Welcome to the Solohacks Academy.
I’m Shobha Ponnappa, the Founder & CEO of this site, Solohacks Academy. Through this site, I evangelize Knowledge Commerce for solopreneurs.
I am a solopreneur these days, and I sell my knowledge. I know what it takes to succeed, first-hand. If I can shorten your journey by giving you my experience to leap off from, nothing could be more satisfying. More power to our tribe!
Two other things make me excited and deeply passionate about Knowledge Commerce:
- The fastest way to great wealth is to offer the knowledge you have to the world. It may be innate knowledge or acquired. Often, you may not even know you are a walking goldmine of knowledge that someone wants to buy.
- Your knowledge is always unique to you, so you don’t have to try to be “different” to sell what you know. You only have to market your “best self”. Your quirks needn’t be straightened. They are what distinguishes your brand.
Where have I been before?
I have been in digital marketing for over 40+ years. I have worked with over 125 client brands on the extreme cutting-edge of digital technology.
In the first 17 years of my career, I held positions with three multinational advertising agencies where I worked on large global clients. I rose in the advertising industry to handle high positions in both Creative and Account Planning and happily won numerous national advertising awards.
In the next 6 years, I achieved success and international acclaim as an entrepreneur. I became the Founder and CEO of my own avant-garde digital content and brand experience innovations company. Globally famous industry giants and financial entities invested in us. In this company, I steered the creation of international web innovation projects for worldwide clients. Almost every project was built to our mission to produce an idea that was the first of its kind in the world. I had nearly 150 employees of high caliber.
In the last decade or so, I have been an independent solopreneur – a digital marketing specialist/consultant for mid-to-large sized corporates and disruptive entrepreneurial clients in the US, UK, and India.
Who this site will help
If you are on this site, you likely are a solopreneur – or planning to be one, but …
- You haven’t started an online Knowledge Commerce business, But you haven’t a clue what to start or how to start. YOU WANT TO START STRONG.
- You’ve started an online Knowledge Commerce business. But it’s not gaining traction at your expected speed. YOU WANT TO SCALE FASTER.
- You’ve got the Knowledge Commerce business you always wanted. But business is sluggish, and it’s not returning expected results. YOU WANT TO SELL MORE.
There’s good news for those who need to know more about Knowledge Commerce – and for those who feel stuck at any stage of their solo business journeys.
My bestselling new book: get it
A glimpse from my book …
How the idea for this book came about!
I have been in advertising, digital marketing and consulting for over 40 years. But the idea for this book and my own business idea came from a rather strange incident. My car engine stalled on a high street. I had no choice but to call our family mechanic. He was a greying man of 70 years, whom we could trust to bring the car back home from wherever it was stuck.
As usual, the old man jumped into an auto-rickshaw (a “tuk-tuk”) and reached the spot where I was stuck. We were in the middle of the busiest road, I must add. He and a few passers-by helped steer my car towards the curb, where it was safe from the rush of traffic. Then, he asked me to get in and start the engine. The car convulsed and made a variety of noises.
To everyone’s surprise, the old mechanic held up his imperative hand and shouted: “Silence!” … and the gaggle of people around us fell quiet. He bent his head towards the car to “hear the sounds”, and soon pronounced his verdict. “The dirty air filter’s preventing good airflow.” How in the hell did he figure that out, I thought to myself? I asked him. “From the engine sound”, he said. Guess what – he was right. We then checked the air filter and his diagnosis was bang on. He didn’t even need to open the bonnet to find out. He could tell from the sound of things.
He was an illiterate mechanic, who’d never gone to school. He’d trained from the age of eight with a senior car mechanic, till he started his own repair shed. Like all eager fathers, though, he gave his son a formal education. The son passed a fancy automobile engineering certificate course. But the son, who had all the theory, could never listen to the engine and diagnose the way his father could.
I thought to myself: “What would this father’s knowledge be worth? Could he teach the art of engine sounds and diagnosis?”
His kind of knowledge may be nameless. But, in this brave new world of “Knowledge Commerce”, his knowledge could be priceless. That’s when I thought of all the different kinds of knowledge people may have – that they may never know they had. I decided to write this book.
I wanted to show solo-professionals how to discover and brand their unique knowledge. I wanted to show them how to market and monetize it.
What is Knowledge Commerce, and why is it so hot?
Knowledge Commerce is about selling your unique knowledge or domain expertise to other people. Your knowledge could be sold as ebooks, online courses, membership sites, consultancy services, and many other ways.
Knowledge Commerce attracts acknowledged experts and eager multitudes of solo freelancers wanting to build unique knowledge brands of themselves.
Research suggests that Knowledge Commerce will reach $325 billion by 2025. This book will show you how to get your slice of this big pie.
What can you sell through Knowledge Commerce?
Right now, you can sell ebooks, courses, podcasts, video tutorials. You can build membership sites with paywalls that protect exclusive knowledge. You can host webinars or mastermind classes. You can also offer to consult or mentor as a service.
But this is what you can sell today. Who knows where new technologies will take us? What new selling opportunities will they create for our knowledge?”