3 Ways to Monetize Your Digital Marketing Skills
You cannot judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree. I took this advice very seriously long back when my mentor told me about it. Thinking about your strengths and weaknesses is very important for achieving success in your life.
If you try to do something which you are not naturally good at, you will be a lifelong failure and you will feel bad about yourself. I am not saying this because I am concerned only about you, I am saying this because I am concerned about the whole of humanity. If you are not finding your strength and if you are not expressing your creativity through it, the world is going to miss your work.
Every human has a potential and a creative side to them. It is really important to find out what you are good at, become even better at it and contribute back to the world. Because in my experience I have found out that true happiness does not come with consumption, but through expression of your creative abilities.
If you are reading this article then there is a high chance that you are interested in digital marketing. In my experience of being In the digital marketing industry for the past 10 years, There are three major paths that we can take in the digital marketing journey.
If you want me to put it another way I would say there are three different monetization methods for your digital marketing skills.
1. Lead the Way (Influencer)
I would call the first method “lead the way”. This is something that I like to do. I like to blog about my digital marketing journey, inspire people and teach people.
This very article is along the same lines. I like to express my creativity through writing and content creation. There are some upsides and some downsides to this type of work.
Let me first talk about the downside.
It is very difficult to get money for creative work. In the long term, it becomes easy but it is still a very huge challenge to get instant money for the work that you do.
For example, I am not getting paid for publishing this article as soon as I publish it. It will take years before it has the potential to make money. But, for now I might build a better relationship with you (my readers), you might share this article with more people, I might get more followers, and eventually I might get more sales for my courses.
But the amount of money that I will make because I wrote this article can never be found out. Many of the articles published in my blog technically have zero returns.
If you DO NOT enjoy blogging, writing articles, leading the way for your audience, creating content, and have the courage to be a little bit different in your perspective, it will be almost impossible to do this kind of work. If you are expecting certain returns out of the creative work that you do, your creativity will get hampered.
There are many talented and skilled people, who like to get rewarded for their work immediately.
If you are one of such person then do not try to follow this method of “leading the way”. I will be completely fine if I don’t get paid a single penny for writing this article, because writing and sharing it with my audience is in itself a great pleasure for me.
This is where a lot of newbie bloggers make mistakes. They are expecting instant returns for their work, and that hampers their creativity as well as the amount of value that they can deliver.
Blogging and being an influencer is not a sprint: it’s a marathon. You will never know what or where it is going to lead to. For most of the real successful bloggers out there, the result is not what drives them. It is the process, and they completely enjoy the process.
There are plenty of niches where people are looking for an influencer or someone to lead the way. It could be health, it could be automobiles or it could be a specific type of business opportunity.
The upside of this kind of business is that the returns for your efforts can get exponential over time. And this is a very scalable business. If I have a thousand followers I would write two to three articles a week, and if I have 100,000 followers, I would still write only two to three articles a week.
The content I create forms the top of the funnel, and when people go deeper into the funnel they have to pay for my premium products.
Even if I have a million followers, the amount of content I create for the top of the funnel and the volume of courses that I create for the bottom of the following would be the same.
If I make $100,000 a year with 100,000 followers I might start making million dollars a year with a million followers.
Such scalability might not be possible if you are trading your time for money as an employee or a freelancer.
However, you can still start charging more and more if you are having very good skills, and if you enjoyed the money that comes as an instant result for your efforts, go ahead for it.
That leads us to the next type of monetizing your digital marketing skills:
2. Trade Time for Money (Consultant / Agency)
If you are good with digital marketing but you are not too comfortable trying to be an inspirational leader for your followers, it is still ok.
Not everyone is comfortable with that. And in fact it is not a very easy job either. If you keep doing the first method it becomes very difficult to manage a large follower base. It is also very difficult to manage your online reputation, because as your followership grows there will be a percentage of people who will not like you. They will troll you online, will leave negative comments & negative reviews.
You can still monetize your digital marketing skills without being an influencer. You can be a consultant and you can trade your time for money.
You can help other businesses with digital marketing and get paid nicely for it. If you do not want to manage multiple clients as a consultant you can join a company as a digital marketing manager, and technically you will have only one client to deal with – your employer.
In this context, I would like to talk about three different types of leverages you can have.
The three types of leverages that you can apply in this context is: time leverage, intelligence leverage and people leverage.
If you are a consultant or an employee you are going to have a limited leverage. If you are making $2,000 a month in salary, with more experience in a few years, your salary might increase slowly year by year. But you are not making use of time leverage and people leverage in this context.
You can still trade your time for money, not be an influencer, but start applying other types of leverage.
If you work as an employee for a few years then you will have only one client. Then you can have multiple clients as a consultant, and have more freelancers working with you. You are applying the leverage of people. Because you are able to use their time as well, and have a profit margin on their time because the value that you deliver as a team will be much more than the value that each of the people can deliver individually.
And when you are doing a little bit of personal branding with blogging and have good satisfied clients – you are going to build your reputation in the market and you are going to have an increased demand for your consulting services. This is where you can leaverage your time/experience. A person who is new to the industry will not be able to get as many clients as someone who has been in the industry for the past 5 years.
The eventual progression from this would be to start a full fledged digital marketing agency where you start out with a little bit of investment in getting clients, have a sales team, an account management team, and also have digital marketing expert team in place who can deliver projects to the clients.
I know many people who have become millionaires by starting digital marketing agencies.
One of the downsides of being a consultant or a digital marketing agency owner is that you will never have the freedom to – hypothetically take off on a two week vacation anytime you want.
You will be answerable to clients and you have to deliver the projects on time otherwise it will spoil your reputation!
I do both influencer activity and I also run a digital marketing agency but I have a co-founder who helps me with sales and account management. And soon I will also have someone who can help me with delivering the projects. I will probably hire someone like a CEO or an operations manager who can take care of the entire process.
3. Build & Invest in Content Assets
There is one more way how you can monetize your digital marketing skills. This is one of my favourite methods. Here, you need not be an influencer and manage an audience, and you need not have clients as well.
The only downside of this method is that it takes a lot of time, but it will be worth it.
All you need to do is build and invest in content assets. For example, you can start a niche affiliate site, write articles on reviews of products, get the website optimised for the search engines, and make money from the traffic that comes.
If you invest $1,000 and over a period of 6 months if you end up making $1,500, you can start repeating the system with multiple niches.
If you do not like to be an influencer yourself, You can partner with someone who is like a book author, and keep them as the public face of the niche blog.
I have known people who make more than $100,000 a month just by owning a lot of web content properties. These people do not have the headache of managing a huge audience and trying to keep a clean reputation with them, and they do not have the headache of managing clients as well.
Such type of content assets need not always be website assets. It can be as simple as YouTube videos. In one of my previous articles I mentioned that you will at least make $1 per thousand views on a YouTube video if you are monetizing the video using AdSense.
If you have a thousand videos and each video gets a thousand views a month on average, then you will be able to make $1000 dollars a month.
That’s just 33 views per video per day on average. Even if these videos are very generic, the Math always works out for at least $1 per thousand views. In many cases, you might make $2 to $3 per thousand views.
The downside of this method is that it takes a very long time for this content properties to start building traction, unless you are ready to invest a lot of money up front. Building content assets can be the best way to leverage your digital marketing skills for the long term.
Having said all this it does not mean that you need to follow only one method out of the above. I am already doing the first two methods seriously, and I will probably start with building content assets with the money that I make with the first two methods.
Eventually the frequency of my articles and courses might go down as I start focusing more energy on building content assets. Contact assets will give me the revenue that I need for my lifestyle needs, being an influencer will feed my passion, and running an agency will help me with both in terms of expertise and income.
- If you like leading the way and be a mentor to other people, then you have to get started with blogging and then eventually you can get to launching information products for your audience.
- If you want to make money faster then you have to start trading your time for money. You can start out as a consultant or a freelancer and then eventually upgrade to an agency.
- If you just want to invest your time and money to build assets and let the assets make income for you in the future then you should get started with creating niche affiliate websites.
Eventually you can build your content properties in such a way that you will have multiple content properties generating income for you. You can take out a portion of that Income to pay yourself and re-invest the rest of the money to build even more content assets.
This will be similar to having a lot of real estate properties which throws of rental income every month. This type of income is truly passive and it takes very little to maintain these web properties.
And for all this you need digital marketing skills.
I hope this article helped you learn how to monetize your digital marketing skills and three major ways. I would like to hear your comments on this article.
And if you have any questions please leave a comment below!