set your rate. Set your hours.
Your phone only rings when people pay to talk to you.
Essentially, it’s a pay-per-minute advice line. You set up an account, post their ads on your blogs and website, and your phone will start ringing with customers paying you per minute for advice.
The phone rings alright. Every day.
You see, they have this computer system that calls you to make sure you are available to take calls. So no matter where I was, in whatever time zone, Ether would call every morning to make sure I was available. It was only mildly annoying until this past weekend.
I’m assuming due to a glitch related to the daylight savings the time change, the Ether computer called me at 4 AM Sunday to see if I was available to take calls!
That was the last straw. I went online to cancel my account.
It turns out, you can’t.
I checked all of their help screens, FAQ’s, everywhere I could find, and no where could I figure out how to cancel my account with them.
I did manage to turn off the automatic calls. And I changed the phone number to a dummy one, so that if their computer does call again, it won’t wake me up at 4am.
Oh, and how much money did I make with Ether.com?
Just what you would expect…$0
Anyone have a better idea?