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How To Make Money As A Creative On The Internet

Humans are lazy.

We have been creating solutions to make our lives easier for the entirety of human evolution.

At times, this comes at a cost. It is a common theme for us to phase out labor jobs.

We didn’t like plowing fields. It was unsustainable and almost impossible to scale with a growing population.

So, over a few decades, we created machines, tractors, distribution, GMO crops, and many other things that opened up more room for creativity.

I found this tweet the other day as I was scrolling the timeline.

Politics aside, this is nothing new. It has been coming for a long time.

Low-skill labor jobs are being phased out. History has shown this pattern time and time again. There is no escaping this phase of evolution.

People are already doing this.

If the work doesn’t require creativity, you can bet your future that it will be delegated, automated, or phased out.

There is only one option: take responsibility for your future and relentlessly self-educate.

Create Or Be Created

Consciousness is the fabric of reality. The ability to order consciousness is the greatest skill of the 21st century. That is, the ability to:

  • Create certainty from uncertainty
  • Create sense from non-sense
  • Create clarity from chaos
  • Create focus from distraction
  • Create signal from noise
  • Create something from nothing
  • Create success from failure
  • Create meaning from struggle
  • Create life from death
  • Create positive from negative

That bullet point list is the path to your version of success.

Nature is creative. You are creative. God is creative. The universe is creative.

Our subconscious stores information that is processed based on what we are exposed to via our senses. Like collecting the dots before you can connect them with your conscious mind.

Creation is the process of molding, controlling, and ordering consciousness (that can be tapped into via the subconscious). At that point, we can bring that gift into the world via the senses.

Sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, and of course the 6th sense that very few people tap into:

Awareness.

Our subconscious stores everything that we have been made aware of at some point in our lives.

This is the foundation of creativity — the ability to pull from, connect, and solve problems from the depths of infinity.

Creativity is to create clarity from chaos.

Create + clarity = creativity.

Creative solutions to modern problems are how you pull in the big bucks.

It’s no wonder that creative abilities are harnessed by so few. By the time we are 18 and have been popped out of the school system, we are aware of very little. Everyone does what they are told — because that is all they are aware of — instead of exploring the unknown and making new discoveries. Expanding their mind, awareness, and consciousness.

Rather than creating our own reality via the internal, our reality has been created via the external.

Living in the now or “being present” isn’t exclusive to spiritual people. It is a necessity for living a life of joy, creativity, and wonder. The present moment is how we tap into infinity (or God source, the universe, or any other interpretation of the intelligence that we can’t grasp with the traditional 5 senses.)

As a creative, your job is to expand your awareness and raise your consciousness by diving into the unknown.

Think of your exploration of the unknown as a mission to collect dots. When it comes time to create, you tune into infinity with the intention to connect the dots.

You cannot tap into your creative ability when your focus is unconscious and narrow.

You can tap into your full creative ability when your focus is conscious and open.

We can philosophize about this all day, but I want to give you practical steps to harnessing your creative abilities to thrive over the next decade.

Creativity Is Not Inherently Valuable

You can spend 6 figures to earn a PhD in artistic basket weaving — but if you don’t understand what humans perceive as valuable, you will never be able to live off of that profession.

There are skills that need to be learned (how you expand your awareness / consciousness) in order to increase the perceived value of your creativity.

And that’s just the thing, value is dictated by perception. What you deem valuable may be a hunk of garbage to the next person.

It is absolutely crucial that you study all facets of human understanding:

  • Storytelling
  • Psychology
  • Spirituality
  • Philosophy
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Branding
  • Persuasion
  • Design or visual storytelling
  • Color theory
  • Capturing attention
  • Yourself (self-awareness)

By studying one of these, you expose yourself to all of them and open up unique paths into the unknown. They are all the same thing, just viewed under different lenses of perception and perceived via a unique combination of senses.

Human understanding is an iceberg that everyone must master. Why? Because you need to understand how to communicate the value of your creativity. You need to play the money Game if you want to make money. Don’t let your ego get in the way of developing communication skills. They are necessary if you want to build a creative income.

The deeper you dive into this iceberg of mastery, the more life will flow in your favor. Start with the ones that are most practical to distributing your value — marketing, branding, persuasion, and sales.

Those are the fuel for monetizing any skillset. If you want to be able to sell a creative solution, you need to be able to attract people to that solution. In other words, you need traffic and distribution. You do this by building an audience, building leverage, and building other distribution networks like an email list. There are other methods like paid ads and media buying — but those make sense once you have a creative solution that is selling.

How do you learn these skills?

Like you would any other — but most people suck at learning:

1) Immerse yourself in an echo chamber of information related to the skill you are trying to learn.

For 1 month, only consume information related to what you are trying to learn.

Buy 1 book that gives a broad overview of all aspects of that topic. Buy a course from someone that is an expert in that topic and has condensed the information to what you need to know. Follow blogs, podcasts, social media accounts, and everything else you can.

Wherever you go, you want to be exposed to all aspects of this topic of interest. You want to gain awareness — collect the dots — in the iceberg of mastery you are diving into.

2) Start a personal project with potential profitability.

When I was learning to code there was one piece of advice that every educator harped on:

Get out of tutorial hell.

Nobody listens to this advice of course. They are afraid of diving into the true unknown.

Why would someone start personal project when they have no idea what to do after they start (and sometimes have no idea how TO start)?

That’s exactly why you should start one.

Because it makes your unconscious problems consciousfast.

3) Embrace the chaos and understand that nothing worth having is predictable.

Ordering consciousness by exploring the unknown is how you find specific knowledge. Specific knowledge is — in the context of this letter — is a creative solution that you find by collecting and connecting dots through self-education and building personal projects.

By constructing your own hierarchy of goals related to the vision you are trying to actualize, you experience the phases of life that teach the lessons that 99% of the population won’t have access to.

Consistency and persistence are key here.

It is okay if you start over from scratch.

It is not okay if you abandon the unconventional path as a whole.

When in doubt, take some time off and reflect on your exploration for a meaningful life through the unknown.

The 3 Point Business Model

The first personal project with high potential profitability that you will start is a personal brand on social media.

This is no longer optional. You are a creator by nature. Employers are hiring based on individuals public resumes (a personal brand). The market is not and never will be saturated. We have returned to 5th century BC where the power is back in the individuals hands rather than organizations or corporations. With the influx of ideas and information that lead to uncertainty and anxiety — it is up to the individual to take responsibility for constructing their life. Opposed to having religion, corporate culture, or other organizations create certainty in your life.

Why am I so adamant on starting a personal brand? Because building an audience and leverage was the greatest thing I ever did for myself.

You can practice any creative or marketable skill in the real world.

Want to learn copywriting and persuasion? Follow the 3 steps to rapid learning above and practice by writing emails and tweets.

Want to learn email marketing, web design, sales, or any other skill? Build an email list, build a personal website, and DM people to get on sales calls to increase the value of your personal brand (and make some money along the way.

I’m rambling a bit, let’s get actionable. Here is the 3 point business model (for personal brands):

1) Start a weekly newsletter.

Why? Because most people are playing the short-form content game with no authority to show for it.

Authority comes from depth and expertise. What better way to build that authority than making a high quality newsletter the main pillar of your business?

95% of my sales come from my long form content. It builds trust that others can’t compete with.

2) Start a twitter account.

Why?

  • You don’t have to show your face (if you don’t want to)
  • You don’t have to create fancy designs
  • You don’t have to spend hours creating content

All you need is half a brain and the ability to type.

Anyone can write less than 280 characters and press “send tweet.”

Other benefits of Twitter:

  • The retweet is arguably the most powerful share feature — if you can connect with others and leverage their audience with retweets, you can grow quick.
  • You can post links anywhere — meaning you have more creative potential for promoting your products and newsletter (to make more sales)
  • You can condense your weekly newsletter into a thread — threads are how you gain followers fast.
  • Nobody cares about professionalism. If I had to bet on one platform that will be the center of the creator economy, Twitter would be it (just look at how everyone copy and pastes tweets to other platforms, they usually go more viral than posts that took hours to create).
  • You can test ideas fast since creating Twitter content takes very little time. If a tweet does well, that means a YouTube video, product, service, podcast episode, article, or Instagram post will do well.

There is zero barrier of entry to this.

3) A creative solution to iterate on.

The easiest way to start making money is by starting a service business related to your expertise.

You can help people for free at the start, get some results, and start charging $500-$1000 for a pack of 4 consulting calls.

Good at web development? Write for developers, connect with them, and charge to mentor them on a project they are building.

Good at marketing? Write for creators, connect with them, and charge to consult them on any aspect of their marketing.

The list goes on — you can do this with anything. I know some people that do it for marijuana therapy and some people that do it for Muay Thai online coaching. I’ve seen people offer surf lessons and critiques as well.

There is a progression to this.

You begin to collect dots that will turn into a creative solution or system that you can sell at a premium.

This is where most people go wrong — they want to go straight into selling $5,000 coaching packages or $3,0000/month marketing retainers when they have no idea how to create a unique system that gets results (and makes you stand out from the crowd).

Example of a unique solution that I’ve discovered myself (that I could charge $5K+ per month for):

While everyone is trying to sell sales funnels, lead generation, and other things that are extremely common now — I have enough experience and practice with all of those.

I’ve recently created a content ecosystem (that I teach in Digital Economics) that pulls in sales without being salesy. It allows you to focus on what you love (producing high quality content) and streamlines promotions, social media growth, and authority building. That is 10x more enticing than a “conversion centered website,” sales funnel, or lead generation — I’ve baked them all into one with my content ecosystem.

(I am not saying conversion centered websites or sales funnels are bad. They are a part of the ladder. You just won’t be able to charge the premium price that you want to without practice and iteration).

Work your way up the ladder.

  • Focus on helping people for free to understand their problems.
  • Start researching, writing about, and creating solutions to solve those problems.
  • Begin charging a low amount for a consulting or freelance service with this solution.
  • Continue making your solution better and getting more results
  • Increase your prices
  • While doing all of this, you are growing an audience — clients will start to come to you and you have the potential to launch a product
  • You can package up the system that you’ve created into a digital product, market it well, and start to gain full control over your time and energy

I could go on — but it wouldn’t make sense to you if you haven’t started. It is common practice to teach from the perspective of the people that are 2-3 steps behind you. If I told you what I do now and you haven’t even started — it will go straight over your head.

In a game, you have to be a specific level in order to learn specific traits, acquire high level armor, and take on more challenging quests.

Stop trying to get a level 100’s results while you are level 10.

Dive into the unknown starting today. Start gaining XP in the real world.

— Dan Koe

What Happened This Week

Early enrollment for Digital Economics ends tonight at 7pm ET.

If you want to enroll in an accelerated education for future creatives, marketers, and solopreneurs (while learning the ins and outs of everything we talked about in this letter) — join 57 other students that have already enrolled in the June cohort before 7pm tonight.

The new YouTube video will be dropping tomorrow morning — it will be 45 minutes of diving into the Creation Pyramid.

Subscribe here and turn on notifications to get it.

Joey posted a training in MMHQ for starting your newsletter with Convertkit.

Koe Letter readers can join for $5.

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Dan Koe

Who Is Dan Koe?

I am a writer & brand advisor for 6-7 figure creators. I am obsessed with dissecting human potential, lifestyle design, and one-person businesses.

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