How To Be a Middleman Online | 7 Lucrative Strategies

January 25, 2023

Do you want to know how to be a middleman online and make great income? If yes, this is the article for you! We take a look at 7 lucrative middleman business ideas you can use to make extra money online. Some of the middleman business examples we discuss are local lead generation, Amazon FBA wholesale, and Shopify dropshipping. One of the below middleman business models even allows you to earn up to a 70% profit margin! 

You can make money as a middleman because you provide a valuable service to society. You play a vital role in the exchange between two parties and so are compensated for your participation. Just look at how well traditional middleman jobs like a stockbroker or real estate agent get paid. Those are some of the highest earning jobs around! So, are you ready to learn how to be a middleman and make money online with just your computer?

1. Lead generation

Lead generation is an online middleman business model where you connect businesses with the human prospects they are looking for. Usually, a lead generation business charges businesses to provide them with high potential customer leads. However, lead generation can also serve businesses by finding talent. Lead generation is a great opportunity that provides legitimate value. You bring the expertise of attracting and qualifying leads for a business so they can put more focus on their product or service. 

A lead generation agency can be especially lucrative, with some agency owners like Anthony Sarandrea generating over $100,000/day! Common methods lead generation businesses use to charge clients include:

  • Cost per lead - You charge clients based on the value per lead and quantity of those leads you provide for the business. The cost per lead usually ranges between $40 to $200, according to Click Funnels. 
  • Retainer - Charges the client a fixed monthly fee for comprehensive lead generation services like driving traffic and building out the sales funnel.
  • Bulk data - Using a website to generate leads and then selling a bulk chunk of those leads to a business. These leads are usually less qualified, so this demands a cheaper price tag. 
  • Cost per appointment - Here you charge the business based on each actual appointment. Since these leads get salespeople directly in front of the customer, they usually demand a higher price tag.  

Paid traffic vs SEO for lead generation

Lead generation agencies have two options to attract leads online. You can either use paid traffic sources like Facebook ads and Google ads, or use the free method of search engine optimization (SEO). Using paid traffic for lead generation, like Abdul Farooqi and Chance Anthony Welton teach in their Modern Millionaires course, is the quick way to start generating leads and making money. However, you actively need to be adjusting campaigns to continue generating leads and also to ensure you remain profitable in the highly competitive landscape of paid advertising.

On the other hand, although using SEO requires more time to start making money, it allows for easier long term management and even passive income once the website is established and generating leads. Generating leads with free traffic is what Dan Klein teaches. In fact, Dan taught Chance & Abdul how to do lead generation in the first place!

Why choose local lead generation?

Local lead generation is a middleman business model that takes SEO lead generation a step further. Instead of trying to compete with everyone on the internet as general SEO does, you use local SEO to focus only on one specific geographic location. Local SEO makes it much easier to get your lead generation website to appear on the first page of Google so potential leads can find you. Then, you sell those leads to a local business in the area where your website is ranked for hundreds to thousands of dollars per month.

 Local lead generation is how you make money long term as a middleman. Once you get a website to rank locally, it's like a piece of digital real estate that generates recurring revenue for the long run.

2. Amazon FBA wholesale

Amazon FBA wholesale is how to be a middleman on Amazon by purchasing products in bulk from suppliers and selling them to customers while leveraging Amazon’s advanced logistics systems. The wholesaling business model is very popular among Ecommerce sellers because of its high profit margins. A wholesale business can make between 10% to 50% on each bulk order, according to Helium10. When you run your wholesale business through Amazon FBA, you outsource fulfillment to Amazon. With Amazon FBA wholesale, Amazon handles:

  • Inventory storage in an Amazon warehouse
  • Picking and packing your products
  • Shipping orders to customers
  • Customer service of your orders
  • Returns processing

You can make $3,000 to $4,000/month selling wholesale products through Amazon FBA, according to JungleScout.

How to become a middleman for Amazon?

  1. Do product research to find selling opportunities on Amazon

  2. Find a suitable supplier partners to provide you with products in bulk

  3. Create an Amazon seller account and add your products

  4. Coordinate with your suppliers or related freight brokers to deliver the products to the Amazon fulfillment center

  5. Keep track of inventory levels to ensure your inventory levels are sufficient to remain in stock

  6. Reinvest profits to grow your businesses by purchasing larger bulk orders and expanding your product catalog.

3. Shopify dropshipping 

Shopify dropshipping is a middleman business model where you list products for sale in an online store without actually owning the product. Then, you buy the product from a supplier and have them ship it directly to your customer when the product sells. Dropshipping is a low-risk, low-reward business model. It has the lowest profit margins in Ecommerce because you only buy one product at a time. However, with enough volume, a dropshipping business can generate massive revenue. Dropshippers can earn up to $100,000/month, according to Dropshipper.io. Realistically, you can average around $1,000 to $3,000/month as a dropshipper. 

Although, you can also do dropshipping on other platforms like Amazon or eBay, many dropshippers prefer Shopify. Dropshipping through a Shopify store lets you create your own branded store to match the type of products you sell. A Shopify dropshipping business also has improved marketing capabilities compared to selling from a marketplace like Amazon, including the ability to:

  • Promote products through branded social media accounts
  • Implement SEO so products can be found in search engines
  • Run paid advertising campaigns like a Google ad

4. Craigslist middleman

Craigslist middleman is a business idea where you make money by putting ads on Craigslist to offer a high ticket digital service like web design and then outsource the work to freelancers when you sign a client. Basically, you connect freelancers with businesses who have a need and take your cut of the transaction. For example, if you offer web design, you could charge your clients $3,000 and hire a team of freelancers for $2,000 to make $1,000 in profit on the project. The best website to hire remote freelancers for Craigslist middleman are:

  • Fiverr - Best for hiring talent for single projects
  • Upwork - Best for hiring on an ongoing basis and paying hourly 
  • Toptal - Best for hire elite talent for specialized high ticket projects
  • Behance - Best for hiring design professionals
  • Guru - Best for hiring skilled programmers and developers

Profit potential with Craigslist middleman depends on a variety of factors like what service you offer. Students from the Craigslist middleman online course report making as much as $10,000/month from this middleman strategy.

5. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is how to be a middleman online by promoting products to earn a commission. You earn money by helping brands to raise awareness and sell their products using digital marketing. As an affiliate marketer, you only make money if you perform because your commissions are closely tracked through your custom affiliate link. Affiliate marketing is extremely useful for driving sales. 16% of all online orders in the United States happen because of affiliate marketing, according to Demand Sage. 

Affiliate marketers use a variety of digital marketing channels to promote products. You can find affiliate marketing in action on social media, YouTube, and paid advertising channels like Facebook ads. However, blogging seems to be the most effective channel for affiliates. In fact, a 2020 report by Awin found that approximately 40% of all affiliate commissions are generated through blogging. A WordPress website is a simple and cost effective way to start an affiliate blog. It really only costs $100 to $500 to build a WordPress website, considering:

  • Domain name - Usually $10 to $20/year
  • WordPress hosting - $2.99 to $7.99/month
  • Premium theme - $60 to $200
  • Plugins and extensions - $100 to $200

How can a beginner earn $1,000 a week through affiliate marketing?

  1. Choose an affiliate marketing niche to focus on
  2. Focus on establishing a traffic source by publishing as much high quality content as possible
  3. Join an affiliate program with high ticket offers like ClickBank, and some affiliate programs with low ticket offers like Amazon Associate or CJ affiliate
  4. Select affiliate products in your niche and put your affiliate link in your content to drive clicks to the brand and make sales
  5. Create an ecosystem to keep existing customers engaged with your business, like by building an email list and sending periodic email campaigns

Using a combination of high and low ticket affiliate products makes it easier to average $1,000/week. High ticket products that net you thousands of dollars won’t sell every day. Therefore, it’s useful to also promote some low ticket products to improve your chances of generating at least some income every day and increase your total profit. 

6. Fiverr drop servicing

You can be a middleman on Fiverr with drop servicing. Fiverr drop servicing is using freelancers from other freelance platforms outside of Fiverr and then listing the service they charge for a markup price on Fiverr. Basically, you find work for a freelancer and earn a profit by charging the customer more than the freelancer typically charges. As a drop servicing small business owner, you can make up to a 70% profit margin by coordinating online jobs, according to FlashHub.io.

You can realistically make money on Fiverr as a middleman because you use the principal of arbitrage to take advantage of the price on two different markets. Arbitrage is a common strategy to make money in many industries, like finance and Ecommerce. You just need to make sure you don’t violate Fiverr’s terms of service to avoid your gigs, or job posts, from being removed.

What gigs are not allowed on Fiverr?

  • Gigs misleading to buyers
  • Services that extend beyond 30 days of service duration
  • Spam, Nonsense, or Violent Gigs
  • Intentional copies of Gigs
  • Adult oriented services

7. Instagram broker

An Instagram broker is how to make money online as a middleman by coordinating the sale of an Instagram account. Technically, it’s against Instagram’s rules to buy, sell, or transfer an account. However, many people still participate in selling accounts. You can find these opportunities in places like Facebook pages, direct messaging, and Discord servers. This online business idea works because account selling is often associated with scams. Therefore, its a good idea to hire a middleman to add an extra layer of safety. As the middleman, you are responsible for:

  • Receiving the money from the buyer and holding it until transaction complete
  • Changing all account credentials into the name of the buyer
  • Sending money to seller once changes complete

With this hustle idea, you make money by taking a percentage of the sale as a commission. Usually, you earn between 10% to 20% of the sale price. Small Instagram accounts with good engagement and around 10,000 subscribers can sell for a few hundred bucks. Larger Instagram accounts with hundreds of thousands of subscribers can sell for $1,000 to $5,000 or more, according to FollowChain.  

Do middlemen create value?

Middlemen do create value. They bridge the gap between two parties to help make a transaction easier, and often safer. They enable potential buyers improved access to what they are looking for, and help save sellers resources by specializing in putting them in front of the right audience. Becoming a middleman is a great choice for those looking to start their own business and make extra cash. 

Of all these middleman jobs from home, I believe local lead generation is the best opportunity. The potential market of high paying customers for your business is massive and there’s substantially less competition than more established online middleman business models like dropshipping, Amazon FBA, or affiliate marketing. In the United States alone, there are 32.5 million small businesses you could potentially serve with a local lead generation business. Each website you make and rank can earn you thousands of dollars in passive income per month. Are you ready to get started as a middleman online and make great income?

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Ippei Kanehara
Founder/CEO

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses

Ippei.com is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2023, is to build your own lead generation business.

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