Lately I’ve been enamored with the idea of lifestyle design. For those who may be unfamiliar, lifestyle design is simply the idea of choosing what your ideal lifestyle would be, then going out and creating it.
For example, I’m not much of a traveler, but I believe most people would like to spend a year traveling around the world. Sadly, most people can’t do that, because of jobs, debt, kids, commitments, etc. They lack the freedom to live like they would like to.
Recently I’ve noticed a movement, particularly in my generation (Late Gen X/Early Gen Y). No less than 4 of my very close friends have decided to go into business for themselves, and another friend is traveling to France, then Africa for half a year.
I’m thoroughly convinced that anyone can create a great living through the Internet. There are a million ways to do that, but the one I prefer is monetizing influence.
Would you believe that there are companies out there who are already monetizing your influence? The most obvious of these is Facebook. Facebook wants you to “like” things. Why? Because the things you like influence the buying behavior of your friends. Facebook has found a way to facilitate this communication of trust in a way that helps companies make money, and those companies pay Facebook well for it.
How much has Facebook paid you for your time, effort and connections?
What’s keeping you from doing what Facebook is doing? Why can’t you get paid to “like” the things you naturally like? I believe you can, and I think Gary Vaynerchuk is an excellent example with his Wine Library TV blog. The formula is simple…
- He owns a wine business.
- He shares his knowledge through wine tasting videos.
- The videos create a brand and a tribe of people who trust him
- He monetizes his trust through his selling wine, books, speaking engagements and now a marketing agency.
He’s not selling wine directly through his videos, rather he’s earning trust which manifests itself as influence. The type of influence that makes people want to buy wine from his store without him having to say, “Go buy wine from me”.
You need a product to sell. Either your own, or somebody else’s. I think the biggest mistake bloggers make is thinking they can create a living selling ads on their blog. Remember, Google is already monetizing your content, you’ve lost that game. Your only hope is to convert your content to influence which you can use to sell a physical or digital product.
Once you have a product, you need to build trust.
Trust can be built in one of two ways: expertise or intimacy. Gary Vaynerchuk is an expert in the wine industry. He knows what he’s talking about, and that builds trust. On the other hand, if a friend gives a really strong recommendation for a wine, you’ll probably pick it up, because you know them well, and that intimacy creates trust.
Share your knowledge of what you know and love through your blog to create expertise. Connect and engage deeply with folks who are interested in what you have to say through social networks.
Use the above tactics to start building a tribe. A tribe is simply a group of people who you influence. I use Triberr to manage my tribe. But I’m also bias, because I built the site So you can use whatever tool works best for you.
Now you’ve got a blog to show your expertise, a platform to manage your tribe, and a product to sell. You’ve got everything you need to create a strong business online. Go convert that influence into money, and use that money to build a better, more liberating lifestyle.
Call To Action
I DO NOT want you to subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter or give me your email, but I would like to ask you to join my tribe.
What does “joining a tribe” mean?
- You’ll get my latest blog posts emailed to your inbox
- You’ll have the ability to manually or automatically share those articles
- You’ll be part of an active chat on how to market and sell online
I’m basically building a small community of people who are interested in monetizing their influence. If you’d like to be part of that community, or maybe you just want to get a peak at who else is in the community: click here.