With the wealth of opportunities available online it’s clear to see there are endless opportunities to make money based on your expertise or knowledge.
Almost everyone has some knowledge or skill that someone else would like to learn. It could be a hobby you enjoy such as salsa dancing, marathon running, playing a musical instrument, changing careers, trading the stock market, PC support, puppy training, or a wealth of other topics.
However, It can be difficult to know where to start if selling your knowledge for money is something you’ve perhaps never seriously considered before or have no real knowledge of.
In this article, we’re going to take you through everything you need to make sure you can simply create a successful business using the expert knowledge you already have.
Sell your advice online
If you have decided to start the route of entrepreneurship, want to know the best ways to sell your advice online and see a step by step guide in how to get your business from inception to provide a steady stream of income, you’ve come to the right place!
We’ll answer all your questions such as – who can sell their knowledge? What actually is an expert, are there any great digital platforms designed for experts? how do I write an ebook? and more!
If you’ve already got the knowledge, the brand, the package – and you’re ready to go! Then simply go here to start earning from your expertise!
But, if you’re still in the researching and planning stage, then before we head into the details, let’s start by looking at exactly why you might decide to sell your knowledge or expertise.
Why sell your knowledge?
Benjamin Franklin nailed this brief when he quoted “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
Although this message was given many years ago, it’s still relevant today in our digital and modern age.
So what if you could create a business entirely out of your knowledge?
Everyone has a strength they can capitalize on, but many believe they have to be the foremost in their field in order to be considered an “expert.”
However many of those who are seeking out knowledge or guidance are not other experts, but ordinary people, simply looking to understand the basics.
Put it this way, we’re all capable of bringing expertise to the party and then finding ways to monetize it.
Possibilities of online learning
The online learning industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds every day. Individuals who have chosen to share their knowledge and expertise digitally have seen amazing returns.
The age of social media and global connection, as well as promoting easy access to tuition and the ability to offer advice with limited resources, has created an opportunity to capitalize on what experts are now referring to as knowledge commerce.
However, the truth is, many people are not yet aware of the viability of such options.
Think about the last time you planned a vacation. You probably looked up information on the internet, read a blog post or two, or joined a community of travelers.
A few years prior, you would’ve probably just booked it directly through an agent.
However, as with everything else, people now want to make more informed decisions. They want to learn about topics that are new to them from people who have experience and expertise in their subject field.
That’s where knowledge as a “commerce” comes into it…
What is knowledge commerce?
Whether you’re a full-time parent, a college student looking to make some extra money, or a lifelong hobbyist wanting to share your passion, the knowledge market is the perfect place to turn your skills and expertise into creating a business.
In a nutshell, Knowledge Commerce refers to the practice of charging customers for access to our knowledge.
This could be through an online course, coaching an e-book, a membership site, chat programs, and any other digital product designed to share knowledge.
This differs from traditional methods of tuition where teachers and professors are paid to share their knowledge in a classroom situation. The money to pay the teacher comes from tuition, taxes, or some other sources, and students meet in a physical classroom in a specific geographical area.
“In a nutshell, Knowledge Commerce refers to the practice of charging customers for access to our knowledge.”
Sharing your passion
Knowledge commerce gives people the opportunity to share their passion or expertise with students from all around the globe as either a side hustle – or a full-time job.
Anyone who sells their expertise, or a specialty can be termed a knowledge merchant.
What do knowledge merchants do?
Those who are experts and sell their knowledge might
- Create a brand
- Post regularly on social media
- Use platforms such as video, or text to consult with their clients
- Teach or advise on a variety of subjects
- Coach online
- Create a blog
- Design a course
- Create an Ebook
- Answer questions on Quora and Facebook groups
The subjects you can advise on or pass onto others are extensive and only limited by your imagination. It might be any or a combination of any of the following:
- Computer science
- Health and well-being
- Relationship skills
- Tarot reading
- Real estate
- Business information
- Small business advice
- Writing and editing
- Financial planning
- Specialist consultancy
- Life coaching
- Strategic management
- Mental health practitioners
- Arts and crafts
- Cocktail mixology
- Pet experts
- Content creators
- Core education skills such as math
- Foreign languages
- Adult entertaining
- Motivational coaching
- Sports modeling
- Celebrity lives
This diverse list is not exhaustive and is all valuable skills people want to learn. Even if your expertise is not listed, don’t worry, you can guarantee that someone will be looking for your skill!
Experts from all walks of life, professions and even hobbyists can sell their knowledge for money
The knowledge market gives individuals the channels to put their skills to use …while also making passive income and creating a fanbase.
The Knowledge Commerce industry is expected to reach a whopping $325 billion by 2025, while a report by Research And Markets predicts that this market will continue to grow at an annual rate of 7% in the next decade.
So does this trend whet your appetite sufficiently to take Knowledge Commerce seriously and consider making money from your expertise?
“The Knowledge Commerce industry
is expected to reach a whopping $325 billion by 2025,”
Not get rich quick
Although many of us are always looking to make as much money as possible by doing as little work as we can, It’s worth noting that the approach of selling your knowledge and expertise is very rarely a ‘get rich quick’ scheme.
You do of course have to be in a situation of having knowledge worth sharing. As we can see from above, the list of options is extraordinarily long!
It’s surprising how much money is offered by those looking for video game tips, some basic technical support, or even a tarot reading, for example.
So now we’ve looked at why sharing your passion with others can lead to having a successful side hustle or a full-time profession, let’s take a look at some more of the benefits and why it’s really worth considering selling your expertise and knowledge.
“Experts from all walks of life, professions, and hobbyists can sell their knowledge for money”
What are the benefits of knowledge commerce?
Sharing your skills and knowledge online could replace your day job – or simply provide an extra income stream.
The road to entrepreneurship is open to any who can successfully swap their skills
Sharing your skills and knowledge online serves to start you on a path to entrepreneurship, one that could replace your day job, or simply provide an additional income stream.
The benefits of online learning for consumers are immense.
- Convenience – Not only does it save them commute time, but it also provides more convenience and allows them the luxury of learning from wherever they are with a wifi connection. Consumers can choose to learn at any time and from anywhere.
- Add qualifications – With Knowledge Commerce, your audience can also add credible qualifications to their resumes at a fraction of the cost of traditional courses, depending on your expertise.
- Engaging – Any type of knowledge commerce is always going to bring a high level of engagement to your customers. Simply plowing through textbooks or written information can be incredibly time-consuming as well as fairly tedious. Those who engage with any kind of knowledge commerce can guarantee their experience will be an engaging one.
- Reduced Costs – Online coaching and education can cost less due to a variety of reasons. For example, there is no cost for commuting. Assorted costs that are related to transport, such as fuel, parking, car maintenance, and public transportation costs aren’t going to impact customers’ learning budgets.
- Increased Instructor and student time – Students in traditional classrooms may not get the personalized attention they need to have concepts clarified. During digital, text, and online-based learning this won’t prove a barrier to learning. Mainly as one-to-one, guided discussions and personal talk time with experts a hallmark of online classes
- Easier access to expertise – An online college education might give students access to specialized degree courses that may not be available in an easily accessible or local institution of learning. Online coaching allows the sharing of expertise that helps more people have access to education that is not readily available in certain geographic locations.
Sharing your skills and knowledge online could replace your day job or simply provide an extra income stream.
Who can become a knowledge expert or Infopreneur?
Before you can begin to make your way in the entrepreneurial world of knowledge sharing, you might be wondering who are the kinds of people that can become successful in teaching your expertise with others.
You may have come from the world of teaching or consultancy, or maybe you just have a regular day job but are an enthusiastic hobbyist with years of experience in your topic.
You might simply have a passion, a skill, or even just an idea and may have never thought before about making money selling your knowledge in return for money.
Let’s take a look below at who can start a successful career in the online learning world.
- Adult entertainers
- Tech support agents
- Those with an idea
- Skilled practitioners
- Anyone passionate about a subject
In fact, any individual or business offering one-on-one paid chat or consultancy services can sell their expertise
You might be surprised at the kinds of skills you can advise on or subjects you might be able to sell knowledge on.
It may be that you have one quirky skill that’s used as a party trick or to impress your children or guests. It could be its knowledge or a skill you picked up while working to pay for college.
You may not think these types of skills are sought after, but it could stand to bring you that much dreamed of second income stream. It could be its knowledge or a skill you picked up while working to pay for college.
“any individual or business offering one-on-one paid chat orconsultancy services can sell their expertise.”
So now we’ve seen the kinds of subjects and knowledge areas you can choose, your next question might be whether you will need to commit fully timewise and give up your day job. Let’s take a look below and find out.
Do I have to give up my day job?
Having a sideline of income can come in handy but not everyone is in a position to set up a full-fledged business or even take on freelance projects.
The beauty of selling your advice is that you can dedicate a few hours a day at evenings or weekends to help others without having to take a big jump into total self-employment.
Multiple income streams
This is great for two reasons. Firstly it gives you the benefit of two streams of income. In this current climate jobs no longer have the long term security they once had – and not having to rely totally on another company or business for your income makes sense.
Secondly, it will give you the chance to ‘test’ out your business, build a client base, and decide whether you might eventually want to become a full-time freelancer.
So why do we think that selling your knowledge online is one of the best ways to start a low-cost enterprise? Read on and find out.
Why is knowledge selling one of the best online businesses?
Selling advice is probably the best online business to start with if you have little money to invest in your business or you want to start making money quickly.
Get started in no time
If you are looking to sell your advice for money, it can be a really quick entry into the life of a knowledge expert even without a website!
Let’s look below at some of the ways you can start giving advice:
- Respond to Quora questions
- Give free advice in Facebook groups
- Writing guest articles on blogs or relevant online publications
In order to get started straight away giving advice all you need is an email address and a Skype account to start the ball rolling on your knowledge sharing business.
There are of course many other platforms you can add into your business such as subscription sites, messenger platforms, etc, which will allow your business to grow.
Having a website, above all, provides credibility and an information point for your expertise, consider creating one.
Many website providers are now offering really low-cost domains and web services. Many for as little as under $4 a month. Some of the best are listed below.
Bluehost is a good bet here as it also offers you an SSL certificate with the monthly charge rather than being billed separately by sites such as NameCheap for example.
Why do I need an SSL certificate?
An SSL certificate is required in order to secure your site so you will be able to set up payment gateways to bill your students and clients.
If you don’t have an SSL certificate, visitors will be advised to not visit your site. Sites with an SSL certificate have a lock icon next to web addresses.
Ongoing monthly revenue
By simply offering an online course or affiliate products your revenue will be capped at a one time purchase, as obviously your customers will only look to purchase your information once and have no need to purchase again.
In order to create a steady income for your expertise, by only offering courses, ebooks, or products, you will have to create a robust marketing strategy.
Essentially one buyer, one sale. This will mean you may have to spend a lot of your time actively seeking out new business and new clients to sell your knowledge to.
How does this work?
If you go for a business model in which your customers ‘sign up’ for your service, you will guarantee monthly income.
By using a platform that offers your customers a way of monthly securing your expertise or coaching, your fee is guaranteed. Obviously there will be a cancellation option you will need to offer your clients.
By setting your strategy out to create a recurring client base, you will reduce the situation significantly by starting each month revenue-wise with a zero balance.
You won’t have the stress of seeking out a whole new batch of students at the start of every month in order to bring you an income.
So if you want to take the plunge and join the 57.3 billion freelancers and other ‘infopreneurs’ in the US, then how do you actually get started? And what are the steps you need to follow?
“One of the chief advantages of becoming a knowledge expert is the ability to create a monthly recurring income”
For those that are ready to start selling your knowledge already, then you just need to follow the steps below…
- Set Your Per-Minute Rate or Flat Fee
- Set Your Availability
- Start selling your Expertise!
You can do that here.
Your time is valuable, so you need to start getting paid for it! Here’s what advantages and benefits you should be aiming to gain from selling your expertise…
- Secure and safe connection with clients – globally
- Setting your own fees, so you earn what you’re worth
- Control who, when, and how you sell your expertise
- Work from anywhere and on any device
- Automated billing, so you can focus on selling your skill
- Reliable payments made online
- Accurate Billing and reporting so you can see the bigger picture
- Potential for affiliate program so you can earn even more!
So if you’re ready, then simply get started here.
If you’re still setting this up before starting to earn? Then let’s take you through the simple steps you’ll need to start selling your knowledge.
10 steps to becoming a knowledge merchant or infopreneur
So let’s get a quick takeaway of the easy steps you can take in order to get yourself up and running selling online yoga lessons, pass on your bread baking skills, or tips on how to get the best sunflowers in your yard!
We recommend you bookmark this page, or make a note of these steps perhaps in a journal or as an online note, somewhere handy so you can refer back to it and use them as headings to progress your infopreneurial journey!
- Find out what you are an expert in and choose your niche
- Research your niche on Google
- Find out what your audience wants
- Create your personal brand
- Set up teaching platforms which offer online video, text, or to upload written course material
- Market your business to companies and individuals
- Find clients
- Build your revenue and scale your business
Choose your niche
So first things first. Deciding what kind of info you are going to sell is obviously your first port of call.
Its also worth noting that whichever you choose, you need to understand whether or not there is a demand for that kind of advice or tutoring.
As we mentioned above, your list of potential niches or advice areas is huge but finding out the demand for your knowledge is a useful exercise.
A good way of deciding your niche is by checking it has a long term stable trend.
This topic has a stable trend, stable or gradually growing trends are ideal. You can also compare it to other similarly searched topics.
And doing some simple Google searches to find out if your subject or topic area already has others delivering their expertise and to what degree.
If there are signs your topic is already being delivered then you can guarantee there will be an opportunity for income.
What about the competition?
It can seem like a non-starter if you see many others delivering your particular expertise, but the facts are, if you are offering your service on all the right platforms, have a great ‘brand’ and make sure you are visible, then you will get your slice of the pie.
By offering great service and something a little ‘extra’ in terms of your offering, you will be able to secure yourself paying clients.
The online market is huge. It’s not defined geographically, which gives you a wealth of areas to pick clients from that you may not have if you’re only offering ‘real world’ tuition.
We’ve got together a list of some niches which are proven areas where other knowledge merchants are delivering information:
- Marketing Coaching
By ‘niching down’ as it were, you will be able to more easily offer your clients specific information they might be looking for. This way you will be the go-to expert in your field and will be able to charge higher prices for your knowledge.
When you are deciding your knowledge area, it’s worth taking some time to delve right into your particular subject and look to find a specific area where you can offer your expertise. We will talk about this a little more below.
So now we’ve seen the quick steps to follow, let’s expand a little more and start by looking at perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of becoming a freelancer and selling your expertise, which is how to stand out from the crowd and create your own personal brand.
“A good way of deciding your niche is by doing a
simple google search”
What does my audience want?
The key to putting together a good offer is to understand what your clients really want.
The only way to really find out the kinds of questions your audience needs help with is by doing some research.
Take a look below at some great places to find out what your potential clients are discussing or might want help or advice on.
- Quora and Reddit
- Amazon Reviews
As an example, you might find young mums are having trouble with their morning routine.
So, your offering could be based on how to be more productive in the morning, how to get your baby into a good bedtime routine, or even ways to relax using yoga or other methods.
It’s about thinking a little laterally and finding topics that support your potential knowledge customer base.
We’re talking about differentiation …you’re looking for an angle, for ways in which you can package your expertise better, or differently …to appeal to your audience.
So now we’ve seen some ways of creating your offering so it’s now time to give your personal ‘brand’ some thought. Let’s get some ideas below.
How do I create my own personal Brand?
Let’s take a look below and find out how you can get started.
- Set goals – Make sure you think carefully about how you would like to present yourself to your potential customers. Are you looking for an easy-going, fun type offering for example if you are an entertainer, or are you looking for something a little more corporate or traditional? This will work better with those industries where you are giving important information such as in any health-related industries or those more focused on business.
- Mention alerts – easily sign up to see when and where your business has been mentioned by using some free tools such as www.talkwalker.com This way you get a good understanding of the kinds of customers your particular branding has caught the attention of and will help you further develop your offering
- Share articles – By sharing work, papers, and articles from others in your industry, you will keep relevant and also show the potential clients you are heavily involved in your field, increasing your trust.
- Google yourself! – Make sure you clear down your browser cache and then simply type your name into Google. This will give you an overall picture of how your customers or potential clients will see you when they look you up.
- Link your social media – In order to give your business a professional and cohesive look, make sure all your forms of online social media such as Facebook, Instagram, all-match color, and style-wise with your website. This will help others recognize you at a glance and bring all your platforms aesthetically together.
On any platform you will ideally need to transfer your branding colors and your tagline or messaging, to help create consistency across the rest of your brand.
So now we’ve looked at possibly one of the more difficult aspects of becoming a knowledge expert, let’s take a look at what can be another challenge for those new to online entrepreneurship and selling your expertise.
Which platforms should I use?
There is a wealth of platforms to use to get your message across and help your clients, but which methods are the best?
As an expert, making sure your students have a visual and also a convenient way of contacting you is crucial.
It can be difficult to navigate all the options out there. So let’s take a look at some of the best ways you can deliver content, engage, and motivate your students.
Let’s start with one of the best ways you can keep connected to your client base while also adding an extra revenue stream.
“As an expert, making sure your students have a visual and alsoa convenient way of contacting you is crucial.”
Chat and messenger platforms
Many chat platforms offer rich video content alongside text services to enable you to offer tutorials and stay connected to your student base.
Many of them work by offering clients a service to stay connected to you by offering a flat rate or pay per minute service.
This can also work as an additional revenue stream as your students essentially ‘pay to chat’. It also builds strong relationships with your clients as you can offer them a premium service in terms of engaging interactions with you in the form of video, or a quick messaging service so they can discuss any queries they have.
Giving your students almost instant access to their tutor gives them peace of mind in your services and helps to build up trust.
Many of the best chat knowledge sharing platforms allow you to set up a free account, with no monthly or hidden fees.
Collating info for your students is a very important part of your journey and also that of your students.
Having information laid out easily and conveniently for your clients is important if you intend to compete with others.
Making sure your information is easily accessed and more importantly engaging will separate you from the competition. This will mean more customers and more importantly, happy customers!
So how can you make sure you are getting yourself out there and finding those students and customers who will benefit from your expertise?
Let’s take a look below and find out.
How do I market my new business and find clients?
So you’ve followed all the steps and are now ready to open your doors to a new world of knowledge sharing!
Now it’s time to get some paying clients.
In order to set yourself up with a stream of paying clients, it’s important to understand the online world and how people’s buying decisions are a little different from the ‘live’ tuition world. It’s worth noting the way your potential customers will decide to purchase your important knowledge.
- Customers need to trust your offering
- Students will need to be engaged with and like you
- Potential clients are looking for experts who they think can deliver results
So let’s delve a little deeper into what may be the most important criteria your customers need in order to buy your expertise. This is how to create trust…
There are a number of ways of creating trust in your chosen subject area and your ‘brand’
First of all, it’s important to show potential customers that you have the solutions they are seeking and can also get results.
Write guest posts
Take a look through your targeted community and find websites that may accept guest posts.
This is a great way of being ‘seen’ on webpages with more authority than your fledgling website and will help you to establish your expertise in your chosen area.
For example, if your target audience is tech support, start compiling a list of any forums or other sites offering support for IT related topics.
Writing a guest post will show your audience you have authority in a subject and it may prompt them to learn more about you and what you have to offer.
Let’s take a look at some other ways you can get involved in your chosen community in order to build your own client base.
- Starting a Facebook community
- Get more organic traffic by writing in-depth blog content that ranks high on Google
- Answer questions related to your niche on Quora
- Paid advertising (Facebook ads & Google ads)
If you’re reading this as a novice knowledge seller, then we do recommend that initially, you start building your customer base by using one of the above free methods.
This will help you secure your first paying customers without any costs involved.
There are of course many ways you can make sure your knowledge sharing venture is seen by as many people as possible.
So how else can you get those important students and make sure you are leading the competition and effectively selling your expertise? Let’s take a look.
How do I get students?
The key point is to make sure you are blasting through your competition by making sure you post regular content. Publish content as often as you can using:
- Social media
It’s really important to make sure you get the balance right in terms of effective time management. Make sure you divide your time between creating your content but also making sure you build the time to get sharing!
There are many tools that can make this process easier.
How do I build my revenue
Building on your existing revenue will hopefully be something you will need to look at when you have a little experience and a few clients under your belt.
There are many ways you can sell your information and increase your revenue. Check out this directory with lots of tools and resources to monetize your customers and followers.
- Membership deals – and content downloads
- Affiliate links – By adding some related products to your offering in the form of affiliate links and also using YouTube. You can do this by using Google Adsense and by adding affiliate links to your social media posts, websites, and blogs.
- Design – and sell your own branded merchandise
- Run campaigns – with special offers and freebies
- Reach out to companies – and ask them to sponsor your content and promote them in return
- Promote your expertise through social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, depending on your area of knowledge.
So let’s take a look finally about how you can reach for the sky and start the process of scaling up your knowledge sharing business.
How do I scale my business?
One of the first obstacles to some traders and individual entrepreneurs encounter is how precious time is.
This can give extra challenges to those where time is your main product.
Hiring labor is expensive
Usually, the way around this is by hiring more employees or having some activities outsourced. It’s not difficult to appreciate that buying labor can be expensive.
So we think that one of the best ways to scale your business is by turning your expertise into a subscription-based business model.
By giving your clients a ‘self-service’ way of interacting with your content, you’re sure to be able to scale your ability to sell your expertise.
Membership sites are a perfect tool for those looking to monetize their knowledge and scale up their knowledge-sharing enterprise.
Access to educational content
In a nutshell, these are websites that give access based on permission to a wealth of educational content.
This content could include EBooks, tutorials, videos, articles, and other ways of providing content for your students.
Subscribers are able to access services literally on demand. They can participate in communities online around your specific niche and expertise.
The way it works is the owner of the site controls all access to content, where a monthly, annual or one-time fee is paid by subscribers to view or interact with the content.
“By giving your clients a ‘self-service’ way of interacting with your content, you can scale your business“
So there you have it! Everything you needed to know about becoming a knowledge entrepreneur and selling your expertise. We hope it has given you some great insights into how you can start your knowledge merchant journey right from deciding your niche through to developing your business.
With premium.chat, we can help you get started straight away! In just a few simple steps, and without any monthly fees or set up costs you can:
- Set your prices
- Get promoting your premium.chat widget and profile on your website and social media.
- Respond to chat requests
- Get paid per minute or a flat rate
- No monthly fees or setup costs!
Why wait? Sign up for free and become an infopreneur today!