Make Money From The Comfort Of Your Couch

I met Lizzie at a women’s forum that I conducted in Nairobi some years ago. She was working for a multinational company and had what many would consider a dream job. Most a single mom of 3 young kids, Lizzie was unhappy about being away from her kids most of the time; working long hours, attending workshops out of town, travelling extensively, etc.

Many people seek solutions for their money problems, but that was not the case with this go-getter who was sitting across the table from me.

We explored the different options open to her if she wanted to be able to watch her little angels grow. She is a marketing professional and is really good at what she does. 

I helped her explore possible options of replacing her income while getting to spend more time with her kids. She was excited at the possibility and she jotted down some points as we discussed. We did not get to hear from one another for a couple of years.

One day I attended a networking event and bumped into her. Nothing seemed to have changed with her at all. She was the same confident, cheerful, good looking woman she was when we first met.

She looked for me after the event and insisted that we needed to do some catching up. We went to the restaurant and ordered coffee. She said that she had a big secret that she wanted to share with me. Could I take a guess what it was?

“You got married!” I said. She gave a hearty laugh. Then she proceeded to tell me that so much had changed in her career. 

She narrated to me how her boss relocated to Europe and a new boss took up his job. The new boss was terror reloaded, making her life one hell of an existence. Lizzie opened up to me that she loved the lifestyle her job gave her and she could not dare even permit herself to think of quitting.

Until one day she got very sick in the office and was rushed to the hospital. She was diagnosed as suffering from exhaustion and advised to take things slow. She was given two days sick off to rest. 

Her little ones were on school holidays at the time and she could not believe how much fun they had together during the short break. She had never even noticed that her little girl was really good at modelling, which seemed to come naturally to her.

It was painful to go back to the office after 4 days at home, since the off days were followed by the weekend. She struggled to enjoy her job after that but she just could not make it. 

Lizzie eventually decided to quit and to rely on her savings as she searched for another job. She was confident about her marketability so she was not worried that she would be unable to get another job.

Lizzie explained that she had always loved experimenting with make-up so when she found herself idle at home, she opened a Facebook page and used it to educate women about the right way to apply make-up and how to select the right make-up for one’s skin tone. 

She is very passionate about what she does so she used to post with a lot of passion. To cut a long story short, she never looked for another job. She runs her own make-up company and is doing pretty well. 
Lizzie has a strong presence in different social media platforms. She loves her life and has no desire to go back to employment. She has grown the business using online platforms mainly.

Online Marketing

So, is it possible to make money from the comfort of your couch? Let us explore some of the winning strategies for successfully marketing your business online. 

Are you employed but you are forever struggling with money problems? No worries. You can build a huge business from the comfort of your couch; after work, during your lunch breaks and over the weekends and off days.

Do you have a skill or hobby that you could turn into part time work? You could become a freelance make up artist, hair dresser, DJ or a trainer in something that you are good at. Leverage the use of the Internet to let the world know about what you have to offer.

Online marketing does not have to take the form of obvious advertisements. You will achieve much more by using subtle messages and catchy stories to get the name of your company or brand out to the public. 

Don’t come out clearly that you are advertising. It should not look like you are advertising. Any efforts you make online to get people to know about your brand is online marketing.

One very important lesson I have learned by being in the network marketing industry is the power of numbers. Think of any successful company you know; Coca Cola, Safaricom, Equity Bank, East African Breweries… How many customers do you think each of these companies have? 

Numbers are critical for success in business so if you are going to build a business, you better have a way of reaching the numbers.

Having just your family, colleagues and neighbors as your customers is not going to give you any real success, though you might start with them before you find your way in the market place.

How much do companies spend on advertising? Can you build a big organization without spending an arm and a leg to reach a large audience? 

I always say that when it comes to marketing, the Internet is king. Master the use of the Internet and you are on your way to success.

The Internet has brought together 2 Billion plus people so you definitely can get your numbers from there, as long as you know how to do it. 

Don’t use the shortcuts I see some amateurs using; they post obvious advertisements on their Facebook wall, expecting to build a successful business that way. That is the way to put off your friends and to eventually get ignored or even unfriended, if not blocked.

Begin by branding yourself professionally online. Personal Branding enables you to stand out as the expert in something. 

Through personal branding, you are able to grow a following or fan base and by doing that, you will never run out of people to present your brand to. To brand yourself, you need:

* A professional Photo 

* A short resume that is in line with the needs of the specific platform 
* Give people value/post content
* Be respectful 
* Genuinely care about people, talk less and listen more. Relationships are not just about you. 
People will trust you and cooperate with you when they know that you care, that you are not just trying to sell something to them.

So, how do you promote your brand to an online audience? Social networks are basically for socializing so join the right online communities and socialize. 

Treat your time online as being out in a party or like being out in a coffee house. Get to meet new people. Engage in conversations.

Do not spam people/flash your business card on people’s faces left, right, front and back.Show that you are a real person. 

Post content regularly, preferably every day. Be consistent. Give people value and they will be attracted to you, find it a privilege to work with you.

If you are using Facebook, open a business page for your business posts rather than using your personal profile. That way, even people who are not your friends or friends of your friends can easily access your content. 

What specific strategies do you need in order to succeed in online marketing?

Content Marketing

You create valuable media and content and make it available to future customers. They are not customers yet so at this point in time, you are educating them with the hope that they will become customers in future. 

Most people need information but they do not know where to find it. That is where you come in, by providing people with timely and relevant information. 
Commit to a journey of continuous learning. You must be knowledgeable about the content that you post. There is no shortcut about that.

First, you need to have some real life experience to share. I have shared my story about my battle with depression extensively and it has captured the attention of many people. 

Facts tell, stories sell. You can use the experience of someone else if you don’t have your own.

Besides having a story to tell, you need to share some practical lessons that people can apply in their own lives and get results. Don’t complicate things. Keep it simple. 

Your lessons should be what I refer to as hand holding. Assume that the people who will read or watch your content know nothing about the topic. Teach them like you are teaching beginners.

Your content should educate, inspire, entertain. Hey, you are building a relationship with your audience, not writing a thesis for your degree so go slow on quoting facts and statistics. People should be able to enjoy as they learn.

The Use Of Social Media To Grow Your Brand

There are different social media platforms out there and you need to learn how each works before you begin messing up. 

What you post on Facebook won’t hack it on Twitter. The content you put on a blog is not the right content for Facebook. Don’t expect anyone to go through a whole blog article as a Facebook update; that is simply not how things work.

To be successful in social media marketing means that you need to learn how different platforms work. Laziness won’t take you anywhere so don’t come up with content for one platform then push it to all the other platforms.

Success is not handed to anyone on a silver platter; you’ve got to put in the work. In life there is no elevator to success; you’ve got to take the stairs and keep going no matter how steep it gets. 

Success is not easy so start doing what the 97% at the bottom won’t do. Log in to each platform, learn how it works and post content that is suitable for that platform.

To make a journey from point A to point B successfully, you need to look at the map before you embark on the journey. Familiarize yourself with a platform before you throw up all over people.

Pay Per Click Advertising

This is a great way to grow your online following. Different social media platforms offer to show your adverts to their audience and you pay per click. 

This is how Facebook advertising works. You create an advert which in real sense looks like just a Facebook status update. You then select a specific audience e.g. men aged between 35 and 50 living within a radius of 50 kilometers of Nairobi. You also choose a budget, based on how much you are willing to spend.

It will not look like advertising since the update appears in their news feed just like any other update. Different platforms have the pay per click advertising; Twitter, Google, LinkeIn, etc. It is a very effective way to spend your marketing shillings, and it is affordable.

Has this article been of help? What has your own journey taught you about online marketing? Any tips you can share? I hope to read about your tips in the comments.

This article is written by: Susan Catherine Keter, life coach, mentor, freelancer and blogger.

Financial Independence Africa

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