Hey there! I’m super excited to launch my first podcast (it’s not perfect, but it’s done) 😂 “Dare to be Different – Turn Your Passion into a Profit”. In this podcast, I cover 5 key things for you to get your business started!
Hi there! Thanks for joining me in this podcast Dare to be Different – Turn Your Passion into a Profit, it’s the first step in making money doing what you love. You can listen here or on the Podbean app… Apple Podcasts is coming soon but because this is the first one, I’m just waiting for my account approval!
In this podcast, we’ll talk about the 5 key things you need to do.
- DISCOVER YOUR PASSION
- DETERMINE THE DEMAND
- DO YOUR RESEARCH
- MAKE A PLAN
- BECOME QUALIFIED
I’m Sherri and I worked in international marketing for over 17 years and have a side hustle communications business for over 20 years. For fun, I started a travel blog and Instagram and now have over 100,000 followers (@GirlontheGoCA) and I get to travel the world for free! I shouldn’t say that word “free” because I do put in a lot of time and work into photography and creating content for the blog and Instagram.
I never would have guessed that my first formal education in graphic design and electronic publishing, and interest in photography would lead me down the path that it has today. I recently finished a master’s degree in Social Media…who knew that was even a real thing? I am an early adopter and cannot wait for new tech to be released…who else wants the latest iPhone before it even hits the shelves?
When this new thing called “Facebook” appeared in the early 2000s I had to have an account. Every time a new social media platform is launched I jump in and create my space. (Now it’s all about Clubhouse where you can find me @sherriking). In 2009 I saw Facebook pages as a great way to market globally and attract international students in markets we couldn’t otherwise reach but my boss at that time didn’t have the same vision.
A year later, with a change of management, I had a new boss who was forward-thinking and let me be creative and experiment using social media to reach prospective students. I spent the majority of my time on Facebook cultivating relationships, recruiting online, and building the structure and foundation of a Social Media Ambassador team. (Side note, I’ve created an online course for schools with step-by-step details of how to set this up). At that time, not many saw the value in what I was working on and asked what I did on Facebook all day. I grew the likes of that page to over 520,000—the top in Canada where it still sits today and is highly regarded in the industry. I have also won awards for using social media for student recruitment.
My focus now lays in my personal interests of photography and travel writing and of course helping entrepreneurs see the business value of Instagram in my courses!
The next thing I challenged myself with was Instagram. I attended a social media conference and one of the presenters’ career is to travel and speak about Instagram and how to use it for business and marketing purposes. I left that session thinking that if she can do it, I can do it! And set about learning how to grow my followers. My first goal was to get more than 10 likes on a photo. In one year I grew my followers from 308 to over 100,000 and have a range of likes from 1000 to 10,000 per image. I consistently reach the top 9 in a third of the hashtags I am using, some with over 10 million uses.
Travel is another passion for me. I love to experience new cultures and am often asked for advice on travelling — especially to a tropical resort — as you can see by the theme of this mini-course! Sharing this on my blog and Instagram is starting to pay off (with a lot of hard work) and I’m receiving offers for fully paid press trips in exchange for sharing on my social media channels.
The warm fuzzy feelings of doing something you love and calling it “work” is very rewarding!
Discover Your Passion
Why is passion important?
I’m not a therapist, but from my own experience, I have discovered that having a passion and enthusiasm for that passion helped me overcome many obstacles and fears. Sometimes people get so wrapped up in just one thing such as a relationship or a job and if those change then they are devastated and don’t know what to do. It’s important for mental health above all else, to have outside interests.
Somehow I managed to fit in my passion for travel writing and Instagram during a very crazy year of working full time and completing my master’s full time. If you want to do it, you’ll make time — I was very productive between 4:30 and 7 am. 🙂
- money is not always enough
- you look forward to doing what you are passionate about and
- you are more creative and productive when you are passionate about what you are working on
- the small things in life don’t affect you as much when you have something else to focus on
- you have something new to talk about in your friendships/relationships
- you will meet others with the same passion
Things to consider
- What do you do that you seem naturally inclined to excel at?
- Do you love doing it so much that you’d do it for free? It could be something like photography, a sport, cooking, talking, basket weaving, or even taking selfies! What are some of yours?
- What is it about that passion that makes you want to learn more and keep going?
- Does it make you feel good? Smile? Are you helping others?
Determine the Demand
So now that you have a list of skills you could possibly turn into a business, let’s narrow it down to one idea.
Do some research to determine the reach of your market and if there is a demand for your product or service. You can search online, of course, talk to others in the same industry, join Facebook groups, and meet others face-to-face who are currently doing your dream job.
I’ll use the travel industry as my example, as this is my area of interest.
Travel will never get old. The desire to experience new cultures, see places you learned about in history books, hike to the top of the world, explore ancient cities, relax on tropical beaches, or go on a road trip in your own country—there’s something for everyone when it comes to travel. People of all ages enjoy travelling and often search online for recommendations of where to visit next. Becoming a travel writer is natural for those of us who love to share our experiences with others. It’s also a portable job where you can work from anywhere.
Do Your Research
Is your product or service something that can be expanded on?
If travel is also your passion, think about specific nichés that might be in demand for your target age group. Of course, all of us want to jump in with both feet immediately and make lots of money through our blogs and travel the world for free. In reality, it takes lots of hard work and time to build up the base of your business and get noticed. It took me a year to build my Instagram following and a couple of years to build a consistent blog with increasing page views. Now I’m being noticed and these are considered a viable business now.
Do some research on your idea. Make some notes that you can refer to later. I’m still old school and like to write them down on pen and paper with arrows, boxes, and doodles!
Things to consider
- Is it achievable with your career choices?
- What do career advisors say about your choice?
- What do your parents and friends say about your choice?
Make a Plan
Now that you’ve narrowed down your focus a bit, it’s time to start planning the next steps in developing your business plan. it’s so easy to want to just jump in and get started but believe me, from experience, it’s much smoother and easier if you have a plan in place even if you don’t stick to the timelines that you initially set up.
Make a list of the things you need to do to start your business.
What are some of these?
- Decide on a business name and register it with the government (easily done online). Make sure to check your business name on namechk.com and sign up for all of the social media channels you want. Sign up for some that you don’t think you’d use, too, just so you secure the name.
- Build a brand (look) for your business
- Design a logo and business cards or have them professionally created. You can also use Canva.com which allows you to create stunning graphics even if you’re not a designer.
- Build a website. This will take a while as you will be writing the content which requires a lot of thought… see my course on building a blog (coming soon), to walk through the step-by-step instructions on what type of blog platform to choose and how to proceed with setting it up.
- Set goals. A 3-year plan is a good place to start. It doesn’t need to be detailed but just n write down key tasks that you can check off.
No matter what path you choose, don’t forget about your education. There are so many choices for completing your trade or degrees online, that it is virtually impossible not to get an education these days. If you choose to work from home or as a travel writer, you can easily find remote work, if you have the qualifications. Many people work remotely in the tech industry coding, building websites, marketing, and digital media. One of my avenues was to take a travel agent certificate online so I can help others experience the trips I’ve been on.
By meeting with a career advisor, they will help you to work your passion into your educational choices—perhaps you can start much earlier than I did!
It’s okay to change careers. The world is changing so quickly that you will need to adapt and grow over the years. By having your base education in place, it will make it easier to adapt to these changes, and easier for you to learn new skills. For example, having a business degree is a foundation for any business you choose to start up in the future—including basket weaving!
DM me on Instagram @GirlontheGoCA or comment below, and tell me what topics you’d like to hear on my podcast show in the future!