Knowledge Commerce Money Making Has Three Levels. Just Selling Your Knowledge Products Doesn’t Even Scratch 25% Of The Potential To Earn Millions
Most solopreneurs who’d like to enter the field of Knowledge Commerce think in terms of just ebooks, courses and membership sites.
But, at Solohacks Academy, we think people don’t see what can happen to them and their brand power after they have established a good amount of authority via selling products. The really big earning starts there.
There’s a whole world of mega money-making opportunities that opens up to those who’ve established themselves as strong Knowledge Commerce thought-leaders.
In fact, there are three levels of earning you can hit, matching the corresponding growth of your brand equity. When you think of making money with Knowledge Commerce, don’t dream small.
Level I Earning Potential For Knowledge Commerce: It’s Products-Oriented
When you are at the first level of Knowledge Commerce, your earnings have to be product-based. While you market and sell your products well, you must aim to grow your audiences. If you do, you can also spin off some more money from advertising income and from affiliate product sales.
At this level, your earnings are still product-oriented – but you can still earn a lot, if you focus on getting as much done as possible on auto-pilot. Develop systems that can be automated by almost 80%.
Earning Source 1: Convert Your Knowledge Into A Whole Repertoire Of Products
At the basic minimum, any solopreneur in Knowledge Commerce has to begin by “productizing his unique knowledge”. This is to ensure that your products can earn 365x24x7, even while you sleep, thus giving you tons of passive income.
How do you “productize your knowledge”? You create ebooks, courses, membership sites, webinars, self-guided DIY projects, templates, checklists, worksheets, tool kits … the limit is endless. Just remember that the more you aim to earn “passive income” you can create your products once and have them earn for you.
See that you also automate your email marketing so that you can keep in touch with subscribers on your mailing list. Send email sequences in their interest areas (you’ll know what those are if you track the pages of your site they visited).
Earning Source 2: Identify And Sell Related Big-Ticket Affiliate Products
When you have converted a lot of your own knowledge into products, the next step would be to look for related affiliate products to market. Most often, these may be high-priced tools you can help review and market through your site.
For example, Pat Flynn, the expert who owns the “Smart Passive Income” site, initially blogged a lot to sell his courses on how to generate passive income. He then hit a lot of money by marketing an affiliate product called ConvertKit, an emailing platform that was closely related to his passive income ideas.
Likewise there are ever so many tools for SEO, for image and infographics creation, for social media posting, for blogger outreach and so on. Many of these are not small, measly-paying affiliate products. There are topnotch tools that can do a lot of good to your brand if you helped sell their premium products.
Earning Source 3: Explore Earnings From Sophisticated, Relevant Advertising Programs
Okay, now we come the question of earning advertising revenues on your site. Be very picky in who you choose as an advertiser on your site, and what you allow the advertiser to do. A lot of solopreneur Knowledge Commerce marketers create some blog categories dedicated for “native advertisers”.
What is “native advertising”? It is advertising written with the style of blogging, and doesn’t sound sales-y or cheesy. It sounds like an editorial piece. For instance, if your niche is fitness for young millennials, you may like to create a blog category on your site on “fitness equipment” – and allow “blog-post advertorials” from makers of good treadmills, ellipticals, exercycles and so on.
Remember, getting good brands to sponsor parts of your site isn’t easy, if your site traffic and your mailing list is still thin. Build your loyal audience to a high level, to attract good sponsor brands with advertising budgets.
Level II Earning Potential For Knowledge Commerce: It’s Authority-Oriented
When you are at the second level of Knowledge Commerce, your earnings have to be authority-based. You continue all your product-marketing and advertising revenue activities from Level I but, as we said, hopefully they are all on auto-pilot.
At this second level your goal is to beef up your brand by focusing on three areas where there can be maximum impact – writing your own book or speaking at high conferences, exploring joint ventures with other complementary experts, and amping up your consulting services with few but high-paying clients. Read on to see how to do all this.
Earning Source IV: Write A Bestseller Book Or Take On Classy Speaking Engagements
Have you ever valued any expert who has not written his own bestselling book? There is something to book writing and publishing that stamps the word “authority” all over you.
Even in these times of digital books, there is a value placed on a big book that is in print. Research confirms that writing and getting your book in print is one of the fastest ways high-fliers use to get that “thought-leader” status”.
Other than book-authoring, getting speaking engagements at high-value physical and digital seminars is another way to earn big, and get your brand gilded. Choose the best events to be heard at, and also see who else is speaking, because you get known by the company you keep.
Earning Source V: Explore Joint Ventures With Peers To Multiply Networking And Earnings
Joint Ventures are a great idea for marketers who are more or less of the same level in their business growth. They must have complementary products, and have a new idea that both can co-promote to create a bigger market for themselves. How does this work? Let’s see an example.
Let’s say you are a marketer selling knowledge products in your niche of “organic gardening of kitchen produce”. You come across another knowledge marketer – an erstwhile 5-start chef – teaching how to cook vegetables without losing their nutrients. Both your knowledge areas are beautifully complementary, right? Now you form a Joint Venture (JV) to promote a course called “Freshness Retained: From Garden To Table”. The course is taught by both of you who are seen as authorities in your own niche – and your combo is explosive and laden with tips and tricks. You can both share the proceeds of the course, that neither of you could have produced alone.
While JVs help your networking and earnings, they will sour if the legal contract between the two parties is not well-framed by a JV expert lawyer. Also, beware of the temptation to have a JV with someone who is a far bigger expert than you. There are many big experts who charge an arm and a leg to give a smaller expert a boost through a JV. Or they take the lion’s share of the joint earnings. That is not the kind of JV you’d want to get into.
Earning Source VI: Get Into Big-Ticket Consulting Services With Performance-Based Fees
One method consultants use to charge customers is hourly rates. But it’s not about the hours you think you are going to spend on the assignment. There are authoritative sources that tell you approximately how many hours a project should take.
Another way to charge is to add up your costs, add your desired profit margin, and give the customer the quote. This is how the smaller consultants work. But big-ticket consultants have a riskier but far more lucrative method of charging.
Big-ticket consultants check what additional revenue or cost-savings they can bring to their customers, as a result of their handling the assignment. They then declare that they have a base consulting rate, but will also take 20% or so of the revenues or cost gains the customer derives – as an additional fee for achieving or exceeding targets. They show they are ready to risk a part of their fees to deliver the results.
Level III Earning Potential For Knowledge Commerce: It’s Influence-Oriented
When you are at the third level of Knowledge Commerce, your earnings have to be influence-based. Becoming a highly paid influencer for mega-brands is the ultimate earning source in Knowledge Commerce. But the mechanics of becoming a mega influencer takes some learning and some undistracted focus.
Once you know the ropes of the influencer game, and have your networks of contact in place, you can then scale up the ladder as an influencer. Begin with micro-influencing, get to mid-tier-influencing, and finally become that mega-influencer.
Earning Source VII: Learn The Secrets Of Influencer Earnings With Micro-Influencing
Can your content sway a small but loyal group of, say, 10,000 to 100,000 followers? You can become a micro-influencer. Don’t think that micro-influencers earn small bucks. It’s just that you’ll be expected to influence a smaller but tightly-knit niche audience.
“Why would big brands seek micro-influencers and pay them a lot?” you may ask. Research suggests that when an influencer reaches a certain “critical mass of followers”, his audience engagement actually decreases. This may be why many big brands see diminishing returns as they chase after big influencers.
In their 2016 Global Influencer Survey Report, Bloglovin’ reports that the bulk of micro-influencers on social media charge between $250 to $500 per branded post. That’s not to be sneezed at if you consider that a campaign may consist of lots of posts.
Earning Source VIII: Power Up Influencer Earnings With Mid-Tier Influencing
Influencers who have somewhere between 100,000 and 500,000 followers, would fall in the category of a “mid-tier influencers”. For one sponsored YouTube video, they would probably charge about $2,500. The cost of a sponsored post on Instagram or Snapchat would be around $1,000. And for one Twitter post, they would perhaps charge around $400. This is again according to the 2016 Global Influencer Survey Report.
Mid-tier influencers are those who can control diverse audiences related to a broader topic of common interest. For example, a micro-influencer could sway “eco-home-construction” as a niche. A mid-tier influencer could sway “eco-constructions of all types” and their audiences.
If your niche widens to accommodate more different types of audience segments, you could qualify to be a mid-tier influencer.
Earning Source IX: Put Influencer Earnings On Full-Blast With Mega Influencing
According to the New York Times, a top influencer with 3-7M followers charges about $187,500 per YouTube video. For a post on Instagram or Snapchat, they charge an average of $75,000. For a Twitter post, they charge approximately $30,000. These are the heavyweights of the influencer industry.
There are lots of case studies of mega influencers, for example, being roped in when big organizations have had major setbacks to their reputations. In such cases, the price is never a barrier. The organization is hell-bent on damage control and needs the most influential people, with extraordinary command and authority in the industry, to make the setback seem less than it is.
Aside from such momentous events, there are less daunting but high buzz challenges for big brands when they are launching innovative new products, or growing into new geographical territories. They use mega influencers for big-bang launches.
In Summary …
- Just selling your knowledge products isn’t even 25% of the potential to earn huge via Knowledge Commerce.
- In fact, there are three levels of earning you can hit, matching the corresponding growth of your brand equity.
- Level I earning is products-oriented. Sell your own products, affiliate products, and also earn ad revenues.
- Level II earning is authority-oriented. Write a book, speak at events, explore JVs, and do big-ticket consulting.
- Level III earning is influence-oriented. Be a micro, then a mid-tier and finally a mega influencer for big brands.
- The moral of the story? When you think of making money with Knowledge Commerce, don’t dream small.
So What Are Your Thoughts? Do Share!
This post is incomplete without your input. The community of Knowledge Commerce solopreneurs would feel galvanized to hear from you … so do share your thoughts on this topic with us, in the comments field below this post.
This post is part of a series that elaborates on “Knowledge Commerce: A $325 Billion Solopreneur Opportunity“.
Other related posts you may like to read are these:
- What Is Knowledge Commerce? Why Is It A Red-Hot Business?
- Knowledge Commerce Benefits: How Solopreneurs Can Gain Big
- Knowledge Commerce Products: What You Can Create And Sell
- Knowledge Commerce Challenges That Can Rattle Solopreneurs
- Knowledge Commerce Myths That Solopreneurs Must Disbelieve
- Knowledge Commerce Resources To Ease The Solopreneur Life
- Knowledge Commerce Roadmap To Start And Run Your Business
- Knowledge Commerce Skills Every Solopreneur Must Acquire
- Knowledge Commerce Case Studies: Solutions For Solopreneurs