Are you an entrepreneur who wants to make money in the digital space? Founder of Financial Bunny Nicolette Mashile offers practical advice to help you identify opportunities in a time of crisis.
If you’ve spent the last few months wondering how to make money online, you might’ve considered trading, teaching, starting a YouTube Channel, influencer marketing or developing an app. “This is a good time to assess what works and what doesn’t,” says Nicolette Mashile. “Everything’s the new normal because nothing will ever go back to normal, especially for young entrepreneurs.” But what do you need to know first?
A YouTube Channel
If YouTube has so many algorithms, how do you make money by using it? You can only monetise your channel by pushing relevant content with accurate captions, thumbnails, and good-quality videos and messaging. Focus on the quality of your content. To be relevant, it must be relatable, educational and change peoples’ lives. If your aesthetics are great but your content isn’t up to scratch, your audience won’t watch it.
The video-sharing platform embeds advertising in your content that relates to it. So, you must create niche content to attract advertisers. Think about it: if you’re among six or seven people who’re all talking about lifestyle or African hair, brands have six or seven places to run their ads, which means they’ll be looking for reach, so they’ll probably go with someone who has more followers than you. Another way to monetise YouTube is by asking brands to sponsor your content. Tell them you have a YouTube channel and detail the reach you could offer them.
Either jump onto an existing platform such as Teen Geeks, Vodacom, McDonald’s or Tutor Me or create your own. Anyone who has the internet can teach, whether they’re formally trained or not. For example, tutors are currently helping matrics who want to do the work they would’ve covered in class were it not for the lockdown. I started teaching financial education by producing informal videos, but that’s not to say they weren’t informative. I didn’t have to advertise to a specific group of people because those who thought it relevant naturally gravitated toward it. If you want formal training, then you need to speak to the Department of Education about becoming an accredited teacher. You could also ask the Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA) how to create a digital programme for teaching.
There are spaces that people should be moving into, but for some reason, they aren’t. By occupying a niche space that people aren’t tapping into, you’ll be at the top of brands’ minds. I entered the personal-finance space when it wasn’t trendy, and I pushed my content in that space. Brands noticed. But as soon as I stopped driving it, I dropped off the list and was overtaken by other people. So, I needed to pivot by moving on to the next thing. I’d rather have brands say, “Nicolette’s overused, so let’s not use her.” People are influenced by those they hold in high regard, so if this is an avenue you’re seriously considering, don’t base your content on your face and voice alone. People will grow tired of that.
Story telling’s important. You can’t simply regurgitate what’s already on the internet. Make your content yours by ensuring it relates to you. I’ve moved from the face of financial education to content creation and ‘real’ business that includes creating and managing social media strategies for clients. It’s important to understand what you’re trying to achieve, use what you’ve got that’s hot, and strike now but also plan for the future.
Developing an app
Are you developing an app that people will download? That’s the most important question you should be asking. As South Africans, we like to jump on trends. Of course, it’s good to keep up with what’s happening in the world, but ask yourself if the app you’re creating makes sense. South Africans tend not to sit on them. For example, FNB has millions of clients, a number of whom only recently downloaded its banking app, despite the fact it’s more convenient than traditional banking. Yes, people may download your app, but will they use it? It’s great that people want to develop apps because they make life easier, but it all comes back to my original question: who’ll download yours? App development’s still very expensive in this country, purely because there aren’t many people who can do it. Someone has to maintain it. That’s why I’m not in favour of it unless it’s absolutely necessary. Besides, people are still logging on to the internet and visiting websites. I’d encourage more people to create websites and mobi sites, featuring a link that people can click on for more information.
TRADING VS INVESTING
So, what’s the difference between the two? Nicolette says trading’s buying and selling goods and services either on the domestic or international markets, known as active selling. “you let your money appreciate or gain momentum in terms of returns, as opposed to putting it away,” she explains. “Forex traders are a good example.” Investing, on the other hand, is when you put your money in an asset, hoping it will increase its value, known as passive income. another way to generate wealth via investing is to apply the 7r theory by Dhaval bathia. Watch Dhaval’s Tedtalk on Youtube to gain insights into different ways you can make money.