3 Ways to Put Your Knowledge to Work
In the last post, I shared a few examples of people who have turned doing what they love into a stream of income. If you look at those examples, there are three basic ways you can make your knowledge pay. You can Do It, Teach It, or Package It. Let’s take a look at how each of those works.
Often, the first step in making knowledge pay is to do it for someone else. If you craft beautiful beaded bracelets, you can sell them on Etsy or at a local gallery or craft show. If you are an empty-nester and desperately miss preparing wonderful meals for a large family, you could become a personal chef to a select number of clients, delivering fresh homemade meals to their refrigerator each week. If you’re great with dogs, you may want to be a dog walker, trainer, or sitter. Whatever your skill, there’s probably someone who will pay you to do it for them.
Once you’ve mastered an art or a special area of knowledge, you can teach it. I’ve taught classes sponsored by writers’ groups, business groups, county parks and recreation departments, a local community college, craft stores, homeschool groups and conferences, and more. Each teaching opportunity brings additional benefits such as contacts in your field and an increase in your expertise. Plus, if you’re an engaging speaker or instructor, chances are that many in your audience will want to purchase your information, which leads us to the third step in monetizing your knowledge.
If you’re doing something special, other people will want to know how to do it to. What can you create that will allow them to do what you do, or create something similar of their own? One of the hottest selling book categories is how-to or self-help books. You’re not limited to just writing a book or e-book, though. You can create audio or video instructions, a home-study course, a kit, a coaching package, or a subscription service (e.g. Menu Mailer with weekly menu plans with recipes and shopping lists or the Fly Fishing Lure of the Month Club). There are endless ways to re-imagine what you do and package it so that others can enjoy it.
Most entrepreneurs end up using all three ways of making knowledge pay. Each one feeds upon the other, and if you choose to work with something that’s deeply interesting and meaningful to you, you’ll attract others who respond to the same things. It’s a delight to work among those who share your core values, and that’s why it’s wise to first be sure you’re doing what matters before you start planning to make it pay.