Let’s start with the supposition that you have a skill or expertise of some kind that you are passionate about and enjoy sharing with others. If you can connect with a significant number of people who share your interests or need your services and would be willing to pay for them, then as they say, “You are in Business!”. And you’re in a position to get paid to do what you love.
If this sounds like you, here are five steps for you to take to get paid to do what you love.
- Create a website. This is the hub of your business and marketing, where people who need your expertise connect to you, your services or goods.
- Design your website. The point of the design needs to set you up as an expert and someone that they would like and trust.
- Outline your services. Offering specific services at various price points make it easy for people to see how to work with you and easy for you to handle those money conversations.
- Generate and nurture leads. Engage with people and and keep them connected until they are ready to buy.
- Let people know. Get the word out about your website/business. You can’t rely on, “Build it and they will come”.
[Tweet “Get paid to do what you love: 5 tips to get you started @judiknight”]
Step One: Create a website.
A website is a dynamic version of your business card. It’s where people can interact with you, where they can understand who you are, what you do and how you stand out from your competition. It makes your business “real”.
The first thing you need is to decide on a business name, and then get an easily remembered, straightforward domain name. Help people look you up with a URL that doesn’t have hyphens or underscores.
Set up a simple WordPress website. Do it by downloading the full free version of WordPress on your own hosting account if you’d like full access to all plugins and power. Alternately, WordPress.com will set up and host your website for free in about five minutes. (If you go that route, look professional by paying to use your own domain name which will look like http://yourbusinessname.com. Otherwise, you will look like an amateur with the standard WordPress.com url which will be: http://yourbusinessname.wordpress.com.)
Don’t go overboard when setting up your site. This is not the time to get overly creative and make people scratch their heads. Set up a site that is simple to understand and navigate.
Every visitor to your website should be able to tell, within a few seconds, that they are in the right place. Your logo should be clearly displayed, but should not be gigantic. The hero image and text (the area above the fold) should clearly define your line of work, making clear what you do, who you do it for—and why.
Here are two examples of sites that clearly define the business so that a potential client would know they were on the right track and stay and read more.
Step Two: Design your website to show you as an interesting, trustworthy expert.
A successful Step One brings your visitor to the right place for your information, services or products you provide. Will they stay on your site to find out more?
Yes, if you provide the right information about you and show your expertise in a way that they will feel a connection and value. If you want visitors to continue to explore your site, you need to demonstrate your expertise and build trust.
Information about you on your home page should tease to more details on your About page.
Nice photos of yourself—rather than ancient headshots—help build trust. Natural looking photos of you and your work help people connect. Quality photographs subliminally show your professionalism.
Step Three: Define and bundle your services to provide easy ways for people to work with you.
This is such an important step! When done right, bundling helps you show people what it is you do and how much it costs. As a bonus, getting clear about how you charge for your products and services helps you, not just your visitor and prospective customer. Clarity on pricing prevents everyone from getting flummoxed. You have to show confidence in your services and their value otherwise people will find someone else to help them and you’re back to square one.
Take the example of a beekeeper who offers help setting up hives and managing bees in a variety of ways. If someone calls, asking for advice or help in person, the beekeeper doesn’t always know whether the caller understands this is a business and there is a fee for the service. Instead of that confusion, it’s so much easier for the beekeeper to reply, “Sure, I’d be happy to help you. Go to my website for several ways we can work together.”
The bundled services might go something like this.
- Phone consultation: $75 per hour, billable in 15-minute segments.
- Complete beehive installation and beekeeper training:
- $1,500 for one-on-one installation and training at your location. This includes all set up, inspection, training materials and transportation costs.
- $850 per person group session at a mutually agreed upon location. This includes training materials; transportation is billed separately.
- On-site visits: $100 per hour. (A package of five hours is $375, or $75 per hour). No extra charge for destinations within 5 miles. Customers who live more than 30 minutes away will be billed by the hour for travel time.
When you don’t have anything in writing defining your services and how you work, it is awkward for your prospective client. They may not know what they need or if you offer it. Since you are the expert, help them by telling them what they need and providing a service for it to make it easy for visitors to become clients.
Bundling services on your website avoids awkward payment conversations, simplifies your message and clarifies their options. Easy peasy to refer them back to your website for more information and to purchase the service that works best for them.
Step Four: Generate and nurture leads.
Often people find a great website when they don’t have time to fully explore it. Or they find it at a time they are not ready to make an appointment or purchase services. They may fully intend to come back, but most likely they will not remember how.
This is where you help them out by providing them great introductory information in exchange for their email address . Having their email address and knowing they are interested in your information allows you to continue the conversation by periodically reaching out to them with additional information and offers. You are then able to stay engaged until they are ready to buy.
Great introductory information may be your pdf ebook that will help answer a big question or provide a succinct how-to for an issue that your target client grapples with. It is a burst of valuable information that establishes your expertise, style and personality. A gift like this helps root your relationship and you are generating a lead.
By exchanging great information for email addresses, you begin to build a sales funnel with your email list. You continue to deliver free information to your prospects on a regular basis. Each week, you might write a blog post for your website (like this one I wrote for mine) with valuable tips that further demonstrate your expertise. When you publish it on your website be sure to send it out to your email list as a “newsletter” with an excerpt and invite them to finish reading it on your website. Otherwise, people who care about your information will not know to go back to your site to read your new content.
This practice allows website visitors to get to know you and develop a trusting relationship with you. Your body of knowledge grows on your site, which increases trust for existing customers and attracts more visitors (search engines love fresh content that people find useful). As people feel comfortable with who you are and what you do, more will take action to work with you or buy your products or refer to you. This conversation, through free content, is the key to successful web marketing.
Step Five: Let people know about your website and your business.
Word of mouth helps businesses that are starting up, but it’s rarely a great long-term strategy. You’ve started building your email list, but you’re ready to attract/help more people, and get more visitors to your website. Here are a few simple ways to get out the word.
- Choose a few keyword search term phrases that someone might use to find your business. Optimize a page or post for each of these phrases. Here are ten tips for getting started with SEO https://newtricks.com/ten-simple-seo-tips/.
- Google Local Business is the easiest way to show up in a local search for your services. Go to Google My Business, claim your business online and set up your local listing. Once you get five reviews, you will see the star rating system next to your business listing. Ratings play a big role in placement in the list of local businesses of your kind. Check out this post on my website (https://newtricks.com/local-seo-takes-a-little-elbow-grease/ ) for more information.
- Start a group on Meetup.com. It is a great way to get the word out about your business and connect with people who are looking for your services and may need more personal attention from you. An account at Meetup.com is free; the monthly fee for group organizers ranges from $10 to $15 dollars. You can hold a free Meetup group or Meetup will help you set and collect fees for your group.
- Your local neighborhood Yahoo or Next Door online forum is a good way to let people know what you do. Host an open house and invite neighbors to a free information session.
- Find and introduce yourself to other people who provide your same services away from your location. You can refer clients to each other.
- Write blog posts and share the information on social media sites, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or wherever your audience is to be found. Think of each blog post as your Google lottery ticket; every time it comes up in searches, people will find your site.
- Because your visitors will come from all over the world, be sure to provide some written or video training materials on your website.
- Subscribe to a Free 30-Day List Building Challenge to get ideas delivered to you daily for a month to increase your number of followers. More followers = more lead generation = more business.
- Targeted Facebook ads can bring people to your website or invite them to a free webinar where you give people some very helpful information. Remember your sales funnel. Get these folks on your mailing list so you nurture them as leads.
- Instagram is a great source of new leads. If you enjoy taking photos of what you do, this is fun and is an easy time-saver as you can set up your Instagram account to automatically share your photos and descriptions to Facebook and to Twitter in one step.
- Install Google Analytics on your site. Keep track of what you are doing and monitor the results you are getting. If something’s not working, try an alternative.
Summing up: Use your passion to keep going.
Of course, I offer these necessary steps because my business is web marketing. There are other challenges to consider such as getting your business license, setting up an LLC and paying your quarterly taxes. Remember: Every necessary step is easier (and even welcomed) when you are getting paid to do what you love.