Knowledge Commerce is compared to “monetizing your expertise” or “online teaching”. But it’s much more!
Knowledge Commerce refers to two clear steps. One step takes you on an inward journey where you explore your inner wealth. The other step takes you outward to disseminate what you have discovered – and convert it to outer wealth.
One, you have to see within yourself on what knowledge you have. Sometimes, it’s obvious. It’s your domain expertise where you’ve mastered an area of life. Sometimes it’s knowledge even you didn’t know you had – or never thought of it as the knowledge you could sell. You have to discover all that you know that could be of value to someone else.
Two, after you’ve discovered in you a unique knowledge area that is marketable, you have to productize it. Make it sellable as ebooks, courses, membership sites or even consulting services. This is the part where action rules. There are ways to do this cleverly, and quickly, using the right tools. The knowledge that is not productized is of no value. It stays hidden within you as “potential wealth” but doesn’t get into your bank as “actual wealth.”
How Knowledge Commerce and solopreneurs are made for each other
Who is a solopreneur in the first place? It is anyone who wants to start and run a business single-handedly, without any employees. From time to time, you may contract out some work. But essentially you are both the CEO and Chief Bottle-Washer of your business.
Solopreneurs are now a huge part of the working market and especially online. MBO Partners’ 2019 Report indicates that 41 million Americans are building solo businesses. This means around one in every four entrepreneurs is a solopreneur. And this is just in America, Statistics worldwide are on the same trajectory.
These solopreneurs can be of any age too. They can be millennials or side-giggers with other 9-to-5 jobs. They can be freelancers, mompreneurs, or homepreneurs. Even retired folks could launching into a solo earning with an online business.
The sheer popularity of the solo business is this. You are your own boss, and also have no one else underfoot. This life is so beckoning that solopreneurship is catching on like wildfire.
Now coming to the Knowledge Commerce part of it all. To any solopreneur, what’s the fastest (and most profitable) business to start? It would be to sell what he knows to someone who wants to know that.
What does it cost really to build your own ebooks or courses? A tool or two perhaps – and a website? People who productize their knowledge have next-to-nil expenses if they don’t outsource work. They can risk putting out products that are all digital downloads. Many claim close to 95% profit – or even more. And even if they don’t sell, what’s the loss?
Knowledge is the highest form of wealth and the fastest encashable idea. For every piece of knowledge you have, there are tons who may ask “What is that” or “How to do it?” The potential and profitability is endless, so all you need to start is intention and energy.
6 reasons why Knowledge Commerce is a perfect idea for solopreneurs
Read these six reasons below on why Knowledge Commerce is particularly a great idea for online business for solopreneurs. Beyond just the speed of starting your business and the profitability of this business model, there are other compelling factors.
#1. Knowledge Commerce helps solopreneurs soar on their strengths and manage weaknesses.
You can be successful at any business, and earn from your business faster, if you make sure to “soar with your strengths and manage your weaknesses”. But before you try to decode your strengths and weaknesses, hear this.
Don’t think of strengths as “positive traits” or your weaknesses as “negative traits”. That is precisely the kind of value judgment that is completely counter-productive to an effective online solopreneur business.
So, what are your strengths? Strengths are your abilities that consistently produce “positive outcomes” in the tasks you do. For example, if “being organized” is one of your strengths, you will find you are a very organized person in your finances, your writing, your use of physical space on your desk, your arrangements of files on your computer and so on. Your strength will be visible in almost everything you do. It is your strong suit and it makes your mind feel very clear and in harmony.
Similarly what are your weaknesses? They are abilities that are not your natural strong suit, and they too reflect in everything you do. For instance, if your weakness of ability is, say, in handling numbers, you will be stymied or feel addle-brained every time you see that you have to work with numbers. This is clearly not your area of high comfort, and it makes your mind go fuzzy and unfocused. The results of your work will also be sub-optimal.
In Knowledge Commerce you clearly soar on your strengths. In fact, the more you rely on your established or latent skills or knowledge you have, you can become an exclusive expert in that area of authority faster.
#2. Knowledge Commerce helps solopreneurs start with whatever they have as talents and resources.
If there ever was a good time to start a business online, it was “Yesterday”! No budding solopreneur can afford to waste time on more and more self-evaluation, idea-evaluation, learning courses, trying out tools, or doing a zillion other things that delay starting. You’ll never be more qualified to start any business than you are already.
You have to see what’s hidden inside of you that has business potential i.e. what others may want that only you can give. Self-knowledge is what you need and there’s no cost to it. What you don’t know about business can be best learned on the job, by doing, experimenting, failing and standing up again for another try.
Did you know that there’s a separate class of people called “Wantrepreneurs”? As the name suggests, they are those who say they desperately want to start solopreneurship online, but as the Wiktionary says “they are people who aspire to be entrepreneurs, but who never realize this ambition.”
Wantrepreneurs are generally too obsessive about finding the “right idea”. Why successful solopreneurs love “Wantrepreneurs” is because they are big buyers of books, courses, tools, mentoring sessions.
They can’t seem to keep their hands off the next expensive course that says “Learn how I made $1,000,000″ from just one blog post written in 3.67 minutes”. They’ll take that course – and then look around for a better one!
In short, the existence of the class of Wantrepreneurs alone is so big that there is a market for any unique knowledge you can sell via Knowledge Commerce.
#3. Knowledge Commerce helps solopreneurs to sustain without losing your patience or mojo.
Whichever business idea you pick up, the real task of making it successful lies in “marketing”. But this is where a lot of solopreneurs don’t understand what “marketing” really is, in plain and simple English.
C. J Hayden, the author of “Get Clients Now!” explains this whole notion beautifully:
Marketing is telling people what you do, over and over. If you can tell people what you do — in any format or venue — and tell the same people more than once, you do indeed know how to market.
If you go to a networking event once per month, shake peoples’ hands, and say, “I do this,” you are marketing. You are also marketing if you have coffee once per week with a colleague or former co-worker, and talk about your business. When you send an article you’ve written, which demonstrates how you work, to a mailing list of numerous people, you’re marketing.
You can tell people what you do in writing, online, by phone, face-to-face, from a podium, or in a recording. You can tell them over and over by getting your writing or recording in front of them repeatedly; connecting and re-connecting with them on social media or other online platforms; or calling them, meeting them, or speaking to them more than once.
You already know how to engage in at least one of these activities, and probably more than one. So, you really do know how to market already.”
The best business for a solopreneur then would one where you don’t lose your patience or mojo in repeating over and over (… and over and over) to people “This is what I do!”
There are a lot of solopreneurs who think they are good at some knowledge, but it’s not the one they love talking endlessly about. If there’s something you go on and on about like a broken record, seriously examine its potential as your unique expertise and passion area for Knowledge Commerce.
#4. Knowledge Commerce helps solopreneurs grow big in demand, after they have created that demand.
Many experts in business will tell you that a good business idea is one where there is a reasonably strong demand for a particular product or service. But even if all the research in the world confirms a good demand in a particular industry or idea, what are the odds that you will be able to harness that demand?
Demand is just that – demand – unless you have what it takes to convert demand into sales. To encash on market demands, there are demands you have to make of your own grey cells.
Better still, than seeking ideas with demand, is to seek ideas where you can create demand. David Ogilvy, the ultimate master of advertising (and my biggest boss at one time), used to say that anyone can meet a need that exists in the market. But if you have what it takes to create a felt need where there wasn’t one before, you are truly marked for success.
Think about it. Was there a demand for the iPhone that made Steve Jobs pick up the idea to run with it? He created a need for the iPhone where there was no demand. Steve Jobs told his teams not to do market research to see what customers wanted “… because customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them.”
The moral of the story: Market demand is an overrated idea whose time is up. The world craves products it never knew could exist. So stop looking at lists of business ideas that are past their sell-by date. Can you create a demand for something new? Search your brain and not the Net.
In other words, Knowledge Commerce is about creating demand in any unique knowledge area you have, instead of seeing if it’s already there.
#5. Knowledge Commerce helps solopreneurs write reams about, with ease, without let up.
To understand this point, you have to retrace the steps by which “content marketing” came into being online, as the ONLY viable marketing mode. The whole online revolution started in full earnest when people got fed up with advertisers who were interruptive, insensitive and totally over-confident about their ability to break into people’s mind spaces at will.
People, therefore, gravitated to the Net as the place where they could choose the time, place and type of message they wanted to hear, without unsolicited advertising.
Given this background, marketers had to stop advertising and start writing “valuable credible content” (i.e. informational pieces of in-depth knowledge on any topic). They saw that their potential customers were foraying the Net for serious information and not advertising. But content marketing is a 24x7x365 type of marketing. It’s also what every marketer is doing.
In this din, what are your chances of being noticed unless you too write something valuable, relevant and fresh every day, to stay visible at the top of the pile? Online marketing is inexpensive for sure, but you cannot sweat the amount of writing you have to do in the name of “content creation”.
In summary: find a business idea you can write reams about, without let up. If it isn’t something you think you can keep up with, it’s not the right business idea for you. If you can’t write, you can learn that skill. But it’s not about the writing as much as it’s about persistence.
About 80%-90% of the time you’ll be happiest and most consistent with writing reams on a topic of your innate strength. Knowledge Commerce is the business you can abide with for longer than any other business.
#6. Knowledge Commerce helps solopreneurs still see themselves in business 5-10 years from now.
So much has been written and consumed about the challenges of starting a business. Startups get all the attention. But there’s something much tougher to do than starting a business: it’s staying in business. There are very reliable statistics that say that nearly every new online business fails.
To be more exact, Neil Patel and a whole host of other experts, say nine out of ten startups WILL fail. The odds are heavily stacked towards failure, even if you make it for a few years. What solopreneurs must realize is that they have to be eager, ready and willing to fail many times, before they actually succeed.
Failing at different businesses teaches us quicker how to re-invent ourselves. The operative word here is “re-invention of yourself”. You don’t actually fail, you evolve into a new you. Eventually, the person who has almost completely re-invented his original self gets his success.
Failure is the stepping stone of success. But if you must fail, fail at different things so you get varied and comprehensive learning. Five to ten years from now you must still be in business, but which business you are in by then may not be anywhere near the one you are looking to start today.
This is exactly where having a Knowledge Commerce business is less risky and costly than any other business. You can afford to fail without too much cash loss. And if one of your knowledge areas fails, you have so many facets to you, you can try something else you’re good at.
You may go through many knowledge areas you are drawn to experiment with, one by one, till you hit on the “right one” that may be more wildly profitable than the others you’ve been through.
In summary …
There are enough compelling reasons why Knowledge Commerce is a perfect business idea for solopreneurs. You have to discover all that you know that could be of value to someone else. After you’ve discovered in you a unique knowledge area that is marketable, you have to productize it. Knowledge that is not productized is of no value. It stays hidden within you as “potential wealth” but doesn’t get into your bank as “actual wealth.”
Knowledge Commerce is an ideal business for solopreneurs in these ways:
- It helps solopreneurs soar on their strengths and manage weaknesses
- It helps solopreneurs start with whatever they have as talents and resources
- It helps solopreneurs sustain without losing your patience or mojo
- It helps solopreneurs grow big in demand, after they have created that demand
- It helps solopreneurs write reams about, with ease, without let up
- It helps solopreneurs still see themselves in business 5-10 years from now
So what are you waiting for?
Hear the experts on Solopreneuring & Knowledge Commerce …
Shelcy V. Joseph in the article “3 Ways Experts Can Monetize Their Knowledge”:
Wouldn’t it be nice to get paid for your knowledge? The good news, it’s totally possible—and it doesn’t necessarily involve starting a business. If you’re a full-time digital marketer, for example, you can get paid to speak at local events, guest post on popular outlets or consult with people. The point is, if you know more about something than most people, you can get paid for that information.
Nothing gives you more credibility than having an outlet where you consistently share that knowledge—i.e. a blog, podcast or personal website. Anyone who creates content (i.e. videos, photos, blog posts, news articles) surrounding a particular topic will be seen as an expert. And with that comes an incredible opportunity to create an impactful brand and monetize that influence.”
Dorie Clark in the article “How Successful Solopreneurs Make Money”:
How do you determine how you price yourself? Well, ultimately the starting point is, what does your reputation, what is your platform dictate is possible? When you’re starting out, some people would say, Oh, well, you’re not charging a lot because you don’t have a lot of experience. That’s kind of true but also kind of not true.
What it really is that you don’t yet have a lot of credibility in your field. If you want to drive prices, the best way to do it is to drive your credibility, to drive your platform. If you are known by more people, and you are respected by more people, that dictates higher prices, because essentially what people are buying is a guarantee.”
Andrea Bolder in the article “24 Ways To Monetize Your Expertise As An Infopreneur”:
This revelation of selling your own stuff literally transformed my business overnight and it has been booming ever since. Creating digital products may be something you already implement in your business model, but it took me a second to catch on. Maybe I was scared to put myself out there, maybe I didn’t think I held enough cred to create and sell my own products, but boy oh boy, once I made the decision to just go for it – it was hammer time!
Now, it’s all I do. Create, brand and sell information products on topics I love.”
So what are your thoughts on this topic? Do share!
This post is incomplete without your input. The community of content-marketer 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.
Other articles in our series “Learning The Arts & Smarts Of Knowledge Commerce”:
- “What Can I Sell To Make Money?” How About Knowledge Commerce …
- Sell Knowledge Online: Learn The Ins And Outs Of Knowledge Commerce
- Start A Business Now In Knowledge Commerce: Blow The Delay