I could start this post by saying that you can start an online business even though you hate selling. That you don’t need to sell anything at all to be successful. But that wouldn’t be true. And I hate lying. So let me be brutally honest with you – You do have to sell. BUT let me also give you a solution for you to sell without even noticing it.
Can you relate? You want to help others achieve something. You want them to learn how to master a specific set of skills. And you’d love to do it for free, but you can’t afford it ’cause you need to invest a lot of work to get your product done the right way. And you need time to invest in that work. But how are you going to dedicate so much time to something which isn’t giving you any money?
I mean, let’s be honest here: You could work “for real” and earn money somewhere else, and then help people in your free time. And that could work. But for how long? If you want to do something right, you need to have peace of mind to work on it. Besides, we all need our free time to be actually free, right? We all have families, friends and – why not – ourselves to take care of. So how long do you think you could be working on this new hobby without earning anything out of it?
On top of that, there’ll come a time when you’ll have to invest some money on new software, a new PC, new tools or just other services to help you help those people you wanted to help. ‘Cause if you’re working full-time, you’re going to need help, believe me.
Now, if you feel you can afford it to invest your time and your money into helping others, please do. Don’t listen to me. But most of us can’t. And you do want to help, so let’s change that mindset of yours and start making some money, shall we?
Selling Doesn’t Always Equal Selling
The trick is changing the way you consider sales. And to do that, you may have to change your product packaging, but I don’t mean looking for a nicer wrapping or gift paper, but for you to change the way you present your product – and accordingly your mindset.
Let’s see some examples:
- Offer your work to other entrepreneurs instead of private people. So if you work as a freelance virtual assistant, translator, copywriter, proofreader, or photographer, for instance, you won’t be selling but offering your services – and your help – to other colleague entrepreneurs. Sounds different, right?
- Become an online teacher! You can teach others from the comfort of your home, and there are a couple of ways for you to do that:
- Join an online teaching platform, like Buddy School, and give live lessons. You’ll have your competitors directly next to your offerings, but you’ll be reducing your promoting efforts to a minimum – awesome for someone who hates selling, right?
- Give live (online) lessons on your own. You can join your students on Skype or even use Facebook Live for your classes. This option is much more flexible and gives you 100% control, but you’ll be the one promoting your courses.
- Create an online course on Teachable or Thinkific, and let students join and learn on their own pace. The selling efforts will fall on your shoulders, but you won’t have to struggle to get students each week. This option lets you create a more automated system, so you won’t have to be “selling” a new appointment each week. If teaching is something you’re interested in, check out this post on how to create your first online course without experience.
- You don’t even have to create or sell your own products, but recommend other people’s brands or services. Say you’re an expert videographer, so you could recommend any tools, editing software, or technical equipment you use.
- Whatever you do, please only recommend those products and services you know and love. The easiest way for you to start promoting other brands is by blogging or podcasting.
- If you don’t know how to start recommending other people’s products, check out this blog post with the most basic guidelines on affiliate marketing.
How Your “I Hate Selling” Can Turn to “This Can’t Be Selling!”
The reason why I’m writing this post is that I get you. I hate selling as well. I don’t feel comfortable letting others buy something just because I’m getting some money out of it. However – and this is the key – if you know you’re going to help people, selling is not the right word to use.
You could be helping a frustrated writer find work with your copywriting classes, or you could be helping a mom with back pain do yoga from her living room while her baby is asleep next to her, or you could be helping someone learn a new language to go out there and get a better job.
And there’s nothing more rewarding than helping others. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t earn your living out of your work. If you want to offer quality, you need that money to make it as awesome as it goes. And nobody is going to blame you for that, believe me. Just make sure what you sell is of great value for the people you’re trying to help – and you’ll stop feeling ashamed of selling.