We live in an incredibly connected world, allowing you to do business with anyone around the world. Not only that, you can get set up in record time thanks to the abundance of technology and social media platforms we now have. In this article I’m going to talk about how you can increase your income with skills you already have!
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Step 1: Identify industries you are familiar with.
What industries or careers have you worked in? It might be a lot if you’ve had several jobs, or it might be just a few: either is fine. So for example mine would be marketing, startups, apps, entertainment, DJ’ing, retail etc. Also think about industries you have been associated with through hobbies, colleagues or family. I’ve never worked in basketball but I play a lot of it and I love it - so that’s another one I am familiar with. Both my parents are architects, so there’s one there too. You’ll obviously be more interested and more skilled at some than others, but list them all down anyway - you can refine it later.
Step 2: Identify skills that you have OR can learn.
Now list all of the skills you have OR skills that you can learn. Let’s say you want to work in design but you don’t know how to use Photoshop - that can easily be learned. Create a list of everything you can do or could do here.
Step 3: Identify the markets.
This is the most important part. Now that you have the industries you’re familiar with and you’re equipped with a list of useful skills, start writing down all the potential markets, needs and desires associated with the industries in step one. This can be anything from businesses wanting more customers to people wanting to lose belly fat, to corporate companies wanting infographics to singles wanting to learn how to find love. There’s a LOT of people out there who desperately want specific things - list all of the ones relevant to you.
Step 4: Create 3 - 4 potential offers.
Now put together steps 1 - 3. Say you’re familiar with hospitality, you’re great at social media, and you’ve recognised that business owners want to get more customers. Your offer and pitch can be as simple as that! “I help cafe owners to get regular customers through social media marketing.”
It’s incredibly important to say that you help people. It makes a very big difference when you’re pitching it to somebody. If someone says "what do you do" and you say "I do social media" it’s not very interesting. But if you say “I help cafe owners to get regular customers through social media marketing”, anybody that works in your niche (cafes) will be instantly intrigued.
If you’re having trouble verbalising it, here’s a template. I help [name of market] to [achieve desired result] through [your skill set / offering]. If you can’t decide which is best, you can create 3 or 4 offers and see which one suits you.
Step 5: Pick 1 offer and start working on it.
Pick the ONE option that seems like the best option. Now you need to figure out how to package it. Put together everything you’re going to offer into one product that people can buy or pay you for, decide on a price and figure out how long it will take to deliver, as well as how much it will cost.
You’ll then need to create a simple online presence with a basic website, set up some social media accounts and. You can be a freelancer / sole trader (as opposed to starting a company) although you will still need an ABN if you’re operating in Australia. For more, check out ‘A 10 Step Guide to Setting Up a Business in One Day’ here.
Step 6: Go to market.
Time to launch! Start reaching out to anyone in the market you’ve identified and tell them about what you do. There’s a million different ways you can market yourself and get clients so I won’t list them all here, but it can be as simple making phone calls, sending emails and reaching out to people on social media. Reach out to friends and family who might have clients for you and start networking. Always be networking!
Step 7: Learn and grow!
Once you’ve launched you’ll be continually learning about your clients, your pricing, extra skills you need to learn, making marketing material and much more. You will hit roadblocks along the way - this is normal! Overcoming these allows you to create a better business. One things start going really will you can even expand and start a company. We'll leave how to do that for another time!
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Although this is a summarised version, these 7 steps can genuinely get you paying clients! Success in business is about solving someone's problem and adding VALUE. This process allows you to do just that. Good luck!