Bay of Quinte Young Entrepeneurs is my side hustle. By day, I an office administrator and training coordinator extraordinaire, but by night, I live for taking the knowledge that is up in my head and out in the universe and putting it all in one easy-to-find spot for all of you (young) entrepreneurs to find!
Below is an article I wrote for a local organization about a year ago on what it means to create an Infopreneur Side Hustle.
What Is a Side Hustle?
A side hustle is a legitimate business that a person runs outside of their regular jobs that generates additional income for the business owner. The business owner, also known as a side hustler, offers a product, and/or service that generally reflects the business owners’ passions.
What Is an Infopreneur?
An Infopreneur (a combination of the words “Information” and “Entrepreneur”) is someone who sells his or her expertise and knowledge either on the internet or as a value-added service. This term, widely used across the internet and in business terminology, has been trademarked since 1984 by H. Skip Weitzen, the author of 1988’s Infopreneurs: Turning Data into Dollars.
This can be done in a number of ways. The first way is through the gathering, organization, dissemination of a wide variety of sources of information and compiling it into a single source. An Infopreneur who chooses to take the first route generally is very skilled with taking a lot of information from a wide variety of sources and summarizing it into key points. These type of Infopreneurs typically work with companies of all different sizes. They analyze either data collected by the company itself (polls, reviews, sales records, etc.) or government agencies (census data, Statistics Canada polls, budgets, etc.). Infopreneurs take this data to identify trends and information that could be of benefit to the company, and present it in a way that the company can work with and pull out the information, as they need it.
The second way an Infopreneur can sell their expertise is by identifying a problem that their customers have, and using their knowledge & expertise on the topic to help the customer solve the problem. This most often times is through the Infopreneur providing the information/tips and the customer taking that information to solve it for themselves (i.e. an plumber who has a side hustle doing videos on how to do simple fixes around the house, such as a leaky faucet). The Infopreneur that has a side hustle doing this is often considered an expert in their field. They are often the one who is sought out repeatedly for advice and their input on the subject, be it from loved ones, coworkers or their place of work. They will often decide to capitalize on the advice and tips that they have based on their experience by offering, and making it accessible to, a wider variety of people.
The Benefits of Being an Infopreneur
The benefits of being an Infopreneur as a side hustle are numerous. There is no one benefit that is greater than the other, as each benefit is significant in and of themselves. The ones discussed in this article are not inclusive or ranked in any particular order.
- There is relatively low risk in starting a venture as an Infopreneur. This allows the ability to make mistakes without financial loss. The Infopreneur has the flexibility to experiment with a variety of factors, including delivery style, tone, overall message, etc.
Helping Others and Making a Difference
- Because of the information and knowledge that the Infopreneur has and is passing on to others, they are helping their customers to solve a problem they are having. They are also aiding in adding to their customers’ knowledge base in a meaningful way.
Only resource can be you
- To curate content and begin passing information onto their customers, Infopreneurs often only have to rely on what is within their own range of knowledge and experience.
Low start-up costs
- Infopreneurs reach their customer through the internet. The only costs that are likely to be incurred by the Infopreneur are a computer, video equipment, a reliable internet connection and their time.
Can grow as much and as fast as you desire
- The Infopreneur decides how much and how fast they want to grow their business. They control if they want to add additional revenue-generating services or not. For example, adding a video series subscription to complement their e-book.
Ability to scale as desired
- Infopreneurs have the ability to scale their business as they want to. By scaling as desired, they increase their revenue and/or customer base at a more rapid pace than they offer resources to their customer. For example, focusing on getting more people in their target market to purchase their e-book instead of adding video subscriptions.
Opportunity to trying your hand at being an entrepreneur before making the full conversion
- If the Infopreneur is doing this as a side hustle, this is an excellent way for them to test if they have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, or are they just someone with a lot of knowledge to share. It also gives the Infopreneur the chance to craft their business as desired before making the complete jump over to pursuing it full-time.
Boosts credibility on a certain topic or area of focus
- When people think of Infopreneurs, most times the automatic assumption is that they are experts in their field. By being able to take the knowledge and information that they have inside them, and then passing it on to those who are seeking to utilize that information to solve their problem, this boosts the Infopreneur’s credibility. This in turn helps with the overall validity of the Infopreneur’s business.
Income can become self-generating and residual
- Depending on the Infopreneur’s business model, income can be generated by putting time & energy into one revenue source and letting it sell itself. For example, they write one book, publish it through an agency, and make money as people buy copies of it online any time of day for a sustained period).
No tie to working in a specific location/spot
- Infopreneurs run their business ventures over the internet, so there is no need for a physical location! Infopreneurs can work from home, a coffee shop, when they are travelling for either their other job or pleasure, as long as they have with them everything they require.
Examples of Infopreneur Offerings
Some of the most common ways Infopreneurs sell their expertise and knowledge are:
- E-books (PDF format for printing and/or for use on e-book reader devices/apps);
- Online courses;
- Physical books sold online, and;
- Blogs with paid subscribers.
Identifying What Info to Sell
Before an Infopreneur can start to share their knowledge and expertise with customers, they need to determine what it is exactly that they will focus on, and how. Ideally, the information and knowledge that they choose to pass on to their customers will help the customer to solve a problem that they are having. The customer must be willing to pay the Infopreneur for their assistance in solving this problem.
The Infopreneur must take care to make sure that the knowledge and information that they are passing on to their customers is within their own scope of knowledge and expertise. They can draw on a wide-variety of areas in their life to determine what they should focus on, including:
- A passion for a particular sport, hobby or interest that they are knowledgeable about;
- Professional skills they possess (i.e. plumber, chef, travel agent, etc.), and;
- Personal experiences (i.e. being a parent, spouse, caregiver for a sick family member, etc.).
The most important thing is that it be something the Infopreneur is passionate about. This will help with motivation and the ability to connect with their customer. Customers can very easily tell whether this is a topic that matters a lot to the Infopreneur or if it is just something they are writing about because they happen to know a lot about it.
Once the topic has been decided, the Infopreneur must conduct market research to determine if the market exists for the information/knowledge they are looking to offer, who their customers are (demographics), where are their customers looking to find the information they are seeking (videos, blogs, e-books, etc.) and what that market is looking for specifically (key words that come up in searches (Google AdWords)).
The next step is for the Infopreneur to differentiate themselves. It is important for the Infopreneur to take the approach that works best for them, their business/outlook, and the way they want to present their information (including tone, diction, and website design), not what everyone else (i.e. competitors, complimentary ventures, etc.) is doing.