Not everyone can be satisfied with a 9-to-5, and I totally get them. Doing the same thing every day can become boring real quick. Some people just can’t work a routine job. Some people want to experience different things, set their own routine, work on what they love, and all the other reasons that they have.
The Internet has provided free souls with the perfect opportunity to make their dreams come true. There are so many things that can be done just with a laptop and an internet connection that it has become a savior for all those who want an out and want to do something that is meaningful to them.
The concept of earning money doing what you love is sure to hold the attention of many people. To help all of the people who want to steer the wheel of their life on their own, I have compiled a list of various things that you can do to make money from home or anywhere in the world you would like. Each of these things that I talk about also has a detailed guide to achieve it if you are interested in it. So let’s get started with the jobs first.
1. Build a Startup
Building a startup doesn’t always mean making the next big thing; any profitable business model can be converted into a startup. This might be one of the most challenging tasks in the list as creating a startup involves coming up with a business idea, researching the market, getting feedback from current market customers, doing the necessary paperwork, finding investors, building a team, developing the product/service in your mind and many more.
To create a startup, you need expertise in the market and also some business experience and a reliable network. Building a startup might be a complicated process, but the rewards do justify the hard work.
2. Start an Online Business Venture
If you have an idea about something you could sell, may it be handicrafts or reselling products, starting an online business can be very profitable while starting out. It also makes more sense, you don’t need as much investment to start an online business as it would to start a physical business.
With an online business, you have various social media channels to promote your business. Facebook and Instagram are the easiest social marketing tools to use. It’s easy to connect with people with the same interest as yours, and highly efficient when marketing your products. While you can sell your products through social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, platforms dedicated to selling and buying is a good place to start.
3. Sell Through Your Own Online Store/Start an E-commerce Site
An e-commerce website is somewhere you can sell products that people might be interested in. You can make the products, or you can be the middleman between a manufacturer and the customer. E-commerce websites range from selling clothes, shoes, art, etc. One of the finest examples of an e-commerce website is Amazon, but you can start your own e-commerce website and selling products for a profit.
The e-commerce business can demand strong business skills, market connections, and a reliable marketing and financial plan to execute successfully. In today’s global market and optimized SEO, you can target the smallest group of people while selling your products.
4. Sell Through a Marketplace like Amazon, eBay
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method. Here, you don’t have to keep the products you sell in stock. Instead, when you sell a product, you purchase the item from a third party and have it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the merchant, i.e. you, never see or handle the product.
6. Create a Membership Site
Firstly, what is a membership site? It is a membership model, people may subscribe to your website, and these subscribers pay a monthly fee to get access to new content, existing content, or be part of your exclusive community.
An example of a membership site is Netflix; you pay a monthly fee to access the catalog of movies and TV shows. For creating a successful membership site, you need to find a space in the market that is not filled yet, and you are good at it as well.
Creating a membership site can be a lengthy and uphill task, but your rewards at the end of it will also match the hardship. Freelance Writers Den is another excellent example of a membership site that focuses on helping people make a living writing.
SELL YOUR EXPERTISE
TEACHING A SKILL
7. Become an Online Fitness Trainer/Personal Coach
If you have a background in health and fitness or sports, you can become a personal coach or fitness trainer. Online platforms such as TotalCoaching, TrainingPeaks, and TrueCoach are built to connect online personal trainers to potential clients.
As a personal coach, you need to find your expertise and advertise it through such coaching platforms and also through personal social media and blog sites. Becoming an online personal trainer includes building your brand through proper marketing and exposure.
8. Become an Online Tutor
You can share what you learned in your own course or something that you learned along the, something you are good at, anything that can help someone. If you are providing value then people are going to buy your course. You have to make the course once and as it gains popularity it will start making money even when you sleep.
If you ever dreamed of being a teacher, or if you were really great at teaching your peers, it is your chance to get that done.
9. Create and Sell Online Courses
With the advent of modern e-learning websites like Udemy, Coursera, and Edx, learning is not limited to conventional school or college education. If you are skilled and educated enough in a particular field, you can create online courses that can be sold on any of the e-learning platforms mentioned above or your own website.
If the courses you develop and service you provide to your students is well received, then you can have a successful career in the online teaching market. The initial capital required is minuscule with just a computer and internet connection required.
10. Offer One-on-One Online Coaching/Tutoring
If you happen to have a degree or be good at a particular skill, teaching it online can be a great choice. Online coaching can include teaching physics to a tenth-grade student to teaching marketing to young entrepreneurs.
You can choose to teach your students through Skype or your own website, or you can use online platforms like CoachingCloud. To become a successful online teacher, you need to market your skills appropriately and make sure you satisfy and get feedback from all your students, as in this situation, you are your own brand.
BUSINESS WITH ART/SKILL
11. Write and Sell Ebooks
If you are an up and coming writer wanting to try out some of your ideas in the real market and understand the feedback and reception by real people, then writing e-book can just be the thing for you. You can start by thinking about the idea for the book, writing it, proofreading, getting feedback from trustworthy people you know, and finalizing the book.
The next step is finding a publishing company. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is one of the most popular choices as it lets you publish your ebook for free on its platform and lets you keep 70% of the profits you make. Although, this e-book can only be accessed by people Kindle e-readers, limiting your audience. Other options to consider are Lulu, Booktango, or self-publishing.
12. Become a Freelance Writer
This can be the perfect option if you think you have a strong command over a language. A freelance writer has a wide variety of jobs in the industry, namely, creating creative content, content for websites, book writing, copy editing, proofreading, or literature review.
An ideal freelance writer has a firm grip over grammar, a wide range of vocabulary, engaging writing style, and is comfortable with writing about a wide range of topics. Like in most careers, freelance writing requires hours of work to excel at the craft and create a good reputation in the industry.
13. Make Money with Photography
If you are a seasoned photographer, there are many ways in which you can get paid for your craft. You can sell your photos to businesses, teach photography, sell printed or digital copies of your work, sell your photos on stock websites, start a photography blog, shoot at events, enter photography contests, and even create websites.
With modern websites becoming more colorful and well-designed, the need for high-quality images is increasing. Selling your photos to stock websites like iStock, Shutterstock, and BigStock can garner you healthy profits for your work.
14. Start a Podcast
If you ever feel the conversations you have with your friends, or the thoughts that you have in your mind should be shared with the world, but you are no journalist, then recording the conversation and starting a podcast can be a solid idea for you. Who is going to listen to me? What if I say something stupid or offensive? I don’t have an audience base.
Well, every person who was not a celebrity but started a podcast and is thriving now had the same issues. If you talk about things that are relatable to a large group of people and if most people you meet find your talks interesting, then you have a shot at success. If you choose to do an audio podcast, you can also remain anonymous if you are planning to talk about risky or sensitive topics.
15. Start a Newsletter
A newsletter is a printed report containing news of the activities of a business or an organization that is sent by mail regularly to all its members, customers, employees, or people who are interested in. There are several websites and blogs nowadays, which has an option to opt for a newsletter by email.
A newsletter is an accumulation of several topics and updates that people can be interested in. The newsletter can be used to develop an audience base, sell products, sell merchandise, or even attract people to buy freemium services from the website.
16. Sell Your Art and Designs
Gone are the days when you had to be famous around the world to sell your paintings or artwork. With the inception of sites like ArtPal, Singulart, and Displate you can sell your paintings, sketches, pottery, hand-made jewelry and so on.
You can also make your online following by creating an Instagram or Facebook page for your art, brand your art products with modern graphic design tools. All you need in today’s time is to be good at your craft, and you can become a business owner selling your products.
17. Make Money With Your Voice
If you think you have a voice which is soothing to hear or you are good at singing, then you can use it to make money online. You can offer singing lessons at TakeLessons, narrate books with ACX, do voice-over work with Ear Works, work as a voice-over actor.
18. Become a Movie / TV expert
Put all your hours of binge-watching to good use. You spend your weekends, weekdays, and all your spare time watching NetFlix, why not monetize that habit that you have never thought of giving up.
Start your own blog, YouTube channel, or write for already established blogs. You can not only review the shows, but you can also give recaps, work on fan theories, come up with conspiracies, create quizzes related to the show, anything that will engage the reader or the fan of the show.
19. Become a Book Reviewer
If you love reading and read a lot of books then this is perfect for you. Once you finish a good book you get this feeling to talk about the said book. Make that count, review the book. You can create a blog and review the books.
One thing that is sure to happen eventually is that you will start getting books for free, so you will save money buying books. As you grow you will start getting paid reviews, you can either work for your own site or you can work for other sites that offer you compensation for reading and reviewing for their site.
20. Become a Game Reviewer
One thing that is popular is gameplays. Twitch has it as a popular genre, YouTube has YouTube Gaming. If you love playing games and play the popular ones on end, then this is your chance to shine buddy.
You can stream for hours and be paid for doing what you love. If you can add commentary and add in your personality, and if you have a really dynamic personality then the job is done for you. People stay as much for the person as for the gameplay. If you can add your own fun little elements then you are good to go.
21. Become a Professional Gamer
A seemingly impossible mode of making money a few years ago can well help you earn millions today. You can start streaming your games through platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming, where you can earn through the number of views, subscription to your channel or donations made by your subscribers.
You can also compete in endless gaming competitions all around the globe, which is now recognized by Esports. A popular Dota2 game competition, International 8 has a prize purse of $25.5 million. Although becoming a professional gamer might sound exciting, it takes a lot of practice and patience to become an expert at a game.
22. Become a Food Reviewer
If you try new dishes regularly, if you are a foodie, if you eat out often then this might just be perfect for you. Start a blog and write reviews for the dishes or places you visit. You can also share pictures on Instagram and share a summary of the place and dish in your caption.
The same review can go on Zomato. As you rise levels on Zomato you get benefits there as well. When you make your mark as a food reviewer, you get invited to places to eat for free, you get discounts, and you even get paid to eat for free and write how you found the food. And also, you can always monetize your blog.
23. Become an Instagram influencer
In the modern world, celebrities are not limited to movie stars and sports icons. Social media influencers have garnered celebrity status with a large following. Although, there might not be any particular formula for how you can become an Instagram influencer, attracting widespread attention is part of the job.
Influencers can be in the comedy, glamour, or social activist space. The path to becoming an Instagram influencer might not be easy, but the fame and money it can bring with brands wanting to bring you on to their marketing campaigns will justify the work put in.
24. Become an Illustrator
Working as an illustrator doesn’t need you to be in an office. You get to use your love of art to support yourself financially.
With social media, it has become easier to share your work and connect with your audience. Any sort of visual thing works best on Instagram. You can start posting your illustrations, art, drawings, sketches and once you garner a bit of following take it a step further.
As you start gaining momentum, you can start a YouTube channel or stream live on Twitch, video blog your drawing process. These also help promote your work and then your art can be sold further through Etsy, eBay, your website, etc.
25. Build and Sell Software
This probably isn’t for everyone out there, although everyone can learn to build software with all the online courses available nowadays. As they say, there is always a shortage of good software developers in any country.
As every business today needs to have a website which might have complex functionality, the need for software engineers is increasing. If you can build software by yourself, you can get clients and sell software as a freelance developer which will pay you handsomely.
Need for software is in every industry, from private companies to government projects, if you have a reputable profile as a software developer, you can earn a lot while working from home.
26. Start Trading/ Stock Market
If you have had an interest in day trading, then it is something you can do from home as well. Day traders make money by buying stocks, commodities, currencies or other trade-able securities. You hold them for a short period of time – anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours – before selling them off again.
27. Become a Life Coach
Life coaches to aid their clients in improving their relationships, careers, and day-to-day lives. As a life coach, you will help your clients to clarify their goals, identify the obstacles holding them back, and then come up with strategies for overcoming each obstacle – helping them progress in life and career.
You need to build a presence to get you clients and then you can start coaching them through your website, phone calls, Skype, and social media
28. Become a Graphic Designer
Unlike illustrators, graphic designers aren’t only limited to creative designing. Any kind of visual concept created by hand or using computer software, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers for a business goes.
Graphic designers develop the overall layout and production design for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports using software – sometimes high-tech and sometimes as simple as Canva, Picsart, Photoshop.
29. Become a Makeup Artist or Beauty Therapist
Makeup Artistry is one of the best work from home jobs, especially for women restarting their careers after having kids. It allows you to have clients visit your home or you can visit theirs – whatever is comfortable for you. You can work with the daily crowd and also take on projects from time to time like in the arts, theatre, or for special events such as weddings and formals.
You can also use your expertise to teach people through social media or through selling courses.
SELL OR RENT POSSESSIONS
30. Rent Your Home on AirBnB or Homeaway
If you have an investment property, a second home, a vacation house, or even a spare room in your house, this is a great way to earn side income. You can list your house on modern renting apps like Airbnb and HomeAway. With growing culture amongst millennials of traveling all around the globe for vacation and new experiences, renting a place for small periods is getting more popular.
Airbnb can be viewed as the market standard for renting your house for short periods. You have to list your property by creating an account, describe your space and list amenities available, post photos of your space and list all the nearby attractions and amenities to stand out amongst the rest.
If you provide excellent service to your guests, your house will receive more appeal at a higher rate. Airbnb and HomeAway can be a great modern option if you don’t want to lease your house to a single tenant and want to use the house yourself occasionally.
31. Rent Your Wardrobe
If you are the type of person who buys a lot of clothes but rarely wears them more than once or you have some expensive garments which don’t fit you anymore, then renting these clothes to people who need it can help you earn some extra money.
A particular type of clothes like a tuxedo or the wedding gown are never worn for more than once a year, making them perfect for renting. Online platforms like Rent My Wardrobe, and Rent a Dress allow people to find clothes and ensure quality control.
32. Rent Your Car/Bike/Boat
If you have an extra car which sits in the garage until it’s time for the next maintenance then renting your vehicle can be a source for some extra income. You can earn up to $1000 every month by renting your car to a car-sharing marketplace Turo and Get Around.
Once you sign a contract with a car renting a place, any accidents or damage to your vehicle is taken care of by them. Several drivers don’t have a car of their own, companies like Uber handover rented cars to such drivers, making it a win-win situation for every party involved. If you buy a new car and still don’t want to part with your old one, renting can ensure your old car does not break down because of no usage of pilling bills for maintenance and car parking.
33. Sell Used Items on Craigslist or eBay
Everyone has a few items at home, which are difficult to part from, but all they do is take up more space. Those guitar lessons you were going to take, new roller-skates you bought but never used, we tend to forget these things exist in our house.
When you decide to clean up your home the next time, you can make an inventory of such things which are usable, but you are most likely not going to use them. Such items can be listed on sites like eBay and Craigslist, which can help you get some extra cash and free up some space for the new stuff you eventually sell.
SELL YOUR TIME
34. Freelancing/Work from Home Gigs
With the rise of start-ups, the demands of contract-based workers and freelancers have increased. Small businesses can’t afford to hire too many full-time employees so deploying their work to freelancers from time to time works best for them, and in turn, it works out for people who want to work from home.
Most tech jobs are offered to freelancers and contract workers like web development, programming, IT support, app designing, etc. There are even websites with lawyers to give you legal advice online. Every job and industry out there is finding its way online, so you are not limited in your choice of industries if you decide to work from home.
Third-party services give freelancers and employers a platform to find each other like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, etc. You have to be careful with these sites though. Work on networking, that is the best way to get great work and not get scammed.
35. Get a Full-Time or Part-Time Remote Job
Many companies nowadays have the option of working remotely. Working remotely used to be a big no-no in the past, but companies today are encouraging it, as it brings expertise from all around the globe and lets people work at their own time and pace.
Working remotely opens up many options for people like traveling with work, working at their own time, and spending more time with loved ones. Although working remotely brings convenience for the employees, it also demands a lot of effort in teamwork and self-discipline.
Remote jobs are getting popular in all fields, from writing to development jobs. The one downside of being able to work remotely is most companies might need you to have good experience in your field of work before they can trust you to work remotely. A good place to start your hunt for a remote job would be FlexJobs.
36. Become a Virtual Assistant
No, you will not be replacing Siri or Alexa. In the context of a business, a virtual assistant is anyone who offers services to other business owners from afar in exchange for an agreed-upon fee. There are no set activities that a virtual assistant is supposed to fulfill, the job may include work in customer support, website design, graphic design and layout, editing and proofreading, transcription, content research and many more.
For most entrepreneurs, the higher the number of quality services you can provide the better it is. Becoming a successful virtual assistant includes finding the right clients and listing your services appropriately.
37. Customer Service Assistant
Customer service assistants are the face of a company – they are the link between the company and the customers. They are responsible for servicing customers and helping them with any questions or concerns they may have.
More often these days, customer service jobs are available online or phone-based – it makes more sense to all the parties involved. So, this provides a great option for stay at home mums or those looking to make money at home.
38. Online Sales Representative
Sales representatives sell products or services to potential customers for a company. They are responsible for knowledge regarding the products and offers that are provided and should be able to answer questions accurately.
Sales representatives are required to have strong communication abilities. Many sales jobs are over the phone and require persuasion – so communication and quick thinking is the key.
If you know more than one language then another great work from home opportunity is finding work as an online translator. With the world becoming more connected, you being bilingual is a boon.
Companies are looking to reach customers from all over the globe and this means speaking their language – connecting with the regional audience. You can translate anything from books to pamphlets to minutes of the meeting.
40. Social Media Manager
With social media on the boom, companies have realized the marketing potential so one of the new jobs that have come to the forefront is the task of managing businesses’ social media accounts. As the generation of tech-savvy millennials and beyond is growing, it only makes sense for businesses to tap into it.
This part-time or full-time work-from-home opportunity is great if you already possess digital skills. Companies look for people who know how to write captivating content for their Facebook and Instagram posts, run ads on these platforms, and generate leads – you get to be paid for working with social media.
41. Become an Editor/ Proofreader
If you have earned the title of ‘Grammar Nazi’ from your friends and have an eye for finding errors in texts, then this is the perfect job for you. You can freelance or work on a contract basis. You can work as an editor or proofreader for authors, publishers, and even companies by checking their articles for errors and inaccuracies.
42. Advertising/Affiliate Marketing/Build an Affiliate Site
If you have a substantial online following and a website, then affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online. You can optimize your website so that you attract the right type of traffic on your site.
Affiliate marketing is when you promote specific products on your website and earn commissions when your online followers buy those products through these referrals. If you have a blog website, then you can add a few affiliate links whenever it fits, so that your readers can buy products through it. A few popular websites which have an affiliate program are Amazon, ShareASale, eBay partners, and Shopify.
43. Start Video Blogging/Vlogging
YouTube is the default website for doing this. Like blogging, you can share anything and everything you like. It is the biggest video streaming site, and there is a place for every niche.
Think of a niche and you will find tons of videos on it already. In the beginning, you do not even have to invest a lot, just your smartphone is enough. With YouTube’s recent criteria it is not that easy to monetize, but once you pass that hurdle it is worth it.
The YouTube money might not be big but it opens up other opportunities. You get sponsorships, free products, affiliate links, etc. If you grow in popularity, you can expand your vision in the form of business related to that field, and also sell merch.
44. Start Your Own Blog
Everyone has a story to tell, all you need is the skill of storytelling. If you have something to share, a skill to share, or your creations to showcase, blogging is perfect for you.
With reading being introduced more and more as a hobby in people’s lives, content is consumed really fast, so people are always on the lookout for fresh new content. The more relatable your content is, the more it will resonate with the mass, and the faster you will grow.
Once you achieve significant growth, your blog starts making money. There are many ways you can make money through your blog, such as through Google AdSense, affiliate links, sponsored posts, product endorsement deals, etc. You can also use your blog to drive traffic towards a business you start. Suppose you start selling merch, your already successful blog is a great publicity tool you have.
A micro job is usually a temporary and task-based job you can get through the Internet, where your income varies depending on the job and you might have to pay a small fee to the micro-jobs websites.
45. Data Entry Jobs
Data entry job involves a lot of repeated manual data entry into a computer system through some documents. The position requires little skill but a lot of patience and accuracy. It might need you to be comfortable with Excel and have a good typing speed with accuracy.
The job mainly includes entering customer and account data by inputting text based and numerical information from source documents within time limits. Since almost every company has a database, data entry jobs are in abundance, but they might not pay you a lot.
46. Take Online Surveys
One of the easy ways to make money is to answer surveys and get paid for it, it obviously doesn’t pay enough to quit your job, but it sure is something. You can have a good side income by just answering surveys online.
You not only earn cash, but you also get rewarded with free products, gift vouchers, discount coupons, new deals, or prize drawings, etc through these websites. You don’t need any particular skill to do this, you can do this when you are bored and earn money from your boredom as well.
47. Flip Websites for Profit
Websites have become an integral part of businesses. They are not limited to information sharing, blogging, business promotion, or e-commerce now. It also has become the face of businesses and helps get sales leads. It has become a requirement now that every business irrespective of its size has to have a website.
The practice of buying and selling websites is called website flipping. Through website flipping, the most valuable sites can be sold for thousands or millions of dollars based on which company or who bid the highest. Flippa and Trademysite are popular platforms for buying and selling of websites and domains. If you are new to buying and selling websites, a company like BlackBook Investments can certainly help you.
48. Buy and Sell Domain Names
This is different from buying and selling websites as a domain name is the address of a website that people type in the web browser. Buying and selling domain names can be a great work from home business online.
If you can purchase domain names which are business names, geographic names, generic names, or some popular names and references for cheap from reputable domain registrars like Godaddy or Namecheap, then you can sell them quickly as it is more likely to be needed by an organization.
For example, if you bought a domain called example.com, and someone now wants to buy this name, then they have to buy it from you as you now own the rights to the name. You can buy and sell domains from sites like Sedo and Flippa.
49. Become a Website (User) Tester
Companies pay people to test all the aspects of their websites and this is called User Testing. One average it doesn’t even take 15 minutes to check a website. You have to walk through the website while it is being recorded, you have to use all the functions, check how the user interface is, and then, in the end, you answer questions.
Your answers help the company determine if their website is ready to be launched or are there changes you can make. Some websites tell you to speak as you check the website so that they understand the end user’s thought process, in that case, you will need a mic.
Even though becoming a website tester might sound like a tech job, it can be done even if you have no computer background. It is essential for a company to have a user-friendly website. Although the developers who develop a website might be very good at tech, they often do not think from the shoes of the average user. Usability testing is the process of testing the user experience of a website by letting an average user use the website and find flaws. You can become a website tester by applying to sites like UserTesting and TryMyUI.
50. Enter Online Contests
Online contests are an excellent way for companies to promote their campaigns and products as it creates a large amount of user-generated data, and as a reward, these companies can have giveaways or cash prize for the winner. You can find online contests all over a company’s social media with details about how to enter the contest and what is in it for you.
The contest can be something silly like send a photo of your messy table, and the one with the messiest desk is the winner, or it can be a skill-based contest. You can follow companies that encourage such contests on social media or find sites like ContestGirl and Giveaway Frenzy.
51. Become a Transcriptionist
It is not the most common job title, but a transcriptionist can be a legitimate remote work opportunity for someone who possesses lighting fast fingers and a knack for being a good listener.
The job of a transcriptionist involves converting spoken words to written text. For example, it would require you to transcribe what the audio was for a recorded meeting into written minutes for the company. Whilst a great work from home opportunity, it can often be difficult to keep up with the pace and jargon of some of the specialty fields most of the opportunities come from. You can take up easy jobs like subtitles for YouTube videos or complicated things that involve specialty fields.
There are a lot more things that can be done from home. With the advent of the Internet, the world is your oyster. You can take any skill you have, and spin it into a lucrative business with a touch of creativity and a lot of hard work. Research and be persistent, everyone has the same tools, what we do with it matters!
How Influencer Marketing Helps You Put Your Business on the Map
In today’s times, social media is a life-changing tool for small businesses. The plethora of platforms available at our disposal to use – to benefit us and our businesses in ways that didn’t seem possible earlier – offers huge opportunity to engage with a community of prospects at a fraction of cost.
The key, however, is targetting the right audience and then coming up with resourceful ideas to pull them in. This is where influencer marketing comes in. Influencers are people who have a community of people following them with same interests.
“Influencers are people. People (or maybe personas) with a brand and an audience. What makes them attractive to advertisers is their ability to speak to a very defined group of fans. The way the ecosystem is maturing looks a lot like the internet in the early days.”
You don’t have to go out there to look for individuals with same interests, you can look for influencers that work with your field and have millions of potential customers ready for you to convert into leads.
This practice has made marketing so much more lucrative and easier. You will be a fool to not use social media to its full potential when it comes to affluential marketing. The success of a good social media marketing campaign is in its ability to reach out to the audience and engage with them, rather than to sell stuff.
Simply running your social media accounts on autopilot or pushing content only to put your products out through Twitter, Facebook or other social media accounts to a huge number of fake followers is simply not the right way to do it.
This is when you can use influencers to do the work for you. Though it’s kind of a new landscape for a substantially large number of people even in the marketing industry, influencer marketing has been around for quite a long time. What people don’t realize is that they exist and function within a nuclear testing ground of marketing strategies and yet, for the most part, is unaffected by it.
Influencer marketing was a concept spawned out of this idea – It’s not what is being said that’s important, it’s WHO says it that makes it count.
What is an Influencer
In essence, brand marketers “inspire” or reward strategic “influencers” to get the sales pitch out to the target customer base instead of doing it themselves directly. Influencers are basically entities (people or enterprises) who have a definite large number of followers who appreciate the content put out by the influencer.
This credibility is built over years of research, building networks, and regular engagement with authoritative figures. This is largely evidenced through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Over time, the influencers garner a fan base. This fan base could also be supporting an idea or philosophy that the Influencer represents through his actions or body of work, such as published articles online, political/non-political campaigns, video content, podcasts, or other multimedia content.
Corporate marketing personnel utilize social media and content marketing to drive the message across to a target audience. Influencers are expected to spread these specially crafted content through their personal social media channels and blogs.
In some scenarios, the content is created by brand marketers. But most of the time, influencers create their own customized content.
So how exactly does this all work out?
“Influencer marketing is the first real consumer-driven marketing channel. It’s real people talking to real people. If you look back, consumers have really only had a voice for about the last 10 years. As that happened, people started to talk about things they were passionate about, building audiences and providing real valuable content to people.”
In today’s setting, an influencer can work by reaching out to your target audience and persuading them to pay attention to your business through the following techniques:
- Writing blogs about your business, reviewing products and services.
- Posting information or updates about your products and services through social media accounts.
- YouTube review videos on products and services.
- They can provide you permission to guest post on their portals, which is subscribed to by your target audience.
Influencers can do any one of the above or any combination of the above to help your business brand make an impact on your target audience.
But how exactly do you set this in motion?
Influencing the Influencer
One thing to keep in mind is that influencers are running a business themselves. They are not going to be helping you just for the sake of it unless you have a pre-existing relationship with them. Make sure to research the market value for the niche and approach the influencer with a proposal based on their influence and work. Making use of influencers essentially translates to the two following scenarios:
You will need to cultivate relationships with some of these major influencers so they end up subscribing to your blog and/or start following you on your social media channels. To make this happen, your existing content needs to be relevant to their content and needs to have solid verifiable credibility. If these influencers link to your content from their sites or share it on their social network channels, you have scored major points for your business.
You get in touch with influencers directly and persuade them to publish your content on their personal social media platforms, thereby getting an audience of their followers. Of course, for that to work, again you need to have established credibility in the first place. In this scenario, you score points as soon as your content gets published on their platforms.
Your interactions with influencers need to be based on genuine rapport and common interests. You have to prove that you are happy and capable to add value to whatever enterprise or campaign your influencers may be running. You have to show that you have a genuine interest in developing a favorable network while facilitating authors of quality content to gain exposure online.
With the influx in the influencer marketing business, it is smart to invest in people who can bring you targeted leads. You have to be thorough in your research because it is a numbers game, some influencers are not above using fake followers to show a big number to you. Along with their following, be sure to check their engagement activity – the huge number of followers isn’t going to be buying your products but the people taking the time to engage probably are.
“Any influencer can get a ‘one-night stand’. Trusted social influencers leverage data and help the brand define success to get a call back the next day.”
7 Steps to Make Your Dreams See the Light of the Day
Every person who has ever thought of starting a start-up and hasn’t seen it through has started with an idea and somewhere along the line stopped at the idea. What makes a business idea work is the persistence to see that idea be converted into a sellable product.
“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
It takes time and hard work to bring an idea to fruition. Growing a business will need more work than a job ever would, which many people transitioning do not realize. You will need to sacrifice more than you bothered to consider, you will have to work more hours, you will lose sleep, but in the end, it will be all worth it.
If you plan everything properly and keep your vision set on the goal, it becomes easier. Keep moving forward and keep taking baby steps. Here are a few things you can do to finally make your dreams see the light of the day without you feeling overwhelmed and ditching your ideas before they even take their first breath.
1. Document Everything
Whenever an idea strikes, putting it all on paper is the best way to go. Having everything laid out will give you a clear idea as to what is needed to make that idea become a reality. You will get to see all the pre-requisites right in front of you and it will give you a pretty good clue of the amount of effort you will need to put in.
“Documentation is like sex: when it is good, it is very, very good; and when it is bad, it is better than nothing.”
You will not be moving forward with an unrealistic approach toward the project. Making a mission statement or writing down your vision in a document and keeping on visiting it from time to time will help you stay true to your dream. Whenever you feel like you are losing track of things, you can revisit this document to remind yourself what your goal was.
2. Research Your Idea
Once you know what all you are going to need or want to get to the starting point of the action sequence, to get the ball rolling, pull all stops to gather information. Information gathering is a crucial phase of any project.
A preliminary check on your target market, manufacturing and distribution costs, comparing the costs of similar products, studying the demand, etc. is a no-brainer. This is important to know that there is a profit to be made before you invest a great deal of time and money developing your dream into reality.
3. Find a Mentor
Now you have an idea and you have spent considerable time researching the market and the product, but you don’t know where to go from there. If it is a field that is completely foreign to you then the hurdles are at every corner and even if you are quite familiar with the technicalities of the field, the experiences of someone can give you invaluable insight.
“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.”
-John C. Maxwell
Find a mentor who can help you guide through the process, someone who has been there and done that, or someone who has bright ideas as to how you can proceed and can provide you with a logical argument to whatever you have at your disposal.
4. Design a Prototype/Working Model
Having a real-life example of how your product is going to work or how it is going to be received in the market makes you ready to deal with the real deal before it even becomes a reality.
It also helps you make a more informed pitch to your investors. Having everything ready to be explained and showing how much thought and research has been put into every decision is a great way to show investors how serious you are. It also helps you discover all the flaws or kinks before your idea can be patented or the production can be started.
5. Find the Right Investors
If you do not have the capital to invest, chances are you don’t, then you will have to find an investor who believes in your vision and is willing to invest in it. This is where thorough research and having adequate documentation comes in.
Knowing the market of your product inside out will help you sell your idea to investors. Finding the right investor is important because when both the parties are on board with the idea and have the same vision, working becomes that much easier and there are fewer decision clashes.
6. Marketing and Distribution
Marketing is when you create a business plan and figure out how you would bring your product to the market. It includes decisions like whether you want to manufacture and sell the product all by yourself or you want to license another company for sale.
Distribution channels need to be figured out. Comparisons need to be made to decide what option will help you make the most profit and what fits in with the vision of your product, of your company.
7. Marketing Channels and Advertising
You might have a great product but if people don’t know it exists then there is no point of it existing. You have to put your product out there for people to discover it and try it. You have to figure out what channels are the best for the product you are planning to launch.
“Whether B2B or B2C, I believe passionately that good marketing essentials are the same. We all are emotional beings looking for relevance, context and connection.”
Learn about the tools at your disposal. Use social media to create a brand presence and to generate leads. Social media channels are also great to track customer feedback and get suggestions. It helps you make a direct connection with the customers and reach out to potential customers.
Having an idea is just not enough if you want to see your dream turn into reality. Steps are meant to be taken not stared at. No matter how good your idea is, if you don’t do anything about it, it is as good as not existing.
If it feels overwhelming, take one thing at a time. Go through the process one step at a time. Focus on developing your idea, then focus on researching – not everyone can multitask and manage different phases of the process together. It is okay to work a phase in isolation – as long as you don’t stop working toward your goal, it is okay to go as slow as you like.
How to Make the Most Out of Different Social Media Channels
Social media is a powerful tool that we have at our disposal to use it to benefit us and our businesses in ways that didn’t seem possible earlier. It has made marketing so much more lucrative and easier.
While I am an advocate of reducing the number of hours we spend on it as individuals, I strongly believe that they should be used to their full potential when it comes to businesses.
For small businesses, the social media platform offers huge opportunity to engage with a community of prospects at a fraction of cost. The key, however, is picking topics that matter the most to your target audience and then coming up with resourceful ideas to pull them in.
Solicit opinions, ask questions, and appreciate helpful comments- everything is important. The success of a good social media marketing campaign is in its ability to reach out to the audience and engage with them, rather than to sell stuff.
Simply running your social media accounts on autopilot or pushing flowery or sales-y content through Twitter, Facebook or other social media accounts to a huge number of fake followers is simply not the right way to do it.
1. Say Yes to Twitter Chats
Twitter chats are a great way for your marketing team to connect personally with any community. These chats allow small businesses to exhibit their human side and forge new relationships with their community.
So, whether joining or hosting a Twitter chat, remember the possibilities to build loyalty and enhance engagement are endless as long as you contribute to conversations with helpful advice and tips.
Keep an eye on trends related to your business, and tag your followers with unique hashtags so every tweet you post goes through their feed. It’s time to get chatty.
2. Embrace Instagram and/or Pinterest if Not Already
It is a wonderful platform for small business mainly because it allows marketing teams to visually build a brand and create awareness about the business. The beauty of Instagram is that your followers can quickly and effectively consume whatever you are publishing without having to invest time.
If you are a small business that wants to take the time to understand the pulse of the market, you can gain huge exposure for free on Instagram or Pinterest, which is why they are both an impressive means to build your brand online.
3. Network Online, Offline, Wherever Possible
It is a no brainer that networking is a pretty good way to build relationships that can lead to valuable partnerships, new business opportunities, fresh talent and the latest updates on almost anything that you are tracking.
Hosting a community event or presenting ideas in a workshop is a spectacular idea to gain credibility instantly, and urge people to take a closer look at your business.
If you are a small business owner looking to get different segments of your target audience together, look at online tools like Meetup that can drive a great number of people to your event.
4. Give Podcasts a Whirl
Podcasts are just the right thing for small businesses looking to dig in and find an appealing niche. Even though they have been around for a very long period of time, they have become a fad just recently.
Over the years, they have gained the approval of a number of marketing coaches and are still ripe with opportunity to enhance customer engagement and brand awareness.
5. Host an AMA
Using Reddit as a medium to promote content or your small business can cause a sharp spike in traffic in as short a period as two hours or so – or as long as a day when done appropriately.
One of the effective and trendy ways to gain exposure through Reddit is to host an Ask Me Anything event, also known as AMA. It is another great way to go about marketing your small business online.
As the face of your business, there are a few things to be wary of.
- Make sure you are ready to spend a few hours answering the majority of questions you are asked if not all. Just so you know, some AMAs really get flooded with tons of questions.
- Be as honest and open with your questions as possible, and your followers will appreciate it.
- Do not go overboard promoting your small business. Drop a link to your website in the post (description), and refrain from including it in every answer you post.
- While it may seem a little easy to post details of your AMA in the main AMA subreddit itself, it is recommended that you narrow down to the niche and find a relevant subreddit in your industry. All designers can use /r/design. Similarly, writers can try this out:/r/writing.
- Get in touch with the moderator of the subreddit about the day and time you will be getting on with your AMA so they can plan things out and get the message through to the audience
While I have talked about the importance of knowing ways to stay away from social media to increase your productivity, I still acknowledge the fact that it is an essential tool in building a business. We have so many amazing channels available to us to reach out to the customers and making the best use of these channels to cultivate a loyal customer base directly correlates to the success of the business moving forward.
Understanding your customer base and attracting the right customer base is important to start a business and keep it running. Social media provides valuable feedback from real users and also helps you lead your target audience back to your products. It helps your business make a one-on-one connection that has a huge impact on the overall standing a brand has in the market.
Don’t hesitate from putting efforts into learning these channels, try to build a genuine audience and business will follow.
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