I was recently asked by a friend how she could make money on the Internet by “reading things for people.” She was looking for “voiceover” work essentially, and mp3 and audio conversion jobs from written documents.
Without much thought I rattled off an answer, she took action the next day, and now two months later she told me of her great success with it. In this article today I will share with you what I suggested to her and perhaps it could help you earn some extra cash, or perhaps even a living online.
Advertise your Service on Fiverr and Elance, But Don’t Stop There
Fiverr and Elance are great places to “run an ad,” to promote your services, but they also provide a great place to find gigs as well. More than that, you can learn about how other people advertise their services that do the same thing. You can take the best of the ideas and implement them into your own business.
So, my suggestion is, for each of the above mentioned sites, do the following:
a) run your ad the way you want
b) check other people’s ads
c) look through the “wanted” section of the sites
Now, every single day, for each site, I would suggest to:
1) Spend 10 minutes on your ad, and put yourself in the shoes of your customer. As you gain customers and do “jobs” you can learn more about it and refine your ad as you see fit. When you look at your ad, decide if you could do better. Create a “to-do” list of all the things you want to do to make your ad better. Spend 10 minutes each day working at the list.
2) Spend 5 minutes looking at the competition. There may be opportunity for networking (as well as getting ideas for your own business). You may be able to learn the different tools and software that other people are using and you can try different ones for yourself to see if it makes your job easier and your output better. You may find people that you can call upon to “complement” your business when the need arises. Because you can’t be everything for everybody but you can “know someone” that is.
3) Spend 10 minutes each day looking through the “wanted” section of the sites and respond to ads that are specifically requesting the work that you do.
4) Spend 2-4 hours a day producing. Even if you don’t have customers (or enough customers) to fill that time, produce anyway. Get creative and practice. Do pro-bono or charity work with no goal in mind but to deliver great work. Or do work for free for potential future customers, and tell them how to contact you if they want more.
Start a Blog to Showcase or Describe Your Work and Advertise Your Services
At some point I would suggest starting a blog. The blog can include unsolicited testimonials from happy customers. You can also start to build a portfolio of your work. Your customer may not want their audio used publicly on your site so get permission first, but you can still write a post describing the experience.
Also on your blog you can review the tools and software that you use for your business. You can also write how-to articles and record how-to videos. While this might seem like you are training people to do what you do, this has several advantages which include:
a) helping others is always karmically right to do
b) it demonstrates your abilities – the non do-it-yourselfers will see the value in your expertise – the frustrated will put it in your capable hands
Save up and buy a good mic. You will be reading stories for people, blog posts, articles, and the like. Sound quality is an important differentiating factor between your work and others. Start with a cheap mic if that’s all you currently have and do “cheap” gigs at first. Upgrade when you can and stop doing cheap gigs, leave those for the people that need them to start off. Even recommend people or start a network of service providers on your blog. Competitors can be your friends.
Wow people with your service. Fix all “issues” promptly and consider that your rep is on the line always. People aren’t afraid to tell you (and the rest of the world) how they feel about you and your service. In fact, online they are encouraged to. Always keep that in mind when doing your “reading gigs” and communicating with customers or prospects.