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15 Unique Entrepreneurs Share How They Turned Their Passions Into Profits

 

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by David Garland in David's Blog

Smarter, Faster, CheaperDo you ever take a look at the folks that seem to be “everywhere”, the people who have successfully built a business around their personality and knowledge, and wonder how you can do it too?

You know who I’m talking about. Not fluffy “experts” who talkjo down to people, but a new breed of trusted resources that are taking the business world by storm by building community, influence, and business models based on educating, entertaining, and/or inspiring. Approachable trusted resources that aren’t hidden behind expensive PR companies, but interact at a one-on-one level (thank you social media!).

People living their passion and making money from it.

To be “known” for something back in the day (pre social web or Internet in general) you had to be discovered. A Hollywood agent hit on you at a bar and signed you. Perhaps you just “got lucky” or bought your way to success.

Now you can create your own platform for pennies on the dollar and genuinely make money talking about/writing about something you are passionate about, directly or indirectly. Maybe your weapon of choice is a blog. Or perhaps an online show. Or a digital magazine. Perhaps you monetize it through advertising, sponsorships, or affiliates. Or you create your own product to sell (virtual or physical). Or you sell yourself (no, not as a prostitute…well not THAT kind of prostitute) as a consultant, speaker, or coach.

Does it take a lot of hard work? You bet your butt it does (along with drive and creativity). But, it sure takes a lot less money, which was the biggest barrier in the past. And that is a good thing. Because this breed of entrepreneurship values three things (besides a platform to get your message across):

  1. Passion
  2. Personality
  3. Knowledge

Sounds like three things you already possess. Am I right?

Time to unveil the curtain and tap into the interview archive of people who are doing this. Why? Because there is nothing better than lessons and takeaways from people actually walking the walk.

So sit back, grab a pen, and enjoy this inside glimpse (and also feel free to reach out to them, since they are all very active online) as to how these leaders built, marketed, and promoted their businesses by being smarter, faster, cheaper as opposed to dumber, slower, expensive.

And keep in mind some questions:

  • What are the similarities?
  • What are the differences?
  • How can this apply to you?

I hope you will be the next success story – whether you build your business around your love of ducks, or the St. Louis Cardinals.

Chris Brogan

Chris BroganNiche: Social Media/Entrepreneurship/Marketing
Weapons of Choice: Blog, Speaking, Book(s)
Monetization/Business Model: New Marketing Labs (services), affiliates Chris promotes on his blog, Third Tribe Marketing (private community for marketers…affiliate link), speaking engagements, private consulting, book deal and new businesses: Man On The Go and Human Business Works (educational products), several investments in companies
Interview: RISE #2: Trust Agents Review & A One Man Media Empire
Connect With Chris
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Ali Brown

Ali BrownNiche: Women Entrepreneurship
Weapons of Choice: Events, Blogging, Magazine, Articles, E-zine
Monetization/Business Model: Events, speaking, digital products, consulting, mentoring group, Ali Boutique (clothing)
Interview: RISE #96: What It Takes To Build An Entrepreneurial Empire With Ali Brown
Connect With Ali
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Kevin Cottrell

Kevin CottrellNiche: Real Estate in St. Louis
Weapons of Choice: Information-packed website and resource
Monetization/Business Model: Via selling real estate
Interview: 101 Marketing Strategies: A Great Example Of Becoming A Trusted Resource
Connect With Kevin
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Sarah Evans

Sarah EvansNiche: Public Relations & Social Media
Weapons of Choice: Guest articles/columns
Monetization/Business Model: Speaking and Sevans Strategy consulting firm
Interview: RISE #71: Becoming Influential: The Rise Of “PR Sarah Evans”
Connect With Sarah
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Steve Garfield

Steve GarfieldNiche: Online Video
Weapons of Choice: Video blogging, events, book
Monetization/Business Model: Book deal, consulting, teaching & speaking
Interview: RISE #36: How Entrepreneurs Can Get Seen Using Online Video With Steve Garfield
Connect With Steve
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Scott Ginsberg

Scott GinsbergNiche: Approachability & Sticking Out
Weapons of Choice: Blog, online video tips, articles, books
Monetization/Business Model: Speaking, books, “Rent Scott’s Brain” coaching/consulting
Interview: The Nametag Guy: Scott Ginsberg
Connect With Scott
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Joel Libava

Joel LibavaNiche: Franchises
Weapons of Choice: Blogging & articles
Monetization/Business Model: E-courses, consulting, digital products
Interview: RISE #55: Building Your Brand Online With The Franchise King Joel Libava
Connect With Joel
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Alexis Martin Neely

Alexis Martin NeelyNiche: Law
Weapons of Choice: Articles, blogging
Monetization/Business Model: Speaking, consulting, products, books
Interview: RISE #86: Say Goodbye To The Billable Hour With Alexis Martin Neely
Connect With Alexis
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Dan Schawbel

Dan SchawbelNiche: Personal Branding
Weapons of Choice: Blogging, magazine, awards, book(s)
Monetization/Business Model: Advertising, speaking, consulting (Millennial Branding), book deal
Interview: RISE #52: Building Your Personal Brand With Dan Schawbel
Connect With Dan
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Peter Shankman

Niche: Public Relations & Social Media
Weapons of Choice: Speaking, blogging, books
Monetization Model: Speaking, HARO (Help A Reporter Out), consulting
Interview: RISE #14: How To Get Quoted In The Media Without An Expensive PR Firm
Connect With Peter
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Josh Shipp

Josh ShippNiche: The youth market
Weapons of Choice: Blogging, articles, online TV
Monetization/Business Model: Speaking, events, products
Interview: RISE #15: Capturing The Youth Market With Youthologist Vanessa Van Petten & The Amazing Josh Shipp
Connect With Josh
Website
Twitter
Facebook

“The Millionaire Matchmaker” Patti Stanger

Patti StangerNiche: Dating/Relationships
Weapons of Choice: Blog, TV show, radio show, book
Monetization/Business Model: Paid by Bravo TV, radio show on XM, private consulting, Millionaire’s Club Matchmaking service, licensing, book deal
Interview: Million Dollar Brand
Connect With Patti
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Timothy Sykes

Timothy SykesNiche: Finance & Investing
Weapons of Choice: Blogging, online TV show, newsletters
Monetization/Business Model: Products, membership site, private newsletters, consulting, DVD’s, side projects
Interview: RISE #32: Monetizing Your Online Community In Every Way Possible With Timothy Sykes
Connect With Tim
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Vanessa Van Petten

Vanessa Van PettenNiche: Parenting
Weapons of Choice: Books & blogging
Monetization/Business Model: Advertising, speaking, workshops, consulting, books, digital products
Interview: RISE #15: Capturing The Youth Market With Youthologist Vanessa Van Petten & The Amazing Josh Shipp
Connect With Vanessa
Website
Twitter
Facebook

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary VaynerchukNiche: Wine and Web
Weapons of Choice: Online TV show, video blog and upcoming radio show (Sirius), books
Monetization/Business Model: Wine Library (selling wine), VaynerMedia (consulting services), speaking engagements, angel investing, book deal
Interview: Uncut With Gary V
Connect With Gary
Website
Twitter
Facebook

The big question: Can you do this for yourself? Perhaps fill it out for your current situation and where you would like to be.

Example:

David Siteman Garland

Niche: Marketing/Creative Entrepreneurship
Weapons of Choice: TV show, online show, blog, events and upcoming book
Monetization/Business Model: Sponsorships, speaking, “consulting”, book deal…and future products

Bottom line is that right now there is an incredible opportunity to carve out your niche. Are you ready to jump (dive, swan dive, etc.) in?

This post was inspired by my upcoming book, Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business (Wiley Publishing) –  out this December and now available for pre-order.

 

GET MY FREE CHEAT SHEET

These are the EXACT same steps I used to go from $0 to over $1,000,000 in online course sales in less than 24 months (and used by over 2,500+ of my students)

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around!