Being part of a virtual world and seeing its benefits, people also wanted to have access to education online. And so, the demand for e-learning skyrocketed. It was just a matter of time until online communities emerged where people taught and were taught about every aspect of life you can think of. While 51% of Americans shop online, e-commerce is expected to grow exponentially worldwide. Buying knowledge has never been easier.
Knowledge is the currency of the business world nowadays. This means that it needs to circulate. It also means that it can be exchanged with real currency. This is the base of the knowledge commerce industry. E-commerce has opened a bright new world, full of possibilities, especially for the 21st century entrepreneurs and consumers. And you can be a part of this world, not only as a buyer, but as a seller, too.
New to the knowledge commerce industry?
Knowledge commerce means you can actually sell your knowledge online. This industry is growing as we speak. Knowledge has become an online product and like any product, it can be sold. Knowledge providers establish themselves as experts in their field and what they know gives them power — financial power. This is a simple equation with no unknowns: you provide the knowledge, the Internet helps you sell it, you and your product grow and this generates capital.
Global e-learning is in continuous development and it is expected to grow unequivocally due to a boom of content and cloud based solutions. Knowledge commerce is borderless and entrepreneurs can make money with small investments as it's easy to reach the targeted market.
Sounds tempting, isn't it? But since the online world is so big, you need to target the right audience. You need to find your niche.
10 Tips on finding your niche in the knowledge commerce industry
Going broad and trying to reach everyone is not a good strategy; it’s only a matter of time until the already limited resources disappear — without great results. It’s better instead to narrow down you focus on a smaller segment of an industry niche and its unique target audience. This way you’ll maximize your chances to get your message to the right people.
Finding your niche in the knowledge commerce industry is a very personal process. What works for others won’t necessarily work for you. You have to find what works for you. Otherwise, you might just fail. While there’s no exact recipe to find it, check out these tips on how to get started and keep the ball rolling:
Analyze your own strengths. If you want to be part of the knowledge commerce industry, you have to start by considering what skills you have, what things you know that can help other people. Make a list of things you do well, that you are good at. Know your strengths.
Select one that you are passionate about. From this list, choose one ability that you feel enthusiastic about, something that makes you feel it can change or impact people’s lives in a positive way.
Translate your passion into a product. Now you that you have the idea, it’s time to transpose it into a product. Consider different types of products that can be made and choose the one that you believe in the most. Creating an online course based on it is a start.
See if there’s online demand for it. Search online to see if your product/course is already on the market and/or if people are interested in buying it. You can make a survey on the social platforms you have been using asking your followers what they think about your idea.
Discover your buyer. While you check to see if there's a place on the market for your course, you can also analyze the type of consumers that are interested in buying or learning about what you want to sell. Get to know what they want, interact with them. This may help you consider new things and narrow down your niche even more.
Personalize your product. After you establish your niche, you have to adapt your course to meet the needs of your prospect learners. Make sure your content is valuable and solves the problems of your audience. Be original and always have your buyers in mind.
Promote your product. Marketing is the key. Before you launch your course you can give your followers a sneak preview of it or a discount to those who answered your survey. After your course is online, the reviews of your learners will promote it for you. Moreover, if you have some success stories about how your product impacted the lives of others, this will generate continuous marketing.
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Be visible. As you probably know already, social media is the easiest way to create an online presence for your future buyers/learners/followers. Make sure you are active on every social platform you choose to create a profile. Being part of a community gives you the support and helps your build the credibility you’ll need in the long run.
Provide extra support. Making yourself available at any time for any questions, help or guidance will definitely lead to a happy audience, which in turn means good reviews, further recommendations and free marketing.
Establish a relationship. Think about your learners as part of your community in which everyone helps everyone. You provide the knowledge they need, they help you promote and sell your product. Remember to keep your learners close, feeding your relationship by giving them constant feedback, updates and personal secrets in their personal quest for success.
Education providers face challenges when adopting the latest trends in selling knowledge. Digital technology will continue to influence how people learn and they will embrace other ways of obtaining knowledge. You will impact your niche as long as you are willing to adapt. So, as Charles Darwin said in the Origin of Species (1859),
It is not the strongest species that survives, not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.