Author Topic: How do I market my skills?  (Read 3143 times)

Noremak

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How do I market my skills?
« on: October 07, 2016, 11:57:53 AM »
    Summary of the text below: How do I market myself?

    Where is the gap in my knowledge? My brief position: I owe ~$73,000 in a student loan, currently earn about $20,000 a year. My expenses are kept low, but between a $630/mo. student loan payment (or 37% of my yearly income) and my job, I basically break even every month. My monthly pay is based on my costumers, so when they are sick, or their car breaks down, I'm left with a smaller paycheck. I'm tired of this.

    My job is entry level, and I'm hoping to jump to a higher paying one (although seasonal) in 6 months. I've been reading MMM, ERE, and Your Money or Your Life, and have finally realized that I don't have to look to someone else to provide the income to me. I've started looking at the skills I do have, and trying to find ways to leverage them to bring in my own income, apart from an employer.

    Basic facts: 23 years old male, single.

    Skills:
    • Computers
      • Intermediate skills in HTML and CSS
      • Proficient Microsoft Excel
      • Tech savvy with most devices
      • Selling on ebay/amazon
    • Electronics
      • Basic skills at soldering and electronic repair
    • Labor
      • Able bodied, capable of manual labor (but have more to learn before I would call myself a handyman)
    • Piloting
    • Finance - I enjoy making my budget every month and generally managing money (but have only done this for myself, never for someone else). Generally enjoy statistics, and numbers.
    • Teaching (currently a flight instructor, so have experience with this in teaching technical skills, one on one.)
    • Carbon fiber/fiberglass manufacturing
    • I enjoy fixing things, project management, organizing.
    • I work fine in teams, but my best work is done alone.

    Things I'm not opposed to/have thought of:
    • Walking dogs
    • Shoveling poop
    • Shoveling snow
    • Mowing lawns/yard work
    • Personal Assistant
    • Tutoring
    • Basic web developing/wordpress (I'd have to learn wordpress)
    • Teaching people to drive manual transmissions
    • Computer repairs/IT for individuals
    • Airplane detailing
    • Aircraft ferry service

    What I'm currently working on:
    • Building a website related to piloting, hosting high quality images, statistics, and information useful to people in training.
    • Learning javascript/more web development
    • Helping a friend with finances in his vending machine business (a startup, and I'm learning quickbooks through it)

    Personal blocks I'm aware of:
    • Taxes/insurance/legal side of pulling in income from my own ventures.
    • Actually getting the business and costumers. I'm consistent, willing to work hard once I have a task, but actually putting myself out there is more challenging.

    So, I guess my question becomes: how do I put these skills to work? What does it take to actually build a costumer base when you don't have one, and don't have a reputation where someone would say "I know a guy who can do that for you!" I'm aware that I am fully capable of running my gig, but yet I'm not, and trying to figure out how to bridge that gap. There are a number of wealthy people in the city I live in, and I feel that's a good place to look.

    I'd love to hear your experience on taking action, what you did, and what got you past some of your blocks to action.[/list]
    « Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 06:32:09 PM by RavenOne »

    Bracken_Joy

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    Re: How do I market my skills?
    « Reply #1 on: October 07, 2016, 12:07:46 PM »
    Are your loans federal? You should be able to do IBR (income based repayment) or similar (PAYE, REPAYE, etc)  if they are. https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-driven

    I know that's not what you asked, but probably worth looking into!

    Cwadda

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    Re: How do I market my skills?
    « Reply #2 on: October 07, 2016, 01:40:30 PM »
    Do you have a resume and cover letter template? That may be a good start because you're eventually going to need these down the road.

    swick

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    Re: How do I market my skills?
    « Reply #3 on: October 07, 2016, 01:51:52 PM »
    Look into Udemy and some of the other course hosting platforms and start making a "flight Intro" course.

    And then make other courses you can sell to people who already have their licences so they can brush up on skills and techniques or learn different aspects (how to take care of their planes) how to detail, basically anything that is usually outsourced that an enthusiast would like to learn how to do.

    There are LOTS of people out there who would love to take up flying (or think they want to) but flight school is too expensive/too big of a commitment. It's also a field I haven't seen explored as an online learning subject that has HUGE potential.

    mozar

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    Re: How do I market my skills?
    « Reply #4 on: October 07, 2016, 03:39:33 PM »
    You have a lot of good start up skills, but so do many people your age. In order to bring in money you have to specialize. My suggestions:

    1. Join the air force.
    or
    2. Get a certificate in a manufacturing specialty like welding or something related to fiberglass.

    Noremak

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    Re: How do I market my skills?
    « Reply #5 on: October 07, 2016, 10:26:10 PM »
    Are your loans federal? You should be able to do IBR (income based repayment) or similar (PAYE, REPAYE, etc)  if they are. https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-driven

    I know that's not what you asked, but probably worth looking into!
    Fortunately and unfortunately, no. But they were refinanced a few years back to a 3.375% interest rate, so that's a plus.

    Do you have a resume and cover letter template? That may be a good start because you're eventually going to need these down the road.
    I do and it's updated regularly!

    Look into Udemy and some of the other course hosting platforms and start making a "flight Intro" course.

    And then make other courses you can sell to people who already have their licences so they can brush up on skills and techniques or learn different aspects (how to take care of their planes) how to detail, basically anything that is usually outsourced that an enthusiast would like to learn how to do.

    There are LOTS of people out there who would love to take up flying (or think they want to) but flight school is too expensive/too big of a commitment. It's also a field I haven't seen explored as an online learning subject that has HUGE potential.
    This is good confirmation, because it is something I have thought a lot about myself. I even built a mock website for a course. Building the content will take many, many hours - but most things worthwhile take TIME.
    You have a lot of good start up skills, but so do many people your age. In order to bring in money you have to specialize. My suggestions:

    1. Join the air force.
    or
    2. Get a certificate in a manufacturing specialty like welding or something related to fiberglass.
    I'll have to look into manufacturing specialties like that. I've been happy to get out of fiberglass/carbon fiber work because of the chemicals, and dusty environment - but if it meant getting out of debt quickly...

    I should have mentioned in my first post that my goal isn't necessarily to leave piloting, but more supplement my income, pay off my loan quicker. I have a dream of being self-employed and hope to continue to push myself into that arena.

    Mattzlaff

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    Re: How do I market my skills?
    « Reply #6 on: October 08, 2016, 04:44:48 AM »
    I'm not familiar with the industry and not trying to rip you apart or nothing but if you're teaching people to fly airplanes how come you're not out there flying commercially? Surely you must have passed some standard that allows you to teach piloting skills. Would this not allow you to jump into some avenue of commercial piloting?

    BlueHouse

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    Re: How do I market my skills?
    « Reply #7 on: October 08, 2016, 05:33:08 AM »
    I really like that you've already put a thought into things you can do and would do. You'll get there, I'm sure. Now, my two cents:  when it comes to saving, think mustachian. But, when it comes to income from side gigs, think like a consumer!  Holidays are coming up and people are trying to think of gifts. Two things people don't scrimp on: kids and pets. I would offer photo ops, selfies, and professional photos (team up with someone) of a pet in your plane in the air. Borrow a friend's dog, put a leather cap and goggles on him, take a photo in the air, on the ground in front of the plane, etc, make flyers, turn it into a Christmas themed card, then bring flyers to pet smart and let the Facebook culture take over.
    I would charge 25 in front of the plane. 75 in the plane on the ground and 125 in the air for 15 minutes (with the other shots included). There is no limit to my shock at what people are willing to pay for a unique experience for their pet that they can then brag about on Facebook. Give people access to something their friends don't have, and they will eat it up! 

    mozar

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    Re: How do I market my skills?
    « Reply #8 on: October 09, 2016, 06:15:39 PM »
    Quote
    There is no limit to my shock at what people are willing to pay for a unique experience for their pet that they can then brag about on Facebook.
    Lol, so true.

    NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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    Re: How do I market my skills?
    « Reply #9 on: October 10, 2016, 09:21:42 AM »
    That's a great idea, BlueHouse!

    You've done a great job in considering your skill set and what to do with it. I'd suggest you consider whether you'd rather put in a lot of time up front for something that will require less effort later (teaching Udemy) or get paid for your time as you work (TaskRabbit.) This might give you some ideas:
    http://www.sidehustlenation.com/sharing-economy-make-extra-money/

    Also, you might do well on Fiverr:
    http://www.sidehustlenation.com/10k-from-a-single-sale-on-fiverr/

    Or try a more traditional route and call a few temp agencies to see what kind of work you can find. One of those might turn into something more long term. Good luck!

    markum9

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    Re: How do I market my skills?
    « Reply #10 on: October 10, 2016, 10:41:45 AM »
    I like your post outlining your skills, but I would also look at the other side of the equation.  What problems are out there that you can solve, or what services are people looking for that you could provide?  If you want to stay within the flight industry, are you looking to grow your local base of people to teach?  Or is your focus on reaching people nation-wide/world-wide?  Are there any services or products that people are requesting (whether that's training, physical goods, etc) that you are pointing them to?  Is there a way that you can become a middle man or direct seller of those items?  This could either be going it on your own, or can you work with your employer to get a cut of the revenue/profits if you are able to provide value and bring in new clients or up-sell them?

    I just finished a few of Gary Vaynerchuk's books.  The most recent one, #AskGaryVee, has a lot of insight on starting out as an entrepreneur.  Or you can go to his website to see a lot of videos and articles on the subject.  He has a lot of advice on how to become the go-to voice in a given area and use that to grow a business.

    Also, I think it may help you to start fully structuring your goals.  I know you mentioned getting rid of student loan debt and earning more money, but what time horizon are you comfortable with?  It will likely take you time to grow your own business, so if you want immediate returns to pay off debt it may be best to find a second job/side hustle.  If you are ok with a more long-term horizon, then building your business may be the optimal move.