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“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” In the context of social media, this idiom might actually ring true. Practically daily, some writer pens a think piece outlining the ways in which social media has revolutionized the business landscape. Truly, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest have remodeled the way consumers interact with products, services, and each other. Just think about recent advancements like online shopping, Uber, internet conferencing, and hashtag ad campaigns!
But how does social media create new industry? What is the magic formula for turning hobbies into business models?
Bridging the Gap Between Corporate and Personal
It might be simpler than you’d imagine. For the most part, businesses and lay people both use these platforms the same way. For individuals AND companies, social media use is all about cultivating an image. The average Joe or Jane decides what they want to share with the world, they edit their pictures/ status updates accordingly, and send their messages out into cyberspace (hoping to receive their desired response). Businesses function in the same way, only their desired response is your hard-earned cash and/or page views (and if you like their content, it’s simply free publicity).
For some people, social media is simply a mode of expression, but for savvy entrepreneurs, the new modes of communication have brought viable business and a livable income. Want to join their ranks? It seems there might be a formula for making the cut:
Habits of Highly-Successful Social Media Gurus
Be passionate - Our society is shifting away from a culture that values exclusivity toward one that encourages inclusiveness, kindness, and most of all… passion. Being too-cool-for-school has gone the wayside. Instead, social-media consumers are interested in positivity and enthusiasm. Be the change. Fill the need!
And since it’s the internet, there’s a niche space for even the oddest hobbies. If you really love creating nerdy cartoons about science and math, draw them and post them to your accounts. If you adore writing about human rights violations and political advocacy, blog about it. Trust your instincts and deliver a smart, carefully-crafted product. Imbue your contributions with humor, and you’ll win even more internet love.
Be willing to give it away at first - When you’re starting out, you’ll need to provide content with little expectation of pay. Take cues from musicians that give away their songs but sell out concert venues.
In the beginning, you’ll need to gain a dedicated following. Once you’ve gathered enough supporters and buzz, you can translate your brand into a small clothing line, book deal, or recurring-writer position. Be prepared to put a lot into a little. Don’t quit your day job just yet! If you have a great product and enthusiasm, people will take notice!
Be Consistent - Make it a goal to post regularly. If you need to create a calendar, do so. Similarly, make sure your content is high-quality and consistent. Don’t be fooled by the “effortlessness” of some company’s posts. Most are more calculated than you think. Ask yourself how you would respond to similar content. Go the extra mile and don’t be afraid to innovate.
So there you have it. A quick guide to turning your beloved hobby into financial gain. What’s your favorite social-media-account-turned-successful-business story? Leave your comments below.