CREATED: 17.03.2024UPDATED: 20.03.2024

How to sell your skills online

How to sell your skills online

Want to sell your skills? We break down 5 simple steps for productizing yourself and 6 ways to monetize your brand.

Want to be your own boss, earn money, and help others live successfully? Developing a personal brand may not be right for everyone, but it could be a game changer for those willing to put in the time and effort. Let’s answer the question “how do I sell my skills and start bringing in revenue?”

What does it mean to sell your skills online?

To “sell your skills” means to “productize” yourself, which is turning your skills, ideas, processes, or services into a sellable product. Doing this involves planning, standardizing, branding, and marketing.

Productization is not the same as production. Production refers to making something, while productization refers to creating a product concept that will sell.

To “productize yourself” means to turn your talents, knowledge, or skills into a marketable product. You can productize just about anything, from your personal traits to processes you’ve developed to work more efficiently.

Examples of people who successfully sold their skills online

In the age of social media, it’s easier than ever to become famous. Many are trying to strike gold by building a personal brand. Some never quite make it, while others experience enormous success.

Here are a few examples of people who made it big by productizing their skills and talents.

Neil Patel: Online marketing guru

How to sell your skills online. Example case study: Neil Patel

Neil Patel is one of the world’s foremost experts in digital marketing. He co-founded search engine optimization (SEO) tools like Ubersuggest, Crazy Egg, and Hello Bar to help online businesses increase traffic and revenue.

Neil makes complex online marketing concepts easy to understand through his blogs, online tutorials, and speaking engagements. He is a highly sought-after consultant and has worked with major companies like Amazon, HP, and Viacom. In 2023, Neil’s estimated net worth was $30 million.

What advice does Neil have for would-be influencers and entrepreneurs who want to sell their skills? “Don’t try to plan everything out to the very last detail. I’m a big believer in just getting it out there: Create a minimal viable product or website, launch it, and get feedback.”

Rosanna Pansino: YouTuber and baker extraordinaire

How to sell your skills online. Example case study: Rosanna Pansino

Rosanna Pansino started her YouTube channel in 2010 and has gained over 14 million subscribers and over 4.6 billion views. Rosanna’s fame skyrocketed with her series “Nerdy Nummies,” in which she bakes desserts inspired by pop culture, including TV shows, movies, and video games.

The baking influencer has published 2 best-selling cookbooks, made multiple guest appearances on TV, and released a line of baking supplies. Additionally, she broke into music with the release of 2 singles in 2015 and 2018. Rosanna’s estimated net worth is around $10 million.

In a 2021 interview with Forbes, Rosanna remarked on her team’s commitment to consistency. “We have not missed an upload on YouTube for 10 years; we’ve created a new episode (sometimes 2 or even 3 new episodes) a week, every week for 10 years, with no break or hiatus. That’s something I’m really proud of, and it was not easy.”

Jeremy Schneider: Money master

How to sell your skills online. Example case study: Jeremy Schneider

Jeremy Schneider has made a name for himself as a personal finance expert, software developer, and founder of the Personal Finance Club website. In 2004, he started a real estate advertising service called RentLinx, which sold for $5 million in 2015. He also founded What’s That Charge, a site that helps people identify fraudulent debit and credit card charges.

After retiring early with his earnings from selling RentLinx, Jeremy dove into personal finance, spilling his learnings into a financial literacy blog called the Personal Finance Club and developing several online courses. In 2022, his net worth was believed to be around $4.4 million.

What’s the secret to Jeremy’s success? He encourages followers to build wealth by adhering to 2 main principles: Live below your means and invest early and often.

How to sell your skills online in 5 steps

Stories of people successfully making it to the top are inspiring. But perhaps you’re thinking, “What exactly does it take to sell my skills?” Following these 5 steps will put you well on your way to successfully productizing yourself and achieving the vision you’ve set for your future.

Step 1: Develop your vision

Where do you want to be personally and financially in the future? Do you envision being a sought-after expert in a specific industry or a successful entrepreneur who owns multiple businesses?

Identify any financial milestones you want to achieve and the lifestyle you want to live. Be specific about your goals, as in “I want to earn $5 million by 2035” or “I want to be a recognized name in the sustainable fashion industry.” This gives you a real, concrete objective to work towards, motivating you to work diligently and purposefully.

Step 2: Find out what you have to offer

With a vision in place, it’s time to take stock of what you bring to the table. What skills have you developed over the years? Perhaps you have become competent at designing websites, digital marketing, or negotiating. Think about any inborn talents that set you apart, like having a radio voice or a charismatic personality that really shines on camera.

Your collective knowledge and experiences can also bring value to a brand. Maybe you’re a well-traveled person with many multicultural insights. Or maybe you’ve developed a unique perspective from overcoming obstacles. Identifying your attributes helps you piece together a product that is truly “you.”

Step 3: Identify what people want

In marketing, value is the benefit and cost a customer assigns to one product compared to another. Value marketing seeks to earn customer loyalty by offering products that target their needs, wants, and problems.

To productize yourself successfully, develop a product that satisfies one or more of the following 4 types of value based on value marketing theory:

  • Functional value is the practical benefit your product provides. If you develop software, your functional value might be creating programs that help businesses run more efficiently.
  • Monetary value comes from offering a service that helps customers save or make money, like an expert investor who helps customers increase the value of their stock portfolios.
  • Social value is offered by improving people’s status of connectedness. For example, a personal stylist enhances customers’ social standing by helping them dress well.
  • Psychological value is the emotional or psychological benefit your product offers. A life coach, for instance, may help customers find peace of mind or life purpose.
How to Sell Your Skills Online

Step 4: Create your brand

Your brand is how people will recognize you, your story, your values, and what you offer. Aim to create a consistent, professional image across all platforms with a unified color scheme, logo, and communicative tone. Prepare a collection of highlights showcasing your expertise on blog posts, videos, or social media posts.

Step 5: Get yourself out there

It’s time to expose your well-designed brand and marketable product to the world. There are tons of ways to spread the word about your brand, but popular options include networking events, social media, guest posting, online discussions, and speaking engagements.

Be ready to adapt and refine your approach as audience feedback trickles in. Look for new opportunities that will give your brand more exposure. Consider creating using a platform like BlurBay to create a promotional website and sell content.

Keep track of your financial progress. How far (or close) are you to meeting your financial goals? Setting realistic check-in points or subgoals can help you stay on track. This could include gaining a certain number of customers or completing specific projects.

6 ways to make money from your personal brand

Once your productizing strategy is in place, begin transforming your brand into a revenue-generating machine with these strategies. Getting your first customers may take time and a lot of effort, so be patient and continue working consistently toward your goals.

Create your own website

A website can be a centralized hub for your brand and personal expertise. A platform like BlurBay helps you get a sleek, professional-level site up and running easily. There are no ongoing hosting fees. You only pay 5% of your sales. Plus, BlurBay offers simple solutions for accepting payments from customers.

sell your skills online with BlurBay

Besides showcasing your products, a website can also be a source of passive income. Earn money by joining an ad program like Google AdSense, which pays based on the number of clicks or views your web pages get. Or, consider selling branded merch like t-shirts, mugs, or digital resources.

Another great way to monetize a website is by engaging in affiliate marketing. Partner with other brands that compliment, but don’t compete with, your brand, and receive a commission for every purchase your website visitors make.

Sell online courses

Marketing your brand through online courses is easier than ever with the rise of e-learning platforms like Udemy and Skillshare. If you have productized your specific skills or knowledge and experience in a particular field, share tips and strategies to help students replicate your success. Doing so will not only boost your authority but it can also provide a steady stream of income.

Offer coaching services

Monetize your expertise by becoming a coach or consultant. Providing one-on-one sessions or group coaching can be a great source of revenue, whether you’re offering career guidance, advice on how to grow a business, or personal development strategies. Develop deep connections with your followers and earn respect as a trusted, capable leader.

Host events

Boost your brand by hosting events, both online and in-person. Webinars, workshops, and seminars are a fantastic way to share what you know and engage with your audience face to face. Plus, you can earn money through ticket sales and sponsorships and by selling content (like event recordings) afterward.

Write guest posts

You may not get paid if you write guest posts for other brands and platforms. But this can still be an indirect way to sell your skills because it exposes your product to more people. Once your brand grows, you may be able to earn money for writing guest posts or featuring in videos produced by other influencers.

Use guest post opportunities to drive traffic to your monetized website, encourage course signups, or increase product sales.

Sell merch and products

Design and sell merch to let loyal fans show their support and rep your brand wherever they go. Sell directly through your website or create a merchant account on e-commerce platforms like Etsy or Amazon.

Think carefully about physical and digital products that reflect your brand values and mission. Every sale helps strengthen your brand’s reach and gets you closer to reaching your financial goals.

Get more ideas for how to sell your skills online in our guide on monetizing your personal brand.

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