8 Ways Marketers Can Make Money Now (MCO Side-Hustles)

8 Ways Marketers Can Make Money Now (MCO Side-Hustles)

You’re quite invincible if you’re a good marketer.

Every business needs a marketer (usually the founder themselves) and here are 8 ways you can make money as a marketer – right now during the pandemic and the upcoming recession.

1 – Sell digital products

Digital products are my favorite. You don’t need to deal with hefty shipping, worry about inventory or returns.

What are some types of digital products you can sell?

For starters:

  • Sell your skillsets (teach something) on places like Udemy.
  • Sell an e-book, guide, comic or a small software. Use Gumroad to sell.
  • Sell digital music, photos or videos on sites like Envato.

Personally I have music & sound effects on Audiojungle, that has been giving good pocket money over the years.

One of your boy, Reuben’s course on Udemy.

How to get started: Get busy. Tap into your skillsets, document your experience and create a digital asset that can be monetizable, following a demand.

2 – Do Affiliate Marketing

‘Affiliate’ sounds like scammy word. It’s not.

The people who think affiliate marketing is a scam usually have not done it before, don’t understand it and thus call it a scam.

That said, it’s true that some affiliate marketers resort to scammy, black-hat tactics, just to secure sales.

My rule to non-scammy affiliate marketing is to only promote products you believe in. For example, as a music producer on the side, I use quite a bit of recording equipment and software.

If I like the equipment or software, I’ll write and share my experience with it in the form of a YouTube video or blog post.

Then share your affiliate link on the video or blog post.

Here’s an example video (with my home-boy, Farid):

Then take a look at the link I have on the video description below. That’s an affiliate link.

When someone clicks on that link, they’ll be brought to Amazon. And when they buy anything through that link, I get up to 6% commission from their total purchase.

What’s to hate about that?

How to get started: Affiliate marketing is really easy, because you don’t need to build a product. You just need to market it.

Start with the brands you’re familiar with and are already using. Here are some brands that you may have overlooked.

  • Exabytes, a Malaysian web hosting company offers up to 30% affiliate commission for signups you refer them. Just find them someone who wants to build a website store during this time.
  • You shop at Lazada a lot, but did you know there’s a Lazada affiliate program too?
  • Alibaba.com has an affiliate program too.

Need help to get started with affiliate marketing? Join my course, where I teach how to build an affiliate marketing business.

3 – Help offline business sell their stuff.

There are tons of offline businesses that suddenly felt the pinch of not being able to sell their products or services because they’re not online.

I’m talking about businesses like:

  • Butcher, meat-shops.
  • Cafes, restaurants.
  • Fitness studios, gyms, personal training businesses.
  • Numerology, feng-shui services.
  • Kindergartens, drama, music schools.

Help them build a website, go online and market their product.

Instead of charging them a setup-fee (many of them are desperate for cash right now), collect a commission every time you help them sell something.

These physical businesses will go, “Wow, I don’t have to pay you a cent, and you’re going to help me market my products? Let’s give it a shot”.

How to get started: Call up some local businesses and strike a deal with them. Remember, the business part is usually easy and figurable. It’s finding the customers that is hard.

4 – Create content and monetize with ads.

It’ll take a bit longer before you see the money with this method, as you need to build a bigger audience. But done consistently, building content can be worth it.

I’m not talking about content like the Facebook live videos and social media posts that you put up on Facebook.

The content I’m talking about are high-quality articles on your website or videos on YouTube.

Remember the YouTube video earlier? Take a look at how much I’ve made on that video as a YouTube partner.

Sure it isn’t one of my best video content, in terms of views and revenue, but if one video makes you USD139.72 (RM606.38) at this point of writing – then go make 10 or 100 videos.

How to get started: Don’t do live videos on Facebook just because everyone seems to be doing it. There are millions of content on the internet and most are pretty lousy.

Two solutions for you.

  1. Research before creating. Use keyword research tools like Ubersuggest to find out topics or questions that people are searching for. Create good content around highly searched keyword terms.
  2. Document your experiences. Most online content are super generic. But your life/work experiences is unique. Create content from your experiences.

5 – Freelance on Upwork.

If you’re living in Malaysia, now is the best time to leverage the stronger currencies, like USD.

Thousands of business owners, including myself – use Upwork to look for freelancers to get things done. For me, I usually look for content writers, designers and web developers.

Go offer marketing services on Upwork. Some of the most highly paid marketing services on Upwork include:

  • Content writing – USD100 per hour
  • Lead magnet optimization – Up to USD250 per hour
  • Marketing videos – USD110 per hour
  • Facebook ads operation – USD95 per hour
  • and more on Upwork

But Reuben. How am I going to fetch a high price on Upwork? I’m only starting out!

Calm down, my youngling. Here’s what to do on Upwork if you want to win all the contracts.

How to get started: The number 1 rookie mistake to do on Upwork is to be just like everyone else!

When I hire on Upwork, I usually post a job post, get a list of proposals from freelancers then scan for the best freelancer to choose for the job.

Here’s a screenshot of one of my job post last month.

OK, what do you notice here?

So what am I scanning for here? As someone looking to hire, I want value for my money and more importantly, the person must give me confidence that he/she can get the job done.

So the first thing I’ll do is start scanning the proposals. If their cover letter seems like a generic template message that they send to everyone, I immediately delete the proposal.

What I’m looking for is a purple cow. Something that sticks out from the huge list of proposals I receive.

Killer tip: 9 out of 10 cover letter I receive on Upwork are just plain text. But there was once I received a video. The freelancer recorded a video, called me by my name in the video and explained what he could do to improve the content writing task I put out for.

I was blown away. That was remarkable. You bet, I chose to hire him out of the other 20+ proposals I got.

So if you want to freelance, look at ways to stand out from the crowd.

Fiverr is also a good place to do some freelancing.

6 – Help businesses set up their live streaming setup.

With everyone at home spending time online since the movement restriction – what’s is the response of most businesses? Going online and reaching out to their customers on social media.

You probably have seen plenty of businesses conducting Facebook lives and Zoom sessions. But guess what – most of their videos are pretty bad.

You know what I mean. You’ve seen videos which are:

  • Noisy, too quiet and badly mic’ed audio.
  • Really dark and blurry.
  • Streaming issues, lags and intermittent.
  • Bad host (usually the business owner) who is not fluent when put on live video.

This is where you can come in to add value for those businesses. Offer to help them setup and even run the live show for them.

Using Zoom and setting it up may be simple for you – but it isn’t for many businesses who have not done it before. These are people who desperately need help.

In fact, my friend, Dominic is helping businesses set up live streaming for free at IWI.asia

How to get started: Go online and look at the many live videos that businesses are attempting to run. Find some that you think needs improvements and you can help, then hit them up and say:

Hey, thanks for running the live video. I think I can help you get more viewers by improving your live video set-up. The first thing I’ll do is to get an external microphone for your video. Thinking of doing this as a service, maybe RM500, but happy to help set-up your next live video – free. Interested?”

7 – Sell Something New To Your Old Customers

Whether you are a business owner or freelancer – you have an existing database of previous customers you’ve helped.

Maybe you’ve helped a customer 3 years ago to run Facebook ads. Well, right now he needs to put Google ads. If you’ve built a site for a client a year ago, right now he might need SEO.

But you can’t wait for these people to call you up. At times like this, people would be prioritizing themselves and thinking of ways to survive – they won’t be thinking of outsourcing and spending more money.

That is why even as a marketer, you have to go on the offensive.

How to get started: Go through your old invoices and receipts. Hit your old customers up.

Hello customer X, I just thought about you. How is business? How has the MCO affected you? Ask good questions, find ways to add value to your old customers then make an offer.

8 – When in doubt, build an email list.

If you absolutely have no idea what to do as a marketer, then the best thing you can do is to build an email list.

No matter the business niche or industry you are in – you need an audience who wants to hear what you have to say and listen to what you have to offer.

Sure, you won’t make money immediately when you build an email list. But let’s say you build an email list of 2000 subscribers during the movement lockdown period.

When this period is over and you go back to business, you would have 2000 people in your email list – who are going to be more willing to listen to what you have to offer.

An example of how I’ve done this is with DigitalKit.org, an initiative we built at LEAD to teach offline businesses to go online – via free online training sessions.

We collected over 1000s of subscribers during the first few days of launch.

Of course, make sure to give value. People are smart, they won’t just hand over their emails to you for nothing. As a marketer, it’s your job to give value to people who need it.

How to get started: Give away something for free!

  • Build a free software and give it away.
  • Document your marketing experience as a guide and give it away.
  • Create a marketing strategy case study – and give it away.

You don’t have to spend a lot of paid tools to get this done. With the DigitalKit.org example, we got the landing page built with WordPress, email capture pop-up with Sumo and automated emails with Mailchimp.

This pandemic and recession will eventually end. But where do you want to be when it ends? Do you see this time as an opportunity to get creative?

I hope this post finds you well. More importantly, go get busy.

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