Is it possible to turn your expertise into income? The YouTube generation would say it is. There are hundreds of social media “influencers” who generate significant revenue streams from sharing the things they know, and sometimes the things they don’t, online. Everyone has a strength or skill in an area of expertise that can be capitalized on, and contrary to opinion, you don’t even have to be an ‘expert” to start. If you think about it, most of the people who are searching for knowledge or guidance on a topic aren’t academics; they’re just ordinary individuals looking to understand the fundamentals.
Identify Your Specialist Area
Before you can start monetizing your knowledge, you need to identify those areas of interest that make you tick. Whatever it is that you are choosing to share with the world, you need to be passionate and dedicated. It’s like building a business, if you’re not 100 percent committed to whatever it is that you want to do, it will never reach its full potential.
Marie Forleo is the perfect example. She is one of the new thought leaders in the fields of personal development and business building and a best-selling author to boot. Adept at creating content that connects and engages her target audience, Forleo’s website, newsletters and weekly online TV show “Marie TV” are accessed by people from 191 countries worldwide. She also runs and leads dynamic business development training programs — B School — that teach entrepreneurs the basics of how to succeed in both business and life. She didn’t get there by magic but by hard work and understanding that the way to success involved zoning in on areas so she could “create incredible content and change lives.”
If life coaching or business mentoring isn’t your thing, then take a leaf out of poker pro Phil Hellmuth Jr.’s book. His epic meltdowns at the card table aside, as a world-class player, Hellmuth has been able to capitalize on his expert skills by releasing several successful books and launching his online poker school. Hellmuth’s success goes to show that it’s possible to capitalize on that one thing you have extensive experience in, even if you do get it wrong sometimes.
Remember, content is king!
If you want to establish yourself as a knowledgeable expert, you’ve got to create content. It’s a no-brainer; if other people can’t access your ideas, how will they know if they’re any good and how will they recognize you?
It could be blogging, creating videos, podcasting, developing online reviews, giving public talks and demonstrations, setting up online courses or whatever else. The main thing is that you have to start doing it and you have to be consistent. Content creation is hard work, no doubt about it, but the results could change your life. Even if you’re not confident in your level of knowledge and expertise, you can still start to create content and put your ideas forward by interviewing other people in your chosen subject. Not only will this help you to learn a lot more and faster, but you’d be surprised at how quickly you will become associated with the individual and their ideas.
When you’re building your profile, it’s also worth remembering that you can make an instant side-income by sharing your knowledge online through paid survey sites like JustAnswer, and more focused freelance marketplaces like Upwork and PeoplePerHour. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is also another online tool that can be used to access surveys and tasks that need human knowledge and intelligence to complete (its often used by professionals, organizations and academics to get help with automated tasks) and be paid in return. And remember, if you’re the person who is the “go-to” for friends and colleagues when they need to understand something, then you stand a good chance of making money from your unique expertise.