Let us start off by acknowledging that we are currently witnessing a massive shift in the global economic landscape. Businesses all over the world are trying to adapt to this new landscape to ensure their survival.
Unfortunately, the means of adaptation they undertake will at times involve harsh decisions as evident by the massive lay off spree in Big Tech Companies which we’ve been seeing for the past few months (and which we’ll probably continue to see for some time).
Companies are constantly looking for innovative ways to cut down on their running expenses. They will think of creative ways to reduce their workforce size while maintaining and/or even increasing their business size (just take a quick look at the current and expected future capabilities of A.I, hard to imagine A.I not replacing human employees for specific tasks or roles in the near future).
Bottom line is our jobs are not as secure as they once were. So, what can we do to deal with this new challenge?
Position yourself as a business rather than an individual
This is a mindset shift that you might want to start considering. While maintaining your job as an employee, start considering a side hustle to bring extra income.
Now a side hustle does not just magically appear out of thin air, it will require a fair bit of research. First you need to identify a problem that a specific target audience is dealing with. Study the problem and conduct deep research on it. In doing, you would develop the skillset necessary to figure out a solution or at least a way to make it less of a problem for the target audience.
Once the solution is ready, start charging for it. You would then be a legit business selling a solution/product.
This should ideally be done while you keep your main job, it will take some serious time management skills, but it is doable. If the side hustle becomes a big success, then it will be time to pick which to stick to, the side hustle (turned legit business now) or the regular job.
How to Grow an Audience
One of the many perks of social media is that it extended the potential of one’s reach beyond limits. Geography and borders are simply irrelevant when it comes to digital reach and how far one can get.
Use social media platforms to talk about your solution/product. Follower/connection-based platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are perfect for this. Now obviously you will start off with a very low follower/connection base and it will take time to build it up.
Start off by identifying your active target audience and follow them. Interact with them and comment on their posts, especially those associated with their problem and in turn, your proposed solution. Keep doing so and eventually you’ll start seeing some interactions. Capitalize on those interactions to market your service. Maybe even offer a free sample or trial.
With consistent good results, many of them will eventually follow you back and some of them will start reposting your content or maybe even recommending your services to others. Once you reach that point, the key is to remain consistent and watch the snowball effect slowly build up your brand.
Brand yourself as an expert
Now once you’ve started getting some good results and reviews from clients, its time to ensure you brand yourself accordingly. You should now refer to yourself as an expert when it comes to the product, solution or service you are selling, and you have the evidence that backs up your statement (which is success with your current clients).
It is at that point that imposter syndrome may kick in and cause you to have doubts. Thoughts like “surely there are people out there who are better” or “I’m sure other experts have been doing this for a much longer time”. While these thoughts may in a sense be true but that doesn’t take away from the success you’ve already established. Are there people better than you? Of course. Are there people who’ve been doing this for a longer time? Absolutely. But then again, are YOU good at what you do? If the honest answer here is also a “YES”, then you warrant the “expert label”.
Do not confuse expert and experience. One is a degree of how good you are at doing something while the other is a reference of how much time you’ve spent doing something. Two related but nevertheless different things.