34: How to Build a 5-Figure Subscription-Based Service Business in Your Spare Time

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In episode 34 of The Side Hustle Show, fellow side hustler Ryan Cote from WPAmplify.com discusses how he’s built his part-time service business into a high-value recurring-revenue machine.

We talk scoring customers, pricing, delivering the goods, retention, and much more.

Ryan reached out to me about sharing his story on the podcast, and I’m glad he did. He’s got tons of valuable advice in here that you can apply to start your own service business or grow an existing side hustle.

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  • How to figure out what kind of service business you could start.
  • Ryan’s “secret sauce” for getting new clients.
  • The pricing strategy that removes his time from the equation.
  • A couple creative ways to keep clients on board month after month.
  • The tools used to run this kind of business.
  • Ryan’s #1 tip for Side Hustle Nation.


It’s a quick one, but packed with good stuff.

What say you? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

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Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

21 thoughts on “34: How to Build a 5-Figure Subscription-Based Service Business in Your Spare Time”

  1. Great interview, like the actual steps involved. But it is somewhat unique, sounds like he’s working for a member of the family…however distant..nepotism can be beneficial. Like the ace of sales tip, looks pretty cool.

  2. Hey Joe! Yes, I also work for my family’s marketing agency. The two businesses are quite different…but yeah I’m very conscious of how important it is to keep both business very separate. It’s not too hard though because my family business works with much larger companies and we provide a greater variety of services. Thanks for listening to my interview and leaving a comment!

  3. Great stuff! I love the fact that Ryan doesn’t have contracts and has to prove himself month after month. I think this is the best way to run a services business for so many reasons. I also love how Ryan views the ROI of his pricing for his clients. Great interview. Thanks Nick!

  4. Ryan, I appreciate the level of detail you provided on the podcast. It gave some ideas. Nick, you are a great host. You put people are ease and you ask insightful questions. Overall, great episode!

      • Do you think just blog writing for SEO could be a side hustle. I write very well, and have written posts that get a lot of views esp over time. I love SEO but the idea of hiring others, overseas etc is too much 4 me. So I”m trying ot hustle as consultant where I advise literally the steps to SEO ones website then perhaps add writing.
        I’d appreciate your comments Ryan….

        • Hey Kala, I think blog writing is definitely a possible side hustle. Companies and small businesses are rapidly understanding the importance of blogging, but many don’t have time to do it. You could look for websites that have blogs but blog less than once per month. This way you’re prospecting websites that understand they need to blog…but clearly don’t have the time to do it regularly. Good luck!

          • Thanks for response I just saw it! And great idea, I just read that from some expert writers- look for “ailing” blogs, like not updated lately.
            So am gonna try it. I appreciate the feedback.

  5. Great call Nick. Ryan thanks for all of the nuggets that you dropped on the call. I really like the idea of working without a contract because it goes against the grain of what most people will tell you to do when working with local businesses. I believe if you follow the words of Wallace D. Wattles in the Science of Getting Rich – “If you give more in use value than someone pays you in cash value then you’ll never have to worry about money.”

    What does every new business desire? Hopefully, more qualified leads that eventually leads to more business. What I like to do is help the local businesses that I work with determine the Lifetime Value of A Customer. So if I’m working with a local chiropractor and we determine that the LTV is $2,000 and I am to consistently send them 3 qualified prospects each month then I can easily justify them paying me $1,500 on a recurring basis to get their video ranked on the 1st page of the Big “G” for a particular keyword and keeping it there every month.

    I also agree with Ryan about managing the clients expectations. I’m not interested in a client that I have to babysit each month but I do want to provide them with the reports they deem necessary. I like to make the work I provide be a seamless as possible. As in the example above the Chiropractor’s best time is spent treating patients, not worrying about whether his video is still ranking.

    Another thing I’ve learned and Ryan touched on this I get paid for the value I bring to the local business not the time I invest in doing what I do. Like the old saying goes “I get paid because I know where to hit not necessarily because of how long it took me to fix the problem.”

    Ryan I did want to give you one resource that you can use for the business that pays you by check. It’s called Greenbyphone.com They are a check processor and extremely good.

  6. Hey Rick, I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment! And yeah, you touched upon my main focuses: no contract so you have to continually prove yourself…setting realistic expectations with the client…and pricing your services based on the value you provide. Another thing that’s crucial that I forgot to mention in my conversation with Nick is the importance of making daily progress in your business..even if it’s just one task. Create a habit of making daily progress!

  7. In my place , business services are still underdeveloped . Many people still lack confidence in the service business that I run .

    How to build that trust ? In order for me to easily develop this service business ?

    • Hey Rya, the best way to build trust is through client case studies and testimonials. And if you can get video testimonials, even better!

      Good luck,


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