The old adage has it that if you’re lucky enough to work in a field you’re passionate about, you’ll never work a day in your life. Was it Confucius who said it first, or maybe Mark Twain? The answer isn’t so clear, nor does it really matter.
The point is, too many of us go from job to job, changing titles, companies, industries and careers, trying to find that ever-elusive sense of satisfaction from work. What are we looking for, though, from our careers? Form most of us, sure, earning enough to make ends meet is important, but we also want to feel like we’re making a difference, accomplishing things and that our efforts serve some kind of greater purpose.
One recent study found that nearly half of today’s young adults would be willing to forego a pay cut of over $9000 in order to have a “meaningful” job.
If you’re stuck in a dull position that leaves you feeling numb, it may be time to change your focus towards developing your passions and figuring out how to monetize them. It may take a leap of faith, but it can be done. Here’s how.
Put Your Knowledge to Work for You
With this approach, you can either teach others your passion, or teach others how to sell it, too. There are a few ways to do this, and you can mix and match them depending on how many streams of revenue you want to create.
One of the best ways to do this is to build an online course and sell it to people who want to learn what you know. With e-learning platforms such as Kajabi, you create the course content and a gated website, and thanks to features that cover everything from marketing automation to billing, the all-in-one platform handles the rest. All you need to do first is find your niche, where demand from the general public overlaps with your passions and knowhow.
Another approach is to start your own blog and monetize it with ads, influencer partnerships, affiliate products, and more.
Or, you could write a book. Even if you’re not the best writer in the world, you can hire a freelancer to ghostwrite the content for you. Not the best graphic designer? Hire another freelancer to design the cover for you. The self-publishing route is generally easier to take compared to pitching publishers and landing a book deal. You can start with an e-book you sell on your website, Amazon and other platforms, and if you find that people also want print copies, you can use a print-on-demand service to help you with that.
Sell Products or Services
If you’d rather not teach others, you can make products that people can use directly. Many online marketplaces such as Shopify and Etsy allow you to sell both physical and digital products. Whether it’s your own downloadable sewing pattern or the clothes you create by sewing with that pattern yourself, if people want it, you can sell it.
The great thing about digital products is you can create them once and sell them again and again, without the incremental costs associated with physical products.
Because the customer downloads the files right after making the payment, they receive the product immediately, and there’s no need to worry about shipping supplies and costs for every order.
Build a Marketing Plan
Unfortunately, where many people go wrong when turning their passion into their career is the lack of a marketing plan. No matter what you’re trying to generate income with – whether it’s your paintings or your knowledge of poker – it’s not a situation where all you have to do is build it and wait for people to come to you.
Even if you have the best product in the world that solves one of the biggest problems people deal with every day, the fact is that if people don’t know about it, it won’t sell – and if it doesn’t sell, then you’re stuck in that job you hate.
When you go into the plan to launch your new business with the expectation of needing a marketing strategy, you’ll be far more successful than if you don’t factor that in from the start. Here are three key aspects of marketing your passion that you’ll need to plan for.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
To build credibility as a legitimate business, you’ll want your own website. And to make sure people are able to find that website when they use keywords related to whatever it is you have to offer, you’ll want to make an effort to use SEO when you’re building that website. That means creating a site full of high-quality content that’s not only based on keyword research but also valuable, fresh, and added to regularly.
If you’re not familiar with SEO, there are a number of agencies out there that can help you, but be wary of any that guarantee number one ranking in Google, because no reputable agency can do that.
Also be aware that SEO won’t magically make your website soar to the first page overnight. It takes a mix of activities over time to start seeing results. Expect to start seeing results at the six-month mark and re-evaluate from there based on how well you reached your goals.
2. Social Media Marketing
For most niches, social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience. Your social media marketing strategy should focus only on the channels that make the most sense for your niche. If your audience isn’t using Snapchat, then it would be a waste of time for you to try and establish a presence there.
This way, you can maximize your efforts on the channels where you know your audience is, rather than spreading yourself too thin by trying to be everywhere. The goal is to target the right people, with the right content, at the right time.
3. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
You can use PPC advertising on both search engines and social media channels to get a decent return on investment, as long as you know how to use them well. Jumping in without understanding what you’re doing could end up costing you a lot of money. Both methods allow you to set budgets and limits so you don’t spend too much without getting a return.
It’s possible to hire either a freelancer or an expert PPC agency so you can get good results. If that’s not in your budget, you’ll have to take time to learn it yourself, which may mean it takes longer to achieve the results you’re looking for.
Putting It All Together
Whatever your passion is, you can make a lucrative business out of it, as long as you know what to do to get your product or service in front of the people who would be most likely to buy it. Whether you’re teaching the passion, teaching the business of the passion, or selling products related to the passion, you can make it happen.
But to make your business idea become a profitable reality, you must focus on marketing and promotion, using a variety of tactics such as SEO, social media marketing, and PPC advertising. The marketing strategy that supports your business is the single most important indicator of success. And while we wish we could give you a winning strategy, ultimately this requires doing your homework to ensure you’re able to meet your target audience’s needs, and do so in such a way that makes you more appealing than the competition.
Earning a living doing what you love is within your reach. With careful planning and smart execution, you can make it happen.