Anyone who runs a strong online social media stream is doing it to make money. Anyone who runs a small eCommerce store is here to make money. Anyone who sells their services and talents online is doing it to make money.
That’s the art of working online. And who wouldn’t want to be able to work from anywhere where there’s an Internet connection and make a living?
But what should you do online if you want to make the most money and get a better life?
First of all, you need to understand that there are two ways to get rich online.
You can either be famous and known for your own brand, as many Instagram influencers and YouTubers have done. They’re in the entertainment business. They’re famous for the sake of being famous.
Alternatively, you can be a high-powered talent in your field. You could be the best designer, the best animator, or the best writer. You sell your skills to huge corporations with big budgets.
And I will say that if you’re really good at what you do, you could not only be a skilled individual but also a famous individual. These are the one-percenters of the online world and they’re rolling in the money because they can leverage multiple streams of income.
So what’s the fastest path to success?
The Two Top Fields You Need to Be In to Make Money Online
The first field you need to be in if you want to make money is marketing. I don’t need to tell you why marketing is always in high demand.
Now when I say marketing I don’t necessarily mean that you have to hold the job title of ‘Marketer’. You may be in the marketing business already.
It’s an extremely broad field and a lot of different professionals are involved in it.
For example, if you specialize in creating graphics for businesses you’re in the marketing business. If like me, you write web content for businesses, you’re also in the marketing business.
Whether directly or indirectly, being in the marketing business is where the money is. Most businesses are spending the majority of their budgets on staying visible to their target audience.
So when you provide a web development service, SEO content, or graphic design you’re indirectly helping businesses with their marketing. Like it or not, you’re in the marketing business.
The second big field you might want to consider getting into is education. The Internet has shown us one thing if nothing else: education doesn’t have to be formal.
When you read an article on this site and you’re getting value from it, you’re getting an education.
Each time you read a guide, you’re educating yourself.
Education is another field that is always going to be relevant. Everyone wants to learn and wants to get better. There are thousands of educational niches you can tap into. You don’t need to be standing in a classroom.
Online courses are a huge business because there’s always going to be a strong demand for them.
I’ve chosen these two fields because, from where I stand, they’re not as difficult to get into as say the entertainment business. They also have a permanent demand that’s not going anywhere as technology improves and trends change.
Getting into the Marketing Business
Crossing the threshold into marketing isn’t difficult. You just need a skill that businesses want so they can bring in more customers and improve the way they deal with customers.
That might be improving their web content because you’re a writer. Maybe you want to improve the banner on their homepage? Or perhaps you’re designing Facebook ads?
You may even be someone who can rebuild and revamp their whole website through a new theme and a new layout.
All these things are valuable to businesses from a marketing standpoint.
Here are my top tips for getting into this field:
· Be a master, not a jack of all trades. Specialize and become known for something.
· Expect it to take time. You need experience and you need projects you can point to when you reach out for work.
· Build your own platform. You must brand yourself and the service you’re offering so people come to you with work.
Of course, there are a million more things I can write about it. There have been thousands of books written on it, but these are the general principles you need to understand as you get started.
Getting into the Education Business
Online education has a lot of competition. It’s about the way you brand yourself. People aren’t pulled in by the knowledge you’re offering but the person who’s offering it.
Why should someone trust you as an expert?
You need to brand yourself as an exceptional authority in whatever you’re teaching. Part of that is results but part of that is also how long you’ve been in the business.
I feel pretty confident that I could teach people how to work online. I’ve done it and I’ve been here almost ten years now. I’m also pretty confident that I could teach people about travelling the world because I’ve done it for close to five years without stopping. I’ve made it work, so I have results.
If you don’t have results and you haven’t been doing it for a reasonable length of time, don’t bother. That’s instantly going to turn people off.
But if you do have both of those things you need to start upping your personal brand.
There are a bunch of ways in which you can do this. You can offer a free podcast, publish free, valuable content, and invest a lot of time in your social media feeds.
It’s all about getting your name out there because the teacher is more important than the knowledge, when it comes to encouraging people to learn with you.
For example, if I wanted to learn about SEO I would look at a teacher like Neil Patel. I don’t know anything specific about what he might teach in his courses, but I know that Neil is one of the most prominent names in all of SEO.
If someone random said, “I will teach you how to be number one on Google.” I wouldn’t pay any attention because I don’t know who this guy is.
If it’s free I might take a look, but I’m not going to give him any money for it. How do I know he’s successful and isn’t just some con artist?
You Always Start an Online Business with a Clean Slate
For experts who have transitioned into the online workplace for the first time, it comes as a surprise.
If they’re not famous and they’re starting from nothing, they need to leave their egos at the door. It doesn’t matter if you’re an animator who worked at Disney for 10 years if nobody knows your name.
Anyone can write that they have ten years of experience anywhere. I could write that now and nobody would know the difference.
The average small business isn’t going to call up Disney to confirm anything. It’s well-known that most businesses don’t call up previous employers. They have better things to do.
So you have to start with a clean slate. You need to get back to that ‘intern mindset’ because nobody’s going to throw decent money at you unless you can prove your experience.
This is another reason why I joined this platform. Nearly all of my work is ghostwritten, so I actually have little to no personal branding despite being active in writing circles for close to ten years.
Who’s going to believe I wrote this or that? My name isn’t on it and, for all they know, I could be lying. Plus, it’s too much effort for them to reach out and ask. It could take them days or weeks to get a response.
Instead, they can just choose the guy who has lots of content with his name on it.
My point is that to build an online business of any kind and win clients you need name value. You need to be able to show off your best work under your name.
Unless you can prove it beyond doubt, nobody cares about what you have claimed to have done.
Be in this for the Long Haul
I say this every time I talk about starting a business online. You could have worked for IBM for 20 years and you’re still not going to create a great business overnight.
It took me at least a year before I was pulling in a comfortable amount.
If you’re not in this for the long haul, you need to go out and get a job as a salaried employee because, otherwise, you’re just going to get frustrated.
What’s your best piece of advice for being successful in online business?