Today I was talking with my brother. He is a footwear developer and speaks Chinese and English fluently.
We were chatting about this and that and we got around to the topic of what he’d like to do as a side-gig. And I suggested being a consultant to people who want to start footwear companies.
He said, “But how would that work?”
I said, “You’ve got the general expertise in footwear. You’ve got people coming to you all the time for advice. You could help a Chinese company break into the American market, or an American company break into the Chinese market. You could help someone create some best-selling athletic shoes from start to finish, from concept to sourcing to sales and marketing. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t assume everyone knows what you know.”
He said, “Right! Thank you!”
I said, “Your time is worth serious money. You have so much to offer. And you could even start offering it right now, while you’re employed full time, as long as you didn’t sign a non-compete.”
I said, “Look, once you start to build your reputation, it doesn’t really matter if higher ups at your company are not making the right decisions, or if the company falls off a cliff or not, because you are taking care of your platform, making sure people know that you’ve got marvelous things to offer, and that they should come to you if they want to succeed.”
He got really excited about this idea, and said, “But where do I begin?”
And this is what I told him.
- Get your own namesite or site that describes your expertise (I have wildwomanfundraising.com, wildsocialmedia.com)
- You can see what’s available on Joker.com. don’t get a .org or .net. .com is the best.
- Look at who else has a footwear blog and what they talk about.
- Put keywords in the header of your website that people often have questions about
- Write up 3 pages: 1. Contact 2. About 3. Services
- Get your website translated into Chinese as well, give people a chance at the top to have it in chinese or english
What to write about
- Write posts about things that usually cause people pain in the shoe industry, talk about their goals, their agendas
- What to say on the blog: talk about issues in the shoe world, different categories, your heroes
- Interview your heroes for your blog
Getting PR for yourself and your website
- Think about what people in your niche read. What magazines? What publications? What podcasts or shows? Could you contribute an article or get interviewed on there?
- Once you’ve succeeded (and sometimes, all you have to do is ask) link your interview/story/article from your website, like I have done here: http://wildwomanfundraising.com/about-2
- Join linkedin groups related to the shoe or sportswear industry
- Answer questions on linkedin related to these industries
- Ask questions on linkedin related to these industries
- Ask for recommendations on Linkedin.
- Check out my profile on Linkedin, there are many things you can take from that. http://www.linkedin.com/in/mazarine
- After a few months, study your stats and see what you’ve written on, what people have gone back to most often
- Also, think about making up 5-6 one-page pdfs on the shoe industry, your advice on china-america relations, what has changed, what has remained the same, things you think are obvious but which maybe aren’t to an outsider.
- Post these pdfs on Scribd.com, see which gets the most reads
- Could also do these in Chinese, see if there’s a chinese equivalent of Scribd.com or docstoc.com. You can make sales here or get business from here. I have done so, and to see what I’ve put up, go to http://scribd.com/mazarinetreyz
Feel free to steal this list for your own potential side-hustle or consulting business!