One 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.