They teach many subjects at school, but one that I think is missing from the syllabus is entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is the art of turning muck into brass, the practice of taking an idea and nurturing it until it blooms into a money-making powerhouse.
Some people say that you can’t teach entrepreneurship, because you have to have a particular personality or an elusive ‘x-factor’ to have any chance of success. I think they’re wrong.
Entrepreneurship is a skill that can be learned by anyone, and I believe everyone should try to launch a business at least once. So, if you’re a new entrepreneur, and are looking for some help and guidance from those who have tried entrepreneurship and succeeded, here is a selection of books you should consider adding to your bookshelf.
I am much more of an audiobook “reader” as I tend to take it in easier – I even use Amazon’s FREE Audible trials to load up on 2 free books every month.
Book 1: Crushing It!
Author: Gary Vaynerchuk
Number of pages: 288
Why should you listen to him?: Gary Vaynerchuk is a global social media superstar.
Known affectionately as Gary Vee, Vaynerchuk was born in Belarus in 1975 but emigrated to the USA with his parents at a young age. Raised in New York City, Vaynerchuk showed entrepreneurial spirit as a boy, buying and selling baseball cards at school. He joined his parent’s wine business at 14, and after he took over in 2003, he grew it from $3 million to $60 million a year in revenue.
Vaynerchuk spotted the internet’s potential early, launching a channel on YouTube in 2006 to promote the wine business. Famous for hard work and ‘hustle’, Vaynerchuk now owns a $100 million social media digital agency, VaynerMedia, and gives inspirational speeches internationally about entrepreneurship and social influencing.
Book Synopsis: The book is part motivational and part social media strategy manual. Vaynerchuk explains how personal branding over social media is crucial to success today as an entrepreneur.
The book is in two parts. The first part gets you pumped up for the road ahead and gives you eight foundational principals on which to build your business.
The second part delves deeper into different social media platforms, covering YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and a few others. Vaynerchuk shows you how to use each platform to gain attention and grow your entrepreneurial endeavours. Each chapter is illustrated with real-life case studies from successful small businesses who have followed his framework.
Even though the book is nearly three years old, it’s often found near the top of the charts. It ranks top 10 on Amazon Audible in the categories for Social Media, Web Marketing, and E-commerce. Many people consider it one of the first books to buy when you are thinking about starting a business.
The book is available in several formats. There are the usual hardback and paperback, plus Kindle too. The best way to absorb it is via Amazon Audible, though. Narrated by Vaynerchuk and two other colleagues, you get to understand and learn the book’s lessons via Gary Vee’s unique style of delivery.
Book 2: Primalbranding: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company, and Your Future: Create Belief Systems that Attract Communities.
Author: Patrick Hanlon
Number of pages: 272
Why should you listen to him?: Patrick Hanlon is a world-renowned branding consultant. He has worked with the likes of Levi’s, PayPal, and Shopify to help them develop their brands and connect with new audiences.
He gives talks and lectures internationally on the topic of branding, is a contributor to the major news networks, and owns several consulting businesses which offer advice on branding in the digital age.
Book Synopsis: How do some companies like Tesla, create a horde of devoted followers while other businesses, despite access to the same level of resources, struggle or even become objects of scorn?
Hanlon argues that companies like Tesla succeed because they build a following of people who become true believers and advocates for their brand.
Primalbranding identifies the seven pieces of ‘primal code’ that humans instinctively use to form groups. He then applies this to branding and shows you how you can use these hardwired human dynamics and apply them to shape your brand and attract a legion of followers.
The book is divided into three sections. The first section explains the seven elements of the primal code. Including concepts such as ‘the creation story’, ‘the rituals’, and ‘the leader’. Hanlon then shows how these parts come together to foster ‘primal belonging’.
Sections two and three then show how these immutable traits can be used by just about anyone or anything to market and promote their products.
The book is available in hardback, paperback, Kindle and also as an MP3 CD (hello 2011!). If you want to build a following that will shout your name from the rooftops and promote your brand freely, it’s an essential one for your reading list.
Book 3: Innovation from Desperation: The Unfiltered Failures & Successes of an OG Social Media Marketer
Author: Desiree Martinez
Number of pages: 234
Why should you listen to her?: Desiree Martinez is an entrepreneur, YouTuber, and all-round social media guru. As a military spouse, a life moving from base to base with her Air Force husband left her with few career opportunities and forced her to act for herself and think entrepreneurially.
She was surprised to learn that Facebook, a platform she knew well from her college days, was becoming an essential platform for businesses. So she started a social media consulting firm and has since helped hundreds of businesses shape their social presence.
My 5* review for this book which I posted to Amazon reads:
“A real heartfelt walk through the ups and downs of working in media and social media in this current age. Running a business, raising a family and growing a brand is not easy. This is a warts and all story sharing some truly inspirational lessons. Well worth a read!”
The book is part autobiography and part how to launch your own business. It provides an unfiltered account of the ups and downs of launching a business with little support and no roadmap.
There are many lessons to learn from the book. Desiree covers topics like becoming a better content creator, what to do when a new social media platform becomes hot, and how to keep on going when everything seems to conspire against you.
Released in 2020, it also contains a chapter covering the impact of the pandemic. It’s a book to read if you can’t see yourself in any of the thousands of books available about entrepreneurship. Desiree says that she was the girl at school you who would never think could launch their own business, never mind write a book!
If that sounds like you, then this is a book worth reading.
The book is available in paperback and on Kindle, and it’s one I really recommend that you read.
Why should you listen to him?: Tim Ferris is a writer, podcaster, investor, and entrepreneur. Many know him today for his podcast about lifestyle and smart working, but it was this book – The 4-hour Work Week – that propelled him onto the global stage.
He has advised or invested in many well know internet startups, like Evernote, Stumbleupon, and Uber.
Book Synopsis: One of the best books about entrepreneurship available to read.
Ferris argues in this now-famous book about how you should strive to avoid the 9-5 and instead choose to live life on your terms by building lifestyle businesses.
Ferris writes about how he started work after college and found himself working 80 hours a week for $40,000 a year. After a little experimentation with various business ideas and working strategies, he launched his own brand of supplements and soon started earning $40,000 every month, working just 4 hours per week.
Ferris achieved his success by working smartly. He used the 80/20 principle made famous by Italian economist Pareto and outsourced most menial tasks to cheap virtual assistants overseas.
The 4-hour Work Week gives you the tools and the inspiration to build a business of your own, and enjoy the benefits while you are still young by taking ‘mini-retirements’.
Essentially, you design and launch a business that can operate day-to-day without your presence. Something that earns money on autopilot so you can head out into the world and seek out unforgettable experiences.
The book is in four parts; Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation. Each step in the framework guides you through his approach to building a lifestyle business and contains lots of real-life examples to illustrate the points.
The book is available in hardback, paperback, Kindle, and audio CD. It’s become a classic of the genre and regularly makes it into top-10s of books about entrepreneurship.
Remember, if you sometimes struggle to find the time actually to sit down and read; there is an alternative. You can listen to a book when you are out and about—maybe travelling to work or out getting coffee.
You can download and listen to many useful books about YouTube and entrepreneurship using Amazon Audible. Every month for a small monthly subscription, you can listen to a book often narrated by the author themselves.
Are you looking to start your own business? To start a business with no money is hard and is definitely something that takes time.
I don’t mean 7 hours in the bath soaking like a prune “time” – I mean months of foundation and years of grind, reinvestment and research on the job.
So how do you start a business with no money?
Pick a niche that you are going to live in for years to come. A topic you know and can talk about in fine detail in blogs, videos, phone calls and meetings for hours on end. Over time you will build your reputation, leading to long term success. Lead with value and have patience.
As long as you have the love for the business, the passion for its niche and the ability to delay gratification enough to reinvest the money then you will go far.
Here are nine steps that you should follow to get the best startup possible.
Make sure that you’re picking your niche.
This is the core focus of anything, whether it’s YouTube, a career, a long-term goal, or in this case a business.
It needs to be something that you truly love. Because something that you have been educated to, that you really hate, can only carry you so far.
Love and passion will get you up at six o’clock in the morning.
Love and passion, and the absolute thirst for that specific business, is what will drive you through when that customer cancels on you, or when you’ve had that hard day, or when you’re scrambling around for that extra bit of money in the early days.
The love and the passion of your niche is what will make you want more. More of that niche, more of that business, more in general just going forwards.
I love business, and I love social media, and I love YouTube, that’s why I’m constantly reading new books. I binge Gary Vaynerchuk and many other entrepreneurs – reading and listening to in audio books.
I use Audible to hunt out all of the best stuff. You can do the same too, they even give away free audiobooks to new people, but it’s that thirst for that knowledge, that love of that thing, which will drive you to read more books, that will drive you to educate yourself more, which will drive you to make that content, which will drive you to share it, or sell it to someone.
You Might Need To Start A Business As A Side Hustle
When I first started my own business I was working in security. 12 to 14 hour days, every day. I’d get up in the morning, travel for an an hour and a half to work, an hour half to travel back.
I was tired, I was exhausted, but I knew that security wasn’t going to be my career, I wanted something at that time in the web development world.
I wanted computing, I wanted design. So in the hours when I finally got home, or I was very lucky, on the hours that I worked on a night shift, where all that pay attention to was the CCTV cameras, I took my laptop in and I worked on myself, my side hustle, my passion.
This was back in the day, the dark days when Wi-Fi wasn’t free at every coffee shop and a corner shop.
So unless you could hijack somebody’s Wi-Fi network, or connect to a network that gives you Internet via the cable – you were screwed.
So I had to buy that a little mobile data dongle. A pen drive sized usb stick that would give you half a Gigabyte of traffic for the month and cost £40-50 pounds. and it was it was appalling. It never truly connected, the signal was absolute shit. I mean this is the birth of 3G, it was terrible.
However the point is – if you can use that downtime.
If you do a 9am-5pm, and you’ve got kids. Why not start working the 7pm-1am shift on your side hustle?
Yes you’ll be tired! But you’ll have that passion, you’ll know that that drive, those extra hours, are on you, in you, on your business. This is your time to build your brand.
Maybe you really love real estate, and you want to be in real estate, that’s your own business, and you work in real estate, why not start writing blogs about real estate. Do your research!
Go out there and learn some things. Push your reputation outside of the company that you’re in. This will be your parachute when you leave. This is your reputation, this is your proof that you know what you’re talking about. You could blog on LinkedIn, build connections, grow your influence out there.
Do you have your own website to anchor your content?
Share your blogs in multiple places, it builds you as an individual outside of your specific company, and it preps you for the future, because right now you’re starting of your business, could be your side hustle that expands. Maybe you’re lucky and you have enough money or backing behind you to start full-time.
Live lean, no silly spending. You might have the money to start, it may have been your parents, it may have been some kind of inheritance, you may have been lucky and been invested in. Don’t be stupid, this is money for you and s good source to start your own business. Don’t go out and buy silly watches, don’t go out and buy a stupid car just to impress people, that’s not how this works.
You need to live lean, think sensibly, spend sensibly, put your nose to the floor and grind that brand.
Working your side hustle is a short term fix to build your brand. If you’re full-time, even better, you’ve got those 16, 18-hour days to really pour in that content, really pouring that brand, really reach out to people. And something that I can’t express enough, if you are full-time straightaway don’t get lazy!
Investing In Yourself
This is paramount, I can’t express it enough.
Over the last 10 years many things have changed within technology in social media. YouTube was a mere fledgling 10 years ago, and now it’s the juggernaut that’s threatening to turn off all of your normal mainstream TV.
10 years ago mobile phones were pointless and dumb, now they rule the world, and you can run a business from a smartphone.
10 years ago many of these social media platforms didn’t exist at all, you was shuffling around MySpace, and promoting yourself on Friendster.
Invest in yourself and your future, by learning. Help yourself to start a business with no money by building your knowledge. Constantly listen to the expert, constantly read books, constantly build skills, because it’s that tool kit that will help you in the long run.
When I first started in web design I pretty much a one-trick pony. I could sell, and I’m okay with online social medias through open source software. I was good with forums and networking, keeping my eye what is new. That was the emergence of the social media network.
I could chat I could talk, I had the gift of the gab, and I could show people how to set up forums and blogs, and that was kind of it. I know in the long run if I’d learnt to code, and learn to design and stuff like that, that could build my future, and that can build yours right now.
There’s nothing stopping you going to a library. There’s nothing stopping you googling online, or finding YouTubers that you can listen to, expand your brain, try new things. Or if you are making money, there’s nothing stopping you paying a little bit of money to go on an accredited course.
I don’t mean these charlatans that are like “Here’s my Merc, here’s my Ferrari, this is how I made it, you can have this giant mansion too.” We know who you are Tai Lopez, calm your shit!
But if you invest in yourself it will pay out in the future, because all of the useless general knowledge that’s in my head, all of the random facts, figures, and skill sets are the things that help me think on the hoof, think on the whim, grab that gut feeling out of midair to win me that sale, or to chat to someone.
It’s that piece of knowledge that you throw into a sales pitch, and it could win you that big boy, that retainer, that thing that makes your side hustle into a long-term thing.
Before You Start Your Own Business – Get Your Own Website!
Yes, they’re not as powerful as they used to be, the whole world used to revolve around one man, his business card, and his website.
Now, it’s kind of all buzzing around social media, but you still need places to host your own content, control the narrative, and to push people. This specifically for people with a side hustle.
I have 2 active websites that I try to update regularly. That’s where I can list my services, my expertise, my testimonials, my case studies.
To start a business with no money, I can write two or three blogs a week to boost it to 150, 200 blogs a year, all that are search friendly. Blogs that help people solve theirs problems, me get found in search, and hopefully convince you that I have enough of expertise to teach you something that you didn’t know.
The plan is if I am helpful then maybe you feel indebted to me, and you share me around, link to me as a creditable source. This helps build my brand, and the stronger the brand the more you can charge in future. Building that brand could also open doors do that big pitch, winning you that customer, and in the long term maybe even securing that lifeline to cement your side hustle as a business with a heartbeat.
QUESTIONS – Should I customize my website? Can I just use templates? How much is this going to cost me?
Website customization can look great and hit the nail on the head branding wise but its not always necessary from day onw.
Customization could get you every fine minor detail, they move buttons they put your design, they hone it in your value proposition, but if you don’t have any pennies
The key point is as long as the website looks professional and isnt broken from day one, then you have a starting point!
You just need somewhere to push people. Most custom WordPress templates allow you to pick your color scheme. Many WordPress templates can have distinctive niches or styles and from there you simple start writing. If you have a little income you wish to invest in a premium YouTube template then that might get you a step closer to a unique look – but that isn’t always necessary.
Once you have a site you can establish your own writing style and build up some statistics you can share with potential clients. This is your proof you can attract and audience and could help promote their products or services.
Start A Business with No Money by Creating Content
You need to figure out what you’re good at.
Are you fantastic at writing? Are you brilliant at video? Or maybe you’re a talker? You can create a podcast?
That content is what will carry you forward. That content is what people will get to know you for.
In my case, I’m okay in front of a camera, I could talk about my passion, my love, and those videos are very luckily quite long recently, so I can turn them into podcasts, write them into blogs, and then I can share them out.
Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit, Medium, Forums, Facebook Groups, Twitter – The more you share the content the larger the spider web is to catch more “flies” aka affiliate sales, product leads, video views etc
The content is what will build up your reputation.
Nobody knew who I was three years ago (probably nobody knows who I am now lol) but the difference between now and three years ago is that now I’m able to find clients, pay my bills and based on my reputation and establish stats I can build my income streams month on month.
All this from the proof built from my blogs, YouTube channel, Testimonials and leading lead with value.
However, if I DIDN’T start making content 3 years ago… none of this would exist today.
Best of all this content will always be there to send me traffic, leads and clients. You can reuse it, re-share it and it show your passion and knowledge on your topic and niche.
Yes, some things will change, video quality will change, in some of my older videos I’ve got a completely different backdrop, in some way older videos I have problem with frame-rate.
But, they’re still reusable you can re-share them, and you never know, that one thing that could have turned that person’s brain onto business, three years ago in that video that you made, if you’re re-sharing it, it could still find them today!
Win you that client, that click, that money, that income, that thing that makes you full-time on YouTube. The thing that allows you to be a full-time artist, or a full-time creator!
If nobody knows you, and you get a chance, go business meetings around you that you can go to in the morning. There will be networking groups that do breakfasts or evenings. Places that you can press flesh and chat.
These can help you be found locally. Or you could try it online with chat rooms, forums, Facebook groups.
That outreach is something that gives you that additional thread that you could put in that spider web, that makes it bigger, that catches those flies.
I’m pretty much an introvert, so for me I was reaching out on things like Facebook, and LinkedIn. I reply in forums, I was posting on blogs.
These build up over time – if you are linked via your website and your name, and you leave a very intriguing comment then people might be intrigued and check you out.
This is not me telling you to spam videos and comment sections.
If you truly engage with the post, the blog, the forum, and you help them, they will remember you when they need more advice and maybe even suggest you to others in times of need.
There’s a website I post on from time to time called Quora.
It’s basically Yahoo questions, they post a lot of questions, I answer a load of YouTubey questions, and then I can end up drop in my video, or they click on my name and it drops them back on my website, or my youtube channel.
You can do the same!
These outreach programs could be the way that you get into the DMs of somebody. It could be you reaching out on Instagram answering their question. It could be you tweeting at someone, or replying when they’re asking a question about your specific thing.
Gary Vaynerchuk for example, the world-renown Gary Vaynerchuk, started on twitter by simply replying to everything that had some kind of wine term in it.
When people were worried about a red, or a white, or whether it’s a Rioja, or whether it’s a Grenache, he would jump in, offer them some advice, give them some links, not try and sell, just let them know that his around, over, and over, and over again, and he slowly built reputation.
That is the way that you build your audience on blogs and YouTube – one subscriber, two subscriber, 10 subscribers.
Can Working For Free Help You Start A Business with No Money?
Many people see this is some kind of slave labor.
I can’t pay my bills with “exposure”
I totally agree! I’ve been in situations where I was saying to myself
Yeah, well I need to pay my gas and electric bill, and you’re giving me exposure – brilliant, Om nom nom nom nom nom nom nom!
Oh no I’m gonna get kicked out of my house now, ’cause that was my rent, thank you!
But there are times when exposure truly does help.
I use a website called PeoplePerHour, but there are other ones out there for example UpWork, Fiverr.
They are “gig economy” websites in which you can set up your offerings for next to nothing but slowly build a client base and reputation.
I get peanuts from it!
However, what I do get is a contacts, reviews and a chance to hone my skills in the niche I offer.
As you start a business with no money these successful sales and interactions are your practice – prepare your brain muscle, build a portfolio.
Over time those 20-30 mini sales can help you land those bigger fish. 20-30 clients willing to praise you and give you feedback that you can put into testimonials and justify your pricing.
Over the last 3 years I have landed some of my largest retainer clients through just doing something small.
You impress them, build up trust and up-sell when you get the chance. Now those clients are the vast majority of my monthly income!
Don’t get me wrong, some are dickheads, right? And that’s fine! Just remember at the end of the day if you designed logos for 20 clients, each with 3 different styles… you now have 60 examples you can display in your rapidly growing portfolio!
You could even use tools to make it easier for you to deliver those tasks – I have a load of easy to use tools on my resources page.
Reinvest Your Income – How To Grow A Business with No Money
Okay so you’ve reached out, you’ve started getting sales, started building up reputation – maybe there’s a trickle of income.
Now this is where you have to be very smart, and reinvest that back in you, your business and your skills.
It can be so easy to get your first pay slip, and blow it on something fancy. It can be all too easy to think this ever growing gold mine will produce clients and money forever… but you need to future proof your business.
In the first year, you’re really passionate, you’ve really got that drive, so you’re really going out there, you’re doing a lot, you’re tapping that low-hanging fruit.
Those connections you may have already known that you could pluck quite easily, quite early, but if you don’t invest in your future, if you don’t keep learning to grow your future – spider web that catches your clients disappears over time.
Very soon all that easy traffic and low-hanging fruit will just disappear, and you’ll start to starve, and so will the business.
If you wanna grow in the future, you need to invest in the future.
There’s no point in eating this year’s harvest if you’re not buying seeds to plant for next year, and next year, and next year.
Keep funneling it back into yourself.
I’m not saying don’t take an income. If you can afford to take an income and still invest into the business then do so, just be smart.
Do you really need that wage? Could you live a little more humble? Could you live a smaller house? Could you use a different laptop?
You could learn to start a business with no money – You just need be a little bit more sensible and use that extra bit of money to invest in your business, to get that next customer, and the next customer, that guarantees you a future three years down the line – rather than just assuming next week will be fine!
Customer Care is Paramount!
You’ve hooked them in, they may even be one of your free clients, if you keep them happy – they will come back.
They might even up-sell or might refer a friend!
Customer care is paramount because if you upset somebody, you’re really desperate in two months time, and you’ve got a fantastic idea that you know that client would really love – you are 100% sure they will buy – if you’ve upset them, you can’t phone them anymore.
They won’t refer you to anyone anymore, and it might leave a nasty taste in their mouth that they spread faster to your potential clients.
Bad news spreads 10x faster, than good news.
Now, for the sake of your small business that you’re starting right now, reset, go back to number five – Create Content – and work your way to Customer care over and over again.
Your biggest mistake would be getting lazy – keep building – you can start a business with no money and reap the rewards for years to come!
Working for free. Should I work for free? Should you work for free?
Working for free can be a great way to build up a brand and your personal reputation within your niche. As you work for free you would build up contentions, reviews, a ever increasing portfolio, and most importantly, improving your skills from all the practice as you do so. Working for free might not earn you money in the short term but can be a very valuable investment in your long term future earning power.
It’s become a meme over the years, if you were creative, you’ve seen it. In fact, you’ve probably been approached, and people are like…
“Hi, can you do this, this and this for me?
Great. Sure. Here’s a quote.
“Oh, I wasn’t expected to pay you. I thought you could use the exposure, you know, get out there.”
And people are thinking, yeah, there’s exposure where you promote me and exposure where I die, a cold, lonely hungry death in the middle of a field because your exposure, can’t pay my rent. Your exposure, can’t pay my bills. Your exposure is me dying of exposure. I get that. I do. I do. That’s why you need to be sensible about this. Right?
I couldn’t do the whole free thing to start with either. And it’s become much more of a thing now that I can because I have a steady income.
Make Working For Free Your Side Hustle
Now, working for free can initially be your side hustle. I’m not saying that it has to cost you thousands of pounds to do a project that you hand away for nothing and you have no control over. I mean that you can build upon your future by adding value, leading with value first. Your side hustle has the potential to be the base for your future business success.
When I first started doing YouTube consultancing, I set up a profile on a few freelance websites like PeoplePerHour, on Fiverr. Yes, that does technically mean that I got paid for it, but it was pittance, deliberately pittance because I wanted to attract people to me. So I could pull a few strings and build a few Lego bricks on top of my board. They are good marketplaces that can offer you a chance to practice your skills or build a portfolio. So that aside, on the PeoplePerHour website, or Fiverr for example, I sell really, really cheap logos or really, really cheap Web designs, or really, really cheap channel reviews or video optimizations for say three, four or five dollars.
The money is negligible. But, what it does do, is it gives me a chance to build up 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 examples of me doing the thing that I want to get paid for, to do. If it’s on PeoplePerHour as well then it’s an hour’s worth of work, two hours worth of work depending on how much you’re willing to sacrifice in your time. But let’s say you do 20 logo designs at a $1 each, that’s 20 bucks, that’s not really much for you. It’s a cup of coffee, or that’s your electricity to cover that laptop that made those on, but you now have 20 designs that you can put in your portfolio, 20 designs that you can then show to a new client that is willing to pay you two 300 pounds for a logo and you’ve got 20 examples of stuff that you’ve done in the past.
Yes, it does mean that you sacrifice a bit of your time. Yes, that does mean that you couldn’t have charged 200 pounds for 20 of them each and made four grand. But if people don’t know you, the grand value price of one sale when they don’t want to buy from you is zero, zip, zilch nothing, nada. I would much rather have 20 sales, 20 logo designs at 20 bucks at one buck each, because then I’ve got those examples that I can then go and hunt the next big fish that’s willing to pay maybe a little bit more, 20 bucks each 50 bucks each 100 bucks each.
Working For Free is Improving Your Skills
Now, this is one of the things that that doesn’t dawn on people. I’ve been on YouTube for about eight, nine years. I’ve been creating these videos on this channel for about three. That means somewhere out there, there’s thousands of videos that I’ve edited, or I’ve been in, or I’ve uploaded, I’ve downloaded, I’ve deleted and that means that I can do this, I can communicate with a camera, I’ve improved my skill, I’ve improved my lighting, I’ve improved my ability to talk to you, to edit. Improving my skill, improving my speed, improving my skill set that I can sell to somebody else.
Improving my expertise that I can pitch to somebody else. Hi Mr. logo man. Yes, here’s 20 examples from point number one and I can do it much better than I used to because logo number 20 is better than logo number one because I learned how to do graphic and vector work a little bit better. And instead of it taking me four to five hours to render that wonderful piece of artwork, I can do it in half hour to an hour, and I can start tweaking and I can make it bigger.
Skill, improvement, more money.
You’re investing in yourself by doing free stuff – Building your reputation.
You’ve sold 20 logos to 20 people or 20 teddy bears, or 20 stockings or 20 handmade cards, it doesn’t matter what it is, you’ve sold 20 things to 20 people that can leave you 20 reviews. Those 20 reviews, you can then put on mailing list. Those 20 reviews you can put on your website. There’s 20 reviews, or people that hopefully you can refer to. Those are 20 advocates that know who you are and what you can do, that will refer hopefully another friend next time they need a logo, a teddy bear, a T shirt, a sock design, whatever you’re doing.
That reputations stacks on top of the skill that you’ve learned and the portfolio that you’ve gained. All of which has helped me in the past, hook that bigger fish. That’s got my foot in that door. Though I’ve got a couple of people that have come from these platforms, they are constant retainers, they are clients that I consult with. They are people that I directly work with, and they wouldn’t have found me if they hadn’t have used the freelance site to buy something small from me, for me to over deliver value, for them to trust me with my portfolio, the reputation, the reviews, and loving my work for me to then upsell.
I didn’t advertise for these people. I didn’t put ads on Facebook, I didn’t go out there on Google ads and hook people in. I’ve not pulled them in with some kind of skeezy sleazy kind of sales click funnel. I offered them value at a fair price and created quality, for them. And I’ve got my foot in the door, in which I can start talking to, and then I upsell, and I upsell and I upsell which then, supports the ability for me to give cheap, entries at the other end of that one dollar logo, those five dollar logos, those mini cheap reviews.
Leverage your new skill base, the things that you have learnt, your reputation, your portfolio, that foot in the door, you’re not actually doing it for free anymore.
Yes, initially, you do have to do the legwork, build the foundation and build upwards. And all it takes is for you to slowly stack over time. You put in some hard work.
And yes, let’s say you you have some really bad luck, and you sell 400 of these logos at one dollar each. You now have a huge portfolio, you’ve now had a skill based on these things. It may look like you are working for free, but you’re actually investing in yourself. And sometimes someone will help subsidize that by upgrading or by selling or buying or promoting you. And I did a lot of this at the start of my consulting career. I worked my ass off for 12 months, giving away freebies, or very cheap reviews and very cheap this and very cheap that. Why? Because it built those connections.
I’ve got 400, 500 videos on my youtube channel. They’re exactly that. I worked for free. Don’t get it twisted, yeah. YouTube can pay me a little bit of money in advertising but trust me it is pittance compared to what you can make by building that reputation. Building a back catalog. Making those links, putting your foot in the door and building a business from the ground up. All by just initially working for free. It’s one of the very important steps that you have to deal with when building a business and this nine of them here which I’m sure you know.