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Hey, music entrepreneur!
This post comes to us via Lawrence Mager.
Though it does not speak directly to music entrepreneurship, it does talk about leveraging your skills to launch an online business, something you can do whether you’re a musician or budding music entrepreneur. It’s also my basic thesis for creative alchemy.
I’ve also shared about how a musician could have a side business that supports their creative endeavors, sort of like having a job, except you would own your job, which would make it more flexible, and would also give you the opportunity to earn on performance. You can learn more about this in The Essential Guide to Musicpreneurship: 2017 Edition.
Fundamentally, we can always learn from the successes and mistakes of others, so that’s what I’d like to encourage you to do as you read through this post.
By the way, if you think you’ve got what it takes to become a Music Entrepreneur HQ contributor, you can read our submission guidelines here. The faint of heart need not apply, because we’re not just looking for content. We’re looking for great quality content!
I’ve rambled on enough. Here’s Lawrence to tell us how to create a successful online business.
If you’ve recently been laid off or left your job because you wanted a change, you might be looking for ways to use the skills you learned through years of work to branch off and be your own boss.
The good news is that the proliferation of the internet has made starting your own online business easier than ever. You can use your skills to teach, consult, and market yourself online.
Here are several ways to leverage what you’ve learned to launch your online business.
One way you can put your skills to work is to become an online coach or instructor.
“If you have a marketable skill that others want to possess or get better at, then there’s a market for being paid to coach people, one-on-one, into an accelerated learning experience,” says TheBalance. “The most exciting thing about starting an online coaching business … is that once you’ve perfected your teaching experience, you’ll be able to easily package it into a more scalable version – an online course.”
Before you get ahead of yourself, ask yourself some simple questions like what am I an expert in? And what unique skills do I have to offer? The good thing about the internet is that it connects you with people from all over the world, so there is going to be demand for whatever your skill is.
There’s no reason to limit yourself to the skills you developed at your previous job/career. You can also be an online instructor for skills you’ve developed in your free time. This way, you can turn your hobbies into a profitable business model.
“To become an online consultant, you typically sign up with a third-party service (although you could just do it yourself) and create your expert profile on its site. Niche and specialty skills like SEO, app development, grant writing, web design, law, content creation, project management and quality control are heavily represented,” says IveTriedThat.com.
If you are experienced in web design, you can set up your own site for your online consulting business. Of course, if you do that, 100% of the marketing and networking is on you. Use previous business contacts and social networks to help build your potential client base. If you do opt for joining a third-party service, it will likely draw a fee for linking you to prospective clients, but much of the networking will be handled by the service. There’s no reason you can’t tackle it from both angles.
As mentioned above, some skills are already well-represented in the online consulting marketplace. This puts a premium on more unique skills and qualifications. If you are an expert in an under-represented field, you may want to try consulting in that arena as your competition will be more sparse.
Using the Sharing Economy to Your Advantage
The sharing economy has exploded over the past few years, as people who need certain services can be easily linked to people who can provide said services through the internet and apps. If you want to target individuals as opposed to larger companies with your business, this is the way to go.
The sharing economy approach is similar to freelancing, as you advertise your expertise and offer it to individuals for a price that you establish. This is great for those with skills in tutoring, housekeeping, caregiving, and other fields with individual clients who have specific needs.
The most important thing to remember when starting any online business is that you need to promote your skills in a smart and effective manner. You need to brand yourself as an expert, which will separate you from those with less knowledge in your specific field.