I’ve heard a lot recently from my friends and colleagues about how dire the world is for young twenty-somethings. How difficult it is to find real, meaningful employment.
And in many ways, they’re right. I wrote a blog over at Under30ceo, which deals with this very issue. If you’re out there struggling to get your career off the ground, I feel for ya, I really do. But focusing on what’s wrong with today’s world can blind you from realizing just how amazing things can be for someone who’s a little creative and willing to think outside the box.
I don’t know about you, but at the time of writing this article, I’m 28 years old. I look at the life my parents led, and it seems like they had things much easier than we do today. By the time my dad was my age, he’d gotten a steady job, been married, and owned a house, two cars, and had an unbelievably handsome one year old son.
And while that sort of life is still possible, it’s quickly disappearing. So while I may have struggled a little more in my life, I don’t mind. Why? It’s simple.
I have the internet.
And so do you. You’re here now, so I don’t need to tell you just how spectacular an invention the internet is. But one of the most exciting things about the internet, to me, is the opportunity for education it provides from online experts.
Before the rise of the internet, education was pretty much strictly in the hands of the established college and university system. There were other ways to learn things, of course. You could read a book, watch a show like This Old House with Bob Vila (my old man loved him!), or take a course at your local library. But of course, with each of these there were gatekeepers.
Whether it was the publishing house, the television network executives, or government red tape, none of these options allowed for a truly free and open channel for human expression.
Today, there are more options than ever to learn something interesting and new, and for online experts to teach it! Since the rise of the blog and the vlog, anyone with something interesting to say can say it without fear of reprisal from the gatekeepers who allow them access to those channels.
But it goes even further than that. In the past, many had a specialized skill set which they couldn’t share with the world because they didn’t have that option. Now, however, they do. They can become online experts!
More people than ever are creating their own training courses online, which are being called info products. These info products can take many different forms, but not only can they share a great deal of information, they can also be very lucrative.
The business of education has always been a valuable one. Especially in the old model, if you can manage it. One of the problems is that so many people are graduating every day with PhD’s that the market is saturated, which makes the likelihood of landing one of these coveted positions lower and lower as the day progresses.
But that’s not the only option anymore!
Look, you probably have some sort of skill which is interesting to others. Whether you’re knowledgeable about health, nutrition, philosophy, vegan fashion, digital marketing, or astrophysics, you can promote yourself as an online expert in your field, and you can make a good living while doing so too! But what are the best ways to do it?
Online Expert channel #1: YouTube
YouTube is full of online experts! The ease and user friendliness of YouTube’s system, combined with the fact that everyone has a video camera with them at all times, means that anyone can post videos about anything they like. And because YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, it’s quickly become a source for people to turn to when they want to learn about something.
So let’s say you’re interested in learning how to pick locks.
You’d then hop on YouTube and discover dozens of videos of people who can teach you exactly that skill. And the same goes for hunting, glass blowing, blacksmithing, gardening, playing drums, bookbinding, building robots, or any other unusual idea you can think of. These people are online experts!
If your niche is popular enough, and you can target enough keyword terms through SEO, you can get a large number of views on your channel. And once it grows large enough, you can even become a YouTube partner, where YouTube itself will give you a cut of the ad revenue. That’s right, YouTube will pay you to create videos and become an online expert!
Online Expert Channel #2: Blogging
My personal favourite, for obvious reasons. It’s the vehicle I’ve used to market myself as an online expert, because it’s my strongest skill set. Writing is something I do anyways, after all, so the idea of doing it in a professional capacity is like a dream come true.
Blogs are one of the most popular forms of communications media. They’re easy to share, and you can view them from just about anywhere. They’re a great way to pass a few minutes and discover something interesting, and all in an easily digestible format. There’s a reason why magazines and newspapers have always been popular, and it’s the same reason why blogging is popular.
When you create a blog, you end up building your credibility within your niche. Think of it this way. Let’s say you’re a digital marketing company in Toronto, for example. If a new visitor comes to your site, they have no idea who you are. How do they know you’re as knowledgeable as you say you are?
If you maintain a blog, you’re displaying your knowledge for the world to see. So when this new visitor looks at your website, they think “wow, these guys have dozens of posts and have been going at it for almost two years now. They must have a good idea of what they’re talking about.
Online Expert Channel #3: Social Media
Now you’ve begun to build up your online influence through these channels. You’ve got a good chunk of videos, blogs, or both, which do a good job of showcasing your knowledge on whatever it is you do. What’s next?
Social media, of course!
Social media is a great way to keep your fans abreast of your latest content once it’s been posted. After all, most people compulsively check Facebook or Twitter all day, but they likely won’t be checking your website or video channel every day.
When you post your latest content on your social media channels, it keeps you in your audience’s mind. It gives them an easy way to get to your website and see the rest of your content. And it will greatly improve your online reputation as more people get to see your content and understand you as an authority.
But running a social media page can be tricky business. It’s about so much more than just posting up content and hoping for the best. There are many different factors to take into consideration.
Using these three channels, you can quickly and effectively build yourself into an authority in your niche online. But there’s more to it than just making the content. To properly build your audience, you’ll need a full digital marketing strategy designed to target the people who are most interested in your content and can get the most out of it.
But that’s a story for another day.