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Monetize social media
July 25, 2013, 11:09 am
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Lots of people work full time in social media, but not as many consult in the space on a part-time basis because it is not easy to work a side gig in addition to your day job. But if you are social-media savvy, hear me out: This is a fabulous opportunity to make money. As more businesses and organizations see the value of using social media, there is a growing demand for freelancers to help them.

How do you launch this type of business? Here are a few steps to help you get started: Build your credibility: Do an awesome job of building your own brand online, because that's an indication of how well you will do it for someone else. Who's going to hire you if you don't act professionally, have your own solid followings and offer value through your own channels?

Know what you want to offer: Do you want to teach people how to use social media or do you want to grow online communities for your clients? There is also the inbetween option of creating a strategy and then teaching the client to implement it themselves. Of course, your business can include a combination of these services. But before anyone will hire you, you have to have a good idea of what you want to offer.

Consider choosing a niche: Is there a specific type of business or organization you would like to work for? Travel companies? Non-profits? Politicians? The more specific you can get, the more likely someone will show interest when you tell them about your services. You can always take clients outside of that niche, but targeting a specific group is an effective way to grow your client list.

Start fishing for clients: Even if you are starting small, the best way to get your business rolling is to tell everyone you are available for hire. Be specific about what you offer, whether it is one-on-one coaching or strategy for businesses or corporate seminars. If you are looking to make money off your social media smarts, you probably have strong followings on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin – use them. Ask your networks to help spread the word about your business. Consultation is a great way to build credibility in addition to word of mouth and direct business referrals. But don't forget that the people who need your services most probably don't know how to use social media. The best way to meet them may be through in-person networking. Social media is one of the few areas of freelance work where future demand is guaranteed not to drop. Figure out how to juggle your new gig with your day job. This could determine whether you succeed. Can you set priorities? Manage your time well? Most professionals like to do their side-gig work in the morning before they go to their day job, but the key is figuring out what works for you. 

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