So I’ve been making some big changes recently and hopefully all of them will be for the better. You see as of last Friday I am now officially retired. That’s right, at the age of 25 I have retired from my J.O.B and from now on will be focusing all my efforts on my Offline business and my ever growing Online work.

I didn’t take this decision likely and have been building up to it for around 6 months now. For the past year I have been double-jobbing between my normal job and trying to get my own business off the ground – and all the while delving deep and deeper into the wonderful world of IM!

So I’m really looking forward to all the work that lays ahead and hope I can come up with a nice, balanced schedule that will allow me to spend enough time on both fronts.

But all this change has got me thinking about all the skills that people interested in IM have and how they could leverage these skills and expertise to provide services to offline businesses.

You see Offline business owners are just that, they are “offline”. Many of them are not very tech-savy and know very little about marketing online. This provides IMers with many great opportunities to sell their knowledge and expertise to these offline businesses and make some good money doing it too.

Take for example some of the following skills that anyone who has been online for any length of time will know about :

  • how to build a website
  • basics principles of SEO
  • social media

These are only 3 examples but you could easily come up with 10 or more skills that you could turn into services and offer to offline businesses.

Lets take our examples above and see how we could package and sell these services and make good money doing it.

Web Design Services – a modern, fresh looking website helps portray businesses in the right way and can often make the difference between a prospective customer coming to your place of work or instead opting for one of your competitors.

When created in the right way they play an important role in lead generation but many businesses neglect this area because they simply don’t understand it. If you, as the expert, can explain to them the value of having an online presence you will have no problem whatsoever making sales.

SEO – once you have a website the next thing is to get traffic. The beauty of local marketing is that business websites are usually just created by some designer and put online. Very little thought goes into the SEO of the site and general maintenance in this area if often forgotten about.

That plays right into your hands because it makes it very easy to outrank other businesses. You may find a dentist on page 2 of Google for their chosen Keyword but with a little bit of SEO you can help them climb the rankings and get into the Top 3. Do you think this would appeal to the business owner? Of course it would but again the emphasis has to be on making them understand how much value/business they would gain if they were getting in those high ranking positions.

This opens the door for recurring SEO work which is very lucrative, especially for clients who have a high customer value e.g. Dentists, Chiropractors, Accountants etc.

Social Media Marketing – this is one of the easiest services to sell to offliners because everyone knows about Facebook and all the other mediums but very few of them understand how to maximize their potential and use them to grow their business.

By simple providing these clients with a business fan page and a custom timeline cover you will be able to charge anywhere between $97 – $297 which is easy money and doesn’t take a lot of time.

Another point worth remember is that all of these services can and should be outsourced. As IMers you are aware of the lower cost base that exist around the world and it’s your job to use these to your advantage and help them grow your own empire.

Why spend all your time building links when you can outsource it to a professional SEO company? Or why slave away for hours in Photoshop making those timeline covers when you can simply get a professional designer put something awesome together in half the time?

Outsourcing will play a big part in your business as you expand and scale up. In the beginning you may want to be a lot more “hands-on” and do a lot of this work yourself but as you progress your role should become more like a Manager rather than a normal worker.

You should concentrate on “running” your business and not “working in” your business because otherwise you have not gained anything….because you are still simply an employee trying to make ends meet.

That’s a very brief overview but I think it’s enough to give you some food for thought and maybe get you thinking about all the skills that you have acquired online that could be used to make some money in the offline world.

Do you think this is a good idea? Or do you have any other tips that you’d like to share with us? Leave your thoughts below and lets see what we come up with….

Thanks for reading,

Noel.

Want to read more posts like this? Then you’ll enjoy these posts from the archive…

6 Reasons to Build an Email List

How a Hot Girl at the Gym Saved My Online Business

10 Steps to a Better Blog

 

    28 replies to "Online Skills for Offline Success"

    • Paul Conway

      Hey Noel
      Massive congrats on getting rid of a bad case of J.O.B 🙂

      I have outsourced a couple of small tasks these past few weeks. Cannot believe how much time it has freed up. As soon as I earn more cash, then more outsourcing will be on the cards.

      Well done my friend
      Paul

      • Noel

        Thanks Paul,
        Ya, it’s been a long time coming! Need to stay focused now and keep moving forward.
        Cheers,
        – Noel.

    • Roger

      Hi Noel,

      Well done in giving up your J.O.B. I think you have the right idea. I have been running my web design and SEO business for many years and your are right by saying you must outsource, otherwise you are just working at another job. One of the mistakes I made when I first started is to price my services too low. I though I would start out with low prices to win my first clients, but I have found that these are the wrong clients. Try and find clients that have a good budget, small businesses and startup normally have a very low marketing budget and do not want to pay the price, especially for SEO services. All you can do for this type of client is start with a few keywords and then once you have proved that you provide a great ROI then add more keywords and increase your price.
      I am now focusing on More SEO and less web design, purely for the fact that SEO is a recurring income. My best clients have come from referrals from other web designers who do not want to do SEO. What better recommendation that from your web designer.
      All the best in your new venture
      Roger

      • Noel

        Hi Roger,
        Thanks for you advice, a lot of it rings true and I’ll take it on board so cheers for that. It’s true what they say, “not all clients are created equal” and I know it’s better for me to have fewer high value clients than dozens of small ones zapping my resources.

        Thanks for all that,
        – Noel.

    • Ade

      Well done on shoving your job…..I think the problem for most people is that they don’t really know how much they are worth or how useful their skills are in other areas. So they find it hard to sell their skills to other people. I think the key is to get one or two clients so that you can give references and have a track record. This will give you confidence in your own ability and might lead to referrals.

      A friend of mine opened a restaurant recently and he needed a website. Didn’t have a clue how to get one….so he asked me. He now wants to market the restaurant using traditional and online methods (mobile marketing especially) so he’s talking to me about it. I don’t really intend to get into offering services to offline businesses but if it works out you never know.

      • Noel

        Hey Ade,
        Well done on helping your friend out, you never know where it might lead if he tells someone and they tell someone else etc. Referral business is very important, that’s why I try to really do a great job and work with only a few clients at a time.
        If they have a good experience with me then they spread the word around because offline business owners know a lot of people so you could see a lot of movement in this area with referrals from them.

        Cheers,
        – Noel.

    • Christine Brady

      Hi Noel,

      Congrats on the retirement! 🙂

      There are so many offline businesses that need the services that we can offer – even outsource, as you mentioned.

      I would think outsourcing the majority of this work would be the best idea, as one task can quickly consume your day.

      Great ideas!

      Have a great weekend!

      ~Christine

      • Noel

        Thanks Christine, appreciate it 🙂

        Yes, with this sort of work outsourcing is very important, because although the services we sell are pretty easy they can take a lot of time. Time that you could be using to land new clients, it’s all about scaling your business and outsourcing helps big time with that.

        Cheers,
        – Noel.

    • Dean Thompson

      Hi Noel,

      Firstly can I congratulate you on being able to leave your J.O.B and go full-time with your online ventures. As you know I’m further back than you on the timescale but hearing stories like yours spur me on. It inspires me to do the same, so well done mate.

      As for your post, a lot of businesses don’t spend the time they should in creating an online presence because of the reasons you mention or they are too involved in running the business and way too busy.

      Going into this market just on a local level will provide plenty of opportunities. Ensuring you have a good team of outsourcers, that require minimal amount of management, this system can bring you a nice steady income.

      Regards,
      Dean.

      • Noel

        Thanks Dean, appreciate that mate 😉

        I’ve no doubt it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be writing a similar post if you keep progressing like you have been recently. “Rome wasn’t built in a Day” but little steps can be taken everyday that will take you closer to your End Goals.

        Cheers,
        – Noel.

    • darren

      Hey Noel
      Just starting out myself in the weird world of Im, interesing to here new opinions on the subject, great blog by the way, I myself have just retired,
      All the best
      Darren

      • Noel

        Hey Darren,
        Thanks for the kind words and good to hear you’ve also “Killed Your Day Job”

        Well done and good luck with your new venture in IM, hope it goes well for you 😉

        – Noel.

    • Karl Dieterich

      Congratulations, Noel!
      I admit I haven’t spent too much time looking at offline opportunities, but it’s encouraging to know that our IM skills can be leveraged to help other businesses. One skill I think many struggle with is how to approach the offline business to offer your services. I see a lot of products related to this but haven’t checked them out myself. I’m curious if there are any methods that are working well.

      -Karl

      • Noel

        Hey Karl,
        Yup, getting the appointments are the challenge, making the sales is pretty ok because you can demonstrate the value in what you’re doing. A lot of work has to go into the research before targeting clients and making sure they meet your “pre-qualification” requirements…

        That way you’ll minimize the amount of wasted time when you start prospecting.

        Hope all is well with you,
        – Noel.

    • Clare @ Help Pay Bills

      Hey Noel,

      Congratulations! Hope it all goes great for you! Managing your time is the hardest thing I find about being self employed, well not so much self employment in general, but online stuff because there are infinite possibilities.

      You seem pretty focussed though and we all learn as time goes on and improve, so, I hope that you continue to grow and life kicks ass for you!!

      Best wishes, Clare x

      • Clare @ Help Pay Bills

        By the way – I have done 3 websites recently for ‘offline’ people – well I am still in the middle of them waiting for content, LOL! A restaurant, one for a facepainter and the other for one of my best mates who just qualified in crystal therapy.

        HARD work. Need to be VERY patient and have GREAT people skills, mine are middling at best. People don’t really know what they want, lol! Definitely make them lists of things to do so they can send you stuff they like and why, some of them don’t even know what pages they want?!! EVen though they have known I was doing it for them for WEEKS?!

        LOL!! So just a warning about offline stuff – you’re opening a can of worms!! Yes I think there can be great money in it and it can be easy SEO pickings depending on the market, BUT don’t underestimate the time spent on all the niggly things and getting them just so… ! x

        • Noel

          Very good points, there’s nothing worst than trying to get a website together for somebody and be held up waiting for information, pictures etc. etc.
          Good to see that you’re putting your IM skills to good use too, well done 😉

          – Noel.

      • Noel

        Thanks Clare for the good wishes, much appreciated! 🙂

        Hope all is good with you?

        – Noel.

        • Clare

          Hey Noel

          yeah things are good ticking along, found a mentor, sort of – I say sort of as its still pretty casual and I approached him rather than he was advertising, but, I dig it and getting some of my more businessy friends to help me too which is cool, just bouncing ideas and stuff!

          fed up of not making much money, got lots of great ideas and starting to see things pick up so just keeping my head down, doing what im doing and hope it pays off – hows things with you?? 🙂

          • Noel

            That’s good Clare, glad it’s going well for you. Things are going well for me, still making little bits of progress online but I’ve very busy offline this past few months. I’ve probably been spending a little too much time offline and need to allocate more time for online work….but it’s a work in progress and I’ll get there in the end!
            Must have a chat on skype sometime?
            Cheers,
            – Noel.

    • Joey Xoto

      Hey Noel,

      Wow. Big step jumping out of the Job. I really wish I could do that, but I just don’t have the resources to do something like that yet (getting married!). Though it looks like you have a plan in place and that’s all that matters as long as you take action.

      “You should concentrate on “running” your business and not “working in” your business” – I particularly like this quote as it reminds me of Alex and his style of thinking. I definitely agree with your article.

      Outsourcing is a massive part; and I honestly think that so many people fail online because they feel isolated with a lot of the tasks by themselves. This is completely understandable in this business. I know when I think about every little task that needs to be done, it can be overwhelming!

      I guess one tip I have that always seems to keep me going, is just tell yourself “I’m just taking baby steps everyday, and everything will come together”.

      Good post Noel.

      Joey

      • Noel

        Thanks Joey,

        Ya, the main thing is to take action everyday…even if it’s only something small. Take action and make little bits of progress because it will all come together over time. Nothing in life worthwhile comes easy and that’s something I keep in mind when things don’t happen as I wish or I get frustrated with a lack of results…

        Cheers for stopping by and good luck with the wedding preparations 😉

        – Noel.

    • Gerald

      Hi Noel, first of all I wish you great success in your ventures. I have been thinking about the offline business opportunities for a while. I live in a very small seaside town so I probably won’t have as many opportunities as people living in a city. It might still be worth looking into because I don’t think that many of the businesses that are here have websites. It may be worth my while just to find out who may be interested.
      Thanks again for the helpful information.
      Gerald.

      • Noel

        Thanks Gerald,
        Ya, I too have that problem…I actually live in the country side with most of business I target being in my nearest city which is an hour away. Don’t be afraid to cast your net far and wide, with offline work you don’t need to meet clients too regularly so it can work.

        Hope all is goo with you,
        – Noel.

    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      Big congrats Noel on sacking your boss!

      You are 100% correct when it comes to out sourcing too. What a lot of new IM’ers make the mistake of doing is trying to do everything themselves. So you end having to quit your day job because you have created a new one for yourself at home!

      You offer some great advice here because the whole reason we all got into the IM game is to free up our spare time and live the lives we want on our terms.

      Steve

      • Noel

        Couldn’t agree more Steve, and thanks… It’s a couple of weeks now and all is going well, just need to work on my time management Lol
        Cheers,
        – Noel.

        • Clare

          thats the hardest thing for me too noel, time management, having lots of time means I DO watch that video or I DO check out that site or I DO read more forum posts before I post even though I only went there to leave some strategic comments, haha. I find setting a timer works really well. the biggest thing though is to not be too hard on yourself.

          I don’t even know you and I know you work hard and are committed to what you are doing, so just do your best, surround yourself with like minded people, and ones higher up than you and who are already doing what you strive to get to – and we will both get there! 🙂

          • Noel

            Thanks Clare, appreciate that. I’ve no doubt we’ll get there, I think there’s a slow learning curve but I think 2013 will be the tipping point for a lot of us in the group so fingers crossed!

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