Back in October 2020 I realized the importance of having an online presence when I saw this tweet on Twitter:
Daniel VassalloJust crossed ¼ of a million sales on Gumroad from 2 products in 10mo.
Gumroad fees: $12,102
Affiliate fees: $8,185
Cost of sales: $33,236
Ask me anything. I don’t have all the answers, but I can give you my perspective. 👇02:49 AM - 17 Oct 2020
It was really astounding to me when I learned that Daniel Vassallo has made over $250,000 just by selling couple of his courses on Gumroad and more importantly by leveraging social media.
It turns out that you can in fact replace your 9-5 job salary if you effectively use Twitter or any social media application for that matter as a marketing channel for your products.
As a software developer, we spend so much of our time writing tech blogs, created websites and apps, building SAAS products, making YouTube videos, so why don't we monetize our side hustle?
Having an online presence can definitely help us with that, it can provide you numerous of opportunities. It can give you the freedom to control your time.
Controlling your time is the highest dividend money pays - "The Psychology of Money"
In this article I'll share some of the points that I have learned in last one year that you need to focus on to get started.
You definitely can. I wanted to make this thing clear before moving on. There are various ways of making money on the internet these days.
But the problem is just having a profile, blog, product or YouTube channel might not be enough for you. Sure you can have great content and people might discover it on their own and it becomes a hit, but the probability of this happening is less when everyone is surrounded with what I call the "Internet noise". Your have to stand apart & to achieve it, one of the good ways is to build your credibility on the internet.
You need to have a group of people who consume the content you're producing. You need subscribers to watch the videos you're creating, you need audience to read the articles you're writing. You need clients to get freelancing gigs.
A strong online presence allows you to build your brand and credibility that you need to attract more consumers for your work. It provides a way for people to find your work easily. You don't want to have a killer product that provides so much value but you struggle to sell it.
I started being active on twitter since July last year and I was tweeting about various topics related to software engineering. Seeing my work, many people have started to DM me on twitter offering freelance jobs just because I was providing value and they liked what I was posting.
Even though I was not selling anything(except tweeting about my blogs) or trying to find a job, opportunities started coming my way. This is the power of building your credibility.
To sell your content you should have true fans. A true fan is someone who is always ready to buy anything you create just because you've given them so much value from your work for free in the past.
Think of this as an example, Imagine you have 100 true fans. If you create a product which provides 500$ - 1000$ worth of value per year, you can make 50k $ - 100k $ per year by selling it to your true fans. True fans also spread the word about your products voluntarily and there is no bigger marketing than word of mouth from your existing customers itself.
In the beginning, do not worry about true fans in the beginning. Just focus on providing value to your audience. You'll eventually see them coming your way!
Honestly, building an online presence is very time consuming process and takes lot of effort, hard work and consistency.
You need to build credibility by providing value through your content. You'll have to consistently post quality content and interact with others' content as well.
Here are few tips that will help you get started:
Pick a social media channel depending on the type of content you want to create. YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.
Pick your niche. Topics which your love talking about, topics which you're currently exploring a lot or you're an expert at. For instance, I'm a software developer so I generally tweet about programming, algorithms etc.
Post quality content everyday. Interact with other players of your niche. Eventually big accounts will notice you and they will start interacting with your content. And that's how you start growing big. Remember, consistency is the key.
Improve your BIO. When people hoover over your name in their timeline the first thing they see is your face & bio. YOUR bio is about what you bring THEM! Write about how you're helping your followers. What will they get if they decide to follow you.
Follow big players in your niche Before you can talk you first have to listen. Follow the players who have 10x the number of followers you have. For example, if you have 100 followers follow someone who has 1k-10k followers in your niches and see what they
talk about. Follow people with high engagement. Accounts that consistently get 10+ retweets.
Comment on big players' timelines. The guys you followed in the previous step, use their base to grow yours. Whenever you follow
someone you can turn on notifications. When they tweet you get a notification. Add value to their timeline as quickly as you
can. Do this once a day per account max. This is going to be your best friend until you hit 5k followers.
Do this for several months consistently and see the response you get. Keep doing experiments along the way with respect to what kind of posts your audience likes or dislikes. Double down on the ones that you will your audience is enjoying a lot.
But there's one caveat to this experiment. Sometimes people interact with something which is very controversial but do not provide any value at all. Make sure you do not double down on such things because it can harm your reputation in long run.
The important thing is to provide value.
This topic is so big that an investment in a detailed course can help you a lot in getting started better. I have mentioned one of the good eBook that I bought and loved and can totally recommend who wants to start out (Link at the end of the article).
Initially it might get a little frustrating to keep posting content but not having anyone to see and engage with it. The truth is everyone goes through that. But believe me, if you're creating quality content, people will eventually start noticing you.
In running this long term race, many people tend to make mistakes in order to gain some traction early, some of which are:
Copying other's content and posting it as your own without giving credit to the original author.
Asking follow for follow, likes, retweets etc. Yes people do such things just to increase those follower numbers. You will get the numbers but not the true fans.
Not being consistent with posting their content. You have to grind every single day of the week
Posting lot of content without any quality.
Start selling your products, sharing links to your blogs/videos from day one. Remember that you have to give a lot first before asking for anything. These tweets might even result in loosing followers if you overdo it. Your audience decided to follow you for your valuable content, not for your advertising.
Avoid making these mistakes and be authentic with your content. The eBook I mentioned below talk about these things in detail so if you're very serious around building your own brand, you should definitely consider buying it.
Thanks for reading and all the best for your journey :)
If you're interested to learn more about building an online presence in detail, here's one eBook that I found extremely useful
(It has a good rating as well):