By Candice DeRiso, Beckmann Collaborative LLC
Use your expertise to earn money simply by sharing knowledge with others. Begin with defining the value you offer, distribute it, then monetize it.
Before jumping in with both feet, get clear about the value you bring to others. This is often explained in an elevator pitch, but it’s bigger than just a pitch. Ask yourself what makes you unique. How are you different from your potential competitors? What makes your expertise valuable to others?
“When you create a strong value proposition, it’s not just a couple of sentences.
It’s not a company or product description, mission statement, elevator pitch, or advertisement (though it could almost be used as one).
Instead, a strong value proposition is a believable collection of the most persuasive reasons your target customers should do what you’re hoping they will do.”
– Peter Sandeen (Source)
Choose Your Initial Product
To get started with monetizing your expertise, start with one initial product. What can you create and offer within the next one to three months?
One example of a base product is a podcast. Many public speakers, writers, and business owners are seizing the opportunity to start their own podcast. This is how you build an audience. Your target audience has a higher value than an hourly rate. Your base product is a representation of your brand. It will leave an imprint in people’s minds and create your reputation, so make it good.
With a base product and an audience, you are setting the stage for your monetization strategy.
TIP: Make it accessible. Consider the different ways people take in information. You may want to transcribe the content of your podcast into a written blog format. As you release episodes of your podcast, you’ll also have blog posts to attract a larger audience.
Own Your Audience
While social media platforms are powerful for reaching a large audience, you do not “own” those contacts. The only way to “own” your audience is to build a strong list. It could be an email or text messaging list. Creating a list that you own and control is very powerful.
You can set up an automated RSS-feed-type email that simply reminds your audience about new episodes or posts, to reduce your overall workload. Or you can further engage your audience with personal notes. Whatever you choose to do, always check in with yourself by asking, “how does this provide value?” That value will show through to your audience.
Build and Monetize
Before taking this step, know that you should wait until you have high-quality traffic to your initial product. High-quality traffic is a minimum of 1,000 active audience members or 10,000 page views each month. If you try to monetize too soon, it can sour your target audience. Build a good relationship with your audience before monetizing. The audience is more likely to engage with you and spend money if they feel that your goal is to offer value first and foremost.
Assuming you have an active audience with your initial product, you are ready to build upon it. The smartest way to use your time is to reuse the content you’ve already created in other formats (video becomes a podcast, which becomes a blog, and so on).
Six Ways to Monetize Your Expertise:
- E-books: Convert your content into an e-book. Find a theme in the valuable content you’ve already created, then organize it into a downloadable e-book. Sell it on your website at a low cost. Audiobooks are a little more expensive to create, but they are highly effective, too.
- Digital Resources: Think about checklists, scoring sheets, online courses, and other resources you can create from your existing content. Visitors will pay to download something that solves a problem for them.
- Advertising Networks: When you see display ads on a website, they are usually simple picture or text ads that are somewhat related to the content of a blog post. Ad networks, such as Google’s Adsense, typically pay on a cost per thousand (CPM) or pay-per-click (PPC) basis. This can be an easy way to start monetizing content. You will not make a ton of money, but it creates small residual income.
- Affiliate Marketing: Amazon’s affiliate program is a quick and popular option for monetizing your content. Choose products you recommend, then post links on your website or YouTube channel. As people purchase, you receive affiliate fees.
- Sponsored Posts and E-mails: When a company seeks access to your target audience, they will pay you for it. Have them write a guest post on your blog, social media account, or e-mail. This is basically an advertorial.
- Subscription: If your content is strong and your audience is dedicated, switching to a membership or subscription model is a great way to monetize it. People are willing to pay a monthly fee for recurring content that is valuable. This is common for training tools, podcasts, and mastermind groups.
Monetize your expertise by sharing your knowledge with a target audience. Building that audience allows you to offer ways to pay you for the work you are already doing. Less work for more money.
How have you monetized your brand? We’d love to hear your input in the comments below. Looking to promote your brand? IAW is a network of nearly 1 million women that will support, motivate and inspire you to do more. Learn how IAW can help you earn more money from your expertise.