My Unconventional Journey to Work-at-Home Success
by Hannah Camacho
After reading the title above, you may have sighed and thought to yourself, “Here goes another multi-tiered business pitch trying to get me to join up with Mary Kay.” Thankfully, you couldn’t be more wrong.
My husband and I have never been floating in money. We’ve sure dreamed of it, but mostly our financial journey through college and now as parents has never been an easy one. Naturally, in my spare moments from chasing around three very happy and healthy kids, I began hunting for ways to earn money online. When I say hunting, I mean it. Aggressive, obsessive Google searching. Digging through too-good-to-be-true success stories for hours on end. Skeptical of each one. Watching friend after friend join up with Mary Kay or Pampered Chef only to quit a few months later due to lack of interest.
I tried finding jobs online. My degree is in the education field so naturally there isn’t much by way of programming or web design I was equipped for due to this fact. My brain isn’t even wired that way, so it seemed my only options were to join a link building, or black hat tier-based business group. I didn’t like either of these options.
You must understand, I’m very, very stubborn. Though I gave up on my search for a little while, I still knew I had to find a way to make money from home. Honest money.
Fast-forward a year. We had moved across the country and were in need of extra cash flow to pay the bills. I hopped online and kept looking for ways to earn money. In the mean time, I started blogging about something I really enjoyed: apps. I began consistently reviewing my favorite apps and emailing my favorite app developers and networking with them. This seemed like a fun hobby, but it slowly evolved into something more.
After a few months of blogging for my own little site passed, I was offered the opportunity to write for one of the most successful app review sites online (App Advice), and soon after that became the tech editor for The Denver Post’s Mile High Mamas. By this point I knew many of the big names in the app world and was flooded with app review requests. This grew into something unexpected. App developers around the world began coming to me for marketing advice. “Why aren’t people interested in my app? How do I increase sales? How do I get the attention of journalists and bloggers?”
I love marketing and public relations. It gets me excited. When the opportunity to start consulting with these companies presented itself, I grew very excited. All this hard work was paying off! I have spent the past two years running multiple marketing campaigns for app development companies around the world, thanks to my connections I gained from writing, my natural bent toward marketing/PR philosophy and my stubborn persistence to always be a learner.
I say all this not to brag about myself. Let me confess, I’m not supermom. I’m not superwife. I have dozens of flaws (one of them being that my house is not often in perfect order – I’d much rather be closing deals in my spare time). I tell you my story to give you hope. Hope that you too can succeed doing what you love. With some persistence and hard work, you can actually enjoy what you do and gain freedom from that 9 to 5 job you are miserable performing.
Not sure how to get started? Here’s my advice, in short.
Do What You Love:
Chances are you have an idea of what you enjoy doing. Whether you love food preparation, education, programming, fitness, spelunking, or writing, there is a way to turn your passion into an online business. Don’t believe me? You’re not thinking hard enough. Be creative and find a way to turn your undying passions into an online business that holds value for consumers. When you’re doing what you love, work doesn’t feel like work. It’s easy to pour the time and effort into the blossoming business you’ve always dreamed of. Hard work and passion are an unstoppable combination.
Be a Learner:
None of us knows everything. Even if you’re already considered an “expert” in the field you intend to earn your living from, you still have more to learn. Learn about how to market yourself and your business in a successful, ethical fashion. There is loads of information online. Juicy information about starting a business and creating a strategy for success no matter what you do online to make money.
Network your way to success:
You’re not going to believe this, but you should NEVER – I repeat, NEVER – try to sell your products or services directly to your friends and family. This is one of the biggest mistakes I see the serial tier-based “entrepreneurs” doing. And this is the number one reason they fail. Social media offers so much to businesses these days. You can find and connect with people worldwide who can benefit you and your business. Be friendly. Make conversation. Don’t try to sell to them unless they inquire about your services. Trust me on this. It works if you express genuine interest in them first, then almost always comes back as a profitable connection as they grow curious about this friendly business person they have just connected with.
Be a genuine, honest, professional net worker. Get on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Pinterest – whatever is pertinent to your “space” and run with it. There are loads of tools out there to help you manage your time and maximize your power on these sites.
The internet is your friend, if you treat her right:
Shortcuts and lack of research is bad when it comes to online business practices. Don’t just go with the first social media marketing product you come across. Don’t slap up a cheap website with little-to-no thought. Talk to experienced, successful online business people. Make wise decisions for your time and money. Only buy software that you have researched and know for certain will provide a return on your investment. Social media is a great way to spread the word. Get on those sites. Be friendly. Start conversations. Create and share content that your audience will find interesting. This is a great way to connect with your target audience and find potential clients. Never push your products/services too hard. Provide relevant, memorable content related to your area of expertise. This will ensure that you are the first person who comes to mind when they have a need that you can meet. Not all your business will come in right away – I’ve seen this over and over with my own business.
Well, I’ve blabbered on longer than I intended. So, we will need to continue this soon. In the mean time, if you have a specific question that I did not answer in part 1 of this 2-part series, feel free to tweet me your questions @MyAppinions.
Find out more about The App Nanny, and Hannah’s services here.