The age of the internet has heralded some significant changes in how businesses can make money. If in times of old you were a carpenter then you made your money working with wood – now, a carpenter could far exceed his money made from his actual craft by being smart with how he monetises his ‘brand’ – as opposed to just his products and services.
Thinking of yourself as a brand is the key when you’re imagining ways to create revenue. Instead of thinking about what you do, think about what you know or what you represent – and how to get people to pay for that!
The internet has opened the door to mass exposure if you’re smart with your brand – and here we focus primarily on using online resources to your advantage, although there are a couple of tips that work just as well in ‘real’ life!
You could be forgiven for thinking that blogs are nothing much more than an online journal – but actually, blogs are an increasingly powerful tool in the world of internet marketing. If you’re creating a company blog it’s tempting to use it as an out and out sales tool – but try your best not to fall into this trap.
For example lets say you are a provider of CCNSG courses in Manchester, now you may think you wouldn’t have a lot to talk about in a blog, but in reality that’s not true! You’re training people so you could post a blog each week interviewing the people who are attending your courses.
The world of online marketing is not as simple as shouting “buy my services” from every conceivable outlet, in fact, that’s likely to be detrimental to your business. Instead, look at offering as much value as you can. That might mean you blog about the equipment you use, techniques relating to your work, tips on how people can engage with your industry – or much more.
By doing so you create a reader base, your articles are shared and the quality of your information speaks volumes – you’ll bolster your own business and you’re likely to attract people who want to ‘guest post’ on your blog. This is where an individual or company gives you an article to post on your blog – in return they attract some of your traffic to their site and their Google listings can be positively influenced by links back to their pages.
Now obviously, this is worth money to them – so it’s something you can ask money to do. The bigger and better your blog and site, the more money you can charge!
- Create an ebook
If your business knowledge base extends beyond what could be contained in some blog articles you might want to think about creating an ebook. An ebook can be whatever you want it to be, a guide, a series of shorter articles, a long form piece of text – or anything in between. You might need to employ the services of a designer to give it the professional feel – but this can be done fairly cheaply if you look for a good freelancer.
When your ebook is together you can sell it. Have a look at what’s out there already for some ideas on pricing. Amazon is a good place to start when it comes to a marketplace – but there are dozens of options, so do your homework!
If you’re at the absolute top of your game you’re likely to have a huge number of people who’d like to replicate your success – and they’re going to be more than willing to pay you to offer some insights on how they can get there! Even if you feel like you’re far from the top of your industry, if you’ve got a business that’s up and running and making some money then you’re head and shoulders above most other people who are starting out. You might take a daily rate for the input you put into their company – or you might contribute your knowledge and time in exchange for a share in the organisation. Either way, your knowledge is worth big money to someone who needs it.
If you’re one of those people who cringes when they hear their own voice this might not be for you! However, if you’re willing to talk about what you do – perhaps in conversation with other people in your industry or guests that relate to your line of work, then there’s chance to make some money.
Unless you have some celebrity friends or you’re already world renowned, you’re unlikely to start making money from day 1, however, there have been plenty of podcasts that have seemingly come from nowhere, having gained a strong following quietly before breaking into the mainstream. As podcast popularity grows, so do the people who are willing to give you money to have you talk about their product to your audience. Prices depend on how many people listen and subscribe…
You might work in an industry that lends itself well to offering your knowledge as training courses. These don’t have to be done through any formal learning institution – instead, you might offer access to some pre-recorded or live coaching videos, perhaps with access to you personally for attendees (either actual or online) thereafter.
This is another way of offering that expertise that people are looking to implement to their own businesses – and actually might be more beneficial to everyone. Studies show that content people have paid for is normally more highly valued than information that has been amassed for free.
If you’re thinking of running a course to offer some knowledge, you might want to think about two (or more) levels of cost, a low-price introduction to your work – and a more highly paid specialised course with the real meaty knowledge contained. Attendees for the first of course being the perfect place to market the second.
Need a third angle?!
So, not only do you have your primary business model – but you now have a number of ways to monetise you, your ‘brand’ and the expertise that surrounds it all. As if that weren’t enough, consider this – you’ve built a business. No matter what your core business, there are universal truths that apply to all businesses – especially when you think about the attitudes and work ethic needed. So, re-read this list thinking not only about your industry and your brand… but your ever-growing business acumen too…