Whether you have used your time at home this past year to become an expert of something or whether you need an additional incentive to become better at something, the good news is that you can actually make money from something you know well.
In other words, monetizing your expertise is not just possible; it is also quite doable. Here are a few easy options for you:
1. Write a Book
This may sound quite intimidating, but it is actually easier than you may think.
First of all, you don’t have to look for a publisher. These days, there are powerful self-publishing platforms.
Obviously, writing and publishing your own book is a vast undertaking, but here are four key steps:
- Identify your topic. Hopefully, you are already creating digital content, so what you really need is to update it for it to work as a downloadable and / or printable book.
- Start working on expanding your content. Naturally, a book is a more in-depth asset than a blog article. So it is important to update your content to make it more comprehensive and thorough.
- Create the book cover. Yep, you can do it yourself, so no need to start looking for a designer.
- Start uploading your book to digital product selling platforms. This will take you quite some time for your first book.
Your first book doesn’t have to be perfect. Unfortunately, too many writers never complete their books because there are an infinite number of ways to edit and improve it. Consider publishing your first book as a learning opportunity. Your next one will be better (and in many aspects easier), and your third one may be a perfect book.
Book publishing is also a powerful personal branding tactic. Suddenly you’ll notice Google treat you as a brand and showing a Knowledge Graph for your name:
It will take some time for Google to start doing it or your name, but it will help you look like the real deal and sell your other products as well.
2. Become a Mentor, Coach or Trainer
Global lockdowns have had one interesting outcome: People have learned to do everything from home, from shopping to learning and even traveling.
The demand for online learning has grown dramatically, which means there’s a huge opportunity opening for niche experts who can now monetize their knowledge in a particular subject by developing online training and coaching services.
It is true that there are lots of online learning opportunities already, so it is quite a competitive niche, but it is still doable. And examples of successful coaching business models are numerous.
One recent example is the “Clients on Demand” coaching program. It has exponentially grown because it differentiated itself as an exclusive, success-oriented “high-performance” community that only accepts entrepreneurs who are ready to evolve.
A few important takeaways from the above example are:
- When building your own coaching program, find how your own personal expertise and skill set can make it truly unique and useful. The best way is to start with a very narrow topic, something you know for sure no one else is doing better than you do. For example, instead of creating a generic SEO program, I once decided to teach people to search Google properly to find just about anything. Taking a very specific topic will help you stand out.
- Try and look at your own journey and find what you have personally learned over time. Coaching programs that are based on personal stories are the most relatable and successful.
To monetize your expertise through coaching, use Appointfix, which will allow your clients to book online personal training meetings with you and immediately pay. The tool also makes it easy to manage your schedule and send reminders to your clients.
3. Create a Video Course
This option works well with the above steps: all you need is to figure out your course structure and record some online coaching meetings where you talk about how to solve a particular problem.
If you need help figuring out your video course structure, use question research to find out which questions are being searched online. This will also help your course get found online. Text Optimizer is a cool tool to use here. It uses semantic research to help you discover popular questions on a particular topic:
Additionally, tools like Zoom make it extremely easy to record yourself talking about a particular topic, including clicking through slides or sharing your screen for a walkthrough. This process took me minutes to figure out. And online video editing tools like InVideo enable you to create more entertaining videos, branded intros, and even professional listicles.
Once you have at least an hour of video content, you can start creating your course. Platforms like Udemy handle the hosting, lead generation and design.
You are unlikely to earn a lot money from Udemy (because it’s incredibly limiting to content creators), but it is a good place to start. From there, you can start working on your self-hosted course, which could be an advanced version of your course on Udemy.
As this pandemic colorfully demonstrated, when one door closes, another door opens. Maxwell Hertan of Megaphone Marketing puts it, “the whopping 50% increase in Internet use” means a fast-growing demand for digital services and content. This may be the best time to monetize your expertise!
While many sources of income are being eliminated during these dreadful times (think entertainment workers, brick and mortar business owners, etc.), other opportunities arise.
Remember, you don’t have to pick one monetization method. You can use each of them to empower one another. For example, use your free Udemy course to find clients for your coaching program. You can repurpose content from one method (coaching) to build another asset (a video course).
And while it can take time to figure out additional income sources, it can be done. Good luck!