Standing out from the crowd, ey?
In my 21 years in the freight forwarding industry, I have always tried to find new ways to make money for the family business. I find it fascinating to try and attempt a new idea and love seeing it come off, even more so when there is a great financial reward for my efforts…
Of course, not all my attempts at earning money have worked… I have had plenty of failures.
The world is now changing when it comes to earning extra income. The days of going door to door to as a salesman no longer apply in the modern era. There has been another shift in how deals are done and how business is created.
To obtain new business in this new era you need to be active on a lot of different platforms. In addition to being as visible as possible on social media etc. Your new audience will be clients from places all across the world.
It is not just a case of signing up, sending some tweets etc. and watching the money roll in, you need to have skills and expertise in the area’s that you are selling your services for. Also you need to try and stand out from the crowd.
How can you grab some opportunities whilst using various platforms and social media? How can you stand out from the crowd?
Here are some tips to help get you started:
- Create an excellent user profile
- Upload a professional photo of yourself
- Show examples of previous work
- Confirm that you are prepared to over deliver
- Be prepared to work for low pay at the start
- Promise to deliver on time every time
- Always respond to any questions from interested parties in a timely fashion with detailed answers
It can feel like a chicken and egg type scenario when you first sign up to any type of social media platform or online marketplace. Attracting new business can be a lonely place at the start of a new journey but if you put in the hard work you will be presented with opportunities.
Remember, as with all money earning ideas, it tends to be a marathon, not a sprint.
Anyone can have success with earning an additional income if you put the time and effort in, I managed to do it and so can you.
I will now run through how I was able to earn extra revenue for the family business.
MY SUCCESS STORY – ZERO TO £45,000
I have earned money from various ideas but one of my most profitable encounters was by simply entering the phrase “shipping auctions” in to Google, I then discovered what was at the time a new website by the name of Uship.com
My immediate thought was “WOW!”, how had this idea not been thought of before?
And why had I not thought of it?
The idea behind the website was basic but very effective. Basically if you are looking to ship a car, motorcycle, boat or personal effects, you enter the items details in to the site along with where you would like to ship the item to and from. Next, sit back and wait for freight forwarders such as myself to make bids on the consignment, the person placing the items, the shipper, then accepts the bid which they find to be the best for them. Of course, normally this would be the lowest financial amount that has been bid.
It works very easy!
I started placing bids on vehicles and cars that needed to be moved across Europe and to/from the USA as that is primarily the routes we cover in the family business.
It took a few bids to get going but before I knew it, I started having bids accepted on a regular basis.
The whole process was easy enough. I was not really doing anything different to what I would normally do in my everyday job routine. I’d bid on an item, hopefully, win the auction and get the item to its destination in the quickest time possible.
Speed and great customer service are imperative to win business on online marketplaces.
The first job that I won the bidding on was to ship a motor vehicle from the USA. The owner was a little apprehensive in using my services as I had zero feedback… that is understandable, so it was very much a chicken and egg situation.
I needed to win jobs to be able to receive good feedback from a happy client (as long as they were happy with my services off course). Luckily for me, the owner of the vehicle showed faith in me and we shipped the car across without a hitch. Then he kindly left me 5 out of 5 stars with a glowing review and this then helped me tremendously when bidding for future shipments.
Customer service is key to building up any new business. It is even more important when trying to build up your reputation when using an online platform to try and earn an additional income.
Word of mouth travels fast online.
My average overall score was also 5 stars out of 5:
Even more success was to come, a few of the people who I had done work for were companies and not individuals and had started to become repeat clients. They started to recommend me to other companies looking to employ a freight forwarder. Resulting in an amazing knock on effect – I probably then got an additional 100+ jobs in!!
Some of these clients are still working with me now.
All in all, I probably earned at least £45,000 from using an online marketplace. It has been a huge success for me and has helped me build up the business and create great working relationships. Furthermore it opened up new doors and opportunities for me.
I have also learnt a great lesson, opening one door and then having some success can then open more doors. More opportunities create even more opportunities. All leading to positive, knock-on effects.
Try something new. If you do not succeed do not think of it as a failure, think of it as a learning experience to help you do something better next time. Keep trying hard and when the door opens to a great opportunity make sure you step through it and make the most of it.