How to Start a Business Selling Your Expertise
Starting a business is one of the most exciting and challenging things someone can do. However, the ways of business have quickly changed over the past several years thanks to the power of the internet. More people are now looking away from the traditional guided path of going to college, only to come out with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt… to now venturing out on their own and putting their skills and expertise to good use.
One of the best ways to accomplish this just might be through the use of online training courses and selling your expertise online. This is actually nothing new, and it’s a legitimate business model that continually generates billions of dollars every year for those who are willing to put in the time, work and effort to get things rolling.
The Opportunity in Selling Online vs. Traditional Offline Business Models
When you look at a traditional brick and mortar business, or even a franchise… they are plenty of upfront costs that put you way behind even before you get started. Franchise fees in themselves can cost upwards of $50,000, then when you start considering rental locations, paying staff, holding inventory, training employees and all of the time you will have to personally spend on this process, it’s no wonder why so many businesses fail.
On the flip side, if you were to start an internet business, the costs and setup process are quite minimal. Anyone can go live with a website or blog of their with a domain name and web hosting for under $20 a month. This is often where the foundation for many online courses and professionals start — through the content they create online.
Once they realize the power of the internet and the global reach it had to offer, they then also realize there is a monetization play here as well. With so many people out there looking to use the internet to find answers to their problems, if you have a service or expertise that can fill these needs… you also have a business! At the same time, it also helps to have an entrepreneur mentality.
Then we also have the technical side of things. Just like how the internet has changed how business is done in the world today, ‘software as a solution’ businesses have also changed how their online businesses and services work — especially in reference to making it easy for non-techie users to get started. After all, most people who want to make money off their expertise or skills, want to do just that — not start a whole new process of learning how to be a web designer or programmer.
This is something the team over at Kajabi know all too well. With an easy-to-site site builder and course building platform, Kajabi makes it possible for professionals, everyday people, and mom-and-pop businesses to get online with a course or membership site of their own, without the need to deal with technical details. A perfect example of how this could work for a typical local or offline business can be seen in one of their recent success stories, Andrew Fischer, who was able to take his offline golf coaching business, online and bring it to new customers around the world.
If You Build It, Will They Come? No… You Need to Find Them!
One of the most important components to finding success with an online course or membership site of your own is actually building a loyal following and gaining the trust of your audience. This is something many professionals and experts realize in the beginning, as they will start with a blog to create content around their history or what they are good at, while also building a social following in the process.
Sujan Patel, an online marketing and branding expert, recently came out with an article on how to grow a mailing list from zero to 50,000 through the use of specific call-to-actions and providing value to an audience. When asked about how to best approach the idea of selling your expertise as a business through an online course, Sujan had the following to say:
“Everyone is great at something and if you are going to try and sell it as a course or online business, you need to portray yourself as both an expert and trustworthy source. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to have an online presence (whether that be with a blog, a YouTube Channel or even just on social media). Through this presence, you can offer free value to your audience and redirect them back to your site, which is also where you can start the email collection and soft-sell process. It’s a method that has worked time and time again, it’s simply a matter of knowing your audience and how to give them what they want.”
With all of that in mind, the business of selling yourself and your expertise isn’t just one that can be extremely profitable, it can be very self-rewarding in the process. With more people out of work and undecided on where their future might be headed, when working for yourself or building a business around something you are passionate about, it’s no longer just about the money — it’s also about enjoying what you do.
Have you read?
- Entrepreneur Tips for Selling Your Expertise as an Online Business
- 5 reasons emotional intelligence belongs in the boardroom
- Face time: A Relic From The Past?
- 5 Customer Motivational Emails to Increase to Your Funnel