If you are reading this, thinking you can’t make money online and travel the world because you have no skills, you have skills! Simply by participating in social media for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 hours a day for the past 10 years, gives you value to someone who’s spent the past 40 years building a business offline.
Born in the mid 1990’s I grew up with the internet and specifically with social media. Whether it was prevalent in your teens, or from birth, you probably have an advanced understanding of how things work in this virtual world. This understanding will make you money online when you are able to recognise the skills and experience you already have.
The skills we learn simply by participating in the latest developments online shouldn’t be taken for granted.
In contrast to my generation, those born before the 1990s have varying levels of aptitude, from fluency to complete dissociation, especially when it comes to social media. This becomes skewed towards the latter when the demographic ages.
You can see this disparity being replicated even between generations born within the digital age. With each new social media platform a new younger audience is captured and taken on a new journey leaving the others behind. This can be seen with TikTok and its popularity with Generation Z and how decreasing numbers of Generation Z sign up for Facebook but this is where most Millennials began.
Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964)
Generation X (1961 – 1981)
Millennials /Generation Y, (1981 – 1996)
Generation Z (mid-1990s to early-2000s)
Why is this important?
Social media and other online skills is a second language for most who have grown up around the internet. But for most Baby Boomers, and some Generation X, you might as well be talking in hieroglyphics.
These generations are more than likely those in senior roles, with buying power or who own businesses personally. You may just have the right skill set to further the growth of their business. These generations need someone to bridge the gap between traditional, often bricks and mortar businesses, and online companies.
Social Media Management
Try putting all those hours lost to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok to good use and try social media management!
This is ideal for anyone who already has a few thousand followers on their favourite network. If you enjoy writing engaging captions and growing a following, social media management could be the easiest way to make money. You may already possess the skill set needed.
“But I don’t have a portfolio”
I wouldn’t have progressed as quickly as I did without my blog, that’s why I encourage everyone who is starting out to develop their personal brand online.
Choose something you love doing and become an expert on that topic. Ideally, it will be related to the industry you want to sell your services to or related to the services you sell.
For me, this was travel blogging and I’ve earnt 99% of my blog income indirectly through referrals which in turn bolstered my portfolio when pitching to potential digital marketing clients. My blog and social media following was a great way to prove to potential clients that I had transferable skills which I could bring to their business.
I can almost guarantee, in your local area, there are hundreds of business owners who could use a social media manager, content creator, or web designer.
You can probably walk your way to $1,000s every month by simply approaching the local small businesses in your area. Pubs, restaurants, estate agents, hairdressers, or that flower shop down the road.
Every business should have a website and most B2C companies would benefit from using social media to expand their sales channels, especially those that sell products or services online.
“But I don’t know how to code a website”
Neither do I, but I invoiced thousands of dollars for beautifully presented websites in my first year of working online.
Using online template building website software platforms such as Shopify, Squarespace or Strikingly. I promise, if you spent a few weekends learning, you would be able to build a professional, mobile-friendly website to benefit any small business.
You can easily further your no-experience-required skills with:
- OpenTable a real-time online booking network for fine dining restaurants
- Ecwid for an alternative E-commerce Shopping Cart able to sync and sell across websites, social media and marketplaces
- Canva for drag-and-drop graphic design
- Mailchimp for email marketing and ad campaigns with built-in analytics
- Unsplash for outstanding free for commercial use images, better than any royalty free or stock photos
Resell other people’s services
Ok, so what if none of this appeals to you? Maybe you haven’t paid attention to online trends in recent years.
If you think you can find potential clients, you can always resell other people’s services.
What should I charge?
I started charging $650 for an information website in 2014. I felt this was a good place to start if you are going to be adding-on costs for copywriting, graphic design, and e-commerce.
There are also additional charges for hosting, software and security. Make sure you check exactly how much this will cost you (anything from $40 to $200+ a year depending on what you use) and put a premium on it for renewal admin and maintenance.
For social media work, it really depends on the project. I’d recommend giving yourself an hourly rate and estimating how many hours it will take you. Do this even when quoting on a project-basis. Make sure you are happy with the amount of work and how long it takes you to do it. I’d recommend starting with $15 or $20 an hour depending on the average hourly rate for the service and your level of proficiency. You can then increase this as your experience grows.
In my first few years, on several occasions, I underestimated and I probably ended up working for less than the minimum wage most of the time. Now, I overestimate but I also overdeliver on my work output. I find I always work to the best of my ability if I feel valued.
Side note: Remember that computer-illiterate small business owners shouldn’t be taken advantage of. Giving a fair price encourages a long-term and fruitful working relationship.
Also, the title of this article devalues your skills, you are experienced! What I’m getting at is the experience gained has had no added effort and you don’t have to have worked for anyone before you get going. Now go out there and create a life you want to live!