Women In Business

Becoming a solopreneur? Build an office-free business

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Have you ever noticed the same people at the coffee shop, sitting there on their laptops or tablets, day after day. Have you ever wondered what they are doing? How can they afford to be there all the time?

They are part of the new economy. The online economy — often called the ‘gig’ economy. It requires no office space, no boss, and in many cases, no resume and endless interviews.

For those who would like to spend more time with their children or spouse, who would like to enjoy the freedom of working at home, and be in charge of how much they make, there is no time like the present.

The economy of jobs has shifted to specialized areas that are outsourced. A great example is what I do. Content writing. Most companies need a content writer, but not full time. So they outsource. At this moment, I’m on the couch with my family enjoying quality time with them while writing this article.

In a sense, this article is living proof that the work from home economy works.

Ok, so you may not be a content writer. You may not be gifted with words, or just not like it. You may be quite the opposite. A numbers person. Working now at an accounting firm. There are endless jobs for you too!

Companies need lots of things that don’t require much of an established skill at all. My point is, YOU can partake in this miracle of job revolution. You, too, can design websites, run communities on social media, and do many other things which will equal or be much more than your current office job. Let’s explore the possibilities.

Proof-reader

We writers are a bumbling bunch. We pour the contents of our minds and our hearts out on paper, and it is often a jumbled mess. We make countless mistakes. But we’re lucky enough to have people paid specifically to criticize our work. Word for word, to hear about what we did wrong.

I know it may sound like we content writers have animosity towards the proof-readers and don’t get me wrong, we absolutely do. But they are a vital part of the process, and we learn to appreciate their criticisms. And not just appreciate them, but listen to them because another set of eyes on a piece is invaluable. They look at it from another angle. The customers’ angle. And without that input, writers are in an echo-chamber.

While being a proof-reader is so important, it’s relatively easy to get into. You, of course, need an excellent grasp on the English language. You also need intuition on what will touch your readers. What’s appropriate for the company. What is the “voice” the company needs.

But other than that, there is no need for a portfolio. There is no need for a proofreader-specific resume. Put yourself out there, and the company will know fairly quickly if you have what they need. If you have a finger on the pulse. Can you work with difficult people? If you do, you will quickly carve out a very nice little business for yourself.

You should take a course in proofreading. You will know what’s expected, what to look for, and how to best aid the writer find the right voice for the company.

As with everything, you’ll need to invest. While this at home business investment is minimal, to master your trade, as with anything else, you’ll need to learn, learn, and learn some more.

Transcriber

On the same note, with little to no investment, you can make money at home as a transcriber. You will simply need to listen to recordings and write what you hear.

Many companies are making systems based on voice recognition. They need raw data to input so the software can understand the words. That’s where you, as a transcriber, come in.

Sounds simple? It is, and there are no strings attached to it.

To really make money with this, you’ll need to have very good grammar. You can also take an online course in transcribing to know the best methods for churning out work quickly and efficiently, as well as how to establish yourself as a professional.

Since it’s not a particularly high paying gig, you’ll have to spend quite a bit of time on it to make a full-time salary.

But if working from home is the goal, and you’re not worried about putting in some extra time, this could be for you!

Teach English online

There are so many people today using apps and software for learning new languages. It’s difficult to argue that the most important language internationally is English.

But for those who have advanced passed the basics of what free apps can teach them, they need a teacher. A partner to guide them through and have real, meaningful conversations with them so they can go beyond the basic knowledge and master the language.

Many people have a hard time learning through automated programs, and require human interaction to learn from the beginning.

There is now a hole in the job market for talented English teachers. So much so, that many companies do not require you to be a teacher. Just to know the language and follow their programming. The problem with these companies is that they just don’t pay very well.

However, there are many many outlets to offer your services as an English teacher entirely independently. Even if you charge what the companies charge, you can earn an excellent salary when you fill your schedule. For more info on becoming a solopreneur, check out Online Academy.

If you learn online marketing, you can really get your services out there. First, fill up your schedule and potentially grow your business as far as you would like to take it.

Become an online instructor

You have knowledge. Your knowledge is valuable. Make money from your knowledge by teaching. Creating courses is not only a money-making machine, but it can also be a direct pipeline to new business if you are good at it.

To become an online instructor, you must have expertise in some in-demand skills. But often, there is no need to prove your credentials. You just need to be able to explain your knowledge in an easy to understand course while you walk people from beginner to proficient in your area of expertise.

There are many platforms out there, and they are competing for the best content. They want you!

Lay out a course, write scripts for your lectures, create working exercises. Give the course to your friends and family and see how they do with it first hand. If you get good feedback, chances are your course will be a hit!

Not only that but in the course, you can sell yourself and your services. While many platforms do not allow overt advertising, you position yourself as an expert in your area of expertise. While people come to learn, they may begin to follow you outside of the platform, and this will open doors to new clients for your at-home business, and can lead to great affiliate deals.

What are affiliate deals? Let’s dive into that now.

Become an affiliate marketer

Affiliate marketing is big BIG money for those that learn to do it well. The general idea of affiliate marketing is the following: You connect with a company which is selling a product or service and make a deal whereas you bring them customers, and they pay you for bringing them.

This can be simple, and it can be incredibly sophisticated. The common theme for both is you need to learn digital marketing.

While I know both the words “digital” and “marketing” can frighten some people off, the embarrassing little secret of the digital marketing industry is…. They took an online class to learn how to do it!

Yes, that’s right. The employees at that fancy digital marketing agency did not go to an ivy league school to learn digital marketing. They learned it in their living rooms. Meaning you can too!

Once you’ve learned the basics of digital marketing, you’ll need to find your customers. In affiliate marketing, your customers are companies.

So how do you find the best affiliate marketing programs?

Well, that’s really a subjective question. The best affiliate marketing program for you may not be the best affiliate program for someone else. This is because you’ll need to do quite a bit of content writing about the product and all the things that are important to the product or services potential customers. So it’s best to know a bit about the industry you’re an affiliate for.

The good news is that whatever it is you feel you have knowledge and strength in, there are endless products to support it. The BEST affiliate marketing programs usually come from new entrants to the market. They need to get that word out, and they are willing to give a good percentage of sales to do it.

For newer companies, the links you create to attempt to bring traffic to their website are valuable, as well. Even if you don’t bring in much business. So they are eager to motivate their affiliates to promote them.

If you can set aside a few hours a day to learn digital marketing, if you can write, and have specialized knowledge on a specific subject, this gig can turn into an incredibly lucrative business in no time.

Summary

These are just a few ideas in the sea of online businesses in the “NEW” online job economy. I feel very comfortable saying that this is the wave of the future. Jobs will be outsourced, and most work that doesn’t require a full-time commitment to a company will now be online.

While we are just now in the process of transforming the job market to that of a virtual office, it’s wise to establish yourself now.

You may be comfortable with your job. You may be comfortable with your income. But there are a few things I think make a persuasive argument to begin an at-home business.

Solopreneurs are a thing of the future. The early adapters in new markets always gain the most (think investing in apple pre-iMac — or even pre-iPhone). I would also go so far as to argue that this is a security blanket. As jobs begin to be outsourced more and more, it’s essential to have the doors open.

I implore you, dear reader. Take some digital marketing courses. Become active in social media. Gain your following, and start building. As the tide of the future slowly swallows the shoreline of the past, you will be in the comfort of your beautiful beach-house. Not stranded out at sea with the debris.

About Anna Miruna

annami@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

Anna Miruna is a marketing and business expert from R11 Solutions, a Canadian-based digital marketing agency.

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