This guide aims to bring you six different nuances to the key concepts involved in maximizing the earning potential for your solopreneur business. You can monetize your website and blog by creating and selling your own info-products or by affiliate marketing i.e. selling other people’s products for good commissions.
The other sources of great income opportunities from your online business are joint ventures, advertising revenue, becoming a micro influencer and learning how to sell your services at high prices. Most entrepreneurs try to earn in diverse ways to increase their income streams. All of these methods mentioned are entirely possible for solopreneurs who act as the lone hands in their business. All you need is the eye for opportunity and the nose for money!
Digital info-products are among the most profitable business lines for solopreneurs in content marketing. These products are best described as any products that are delivered electronically, usually via download or some secure membership website. For example, an ebook in a PDF format, or a video on a password-protected site, are all examples of digital info-products.
What can you create as saleable digital info-products? Many marketers are disdainful of writing and selling ebooks or courses at small prices. But they don’t realize the immense value behind small sales. That’s why this article covers not just the sales you can do of big-ticket digital info-products like $1000 courses, but the small “tripwire” sales you can do with small-ticket $5 digital info-products. Many a business empire has been built on this idea!
- The best kinds of digital products cost nothing to produce – and earn even while you sleep
- 8 ways to create digital info-products if you are stymied for your own ideas
- The big secret of the small tripwire sales you can make via your digital info-products
- 4 big changes that happen in a prospect’s mind when he becomes a “customer” of yours
Affiliate marketing is one of the forms of monetizing their businesses, for content-marketer solopreneurs. But while there are a number of articles on the Net on how exactly affiliate marketing works and how you can use it smartly to earn income, the angle that most marketers miss is that affiliate marketing is the best way to learn salesmanship. There’s a difference between marketing and selling. Marketing is just one half of the game. But unless your ability to sell is also high, all the marketing you do can get wasted.
What is that critical difference between marketing and selling? Experts say that marketing is creating a demand in the customers mind so that they will seek you out. Sales on the other hand is chasing customers and asking for the order. In other words, unless you learn the art of making customers actually close the orders, you are merely running on the marketing treadmill, but not really getting to the destination. Affiliate marketing can help you learn the techniques of selling, without the risk of doing it with your own products. So use it to earn, but also use affiliate marketing to learn.
- What is affiliate marketing, and how does it work as a way to earn online income?
- The affiliate marketing process teaches you selling – which is different from marketing!
- Lessons great salesletters can teach you about the process of selling affiliate products
- Learning to write great copy for affiliate products – bridging marketing and sales
Joint Ventures (JVs) can be one of the fastest routes to explosive growth for solopreneur content marketing, but much depends on how judiciously you select and cultivate your joint venture relationships. The reason why joint venture alliances work so well is because they utilize the powerful marketing concept known as “leverage”. Your brand gains business, credibility and goodwill through association with bigger brands. Your sales message reaches your joint venture partner’s subscribers and customers, who may be superior to your own audiences in quality and quantity. At play here is also the idea of third party endorsement and trust.
Stake out who is selling to your target market, what products and services they’re selling, and who your target market trusts and has a good relationship with. Then contact these business owners to cut win-win joint venture deals – by offering them complementary products and services. If you too are a reputation-conscious and well-intentioned business that offers high quality products services, it should be really easy for you to find other businesses to partner with. Your size doesn’t matter, as much as your integrity and value-addition to the partner does.
- How will a joint venture benefit you? And how can you set up a JV partnership?
- 6 different joint venture models that are tried, tested and trusted to work
- Finding JV partners … where should you look for partners who can help you?
- Areas that require extremely careful planning in JV relationships
You have to tread very cautiously and have very reasonable expectations of earning ad revenue, if you are a solopreneur wanting to monetize your content marketing efforts with ads on your site. On the one hand you have loads of research to show how annoyed audiences are with ads, that they prefer to block. On the other hand, you have to spend on some advertising technology on your site to convince advertisers that the ads will “target the right audiences at the right time”, and not just rotate on your site like olden-day banners!
Yes, some technology is good and may help you earn more by making your advertising spaces more attractive to advertisers. But a lot of technology is also useless and too costly – and may end up eating more money than it can earn. So you have to be exceptionally well-informed – and truly wary. Further, there’s also a lot of ballyhoo about “earning in truckloads” through Google Adsense that doesn’t really amount to much compared to the effort it takes to earn that money. Moral: don’t think ad revenue is going to save your business in the early days before your products and services begin to sell. It seldom does.
- How online advertising works now – and where all the money really goes!
- How much money sense do Google Adsense ads really make – are they worth your time?
- Some eye-opening research statistics on ad revenues for those who want the rosy picture
- The flip side of the rosy picture – adblocking, and how marketers are dealing with it
Solopreneurs in online businesses, especially those doing content marketing may have noticed that more and more content-marketers are now referring to themselves as “influencers”? There are agencies mushrooming everywhere that seek to match “influencer-bloggers” with big brands that are seeking to use such influencers to talk about their products. Mid-tier influencer content-marketers are already earning in six figures, while top-tier influencer content-marketers are quite simply, creaming it. More interestingly, the class of micro-influencers are finding a lucrative market too!
Clearly, despite your small sized business and audiences, without powerful content marketing you can’t become an authority … and without being an authority you can’t really influence. But if you have both authority and influence, and you are able to sway your small but tightly knit targeted community of followers, you are king! If the brand sees a match in your authority and covets your influenceable audiences, you can send a bill to the brand for everything, including your sneezes!
- First let’s see why influencer content-marketers have become huge money-spinners
- What kind of influencer content-marketers are in hot demand from brands?
- What’s in the game for big brands? Why do they gravitate towards micro-influencers?
- What can a micro-influencer hope to charge for services to a big brand?
Selling services is quite different from selling products online, as many solopreneurs into content marketing, soon discover. Services are intangibles that need selling with more clarity, more explaining, and more trust. But if you do all that well, there are huge benefits. As Henry Ford once said: “A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”
The other most common challenge with services selling is valuation. How do you value yourself and your services? How do prospective clients know how to value you? The more differentiated you are, the more the client will covet you – but he will also be more confused about how to value your services in comparison to competition. That’s the paradox. Nine times out of ten, you yourself have to show the prospective client how to frame the criteria by which you can be valued, and then you have to justify that value.
- The main difference between selling products and services for solopreneurs to understand
- Why setting your service prices high will get you clients by the droves … seriously!
- How to price your services – the many models consultants and coaches work with
- A typical 10-step service selling process to follow for smooth-sailing assignments!
So what are your thoughts on this topic? Do share!
This post is incomplete without your input. The community of aspiring digital solopreneurs would feel galvanized to hear from you … so do share your thoughts on this topic with us in the comments field below this post.
In our series of Guides:
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 1: Are you ready to be a solopreneur?
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 2: Is a solopreneur business right for you?
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 3: Looking for solopreneur inspirations?
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 4: Content Marketing Basics Examined!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 5: Content Marketing Strategy Starter!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 6: Deep Dive Into Target Audiences!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 7: Deep Dive Into Brand Strategy!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 8: Starting Your Content Marketing!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 9: Growing Traffic And Conversions!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 10: Top Avenues For Strong Earnings!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 11: Building Your Success Attitude!
- Contented Solopreneur Guide 12: Tracking Technology And Trends!