Ether Makes it Easy for Consultants to Sell Their Time

Ether, online consulting callsOne of the most interesting of the new Web 2.0 businesses is Ether.com. Ether’s website says, “We make it easy to sell what you say.”

Consultants, business coaches, and other small biz folk who sell their time by giving advice, can use Ether to charge for telephone consultations.

Ether provides the infrastructure, including a scheduling system, phone number and credit card billing mechanism. You place a button on your website and invite website visitors to call you and pay for a telephone consultation.

Ether.com extracts a 15% fee. However, I suspect most consultants will not balk at that, because Ether.com gives them a way to get paid for business they might not otherwise ever get. So, in essence, it can be found money.

There are other options for consultants to set up payment via the Web for telephone consultations, but they are cumbersome. For instance, I know one consultant who sets up the engagement via email, and then sends a PayPal link for a half hour’s time. But it involves several steps and several emails, and is hardly seamless and quick.

Pete Cashmore, a consultant who authors the Mashable blog, just wrote a review of Ether.com. He has been using Ether.com successfully to sell his Web 2.0 consulting services.

8 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell - CEO


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of TweakYourBiz.com.

8 Reactions

  1. You’re right this service does look interesting. As I’ve said on my blog it would allow me to make some income from calls generated by my blog but that I currently have to turn away.

    You don’t mention that it is an invite only beta at the moment.

  2. Yes, Stuart, it definitely can help collect “found” money that you might not otherwise have a mechanism for capturing any other way.

    As to the beta only invite, as with most betas if you are really interested it doesn’t take much to wrangle an invite. A good place to start for an invite is to register here:

    http://www.ether.com/Registration/Registration.aspx

    You will be prompted to enter your email address in order to be added to the beta list.

    Anita

  3. This is a great service idea I can certainly use. I hope Beta ends soon or I can get to be BETA user.

  4. Update: I went through the registration process and have been added as a Beta tester.

    - Anita

  5. Keen.com had this same type of set up years ago (1999-2000ish) for experts in all types of industries. Now it only focuses on relationships, tarot readings, etc.

    This format works better for specific industries, certainly not all. Most people who contacted me through keen seemed to think they could get advice free of charge even though the program clearly stated that there was a cost for help. Some even became indignant when I wouldn’t answer for free.

    I hope Ether works for consultants and others who offer their services.

  6. Maybe I should start doing phone consultations instead of blogging.

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