Saturday, 10 January 2015


If you haven't noticed there’s been a rise in number of people who are setting up one-man or one-woman businesses and making money working for themselves.

If you are someone who wants to turn your skills into money working for yourself this should be music to your ears. Despite the discouraging things many unhappy employees might say to those who have a desire to work for themselves, it can be done by others like you.

Whether you have a photography skill, some sort of coding skill, or are just really good at creating new products, there's room in the industry for you to make money working for yourself.

Today I want to talk about 5 specific steps you can take to turning your skills into money.

1. Determine what skill you have and the market rate.

One of the most difficult aspects of monetizing your skills is figuring out what people will pay for and how much you should charge. If you have a skill that you aren't +currently getting paid to use you probably don't have a good idea how much someone would pay you to do it. You might Mc at a friend's party for free but have no idea how much people would pay you to Mc at their party.

If you are reading this you probably have a good idea of what skill you could make money off of. To find out how much that skill is worth to others you can turn to a few different sources:

: - Look at websites of others already making money from your skill

: - Search Google and try to find forums and blog posts where people discuss how much you should charge for a given service.

: - If applicable, check out what others are charging.

It is important for you to have a target rate to charge to others because if you don't have a floor of what you'll charge you will end up working for very little money, relatively speaking. Once you're established you have to be willing to walk away from jobs that are low paying.

2) Find initial Jobs

Even tougher than figuring out what to charge clients will be finding that first job. If you don’t have much of a portfolio or experience you will likely need to charge lower than market rate for your first clients. There's a reason experienced photographers charge so much more than those with less than a year or two of experience.

Ideas for initial clients:

: - Friends

: - Family

: - Small non-profit organizations in your area.

: - Small Businesses

: - People in your network who own a sole -proprietorship.

: - Friends of people in your network.

You may need to get creative with finding your first few clients. The less you are willing to work for the more likely you are to find you first client. You may even have to work your first few jobs for free.

3) Get a Website and Showcase your Portfolio.

Twenty years ago you could get by without a website. Today it’s different. The first thing people will do after hearing about your company or business is Google you. If you don’t have a website you may have lost a client from the get-go. Photographers, website designers and pretty much anyone who is trying to make off of their skill needs a website.

Reach out to prospects

So let’s say you have a few clients and completed a few jobs. Your website is set up and you have your portfolio out there for potential clients to view. What’s the next step? If you want to take your business to the next level and aren’t getting as much referral traffic as you would like, you are going to have to reach out to prospective clients. Who those clients are will depend on who you are targeting. Photographers who specialize in weddings are obviously going to be looking for different clients than a website designer. Either way you will need to identify your target customers and reach out to them however you think is most effective. Reaching out to clients could be as simple as getting more eyeballs on your website. Getting people to view your website and portfolio can lead directly to sales. It doesn’t have to be reaching out over the phone – in fact many potential customers may not want to talk on the phone at all.

5) Live off referrals

When we’re talking about small business there is one powerful marketing tool that you must take advantage of: word-of-mouth referrals. When people are trying to find a small business to hire or purchase from, it’s typically for something they haven’t had to deal with before: a wedding photographer, an asphalt driveway company, or any number of goods and services. People trust other people’s opinions. The age of newspaper ads getting business will eventually come to a close, if it hasn’t already. There’s a reason Vconnect is so hugely successful.

Encourage your clients to refer friends and family your way. Not only do friends and family of your client trust your client’s opinion, they also may have had a chance to see your client. My friends and I have referred other friends to a particular DJ because he did such an awesome job. Those friends got to see him in action and trusted our opinion of working with him.

In short: take advantage of referrals!


The most important thing to do is to get started. Everyone is learning as they go and it takes time to develop a business so the sooner you start the quicker you can gain momentum.

Have you ever made money from a skill or do you have any plans to in the future?

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