Becoming a micro maven is a journey. First you have to develop your platform and build your personal brand.
The key is to leverage the power of social media, content marketing and traditional PR tactics to boost your profile and build your reputation as a trusted authority within your area of speciality and expertise.
Then comes the ‘business’ part.
With increased visibility, authority and influence comes the opportunity to build a diversified and sustainable business enterprise that’s anchored by your growing personal brand.
One thing micro mavens are very good at is diversifying the sources of their income. Gone are the days when you had to operate a small business and rely on cash coming in through just the one big pipe. If you’re an expert or seen to be an authority in a particular area, you have the opportunity to not only speak professionally, coach, advise and consult, but also run your own events and webinars, write ebooks, manage membership websites and create information products such as online training programs and digital courses.
While the above activities can be organised and executed without the need for physical commercial premises or team of permanent employees, that doesn’t mean you can’t also leverage your good name to build a more traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ business. Gary Vaynerchuk (pictured), who climbed to micro-fame by way of a long-running daily web video show called Wine Library TV, has parlayed his burgeoning personal brand into a fast-growing brand consulting agency called VaynerMedia.
Let’s briefly look at the options:
- CONSULTING – the ‘bread and butter’ revenue generator for experts and solo professionals; falls into the area of ‘trading time for dollars’ thus an individual’s earning capacity is limited to the amount of time they have available.
- COACHING & MENTORING – one-on-one coaching is a business based on head-hours but can also be richly rewarding for experts with a passion for teaching and sharing knowledge; technologies such as Skype have effectively ensured personal mentors and coaches can now operate on a global basis.
- PROFESSIONAL SPEAKING – a natural progression for any expert wanting to become known as an authority in their area of expertise; importantly, not only can speaking be quite lucrative but regularly hitting the stage is great for the promotion of one’s personal brand (not to mention their products and services).
- TRADITIONAL BOOK PUBLISHING – having a traditional publisher release your book can have a huge impact on how you’re perceived in the marketplace; you might not make all that much money from book sales per se (unless you have a major best-seller) but in all likelihood the book will help increase your public profile and potentially generate interest in your products and services.
- ONLINE INFORMATION PRODUCTS – includes self-published e-books, online training courses and digital programs, smartphone apps etc; these products can be sold either through your website or online marketplaces such as Amazon, or via a network of affiliates around the world, and thus have the potential to earn money literally while you’re asleep!
- EVENTS AND WEBINARS – with profile, credibility and a reputation for speaking and training comes the opportunity to run your own live events or online webinars; promoting one’s own events is great not only for generating revenue but also raising one’s profile as a speaker and trainer.
- CONTINUITY PROGRAMS – an excellent means of generating recurring revenue month in, month out; for example it could be a password-protected members-only website where people sign up (and pay a monthly fee) to gain access to information and resources not freely available to the general public.
- OTHER – additional streams of income can be earned through blog sponsorship; affilate links on your website that promote other people’s products and services (every time someone clicks on your affiliate link and goes on to make a purchase, you will be eligible for a commission); content creation for other media outlets; and commercial partnerships with other brands (if you are a trusted and influential brand with a large connected following, companies and organisations may well want to get you involved as an ambassador, for example).
The brilliant thing with being a micro maven today is you can package your expertise in numerous ways; if you’ve traditionally earned your crust with ‘high touch’ consulting and coaching activities, that’s brilliant but it does have its limitations.
A smarter strategy is to leverage digital technology to not only generate additional income through the creation of your own products but also re-imagine how you can carry out the more traditional consulting tasks in ways that are more time-efficient.
* * * * * * *TREVOR YOUNG specialises in PR, social media, content marketing and personal branding strategies. He speaks professionally and is the author of the book ‘microDOMINATION: How to Leverage Social Media & Content Marketing to Build a Mini-Business Empire Around Your Personal Brand’.