When I first started out in business I felt like freelancing was the only option.
I didn’t feel authoritative enough to build a personal brand.
I didn’t have the money to order quality products for an eCommerce brand.
I didn’t even know what consulting was.
Agency and freelance work are marketed towards beginners, and for good reason:
- You can learn skills for free (or cheap with courses compared to a college degree).
- You don’t need to invest time in building an audience to land clients (although I highly recommend building one).
- You only need 3-4 clients a month to make a great income.
It was a no-brainer.
And I still think it’s a great option.
36% of the workforce are freelancers.
And with decentralization and the future of work shifting, I believe that number will skyrocket upward of 90% in the next decade. (I like making delusional predictions).
Everyone will be a freelancer.
That is, until they evolve as a creator, productize their knowledge, and scale as a one-person business. If they want to escape the feast or famine client cycle.
And still, the options are endless.
Endless niches to go into.
Endless skills to learn.
Endless outreach strategies to test.
It’s no wonder online business is so overwhelming.
It’s all so new.
It hasn’t been around for long… maybe a few decades? If that? That’s pretty insane.
And you won’t find any college course teaching the strategies that creators are.
So, for those that think freelancing is your only option, I want to present something new.
But first, I need to shed some of your limiting beliefs.
Education Businesses Are The Most Meaningful Business Models (Especially For Beginners)
People love to talk bad about education businesses.
They think it’s just a bunch of people scamming and manipulating because information isn’t tangible.
In reality, it’s the most meaningful and results-oriented business model there is.
Especially with a broken school system.
If it weren’t for the online education industry and “scammers” selling $50 courses (I bought way too many), I would not have a 7 figure business talking about what I love. Simple as that.
You will only find new, specific, and relevant information inside online courses.
Who cares if you waste $50 here and there but find the one sentence that makes it all click for you.
Most are just impatient.
They’re cool with college taking 4 years to get a sub-6-figure salary and have their life taken from them, but don’t believe in a decentralized individual teaching from experience and results. It’s going to take close to the same amount of time, but you’ll see exponential results once it clicks.
Fix your expectations.
To understand the importance of information and education (especially in business) we must understand evolution.
Animals seek to replicate the information in their genes.
While humans do the same, we also have the unique trait that we seek to replicate the information in our consciousness.
We don’t only try to survive our physical form, but our mental form.
Our “mental form” is our sense of self.
We project and communicate the ideas, beliefs, and values that we identify with.
We are literally trying to reproduce who we are in every interaction.
And when people don’t agree with the beliefs we hold so tight, that is when arguments take over.
Parents instill pieces of their “self” into their children.
And the parents did the same depending on the religious ideaology, career paths, and beliefs as their parents.
In every interaction, you are spiritually impregnating the minds of others with the content of your consciousness.
Now, before I start sounding crazy, why does this matter?
Education is the pillar of progress and evolution.
Education changes human behavior.
Education creates useful people that contribute to society, earn more, and create jobs.
The education industry will only continue to grow and those that don’t accept it may be left behind.
By the way, I teach all of this in my Digital Economics masterclass.
Education & The Creator Economy
A “creator” banks on three pillars:
Some go all in on one.
Similar to how Mr. Beast is solely an entertainment creator.
Some theme pages like “Millionaire Motivation” accounts are based on inspiration.
Many tutorial accounts are only based on education.
In my eyes, a holistic approach is best.
Like how Joe Rogan incorporates all of the above (because he leverages who he is).
Or how I use personal experience for inspiration, philosophical musings for entertainment, and hard advice for education.
The usage of all 3 creates a sustainable business where you are the niche.
The future belongs to those that hold the most mental real estate.
In other words, it belongs to those that capture attention and replicate the valuable aspects of their self.
You need to focus on having your ideas stick in the minds of your readers.
Like how when I’m in an emotional rut, I remember the big ideas from The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
I attribute my progress to him and pass along his work.
Who knows how much money he has made because of my subtle yet consistent contributions.
Stop thinking of content as a means to income.
Will your ideas be mentioned in a top 10 podcast episode?
Will your ideas be in the intro of a best selling book?
Will your ideas be mentioned in viral videos and tight knit newsletters?
Write for impact and the income will come (see: 2 Hour Writer).
In order to do this, you must develop yourself.
Personal development is about solving your own problems.
Business is about solving other people’s problems.
So, develop yourself, document the solution via an education business, and develop others.
By treating your life as your life’s work you go on to change the course of humanity for the better.
Without realizing it, you impact individuals in a manner that induces positive behavior change.
From the individual to collective, you change the world for the better. Even if you don’t want to think of it that way.
The 3 Point Micro Business Model
I don’t want to overwhelm you.
I want to give you a practical business model that you can start building today.
It will be extremely difficult at the start (as ALL things are).
But as the path of mastery goes… it starts as difficult but becomes more pleasurable with time.
If you can make it past the difficulty threshold through practice, iteration, and persistence it will all work out.
Notice how I said iteration.
If something isn’t working, try something else.
The word “try” means that you are taking on a challenge that you have the skill to take on.
This creates the soft conditions for a flow state, or a state of maximum enjoyment.
If you’re lost, learn.
When you have direction, act.
Make mistakes. Be embarrassed. Create a giant mess so you have something to improve. And when you feel lost, repeat the process.
If I wanted to decrease my workload any further, I would still have this structure, just distributed to less social platforms.
Most of Twitter’s successful creators emulate this structure and create their own little digital reality that their followers can reside in.
1) Start A Newsletter
Nobody wants to start a newsletter because they don’t have any subscribers.
That’s exactly why you should start one.
Nobody is watching.
Would you rather practice your writing when you don’t have subscribers? Or would you rather wait until the fear of writing a first issue to 5,000 people prevents you from writing at all?
Why should you care about writing a newsletter?
- It develops the most authority (short form only holds so much attention).
- You own the audience you acquire (social platforms can go down at any moment).
- This is where you sell your products or services to people that care about you (rather than spamming social media and looking scammy).
Long form content should be the pillar of your business.
It forces you to develop depth behind your thoughts.
That way you attract a dedicated audience that actually wants to pay you (and you don’t become a shallow advice giver on other platforms).
When you have long form content, you can skip most of the sales and marketing hacks that people tell you to learn.
How do you start writing a newsletter?
Hunt For High Performing Ideas
It’s not animation.
It’s not captions on clips.
It’s not tweet structures.
It’s not actionable lists.
It’s not the perfect bio.
It’s not a colorful thumbnail.
It’s the ideas people collect from someone they like.
Things like animation help of course.
They catch attention and immediately boost your brands quality beyond 99% of creators.
So, if you have great ideas and want them visualized, check out Keyframe, my animation agency (established creators only).
To find high-performing ideas:
- Filter your favorite YouTubers videos by “most popular” and study the titles.
- Sign up for Medium.com, select your interests, and study your homepage suggestion’s headlines daily.
- Read books until a novel idea catches your attention, write it down, and use it in your writing, videos, and speaking.
My absolute favorite way to generate the most ideas is by studying top tweets.
People still sleep on Twitter.
Yet, it forces people to condense what they are saying into the most impactful 280 characters (most people just drag their point on and ruin their engagement potential).
This is why my text posts on Instagram outperform most other image-based creators.
I use TweetHunter to filter the accounts I love, absorb their top ideas, and schedule my best content.
Study Frameworks & Use Them As Training Wheels
Now that you have the idea, you need to practice articulating it in a persuasive, valuable, and impactful manner.
In other words, you need to write it in a way that illustrates the pains, problems, and solutions that people relate with and want to implement. I wrote about this in the Value Creation letter.
- Study top performing tweets, deconstruct what they look like and why they work, and practice writing it with your unique idea.
- Study small copywriting frameworks like PAS and AIDA to tap into human psychology.
- For long form study PASTOR or the systems I give out in 2 Hour Writer.
- Consume social media and marketing content from the lens of a creator, not consumer, and again… practice.
Ideas are only as impactful if they are consumed.
If you can’t capture and hold attention, nobody will digest what you are saying.
Distribute To All Platforms
Once you write a newsletter you can:
- Use it as a YouTube script (most people wing it and the videos fall flat).
- Upload it to a blog so you can repost it for life (if it has your products or services, that’s how you sell them).
Those are the only two places I upload my long form content, but you can do more like Medium if you’d like.
2) Condense Into Medium Form
If you want to stand out on short form platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn you should prove your authority through medium form content.
I do this by:
- Taking the main ideas from my newsletter.
- Outlining a shorter and more concise post.
- Writing it as a Twitter thread (because you are forced to condense your ideas to be the most valuable).
- Keeping the thread to 10-15 tweets in length maximum.
- That way, they can be turned into an Instagram and LinkedIn carousel with a few minutes of effort.
Medium form develops more authority and generates more sales, leads, and opt ins than short form.
The longer you hold attention, the more perceived value you gain as a brand.
3) Break Off Into Short Form
Short form is your growth and testing mechanism.
Every single part of your thread can be turned into a standalone tweet.
You can also read through your newsletter and generate ideas that way.
Or, when you are hunting for ideas, you can schedule tweets inside TweetHunter.
Because it is a testing ground.
Almost all of my newsletter ideas come from previous tweets that performed well.
That way I know that the newsletter, YouTube video, and thread will also perform well.
You’ve just created a self-sustaining content ecosystem that you can milk for your entire life.
Build Distribution, Then Monetize
Everything above will form a few levers that you must move on a daily and weekly basis.
This is how you build an audience, traffic source, or distribution.
Then, you need somewhere to send that traffic in order to monetize.
I’ve spoken about monetization methods a billion times before:
- Study your interests
- Start a service business
- Grow an audience
- Work for free
- Develop your process
- Increase prices
- Repeat 5-6
- Productize your process
- Scale your audience and your income scales with it
But, with this 3 part micro business approach, there are a few other ways.
Shaan Puri, as an example, built his newsletter to 100k subscribers and made $50K/month from sponsorships.
If you film your newsletter as a YouTube video, you can accept sponsorships and get paid for adsense.
Maxx Chewning recently mentioned that he makes around $100K/year from adsense, but makes $1M/year from sponsorships.
Add on a digital product like Justin Welsh’s content systems and boom, you add a 3rd $100K/month income stream.
Literally the only thing you have to do is focus on building an audience (the right way), and once you do, you are set for life.
You have infinite monetization options available to you that do not involve monetizing from begging for donations.
Give value, build distribution, ask to get paid.
Enjoy your week.
– Dan Koe