“There’s a hidden goldmine in our local community.”
These are changing times and it has become essential that we “rethink” our options when it comes to income creation. In this article, we will reveal 5 untapped trends that you can use to help boost your income by getting serious about the power of the internet.
As the stability of traditional employment such as jobs & starting a small business grow more uncertain by the minute; it’s becoming increasingly urgent to investigate alternative methods for generating a source of income.
Longevity seems to be a thing of the past.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker only stays at their jobs for 4.4 years and that’s expected to drop by half as younger generations join the workforce.
And it’s not much better for entrepreneurs starting their own businesses. Large corporations, both near and far continue to purge small businesses out of the local community.
As a result, there has been a dramatic decline in small business startups. Owners who are fortunate enough to get their businesses running are posting up their “going out of business” signs more quickly.
Why is this important to know? Because it reveals that workers today aren’t as devoted to their jobs as those in past generations. People are becoming more individualized and are seeking income solutions that provide a balance in life.
But with large companies dominating most industries, the idea of starting a small business doesn’t seem like the best option to potential entrepreneurs.
Quite frankly, we are at a turning point where if we intend to thrive in this
rapidly changing economy, we have no choice but to RETHINK…
RETHINK what “working for a living” means – How can we use available resources to leverage our time and energy? Rather than trading dollars for hours.
RETHINK and redefine HOW we start a small business – What are the distinct advantages local small businesses have over large corporations? How can business owners exploit those advantages?
RETHINK why we NEED to create MULTIPLE income sources – There’s an old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. No financially secure individual or business depends solely on ONE source of income. Stability relies on multiple revenue streams.
RETHINK the internet – How can we begin utilizing this extremely powerful tool to provide income generating products, services, events and entertainment for the benefit of our local community.
You’ll be glad to know that we’ve already done most of the rethinking for you. Below you will learn about a few mind-blowing trends that you can use to help spark new income creation ideas.
These concepts are practically untapped by the local Panhandle community, yet they offer THE GREATEST opportunity for individuals and businesses to create additional income with the least amount of time & money invested.
The objective of this article is to present income trends that ANYONE of the Panhandle community can immediately put into action.
Depending on your own interests, talents, passions or business, you can implement the trends to help you achieve and reach your goals.
1. Local Internet Income – Making A Digital Living!
This first trend is the most important, as it establishes the theme that’s comprised within all of the remaining trends.
More people are discovering that the internet is a very effective tool for making a digital living. They are looking at it TOTALLY differently and it’s opened a whole new world of opportunity.
If we were to take a short look back into history, here’s what we would see:
- 15+ years ago, businesses like eBay, amazon.com, Google, and Facebook pioneered the online e-commerce industry by establishing themselves 100% on the internet.
- Within the last 5 to 10 years we saw where brick and mortar businesses like WalMart and Target decided that times were rapidly changing and they should focus more of their resources towards building an online presence.
- Today we see small business America doing its best to catch up by constructing their own websites and online promotional campaigns.
- And all throughout this time, there has been a small market of savvy “everyday” people who took notice of this trend towards earning an income online. Many of them, have been successful in establishing their own small internet businesses.
This trend towards making money on the internet is going to continue to grow and permeate our society even more. So why not climb aboard now?
Just think… We use the internet to carry out research, connect with friends & family, access all sorts of entertainment, shop from home and much more.
With the internet granting us so much convenience in all these different areas of our lives, it would only make sense to learn how to use it to produce supplemental income.
10 years from now, you may just find 75% of the population earning steady incomes as a result of the internet. That’s just a guesstimation, but look how far it’s come in the last 20 years. In 1994 most people barely even knew what it was, now it’s a part of the average person’s day to day activities.
Earning an income on the internet is not a mystery. People all over the world are using it to earn part-time and full-time incomes. The trends covered in this article are based on proven strategies that are used every day by internet marketing professionals all around the world.
The ONLY THING preventing most people from building their
own income with a local internet business, is KNOWLEDGE.
To get started, let’s review a few MAJOR BENEFITS of starting an internet business:
Low Risk, High Return
Starting an online business involves very little risk. In many cases, you can “test the waters” before making any substantial investments.
When executed correctly, the objective is to invest as little money as possible until you receive enough positive feedback that indicates that it is time to “roll-out” your campaign full blast.
This is not to say that your internet business won’t take a little startup investment. It just won’t be as much as a “traditional” business. As we all know, with ANY business, the more you put into it, the more you’re likely to get back in return.
Speaking of return… operating an online business can give you up to 100% return. This is because in many cases your product is in digital form. That means there are ZERO OVERHEAD EXPENSES.
Of course, this isn’t the case every time. Sometimes you’ll want to promote your products or services to get more exposure. So you’ll have to add in advertising expenses. But overall, you’ll earn more profit per transaction over the internet than you would otherwise.
Leverage & Automation
If you’ve ever worked for an employer, you’ve been leveraged. Being leveraged means that you graciously provided services for a disproportionate rate so that your employer could make a profit.
The idea of being leveraged is the most sought after ambition in the world. As a matter of fact, most people have been leveraged their entire lives with the hope of gaining enough experience in their chosen field to be granted the opportunity to be leveraged at a higher rate.
Only a very few ever learn that in order to get ahead, they must seek out methods in which they can utilize leveraging for their own benefit.
One method, (surprise, surprise), is to start your own side-business by leveraging the internet. With the overabundance of low-cost software and resources available, you can turn just about any skill/talent you may have into a small business.
Even if you don’t feel you have a skill/talent, you can be assured that there’s a way for you to use the internet for income development.
With the internet, you can automate up to 100% of your income generation through a software application. There’s just no other method available where you can do that with little to no startup cost.
It may take some time and persistence to get your income machine started. But once it’s up and running, you’ll be able to set back and enjoy the harvest.
Communication & Networking
The Internet makes communication fast and cost-effective. You can use Internet technologies such as email, video calls, Skype and other social platforms, as well as video conferencing.
Social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter play a vital role in business by connecting like-minded professionals.
Imagine having a business where you can sit in the comfort of your home while participating in an important business webinars. It’s not the future, it’s RIGHT NOW!
Another way that you’ll be able to leverage is through outsourcing. Outsourcing is when you use other individuals or businesses to perform work that you would normally have to do on your own.
Outsourcing has many benefits…
- Save Time – Time is the most important asset we have. Outsourcing can help you save yours by having someone do the work that is less important or tedious.
- Instant experience – If you run into a task that you’re not too sure about, you can hire someone who has more experience. This could save you from potential setbacks and mistakes.
- Support Local Freelancers – Have a task you don’t particularly want to do? Let a local freelancer handle it. The Panhandle is filled with writers, graphic artists, photographers, videographers and more who are eager to collaborate on great opportunities.
- Focus On Your Strengths – In addition to reducing costs, outsourcing also allows businesses to focus on their core services and become more efficient.
These are just a few of the many reasons why you’d want to get your own internet based business up and running.
If you’d like us to help you get started, request our Community Marketing System.
2. A Local Advantage:
The Online to Offline Income Model
We are in a ‘Golden Age’ for building income independently. Every resource needed to start a side-business is right at your fingertips.
A major contributor to this ‘Golden Age’ is the ability to use the internet to initiate business both online and offline.
In today’s technological world, the individual entrepreneur who can quickly implement new innovations has a distinct advantage over large corporations and businesses. This becomes even more apparent within our local community.
This model gives local small business owners the ability to interact with targeted customers using online tools such as; video, webinars, lead generation landing pages, email and social media. Online engagement gives your business automation, making it easier for you to extend your reach and serve more people.
Afterward, customers can be led offline for a physical experience in the form of a community event, a one on one meeting, a training course, group session, a show, etc. Offline engagement allows you to connect on a deeper level with your customers, giving them the opportunity to physically see you and your product.
The online to offline model is so valued, that a few large retailers have recently incorporated it into their purchasing process by allowing customers to shop online and pick up their purchases at a local brick and mortar store. Which is “Child’s Play” compared to the many profitable ways a local small business owner could use to execute this model.
A smart entrepreneur would fully embrace the online to offline income model for the development of valuable services, products and events in Martinsburg and the Panhandle community.
You can amplify the effectiveness of the model by identifying core advantages favorable to small businesses and infusing them into the process.
You can utilize the strengths unique to small businesses, which will aid in extinguishing competitive threats.
Here are a few advantages that small businesses
have over large companies:
Technology Tools – Independent entrepreneurs are great friends of technology. Business owners are well aware that technology has leveled the playing field. Some have even stated that “the ball is now in the small guy’s court”.
Those who effectively use social media, online advertising, digital campaigns, email marketing and other newly developed software programs to promote online or offline products are the ones who will find success.
With new technology being designed by the minute, it’s the small business owner, NOT big business, who can put it into action quickly.
Mastering A Niche – Specializing in niche markets can be a goldmine for creating local income. No one, but a member of the community could know how best to serve its residents.
When you discover your niche product, package it and promote it online, you’ll add value and eliminate the competition. For example, Instead of a photographer offering the standard “Professional Family Portraits”, they could offer “Panoramic Family Photography” for large families.
Community Involvement – The more your product, service or event includes the input of local residents, the more success you’ll have.
Make the people of your community a central part of your development process. Having them collaborate on various aspects of your project will help you obtain brilliant ideas and simultaneously build your following.
Adapting To New Trends – It’s what this article is all about! The power of being an independent business owner lies in your ability to be flexible towards change.
Way too many small business owners fail because they try too hard to appear big; doing things big businesses do.
Become a master at being small by adapting quickly to new trends, thinking outside of the box and embracing available technology. Do this and the race will be won by the smaller, swifter, more creative competitor. YOU!
The online to offline income model offers an AMAZING opportunity for residents to create their own side-business. Simply add your interests, talents or business and start building local campaigns for Martinsburg, Charles Town, Inwood or the entire Eastern Panhandle.
Get our Community Marketing System to learn how to best implement
the online to offline income model into your strategy.
3. Digital Product Development For
The Local Community
According to the data research firm Report Linker, digital product development was a $47 Billion industry in 2015. Additional reports indicate that the industry is just in its infancy and will continue to expand for many years to come.
Sadly, digital product development is yet another industry that has slid under the radar for many residents of the Panhandle.
How many people do you know around Martinsburg, Charles Town, Berkeley Springs or Inwood that have ebooks, downloadable music, training courses, etc. available for local residents to purchase online? Not many, huh?
One thing is for sure, it’s not for lack of talent. The Panhandle is jam-packed with extremely creative and talented residents.
That leaves us with the conclusion that the neglect is purely unawareness of technological trends and how to use them to increase income.
The good news is that creating a local digital product is probably the simplest way for anyone to dip their toes in the world of business. You can get started fairly quickly with no overhead, no inventory, and no employees.
And just like many of the other trends listed, the effectiveness of digital products are magnified when executed in a local community due to your ability to lead your customers to “physical” products such as; events, live courses or one on one meetings.
Below you can see a general equation that will give you a basic understanding of how a local digital product might be developed:
Niche Market + Community Uniqueness + Media Form = Local Digital Product
I. Niche Market – A great digital product begins with an outstanding niche market. For current business owners, you can carve out a niche by identifying a popular subset of your overall industry.
Here’s an example of uncovering a niche market…
Let’s say you are a fitness trainer looking to serve the weight loss industry. However, you realize that it’s a HUGE industry with a massive amount of competition.
Instead of promoting weight loss for EVERYONE, you decide that you’d like to help whip middle-aged dads back into shape with a program that caters to their specific needs.
With this in mind, you carve out a niche by designing a “Dad Bootcamp” which includes a diet, a workout plan and achievement rewards that would help accelerate the weight loss of fathers who are approximately ages 30 to 45 residing the Panhandle.
That’s what you call drilling down an industry to find a market within a market.
Weight loss > weight loss for men > weight loss for dads > weight loss for dads 30-45 > weight loss for dads 30-45 in the Panhandle
II. Community Uniqueness – After you’ve discovered a niche market that shows some demand for your services, you need to make it unique to the community.
In the example above, the uniqueness is that the program is exclusive to dads of the Eastern Panhandle.
Another way it could’ve been made unique is by centralizing the workouts around hiking and walking trails throughout the area.
Overall you want to add that “special sauce” making your product or service absolutely unique to the community you serve.
III. Media Form – Delivery is everything. The method you decide to use to deliver your product will have a huge effect on the response you receive.
Continuing with the “Dad’s Bootcamp” program, it would be great to have a multi-channel delivery process. One that would offer a private, member’s only, web presence allowing participants to document and track their progress online.
They would also be able to access their workout plan & diet, communicate with other participants for support and upload before/during/after pictures as they lose weight.
Integrating an app like Fitbit into your program would work marvelously to encourage friendly competition amongst the participants. They could use it to climb leaderboards, earn badges and motivate each other.
How about using video to deliver daily or weekly inspirational messages? And giving “I did it!” type t-shirts after the completion of the program.
With this particular program being about weight loss, it would be best if it were a “hybrid” online/offline product.
The participants would follow the online plans by squeezing the workout sessions into their own schedule. And maybe once or twice a week the trainer could instruct live in-person workout sessions for the entire group.
A local digital product can be used for multiple reasons. It can be a simple product like an ebook OR an in-depth video training.
Take a look at these 3 Sure-Fire Ideas For Using Local Digital Products
to Launch A New Business or expand an already established company:
1) FREE Giveaway Product – This is, by far, the best method to put local digital products to work for you. Producing a well designed digital giveaway product is a great way to capture leads, customers, and followers for your business.
You can put together a video, ebook, webinar or other digital product loaded with rich information that your targeted customers will go wild for.
Giving away valuable information will help you to establish yourself as a local expert while initiating the process of building a relationship with your prospective customers.
Your objective is to get the prospects contact information in return for the free information. You’ll then use that information for ongoing follow up with your new lead.
As you continue to build your relationship with the prospect by delivering EXCEPTIONAL value, you can eventually present them with a few of your exclusive product/service offerings.
This is a proven strategy for boosting the response of ALL KINDS of paid advertising such as radio, television, internet ads, affiliate marketing, etc.
2) Exclusive Product Offerings – Once you’ve established a reasonably sized customer list, you can use digital products to scale up your operations by offering exclusive products on subjects your customers would find interest in.
Depending on your chosen niche industry, you could produce “Member Only” type content in the form of internet courses, webinars, podcasts, membership websites, special reports, videos and other digital products.
Whatever the product you decide to create, be sure that it is loaded with value. The more you over deliver, the more referrals and repeat sales you’ll get in the long term.
Remember, unsuccessful businesses are “one-hit blunders”, while successful businesses take the time to learn who their customers are and provide them valuable services over and over and over again.
3) Offline to Online Profits – Previously we spoke about the importance of using the internet to reach potential customers online and leading those customers to a physical experience offline.
Local digital products can give you the capability to reverse the process by taking a planned physical experience and transforming it into an online product.
Using primarily video and photography, you can organize the production of a themed event or show. The content you capture could be used for a niche blog or website.
For example, you might create a video blog with a purpose of showcasing the musical genius of remarkably talented residents & bands throughout the Panhandle.
Your job would be to identify, connect and schedule a video shoot with these local talents so that you could feature them on your blog. Over time, you would build a following of fans eager to learn more about these talented individuals.
As the popularity of your blog grows, you’ll have many options for earning money with your blog through monetization.
This is just one example of using the offline to online model to build a side-business. Again, your individual interests or business will determine what will work best for you.
As with ANY business, creating an income with local digital products will take dedicated effort. However, once you’ve fine-tuned your system, you’ll be able to leverage your time and automate the internet to your advantage.
Would you like to receive a few ideas that will get local digital products
working for you? Request our Community Marketing System.
4. Making Money With Community Collaborated
Videos & Short-films
It’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you take what’s about to be written VERY SERIOUSLY!
Are you ready? Here it is…
“ANYONE with the initiative can create a professional, high-definition movie
with nothing more than a mobile phone.”
Let that sink in for a moment…
You and anyone else with a good cell phone can produce an HD high definition quality movie that can be viewed by the local residents of Martinsburg, Charles Town, Berkeley Springs and other surrounding cities of the Eastern Panhandle.
At no point in history has the average person been able to have access to the technology necessary to contribute to their local community’s media than right now.
There are more than enough people in the Eastern Panhandle who have access to advanced mobile phone technology and the internet to begin advancing the possibility of creating a small film industry within the area.
We’re not saying that you personally have to shoot the video, although you could probably do an AMAZING job.
The point we’d like to express, is that, if you have a viable product or business idea, an amateur videographer could affordably produce a video and distribute it for the entire community to see.
Your job would be to plan and manage the content development of the video. If you find it best to hire someone skilled in videography to actually shoot the video, then do what you must, to create an attractive production.
However you decide to achieve the final product, there’s going to be a growing need for well-produced videos, short films, and movies reflecting the values of our local community. You could be a pioneer and begin earning an income by filling that need!
Now with that being said, let’s take a look at the real practicality of producing videos and short films for profit.
The biggest obstacle in creating a professional quality video production is funding. Who’s going to pay to have these films and movies produced?
Similar to the movies made in Hollywood, the answer can be found in advertising and marketing.
Video… The Future of Internet Marketing.
Marketing professionals around the globe agree that video marketing is by far THE BEST and MOST EFFECTIVE form of marketing for small businesses or anyone who has a message worth sharing.
In a recent article by vidyard, they listed 10 predictions on the future of video. The very first prediction was, “The future of the Internet is television”.
How powerful is that? Entertainment will predominantly be accessing the internet and searching through millions of videos to watch individually or with our families.
Wouldn’t it be mag-marvelous to have a database of local short films produced by the talented people of the Eastern Panhandle community?
However, it’s the second prediction that’ll bring the idea of making money by producing local videos for the Panhandle community full circle. The second prediction stated, “Every company will become a media company”.
If you think about it, that’s very believable. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. And everyday people are replacing their cable and satellite subscriptions with online video streaming. Both of these trends give tremendous power to the distribution of private productions.
Any local business owner that is not already itching to fund the production of locally produced videos and movies created by talented residents of our community will miss out on a HUMONGOUS OPPORTUNITY.
But we can’t ignore the CURRENT REALITY…
Most videos produced for small businesses get horrifying view counts.
If you’ve ever come across local videos, you’ll find that most have less than 500 views. And it’s a great probability that those views are from the person(s) responsible for its production.
So if video is the future of the internet, why are local businesses and residents experiencing such lousy results? Why aren’t locally produced videos going viral?
There’s a secret ingredient that’s essential to producing a viral video. And by adding this “ingredient” it will have viewers eager to share it with their friends and families. Spreading it like wildfire!
The SECRET INGREDIENT is… Entertainment Value!
Let’s be totally honest, NO ONE wants to watch a video that’s trying to sell STUFF. But many will watch and share a video that’s loaded with attention-grabbing entertainment.
What we’re talking about is the HOLLYWOOD FACTOR.
You must FIRST entertain your viewer and ONLY after earning their attention, can you suggest your product or service.
This means that the product/service comes secondary to the entertainment.
Ready to pull this ALL TOGETHER…
ANYONE with an advanced cell phone and the passion to direct entertaining videos / short films can have a professional quality production created.
- Locally produced videos are the future of entertainment and a MAGNIFICENT promotional media for small businesses.
- NO ONE wants to watch videos that are 100% commercials.
If you can deliver ENTERTAINMENT VALUE into your video productions while integrating your intended message, you’ll attract A SOLID FOLLOWING OF VIEWERS.
If you’ve successfully merged all 4, you’ll find that you’ve created an entertaining video or short film that delivers an intended message. Also known as a MOVIE or SHOW.
Alright, Let’s Bring it home. OR Better Yet… Let’s Bring it to the Panhandle!
You can make money producing community videos and short films without having to make obscene investments in equipment.
By using a little creativity, an advanced cell phone and maybe a small team
of talent, you can produce videos as an independent project or you can
offer it as a service to local small businesses.
The possibilities of producing videos & short films for the Panhandle community are endless. There’s absolutely nothing stopping the production of amateur films and movies by local actors, musicians, performers and directors.
Film and media are key components that establish one’s views about their community and the people who live in it. With proper planning, a small film industry could be a positive influence and profitable addition to the Eastern Panhandle.
Similar to an event, creating income with video/films can be generated through various channels depending on your own unique interests, talents, passions or business.
If you’d like a custom plan to help you generate income with
video, we invite you to request our Community Marketing System.
5. Community Crowdsourcing: Building Income
Through Local Partnerships
Using the power of the crowd has become very popular in recent years.
Businesses are using the crowdsourcing concept to gather fresh ideas from their customers. Startups are using a form of crowdsourcing to obtain funding (aka crowdfunding).
We must agree that with all of the benefits the internet grants, there’s also a major downside… The disconnection of the local community.
Interacting on the internet and social media can give a false sense of connection. This false connection makes people “feel” as though they are actually connecting physically with the people whom they’re communicating with.
But we are well aware that physical connection like a handshake, the occasional hug and other expressions we receive through face to face interaction can in no way, be substituted by the internet.
This is why we must “bridge the gap” by using the internet to collaborate on ideas that will ultimately bring us together in the real world of our local community.
Crowdsourcing is one way to allow the internet to work for us, while we work to grow the Panhandle community.
Every crowdsourcing project requires a crowdsourcer or manager who in most cases is the individual responsible for the initial idea.
As a manager, you can develop projects by gathering input and collaboration from local residents. This helps ensure that your project idea is well accepted. It will also save you from investing your time into a project people lack interest in.
From the conception of the idea, all the way to its completion; the entire project can be an entertaining journey for everyone involved. Therefore as your project grows, so does its following and probability for success.
For instance, let’s say you wanted to have a “Kid’s Fun Day” with a plethora of activities for children who are Panhandle residents.
You could start by building an online campaign that would collect suggestions and take votes on the best activities, entertainment, foods, prizes, etc.
Instead of charging parents to register their children, you could offer them the opportunity to volunteer their time at the event. You might even work with local schools to make team registrants that represent the respective school. If you do accept a fee for registration, a portion could be donated to a local non-profit organization that supports children.
Branding for the project could also be community-sourced by allowing multiple designers the chance to submit original logos and paying the designer of the one chosen. The decision on the best logo could be yet another great time to take a vote from the community.
As this “Kid’s Fun Day” project grows through online promotion, more and more people will become involved in its development; taking interest in its success along the way.
Again, income for such a project could come from many channels depending on your talents or business. You may be a photographer who can use this event as a big photo shoot. You could get photos of all the children who were registered and offer parents various packages.
You could also earn by charging vendors a fee for displaying their products at the event.
This would be a rather large project and is just an example of how you could use the internet to initiate collaboration in the community for project development. A similar process could be used for smaller projects.
Hopefully, you’ve noticed that crowdsourcing is a powerful strategy that should be used for the advancement of the community in addition to creating individual income.
In fact, when you design a project that works towards solving a genuine problem within the community, a positive response from local residents is a certainty.
Crowdsourcing has many advantages for launching a
new project. Here are just a few…
1. Build a project team – Crowdsourcing is about tapping into the wisdom of the entire community. When you present a polished idea to the right group of people, you’ll begin getting feedback from people who may greatly progress its development. Give the people who submit superior feedback the opportunity to become a member of your team.
2. Compensate for your weaknesses – We can’t be the best at everything. Collaborating with other residents of the community will allow you to focus on your strengths while handing those things your not so good at to others who are more experienced.
3. Crowdfunding – Some projects may require startup capital. If you can offer an equivalent reward to those who support your project, then they’ll be more willing to invest in your idea. Make it easy for the community to invest by rewarding them with a t-shirt, tickets, VIP treatment, etc. The more creative your reward(s), the better!
4. Crowd Promotion – Social media gives the average person the power to reach HUNDREDS of people within just seconds. The more residents that you can get involved in your project, the further your message will reach throughout their individual networks.
5. Crowd Companies (Equity Crowdfunding) – OK, let’s stretch your mind a bit. If we’re going to do something, then how about going ALL IN? Wouldn’t it be nice to drive through the Panhandle and pass by 2,3 or even 4 businesses that you partially own?
Just this year, 2016, West Virginia passed The Small Business Capital Act. It allows small companies to raise up to $1,000,000 directly from friends, family, and interested investors by giving equitable interest in the company.
Equity or regulation crowdfunding has been a HUGE SUCCESS in other countries and particularly for small businesses within local communities. If you’re the type of person who likes to “knock it out of the park”, then why not look into starting a business with members of the Panhandle community as your investors?
Community crowdsourcing is a very flexible income trend that has many, many applications for individual entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations.
Want to see how to build internet income for your specific talent(s), passion or small business? Request our
Community Marketing System and we’ll give you 3 strategies that’ll get you started.