To make money in the self-employed/business world, you have to have something to sell – products or services. And these have got to be what people want. There has to be an existing market for what you offer.
It is possible to create new markets, but it will cost you a lot of cash to get the word out. And even then, you’d have to do market research and somehow fit what you’ve got on offer into existing markets.
In other words, you create something you think people will want, then set about building up demand. No matter how much money you throw into this, your offer might still prove unsuccessful.
So it’s wise to target existing markets. If you don’t, you’re most likely a naval gazer – self-absorbed. Just look at many sellers on Etsy. They make wonderful stuff. But nobody is searching for it. Nobody cares.
You can spend your whole life creating stuff you like – typically in the quest for self-expression. But it probably won’t get you anywhere.
The art is to find hungry existing markets and sell to them. Do your research and figure out how big a given market is. Then work out a way to reach the people who might be interested in your offer. You might build an email list, Facebook page, or Twitter. Or for that matter a website, properly optimised for the search engines (SEO), so people searching are able to find you.
Starting by building a list is a good approach as it gives you a good idea of the level of interest – plus you’ll get valuable feedback you can use to improve your offer.
Nothing is a given. You just take action and test markets and demand. There’s no blueprint. You just do whatever works by testing various marketing channels.
Naturally, having a good understanding of sales copy – and ideally being able to bash out decent ad copy out – is a must. Or if you’ve got the budget, hire a top flight ad copywriter. Don’t scrimp on this. If you hire cheap, they won’t have a clue how to write compelling copy.