3 Services You Can Start Offering Now

Sometimes when people start out on their entrepreneurship journey, they aren’t certain of what they want to do. They know they want to escape a 9-5 grind and live life on their own terms, but the exact means they’ll use to fund this life might be a bit of a mystery.

Obviously, that’s a big problem as – depending on your financial reserves – sitting around contemplating for too long isn’t usually an option for most people. So you need to bring in some cash, and fast.

Here are just a few ways that virtually anyone can start offering services that bring them cash almost immediately.

1) Content writing. Are you knowledgeable in an area that other people are currently operating a business in? Perhaps you know a thing or two about winter fashions and you notice an up and coming clothing brand that could use some better blog posts or content for Medium.

Reach out and offer to write for brands, you’d be surprised how quickly you can acquire loyal clients through this method – seriously!

2) Queue social content for brands. Honestly, for how simple of a task it can be, many brands don’t want to deal with finding interesting or funny content to share across their twitter profiles, facebook pages, and Instagram profiles, and will pay nicely just to have you spend a couple of hours queuing things up for the week so that they don’t have to worry about what’s coming out next on their pages. Because this work doesn’t have a particularly high skill barrier to entry, it’s easy to get started for friends, family, local businesses, acquaintances, etc. without any sort of longterm experience in social media. Remember, anything relatively new is usually a great opportunity for you to cash in on while everyone else ‘can’t be bothered’ to learn to execute it for themselves – your gain!

3) Design and art. While living off of art seems to be some kind of nebulous dream for many around the world, there are actually a lot of opportunities to apply artistic talents to profitable business opportunities.

People on freelancing sites, Fiverr, etc. are offering up whatever they have a making a killing. Clever at songwriting? Offer to write intro jingles to people’s podcasts or other endeavors. Like drawing with pencils? Offer to turn people’s logos or photos into pencil sketches for them. Have a great voice? Offer to record testimonials, video voiceovers, etc. There is money to be made in talents you already have, guaranteed.

Which you find to be the most profitable will come down to your own skill and time availability, but these can be great launching pads for finding your direction and making connections with those you can later partner with or who can recommend you to others or make introductions – plus you can start supporting yourself along the way without the need for any laborious build up time. Get out there!

3 Things Your Business Can Tweet About

It’s no secret that those who crack the code of putting out consistently interesting content to the people in their target audiences end up being rewarded for it. In our modern age of communication, sometimes knowing how to correctly curate and create on social can be an even bigger advantage than a keen knowledge of traditional marketing techniques and metrics.

Twitter always has been and continues to be a game without a lot of middle ground. In general, you’re either an influencer, or you’re a follower. More accurately, there’s a third category for failing companies and brands who fail by over-promoting and ensuring no one ever gives them a second glance after their first encounter with a “buy my stuff!” type tweet.

So, what can you populate your twitter with to keep things interesting and attract genuine interest?

1. Memes and gifs. Don’t like the lack of seriousness social lends itself to? Tough. It’s 2016, and things that make people laugh and interact are king. Think about what you might share that will get a smile out of someone in your target market. A software startup targeting programmers might post funny jokes about bad coding practices, a sports tracking app might photoshop some popular sports figures into hilarious but less-than flattering scenarios. Plus, twitter now has a built-in GIF search, so your excuses are limited.

2. Current events and industry news. When something big happens that your target audience might enjoy, even if your product doesn’t exactly map to that current event, share it any way! People far too often think of twitter and other social platforms as another marketing space where you’re always on the attack, but social reach can be harnessed much more effectively when used as a tool for getting people into much higher stages of your funnel. Make your brand a curator of things they find important.

3. Share content from micro-influencers. This strategy is a favorite because it works from two angles simultaneously. Let’s say you find someone creating daily vlogs around your niche but notice they haven’t amassed a huge following yet. Sharing this person’s content and then tweeting at them that they did a nice job can be wildly beneficial for you.

Not only do you get interesting, unique content to share with your growing audience, the original creator will likely mention you and thank you publicly for being kind and making the first move.

Ultimately, what you share on social is up to you and you’ll want to make sure that it jives with your brand message and voice. That said, this may at least give you some jumping off points Now get out there and start scheduling those tweets!

Why You Should Care About Illegal Labor In Turkey?

You’re sitting at your computer, typing up another article or queuing up your social messages for the week, and you’re probably not sure how this headline has any relation to your business, but you might be surprised.

More so than from the actual content of the story itself, you stand to gain from paying attention to the reaction to it around the world, or to the fact that it was even a story at all.

If you haven’t heard yet, and investigation by BBC Panorama recently uncovered that two of the UK’s biggest and most well known clothing stores have been using Syrian refugees in Turkey for their clothing factories.

The problem is that these people, displaced and often without formal register, can be paid far under the minimum wage of the country they’re working in, and often can be young teens whose usage can be considered a breaking of child labor laws.

The reaction has been loud and unanimous in its condemning of the practice and a large amount of outrage has been leveled at the brands, with many consumers vowing to avoid shopping there in the future.

The reason this is important is because brands are finding out the hard way every single day that consumers dictate the discussion and flow of information now, and not the other way around. Furthermore, more people in general are sensitive to humanitarian and potential moral issues than they have been in the past – and they tend to find out about them faster due to the interconnectivity we all experience today.

For the solo entrepreneur, this may seem unimportant, right up until it all of a sudden is, indeed, important.

It’s only been a year or two since a PR firm employee traveling to Africa tweeted out something that could be construed as racist over her personal twitter storm, and by the time she landed some 16 hours later, found that she had lost her job due to the outrage the tweet had sparked while she was completely disconnected and in the air.

What this means for you isn’t necessarily walking on egg shells, but considering how people will react to what you have to say and they content you have to share, and then using your ability to think critically about that to attract more of the people you want in your marketing funnel.

For example, you can leverage the political leanings of the average member of your market to dictate content marketing and alignment. You could make sure that anything published as officially from you or your brand falls on the right side of a raging debate or issue in popular news.

Sound fake? It’s smart, and its just business.

Change How You Think About Social Media

Every single person for the last five years – or at least the last 2-3 – has been trying to crack some secret social media code that unlocks the floodgates to sales on command via tweet, facebook post, snap, or Instagram video.

The tough reality is that the code was already cracked years ago, and the people who did so have been reaping the benefits since. The only problem is that everyone is so caught up in trying to reinvent the wheel, they don’t take the time to slow down and take a look at the examples of great social practitioners right in front of them.

Why do fitness models do well when they post pictures of their abs on Instagram? Why do comedians do well when they think up hilarious plays on words and send them into the twitterverse? Why do Facebook marketers who caption their videos tend to do so much better than those who don’t?

All of these people are following the social rule that nearly every brand fails to follow: Give the people what they want.

Read that again, and remember that it does not say “give the people what you want.”

Therein lies the biggest distinguishing factor between people who are successful on social.

Social, at its core, is about finding content that has an interest audience which also overlaps with your target market for your product or service.

In this way, engaging content serves as a natural introduction to your ecosystem and positions you as a content creator, or at least a curator, that people in your niche can get behind.

Just this small transition in mindset when approaching your social media can take you from struggling and spinning your wheels to becoming massively popular in a relatively short window of time.

So the next time you go to plan a social content calendar, think about how you might create the most interesting array of content to make your target audience laugh and learn, and leave mention of your product or service completely by the wayside.

In fact, you’d be surprised how often people will actually come check out your profile and the links there when you genuinely interact with them.

But that curiosity has to be earned, and a tweet that just says “Sign up this week for 10% off boots!” isn’t going to do it.

Instead, post some seriously creative pictures of the boots you sell, but with no direct CTA to buy them. Find someone who tweeted about loving boots, and just tweet “hell yeah, we do too!” Find an article about how the leather industry is changing to be more efficient in its creation of tanned goods (not sure where we’re going with that one, but you get the idea!).

With any luck, you’ll have found that, before long, you have a regular dialogue with a group of people who are interest in the same types of things your brand represents. Nurture those relationships and continue to give interesting content without the expectation of getting something in return.

Ironically, being so non-demanding tends to skyrocket the number of people who actually will buy something from you or take a desired action down the road.

Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs

Every single person is different, and even amongst the most successful elite around the world, there are a multitude of differences between people and the mantras they’ve adhered to in order to reach their success.

Having said that, there are definitely some common threads. Let’s unravel a couple of them here and look at the habits of highly successful entrepreneurs.

1) They bootstrap. The game for the past few years has been fundraising.  Raising rounds. Everyone spends more time trying to get from seed round to series A, then to series B, etc. than they do about building an actual money making business. While there are several outliers (mainly a couple social networks) who were able to hold off on turning a profit for years on end just with investor money, the majority of successful business and entrepreneurs have pulled themselves up and worked hard to make the money they need to survive, rather than asking someone or a bank for it.

For example, someone wanting to start a social media consultancy shouldn’t be asking for funding, they should be landing their first darn clients!

2) They’re building, not ending. Maybe it’s part of the ambitious mind that fuels an entrepreneurial spirit, but those who aim higher than a goal tend to actually meet it more often than those who aim at the goal itself.

Many entrepreneurs have an “empire” mentality in which they are building things so that they in turn, down the road, can build more things, or build that first thing into something bigger. A great way to apply this to your own worklife is to decide where you would be comfortable and where you would be happy, and then push the envelope – would you be happy working from home and making 80k per year? Why not aim to just get into six digits? Aim high, then aim higher.

3) They can sell, and they practice it, too. Entrepreneurs know that building a brand and effective marketing is a key to long-term success, but at their core they are salespeople. Entrepreneurship in the beginning will boil down to how well you can sell yourself, your service, or your product to someone. Being able to foster these skills in an organization also helps with scaling later on – if that’s where your ambition takes you.

While some people are more naturally gifted in charisma and persuasion, you can absolutely practice selling every day in order to improve your prowess. Studying copywriting and psychology triggers can be a great way to help gain an edge in this department as well.

4) They focus on strengths. Even though we just touched on improving skills that might not come naturally to you, it’s also true that most entrepreneurs’ focus disproportionately on the things they do best. If you’re a killer developer, make an awesome product and find someone who will work with you that is more gifted in the selling department. If your talent lies in selling but you aren’t very good at organizing the day to day, your first hire might help with marketing skills to help you keep activities aligned and consistent.

Of course, no matter what you do – you’ll want to take into consideration your own propensities and apply these in a way that makes sense for both your skillset and for your goals.