Do you have a hobby or an obsession that will keep you up all night, if need be? This is the perfect time to learn how to work doing what you love! In this book, author Gary Vaynerchuk shows how you can build a brand, become a known specialist and make money from your passions! You will learn how the power of the internet and social networks have changed the relationship of business with your customers, and also how you can take advantage of it to make money doing what you love!
Now is the time to live your passion - to do something that you really enjoy. Instead of making a living by doing things you tolerate, enjoy your passions and do great things. Tools for this are available. Measure your success based on your happiness and not based on the size of your business or how much money you are earning.
Everyone talks about how the internet is drastically changing the business world, but most of the time these discussions talk about big business. All of this is true, but the tools we receive over the internet can also be used on a personal level. Nowadays it is viable to build a business that can generate wealth using your passion, hard work and the tools of social networks of the internet era.
As people migrate their social lives to social networking sites such as Youtube, Flickr, Tumblr and Twitter, advertisers feel increasingly attracted to these sites. Radio, newspapers, magazines and television are losing viewers or subscribers, but advertisers and companies still need to spend money to showcase their products and services. The inevitable result will be that advertisers will shift their advertising spending to where people will be in the future.
The internet allows you to build a platform where you can talk about your passion in greater depth, and can also connect with people who share that passion. And as you continue to deliver good material, more people will be drawn to what you are saying. This can work regardless of what your passion is.
As an example, suppose you are in love with earthworms. You love worms so much that you can write expert articles about them. Somewhere in your research, you found that if you fish with a particular type of earthworms, you can catch 80% more fish. You mention this to a friend and put together a podcast on the subject and other interesting facts about earthworms. Soon, many people are following what you said because they want to catch more fish. A fish bait company is looking for you, asking if you can advertise on their site. Other companies ask if they can sponsor your site and multiple revenue opportunities arise.
In the world of social networks, there is room for everyone. You can build a career by doing what you love. Companies that relate to you will like it because you have attracted a specific audience. And the costs of building your community are close to zero in monetary terms. All you need to invest is your time and effort, to create quality content and let people know that.
The internet has reduced the costs involved in building communities around various issues, even obscure matters. Nowadays, it is feasible that you attract the attention of people to the point of being noticed by advertisers.
The first step to monetizing your passion online is to build your personal brand. Find out what topic you find intriguing and start to specialize in this area. The test that indicates that you have done everything right will happen when you have so much fun that you will not even notice you are working hard.
In the past, building your brand required a lot of exposure on television or advertisements, so this was only possible for people like Oprah Winfrey, Larry King and other personalities; but the internet has changed that dynamic forever. Nowadays, anyone can build their brand through online activities, and that's what you need to do.
Gary Vaynerchuk is a good example of how this can be done. He is a person who loves wines and who likes to talk about wines. Gary did not like the fact that most wine commentators act like superior people as if drinking wine was not something for ordinary people. To change that perception, Gary launched his website (WineLibraryTV.com) and every day he posts an episode experimenting with new wines. His episodes use easy English and an energetic presentation and are very popular. People love the fact that he is not afraid to call the "poor" wines "crap" as he issues his opinions for all to hear. As a result, his show attracted a large number of followers, and his brand is well-established.
Building your brand is not too difficult. Usually involves three steps:
You need to be open and transparent about what you do. Consumers can sniff a fake. You need to be open about what you think and how you came to your conclusions. Personal preferences and trends are welcome as long as you are sincere.
You need to have opinions and express them to build your brand. Authenticity is vital. If you love something, you have to say it. Experts in any area always have peculiarities and preferences, and express these opinions. Social networking platforms are great vehicles to build your brand because they can have the global reach to what you are thinking and doing.
Use all available platforms with direct consumer access. One of the best things about the internet is that it allows talented people to shine without the need of traditional corporations. Today, social networking tools help talented people to interact directly with customers.
One feature of the internet that is devalued is the fact that it allows collaborations. Talented people can join with others who have business development skills to enhance their personal branding. All kinds of ventures can arise. A wide variety of business models can be used to share revenue that can be generated in this way.
The bottom line is that everyone should work hard to build a personal brand using the tools of the internet. Start a blog, make a podcast about what you love and share. Do this after work if you still need financial security, but do not miss this opportunity. Create your brand and dedicate yourself to differentiate yourself.
Step two of the system is to have great content. It is very important to do this the right way, because superior content will be your greatest ally. Focus on telling great stories with your content. First-line content is the surest way to differentiate yourself.
Choose your product using the subject that most appeals to you.
You need to put great content on your social network to stand out from the crowd. First-rate content, which mixes passion and your expertise, lets you talk about your product better than anyone else.
Once you've created great content, you need to choose the delivery medium. Each medium has its strengths and weaknesses. The three formats you can choose from are: Videos - most common on Youtube; Audio programs - usually podcasts; Written materials - posted on blogs or elsewhere.
The general rule to make your content available is to vary and evolve all the time. Keep these points in mind:
Developing your blog is a logical start. Blogs are great because they can be updated more easily than sites, also, search engines love blogs, and you do not pay for them. The most popular platforms are Wordpress and Tumblr. Overall, Wordpress offers more possibilities, while Tumblr is easier for beginners.
After creating your blog, be sure to include several "Call to action" buttons, which leaves some things simpler for your visitor. Have buttons that offer options like "Sign up for the email list," "Add me as a friend," "Be a fan," or "Buy my book." You'll also want buttons for your visitors to share your content on their networks - "Email this," "Share on Facebook," or "Tweet this" for example.
Facebook is the social network that has grown faster in history, so it makes sense that you have a profile and a fan page there. You can use Facebook to share photos, videos or audios, and write simple and easy texts. Your Facebook should reflect your passions and what you are trying to achieve online - a reflection on your business activities.
Some useful tools for distributing content are:
Twitter lets you write up to 140 characters of messages about what's happening in real time. It works great for building your brand because it has a lot of approval power and is perfect for releasing communications.
It also lets you know what your consumers think; can be used to research the intentions of consumers; encourages and encourages conversations; can attract people to your blog.
Flickr is a photo website. You can use Flickr to post photos that lead to your blog, or you can leave comments on other people's photos that make them curious to visit your blog.
Youtube and Viddler are the most widely used video platforms. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Youtube is bigger, but Viddler allows users to create a brand. Viddler also allows you to highlight important parts of the video with small points on the timeline, which makes searching easier.
Ustream.tv is a platform that allows you to cast live videos with a real-time chat, from your website or blog. This allows you to interact with your viewers, such as on a radio show. A video posted on Youtube or Viddler is a formal presentation, while Ustream offers the chance to answer questions as you deliver your content.
Ping.fm allows you to post updates automatically on more than thirty social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Wordpress and MySpace.
TubeMogul is a service that allows you to upload your video once, and then you can distribute it on some sharing sites.
Facebook Connect allows new users of your site to skip the process of passing on your personal information to add you as a friend.
In general, these tools allow you to differentiate yourself if you use them efficiently. You can improve your brand and expand your reach.
Having good content, internet access and knowing how to use social networks will not be enough to get you to the top. Your competitors will be doing the same things. To differentiate your content, you need to be passionate about what you do and project your personalities and opinions, rather than being a choreographed and fake person.
This third step determines most of your success. With great content, you now need to start and sustain conversations. You can build a vibrant community by participating in various conversations, which are already about the content you produce. You need to reach out to like-minded people and get them to listen to you.
Creating good content is the easy part. Using this content to start a conversation and then interact with people in a community is the biggest challenge. To create an audience that appreciates your brand, you need to reach out to them, meet people, and participate in all the conversations about your content, anywhere in the world.
Building and maintaining a community is an endless and critical challenge. To do this:
Create high-quality content and distribute on your platforms
Research what others are talking about your subject on the internet
Join in these conversations by commenting, posting and tweeting
Let people curious about your knowledge of the subject, until they enter your blog or website, where you get their contact details.
If you're the best at what you do, you'll know how to create interesting content. The people who are part of your community will be happy because you are offering them valuable things. The happier they are, the more they talk, and this will get more people to join. In communities, quality is more important than numbers. It is far better to have a small number of people who are very engaged, than a large number with minimal interactions.
The more you postpone monetizing your community, the better it will be in the long run. The more enthusiastic the fans become, the better the business will be with other companies who want to sell products in their community. If you care about the needs of your community and exceed your expectations, companies will want to get involved. Do not rush, and then you can make more money when the time is right.
Once you have established your brand and built your community, the final step is to create revenue streams. There are different ways to monetize your know-how, you just need to find the best one for your case.
When the time is right, the options will be different. Some of the most obvious ways to do this are:
You can sell ad slots on your blog or website - perhaps a banner that appears at the top or bottom of your pages.
You can get paid to give lectures - in which people respond to your knowledge and expertise.
You can start an affiliate program - put links on your site to other sites that pay you commission. Or you can create your affiliate program where local businesses pay you to generate sales for them.
You can develop and sell your product - online or in a store.
You can get paid to produce articles for magazines or websites - based on your knowledge about a certain subject.
You can do small seminars - which helps you build your brand and gives you networking opportunities.
You can write a book - or look for opportunities in TV shows.
You can offer consulting services - for those who seek to follow the same path as you.
You can have a sponsor - offer name and ad rights as you grow your community.
You can create an event - make special events for your community and make money by selling things to the people who participate. You can also charge from other companies to sell products at your events.
All sorts of combinations of these ideas are also feasible if you know how to take advantage of them. The best approach to monetize your community is to start small things and grow. Find out what makes the most sense for the type of person in your community and then work on it.
To be successful today and in the future, you need to be prepared to fight. You can create a great success legacy. The key to this is to try different things until you find something that works for you.
You need to have a mindset to do whatever it takes and to achieve long-term success. For this, you will need to strike a good balance between what seems two opposite things:
On the one hand, you need to be ready to adjust to changing environments. If you start targeting in a niche market but find out that customers from another niche are using your product, make the necessary changes. Take advantage of this new niche and see what you can do to change instead of keeping your original plan. Great businesses know how to take advantage of the attention they receive, even if it is not welcome at first. A good example of this is Domino's Pizzeria. Some employees filmed videos doing nasty things with the pizzas before delivering them to customers. The company responded appropriately, but if it had been a little more active, they could have turned this disaster into an advantage by installing cameras in their kitchens. This would allow anyone who asked for a pizza to watch the preparation.
On the other hand, you also need to have the habit of thinking about the consequences of every business decision. Your legacy will be the aggregate result of your decisions. It is very important to think like a chess player thinking about a few moves ahead. That's why you need to personally respond to your emails and respond to individual feedback from your customers. Work thinking that every decision you make is being taped for eternity, and it will help increase the value of your brand.
The "Holy Grail" of business is to be reactionary and think about your legacy at the same time. Your legacy is the pillar of successful brands, but unless you react to change, you will have trouble gaining traction in the business world. You need to pay attention to cultural changes and find out how they will impact what you do and the products you offer.
And how does this work in practice? Here are some examples:
You're at a party, and someone mentions they're cancelling cable. Some friends agree that this is a great idea.
Your radar goes off. You think that a few years ago, consumers would never cancel their main form of home entertainment. You decide to find out what has changed.
You talk to other people and find out that they believe there is no difference between watching cable TV or videos online. Also, on Demand, Netflix, TiVo, Youtube and Hulu programs are available, so people do not feel they need to be connected 24 hours a day.
Thinking ahead, it's easy to anticipate that Comcast or Time Warner will announce new channels that will display videos online. Viewers will be able to create their own experiences by selecting videos they want rather than being forced to watch what is being displayed.
Anticipating this, you buy a $ 150 camera and start creating your blog with videos online. You post your material on YouTube and elsewhere so that people looking for high-quality content in your area find what you have. Once you have material available, you connect with advertisers. You introduce them to your material since it will be cheaper for them to work with you instead of looking for you later when your material is already much bigger and better. It is much easier to be active these days because we all have access to powerful data that can indicate trends. That means you can turn that data and challenges into business opportunities. Do not think of the short term because this can dilute the value of your brand.
If you are aware of your legacy and are reactionary, you will do well regardless of what happens in the future. Do not be afraid to risk and try new platforms and social networks. Following your passion will never be a mistake. You may think that all good internet business ideas have already been used, but the reality is that things are just beginning. There are still countless internet-based businesses that have not been released. You need to enjoy your passion and find your place.
If you like this material, you will also like the book Knockout by the same author. There he talks a little about how you can take advantage of social networks and make successful marketing campaigns!
Gary Vaynerchuk is a Belarusian American vine critic, author, and entrepreneur. He managed to grow the business he inherited from his father, a liquor store, from making 3 million dollars a year to making 60 m... (Read more)
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