Micro-Entrepreneurship For Dummies book cover

Micro-Entrepreneurship For Dummies

By: Paul Mladjenovic Published: 04-22-2013

Tired of the 9-to-5 grind and want a way to earn or to supplement your income? Easy.

The media has named the growing trend toward micro-entrepreneurship "the Rise of the Creative Class," "the Gig Life," or "the freelance economy." All of those refer to the nearly 4 million workers who were self-employed this past year, and millions of others who currently supplement their income with freelance work. While the trend has been spotted before, there's one stark difference between micro-entrepreneurs today and the "Free Agent Nation" citizens of the late '90s: technology. Micro-Entrepreneurship For Dummies shows you how to navigate this confusing technological landscape in order to make a contributable profit.

Micro-Entrepreneurship For Dummies aids you in making the best use of micro-entrepreneurial platforms, with helpful advice that includes information on signing up for and selling products on websites such as Airbnb, Craigslist, Taskrabbit, Uber, and Etsy.

  • Micro-enterprise, using online platforms to sell products or services,??is a proven way to earn extra money and supplement household income
  • In today's struggling economy, the importance of self-run businesses and small enterprise is growing as more people take lower-paying jobs and need a little extra spending money
  • Shows you how to sign up for and sell products online

Micro-Entrepreneurship For Dummies appeals to anyone looking to earn or supplement their income from home.

Articles From Micro-Entrepreneurship For Dummies

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81 results
81 results
How to be Successful as a Micro-Entrepreneurial Video Publisher

Article / Updated 09-20-2016

You can publish content in video form, and sell it to your micro-entrepreneurial business clients. Video publishing is easy to do, given today’s technology. Video marketing requires persistence, but it’s affordable through resources such as YouTube, social media, email, ezines, blogs, and online forums. Ins and outs of video publishing A video has three main components that you need to figure out: Content: The content is your topic or specialty. In addition to making sales videos and videos that you can sell, you also want to offer videos with free content. Free content isn’t difficult or costly to do, and it can help you connect with your audience and build a relationship. The free content also acts like a nice sample of your knowledge and your insights. If people see that you’re generous with your content through free videos (or free reports or other content), they’re usually more conducive to buy from you. However, don’t give away your bread-and-butter content that you make a living on; give away free content that helps you better sell the content you specialize in. Style or presentation: Consider both technical aspects of video publishing (such as the video equipment) and cosmetic aspects (such as your video recording environment; and your clothes, lighting, and so on). Residence: The site for the video(s) can be a simple and free venue, such as at YouTube, or a site that sells your videos for you. Equipment you need to create video To produce your video, consider getting the following equipment and accessories: Recording equipment: You can use a camcorder, flip camera, or some other recording device. As smartphones improve their technology, they may provide suitable recording capabilities. Accessories: You may need accessories, such as lighting, a tripod, or any props for your production, such as costumes. It depends on your production. Video software: To help edit and produce your video, consider programs like Roxio’s Creator software and Movavi’s video editing software. Many computers with Windows 7 (or higher) come with video editing software you might consider. Other software: You may also consider screen capture software and presentation software for some types of videos (such as instructional videos where you need to guide viewers step-by-step through a process, such as filling out a form on your computer screen). You can find some great screen capture software at Camtasia and at Movavi. How to create your video To create your videos, stick to these steps: Research your market and competitors. By now, you should have decided on your topic or specialty. You should have also analyzed and reviewed your competitors’ videos, too. Decide on your video’s content. Figure out what you want your video to do, such as provide how-to information, news, or just entertainment. You can take any topic and have ten different spins on it — and ten different ways to make money. Just decide what you want your video to look like before you start recording. Setup the recording studio. Decide whether you’ll use a professional venue or some suitable place in your home, such as the basement. You might want to set up a whiteboard to write some comments. You don’t have to create your own videos; consider outsourcing the production, or hiring a college student to help you. Create your script. You need a script that spells out what your video is about. It doesn’t have to be detailed, but you should at least practice you’re going to say. If you don’t write a script, make sure you stay focused and talk only about what you know. Record your actual video. Make sure you dress comfortably and appropriately for the video you’re recording. When all is ready, record your video several times. Watch it and critique it. Ask others you trust to watch it and critique it. Rerecord until you produce something meets your satisfaction. Edit your video. From the video recorder you’re using, transfer the video to your computer to edit. If you flubbed a word or didn’t speak loudly enough on one take, edit parts of the many takes to create a final take. You might add text to identify your website and encourage viewers to sign up for your ezine or purchase more videos. Place your finished video online. The simplest and most versatile may be on YouTube. You can also email the video to your customers or host it on your website. Use YouTube to present your video Set up your own YouTube channel to present your videos to the world. Setting up your video channel is free and easy. Go to YouTube and click on “Sign In,” to go to a Google page (Google owns YouTube). There you can click on “Create an Account” and fill in the basic information (name, email address, and so on). Keep in mind that you can have more than one YouTube channel. For example, you might have one for business and one for personal use, or one for each topic/specialty area. Having a YouTube channel means folks can subscribe to it. If you develop a following, every time you upload a video, your subscribers will automatically be alerted via email (think of the marketing possibilities). In addition, you can have your YouTube channel connected with your accounts at Facebook and Twitter, giving you even more marketing power. When you make videos and post them to YouTube, you can designate them as public or private. A public video means that anyone searching for videos can find them (your videos can have keywords associated to them). You can also do private videos, which means that only people with the link can find it. For your business YouTube channel, make your content and marketing videos public so that anyone can view them. However, you can use the private video feature for your products. For example, if you sell a product, you could allow only purchasers to access instructional videos by sending them private links with the purchase.

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Micro-Entrepreneurship For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 03-27-2016

As a micro-entrepreneur, you’re searching for tips and tricks to maximize profits and minimize losses for your micro-business. No matter what you offer to your customers, whether it's a service or product, you want to be the source your customers look to when meeting their needs and wants. The following information can help you be a more successful micro-entrepreneur, no matter whether the economy is struggling or chugging along.

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Ten Simple Marketing Strategies for Micro-Entrepreneurs

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Everything in your micro business boils down to marketing. As a micro-entrepreneur, your business centers on two basic phases: the set-up phase, which is the easy part (although many beginning micro-entrepreneurs may not realize it when it’s happening), and the marketing phase, which is the truly challenging part. If you want to turbo-charge your marketing efforts, check out the following ten strategies. Marketing through articles you write One easy way to market your business or your product or service is by writing a free article and including some links to your website or whatever you’re offering. Make sure the article has solid content and offers real value to the reader. If the reader finds value in the article, it increases the likelihood that he will click on the link to view what else you have to offer. With a free article, you can reach hundreds or even thousands of people who can potentially read what you’ve written. Article marketing is both a great form of direct marketing (readers can immediately go to where you direct them) and also a great form of indirect marketing (because it builds your credibility and your status as an expert), all for free! Guest blogging as art of your marketing plan You can also use your writing abilities to guest blog and post an article to someone’s blog. Guest blogging is a simple strategy. You find a popular and active blog (one relevant to your business and customers) and get permission from the blog owner to write an article for the blog (your guest blog). Your published article gives you great exposure. When approaching another blog to submit your guest blog idea, remember that other blog owners will be more open to your proposition if you can deliver them a credible, well-written blog entry for their readers to read. One well-written blog entry on a well-known website can give you hundreds of new visitors to your website. Typically you won’t get paid for writing the guest blog, but in exchange for your great content, the blog owner usually allows you to include your bio and a mention of your website, a link, or what you offer in your post. To find blogs for guest blogging opportunities, head to websites such as Technorati. Leaving comments on blogs and websites You can usually comment on a particular article on active blogs or websites. A popular article with lots of comments provides you with a marketing opportunity. To use this strategy, keep tracking the most popular blogs and websites involved with your topic. As soon as the blog or website posts an article, immediately read it and post a comment as soon as possible. You don’t have to do it with every blog; just the ones relevant to the business. Make it a habit of being an early commentator. To become well known and a respected commenter on a well-trafficked blog or website, post regularly in a professional manner. You can then gently and adroitly mention your own site, blog, or offering. Doing so in a courteous and regular manner can be great marketing that doesn’t cost you a dime (just your time and effort, but it’s worth it). Exploring joint ventures as marketing tools If you have a product or service and you don’t have a market, then you may want to find someone who has a market but doesn’t have your product or service. In that type of situation, you can work together (a joint venture) and split the profits — a great win-win situation for you both. Think of those firms and individuals that reach your target market but that don’t compete with you. If you’re interested, approach them and propose a joint venture. Say you have a great small business product or service. You can find those marketers that already have a large small business audience. You can do a joint venture with websites, blogs, and ezines that reach your target market. Finding those individuals and businesses that reach your target market isn’t difficult. Participating in forums The Internet has many forums. A forum is basically a gathering place for folks to express opinions and viewpoints and share information on a particular topic. Some forums are small, whereas some are very large. If you’re selling, say gardening products, become active and visible in forums with large gatherings of folks interested in gardening. Most forums are free and are a great way to meet potential customers and ultimately grow your business. In addition, forums may be opportunities to do some market research or find joint venture opportunities. Using Facebook to market your business What better place to do some marketing that on Facebook, a site that boasts having 1 billion members (give or take 100 million). Registering on Facebook is free, and setting up a web page (fan page) is free. You can also add keywords (and other techniques) to boost your visibility. Spend some time on the site to build your connections to friends, family, and work associates. After you have built your network on Facebook, start informing those members about your business activities. For instance, you can tell them you wrote an article or set up a blog, or you can make an announcement about a product that you’re offering. In the world of marketing, you don’t usually have success when you do one big thing; it’s usually when you do 100 little things that you’re more successful. Making videos for YouTube Millions of people view videos every day on YouTube. To market your business, consider putting together your own free YouTube channel. Make the videos compelling and interesting where possible. To do so, comment on a hot topic that is popular or controversial (just be careful because you don’t want to upset any potential prospects or business partners with your comments). Doing so can help build the viewership (your audience, ideally your prospects). Make sure your video is accompanied by a description. In that description, you have the opportunity to include some sales copy marketing to encourage viewers to click on the available link you added. That link, of course, sends them to your website, blog, affiliate link, landing page, or whatever you’re offering. Find out more about how you can include YouTube in your marketing by visiting the YouTube website. Looking at low-cost marketing with Fiverr Fiverr can be good for either making some money or getting some services done on the cheap (usually only five bucks). However, one of its greatest strengths is as a low-cost marketing tool. Fiverr is considered the leading micro-tasking (minor or small services performed for small amounts of money) website. Here you can find lots of buyers and sellers of small or minor tasks that may be profitable for you. If you need to get a group of people to very quickly notice you or what you’re currently offering, then consider Fiverr. On the site, you see gigs (the word that the site uses for offerings of products and services) where the seller is offering services such as “I will tweet what you offer to my 5,000 Twitter followers,” “I will get 2,000 people to view your YouTube video,” or “I will get my 3,000 contacts on Facebook to view your fan page.” Tapping into the power of Twitter Twitter is free to sign up and free to use. Twitter is a form of instant micro blogging where people get short, succinct messages (usually a 140-character limit, called tweets) for all sorts of news, opinions, and alerts. Some of these messages are uninteresting or literally meaningless, whereas others can be significant and effective. In any case, you can use Twitter as an opportunity to alert people to new products or services, promotions, interesting posts, and new business developments. You can build your Twitter following with messages that are compelling and interesting. In due course, the messages can make a pitch for a product or service made available through your website, blog, or other venue. If you don’t have a Twitter following to market to, you can get involved in a joint venture with someone who does have a significant Twitter following and (more importantly) someone who has a following that is part of your target market. Go to Twitter to find people, companies, and other organizations that are your target market or that reach your target market indirectly (joint marketing). Teaching a class to expand your marketing efforts Adult education is a superb way to market your business. You give attendees a few hours of your wonderful knowledge and information. You can teach a class, and many adult education places typically pay you for your time as an instructor. In addition, you’re there in a room filled with qualified prospects, which is also a great opportunity to let them know what you offer. Contact your local board of education or community college for opportunities.

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Tapping into Five Free, Valuable Online Tools for Managing Your Business

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

No matter whether you’re just starting your own micro-business or you’ve been working for several years, you want everything to run smoothly and cost effectively. As a micro-entrepreneur, your focus is to meet your target market’s needs while staying ahead of your competition. These free resources can help you. Get a free e-mail account for personal or business usage. E-mail is indispensable for communication, marketing, and other pursuits. You can get free e-mail at Gmail, Hotmail, or Try Open Office Software Suite. This powerful suite of business productivity tools includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software, and other software programs. The software is free and regularly upgraded and refined by open source software developers. Network with LinkedIn. On this site, you can network with other businesses and professionals. You can make lots of valuable contacts, find prospects, and get answers to many of your questions from other professionals and specialists. Market through e-mail. Mailchimp is a free e-mail service to do e-mail distribution and marketing. You can send an e-mail blast for up to 2,000 addresses on your list at no cost, which is perfect for businesses just starting out and needing a good way to manage a list of prospects, customers, or e-zine subscribers. Use YouTube. This popular video platform gives you the ability not only to gain information and news (including lots of free how-to videos on a variety of business topics), but you have the ability to create your own videos (ranging from providing content to doing sales and marketing presentations) at no cost.

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Five Easy Ways to Have an Internet Presence without a Website

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Being visible and present online is essential today for any micro-entrepreneur. Although a paid website is the best way to have an Internet presence, you may choose not to spend the (minimal) money to set up a website or to manage a website (perhaps because of the product or service you offer). If so, you can still have an Internet presence with the following: Start a blog. You can get one for free on either www.blogger.com or www.wordpress.org. A blog has many advantages, such as ease of set-up and use. You can also make money from advertising, affiliate programs, or your own offerings. If you need help setting up one, plenty of free or cheap help is available online. Go on Facebook. You can have both a personal and a business presence on Facebook at no cost. Plenty of big and small businesses are using Facebook to build awareness, gain customers, do market research, and sell more of their products and services. Try Squidoo. Have a presence at this site with webpages called lenses at no cost. The lenses give you a chance to share content with others, and you can also add your profile with information on your products and services. The more lenses you create means the greater your opportunities to promote your business and what you offer. Use LinkedIn. This social media site focuses on professionals, and you can build a profile page at no cost. You can also get involved with many groups that can either help you with information and guidance or you can go to groups to find customers or joint venture partners. Work with Amazon. At Amazon, you can quickly create a Kindle ebook and sell it. You can then set up an author’s page where you can provide your profile and other information about you and what you offer as an author. This author’s page can also makes it easy for you to make money as an affiliate with Amazon’s products, ranging from physical products (such as books and consumer products) to digital products (such as Kindle books and software).

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Six Easy Ways to Help You Make Money Fast

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

What may have started as a hobby has now blossomed into your own micro-entrepreneurial business. You’re now offering your product or service to customers with the goal of making money. These six options are proven ways to do so. Write an article and sell it. Everyone has information and insights that others would pay for. You can get paid for your articles at places, such as Constant Content and Associated Content among others. Make money from online advertising. You can set up a blog or website and allow advertising on it from programs such as Google’s AdSense program () or Adbrite. They do the advertising and share revenue with you as the blog or website publisher. Offer your services through online services. Whether you have technical or administrative skills, you can be helpful to businesses with those tasks and make money. Take a look at sites, such as Elance, Odesk, and Freelancer.com. Sell your stuff online. Most people have stuff they can sell and get cash. You can sell your stuff relatively quickly on sites, such as Craigslist, eBay, or Amazon. Listing your item(s) is either free or very inexpensive, and many people have turned this option into a great part-time or even full-time business. Write a Kindle ebook on Amazon. You can easily and relatively quickly write a Kindle book and upload it to Amazon. If your topic is trendy and your ebook has great content, it can become a form of passive income too because Amazon does everything else (processing, distribution, and so on) after you submit your book. Use affiliate sites. Clickbank.com and Commission Junction are two of the easier ones to start with. Thousands of merchants are glad to pay you referral or affiliate fees for sending prospects their way. You can make referrals in a variety of ways, including writing articles (and including your affiliate link) or preparing a YouTube video (with an affiliate link in the video description).

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What You Need to Know before Launching Your Micro-Business

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

When you decide to be a micro-entrepreneur, such as a home-based or one-person business owner, make sure you pay special attention before taking the big step. If you recklessly choose to start your own business without thinking through all the ins and outs, the results could be devastating. Keep the following suggestions in mind before you make the final decision to start your own micro-business. Analyze yourself first. Know yourself before you know your business. Figure out what excites you and know the types of products or services that you enjoy. Specialize where your passion and competence cross paths. Know your target market. Determine who will best benefit from what you offer and identify what your target market (your real and prospective customers) want to buy. Analyze your prospective customers’ wants and needs. When you’re selling something that others want to buy, you have the seeds of success. Plan to succeed. Do a business plan to give you a sound action plan in those areas of business activity that will keep you focused on what you need to do to be profitable and successful. Rely on other people and resources. You don’t have to go it alone. You can tap into people and resources to help you with your business. Whether you’re looking for advice on marketing or accounting or just need some services performed for you, you can use the knowledge and skills of others without paying a fortune. Keep learning. Excel at what you offer and keep finding out (and testing) new ways to market and to reach those folks that want or need what you have to offer. Stay informed about your industry, the economy, and your target market so that you can continue to offer products and services profitably.

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Choose a Blog, Ezine, or Both for Your Micro-Entrepreneurial Business

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Starting a blog or ezine to market your micro-entrepreneurial business is a great idea, but consider the consequences first. Blogs and ezines are ongoing business marketing efforts, so you should think about the time and effort you’ll need to make in order to make either successful, before you plunge in. A blog is a site that acts like an online journal with the writer’s comments, views, and other content and an ezine is an online newsletter. You need to commit to growing them for opportunities to sell more products and services before you start a blog or an ezine. Blogs and ezines are both forms of content sharing, which means you regularly offer content to your audience to keep them coming back (and hopefully grow your audience too). However, the main difference between the two is that a blog is basically stationary — people visit it at that fixed Internet location. The ezine is an opposite delivery method — the content visits the subscriber at his or her email address. Sometimes the line between a blog and ezine gets blurred because many folks put their ezine content on their blog (or website) and simply send an email telling folks that their current issue is ready to read. The email has an active link that the subscriber just clicks, whisking them away to the blog. Here are more differences: Blog: Many blog hosts give you the ability to have subscribers. In other words, the blog has a subscription vehicle (maybe a button that says “subscribe to my blog now”), and the subscriber is automatically alerted when there is a new post at the blog. Ezine: Many ezine subscribers prefer that the content is actually sent as an email message so that the subscriber can simply and quickly read the issue or message right there in the inbox. Many ezines like to take a middle course. They directly send an abbreviated version of the content to the subscriber’s email inbox but include a link back to the blog or website where the subscriber can see the full content (“click here to read the full article”). To determine whether to do a blog or ezine, choose by doing a two-step approach” Analyze your personal needs and decide what you actually want to do. If an important part of your marketing strategy is developing a list of prospects, then go the ezine route. If an important part of your strategy is more ad revenue (like AdSense), then go the blog route. Research what others are doing in your niche. Regularly visit your competitors’ blogs and sign up for your competitors’ ezines. Analyze what they do in terms of content and marketing. Sooner or later, you’ll see the benefits and choose your path.

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How to Promote Your Micro-Entrepreneurial Blog

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Blogs require regular upkeep to capture and hold an audience. If you’ve created a blog for your micro-entrepreneurial business, you need to promote it and build its audience. After going to the trouble to display your knowledge on your blog and the value of what you have to offer, you’ll want to let the world know about it. Marketing with your blog takes an overall strategy. These sections cover some immediate blog marketing strategies that can build your audience relatively quickly. When marketing with your blog, make sure that your blog is listed in the major search engines. Initially, people, beyond the ones that you directly invite, won’t visit your blog just because it’s online; the rest will find you only because they’ve done an online search, usually for information on a given topic. You want your blog (or website) to show up in the search results when people are looking for your topic. But instead of simply hoping, you just have to make it happen. Your blog needs to be prepped for the search engines by adding the right keywords, tag lines, and so on. In addition, you want to make sure you blog shows up in various blog databases. The following are great blog databases that can help your blog be found. They’ll all generally ask for information, such as your blog’s title, web address, category, and so on. Blogdigger Blogarama BlogBuzzer Feed Shark Pingates Pingler Ping-o-matic Sphere Technorati

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Find Occasional Small Job Assistance for Your Micro-Entrepreneurial Business

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

If all you need for your micro-entrepreneurial business is the occasional task or a small job done, then maybe you don’t need full-blown outsourcing assistance. You may just need someone to complete a micro-task for you. A micro-task is any small or minor task that someone is willing to do for a relatively small sum. Some examples of micro-tasks include the following: You posted a new video at your video channel, and you want a boost to the viewership. You can pay $5 or $10 to get 1,000 viewers or have it announced to somebody’s 5,000 Twitter followers. You need a blog set up. You need a 500-word article on a particular topic. You need a two-minute promotional video produced for your company. If you need micro-task help, you can check out these main sites: Fiverr: This site is the premier (or at least most well-known) site on micro-tasking. Although you use it for business and serious pursuits, you’ll find some fun and off-the-wall stuff, too (like having someone wearing a gorilla suit sing “happy birthday” to your sweetheart). Gigzon: This site offers a platform for buyers and sellers of services (and products, too) for up to $100. Mechanical Turk: This is a micro-tasking site from Amazon. Here the gigs are called HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks). Microworkers: This site competes with Fiverr with a similar business model, but it’s more geared to work-related tasks and costs can be higher than just $5. NetTradr: This popular site focuses on general micro-tasking; it’s most similar to Gigzon. Ten Bux: This site is similar in look and feel to Fiverr (in fact, the same company runs it), but the work assignments (referred to as Jobs) can run between $5 and $10.

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