When Stephanie and decided that we were going to travel full time in a RV, we were extremely excited. Some would say...overly excited. All we thought about was where we were going to go, places we were going to see and how much our kids were going to love to travel. Then reality set in and we began wondering about how we were going to afford this life style.
If I'm being honest, we didn't give much thought to the one factor that should have been our biggest concern. I mean...how much fun would we have if we couldn't afford things like fuel, food, propane for heat, payments for the truck and fifth wheel, insurance, and admission fees (to anywhere we wanted to go)?
The most important question that we needed ask hadn't crossed our minds...How are we going to make money on the road?
At this point you may be thinking to yourself that we are completely out of our minds. However, my wife and I believe that seeking Christ and obeying His will for our lives had led to blessings beyond measure.
We felt called to start the "Freedom Calling lifestyle"and we had faith that we would find the money to make it happen.
Faith is easier said than actually practiced. Especially when you have a family of five to provide for. I know this will sound kind of weird but I was confident when we started this journey then and I am confident now that if we seek Christ FIRST, the rest will be worked out.
When I knew that my main source of income would no longer be an option which forced me to be extremely resourceful. I began to learn how to generate leads for small businesses and the rest is pretty much history.
You might get lucky and find a job that allows you to travel full time while you work. I was not so lucky. Personally, I didn't want to work for a company. I wanted to be my own boss.
I spent 12 years active duty USAF and another seven as a USAF Reservist. I've worked for Government contractors and even had a job at a Microsoft Data Center. Part of the Freedom Calling lifestyle was leaving the corporate world and making things happen on our own.
We didn't want to be tied down to one corporation, one location or one pay check.
Because we didn't want to be tied down, we began trying many income producing activities. We have always been fans of the show Shark Tank. What we noticed was that all of the super rich hosts all had multiple streams of income instead of just one.
I began looking at different opportunities that individually were not that lucrative. However, when you combined then together, they would produce enough to fund our travels.
I was introduced to Retail Arbitrage when I ran across a YouTube video of the Bearded Picker. The bearded picker is a guy that buys retail items in stores like Wal-Mart, Target and Dollar General and then sells those same items on Amazon and Ebay for a profit.
If you couldn't guess...this guy has an epic beard!
Watching this guy motivated me try my hand at Retail Arbitrage.
Almost all retail stores have clearance items so retail arbitrage is actually pretty easy. Anytime my wife and I go into a store I'm always looking for clearance items.
There are two major platforms for retail arbitrage. the first is Amazon and the second is eBay.
Of course most of us have heard about or maybe even thought about selling items on eBay but we just never took the time to figure it out. I personally thought that in order to sell on eBay you needed to have a big store with hundreds of items. Thats not the case.
There is a little more to selling on Amazon. A site called Online Selling Experiment has a great step by step post on exactly how to be successful selling on Amazon.
When we had our brick and mortar gym, we knew the importance of posting on social media, making YouTube videos, running Facebook™ ads and sending follow up emails. the problem was we were so busy with everything else in our business that we did not have time for the marketing.
Most small businesses are in the same situation. They know they should be doing more to market their business and most of them even know what to do... they just don't have the time.
This is good news for full time families because there is a huge opportunity for anyone that will take a little time to learn the basics of digital marketing. It's really not as hard as most people think. Let's face it...if I can do anyone can do it.
I have paid for $1K courses that teach digital marketing strategies and techniques for small businesses.
I have learned more about getting businesses leads and sales from watching YouTube videos.
Once you learn the the basics now it's time to find clients. Finding clients that need help is not the problem. the hardest part about getting a client to pay you money is actually just talking to them.
Business owners get massive amounts of emails and phone calls per day from people and companies trying to sell them services. Small marketing firms have to set themselves apart from the crowd. You do not want to be another email of phone call trying to get through to the business owner.
I have found that the easiest way to break through the noise is to go to the place of business and ask to speak with the owner. Yes you will get shot down 6 out of 10 times but it is still much better than your competitors. Even leaving a business card and briefly explaining what you can bring to the table is far better than being lost in an email inbox.
Actually go in and shake the hand of the decision maker. Once you work up the courage to talk to business owners selling your services becomes easy.
Now that you know you have to set yourself apart and actually meet the owner face to face, how do you know which companies and small businesses need your help.
I use three methods to prospect for potential clients. All three of these methods are free and all three are very useful for finding prospects that are already looking for for your services.
Yes, people still use craigslist. Search the largest city near you and scroll down to the "Gigs" section. This is where small businesses place ads for support. I have found most of my digital marketing clients using craigslist. You will have to sort through several scams but once you search a few times you'll learn how to spot a. scam right away.
You should find one or two small businesses looking for a website or looking for help with their social media accounts. One of my best paying clients was found on Craigslist when he posted an ad looking for help with his Infusionsoft account. I ended up running Google Adwords for him for $1500 per month...and that was on top of his ad spend.
Another resource that allows marketers to find small businesses already looking for services.
Most people think that only large corporations list on Indded.com but that is just not true. Many smaller businesses list on this site.
Did you know that businesses actually have to pay about $200 per month to be featured on the right side of the yellowpages.com site.
This is good news for digital marketers because you can just type in a niche, checkout which businesses are paying to advertise on the right side of the page and then do a little homework.
When I first started prospecting for clients, I just searched for service based businesses in the city nearest to me that were advertising in the yellow pages. I would then type in their web address and do a little research and find out what type of marketing I could help with.
Here is an example:
- Type in a service based industry niche like "Roofer"
- I'm in Dallas, Tx right now so the Yellow Pages cookies automatically detects that I am close to Dallas. Now we'll search for Roofers in the local area and see what pops up.
Once the results pop up, scroll down a little until you see the ads on the right side of the screen. These are the businesses that you need to research.
Do a simple Google search of these businesses and see where they stack in rankings. visit their websites and see if they are using an outdated wordpress theme.
Check their facebook and Instagram accounts and see how many followers they have.
Check to see if they have installed the Facebook tracking pixel on their website.
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