Whether you are looking for a career change or want to flex your entrepreneurial muscles, the internet has done you a massive favor. It’s no longer mandatory to work a typical nine-to-five job; the digital world provides women with a wealth of alternative opportunities without the usual drawbacks of corporate life.
Working from home has become a viable source of income that empowers female entrepreneurs to pursue their own career path without sinking their savings into start-up costs. Take a look at these five flexible digital careers – none of which involve taking surveys!
1. For Ambitious Creatives: Branding Consultant
Always designing cool stuff on your computer? Do people call you with their business ideas? If you are great at problem-solving branding issues, why not become a branding consultant?
Loads of businesses (including sole traders) need logos, social media guidance, copywriting – you can help them create a better business. You begin small and work part-time with a small community of clients, to ensure that their brands are sending out the right messages. Client satisfaction is the key to your success – keep clients happy and on-side with frequent calls and updates, but stay firm with your rates and boundaries too.
The best consultants specialize early. Have experience of the pet industry? Focus on helping pet entrepreneurs and businesses. Don’t be afraid to approach corporate clients too – they often bring in externals and freelancers to troubleshoot branding issues. Branding is about much more than just a logo – you are going to have to dig deep and really get to know your clients.
What you’ll need:
2. For Dreamy Writers: Blogger & Content Whizz
Writing can be a great way to earn money online – many people start with a blog and then transition into PR/marketing, or focus on growing their blog readership and monetize their blog with affiliate links or tie-in products (online courses, ebooks etc.) Blogging is big business – if you can help others reach their goals – do it.
What you’ll need:
3) For Fearless Female Entrepreneurs: Ecommerce
Many online stores started out as simple ideas pursued in someone's bedroom or garage, and have since grown into popular ecommerce ventures. Sophia Amoruso (founder of Nasty Gal), Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna (founders of Birchbox) all became successful ecommerce sellers after their ideas took off. Now their products are highly sought after and they have paved the way for other online entrepreneurs. The thing that they both have in common – a great idea that’s perfect for their target market and bags of passion.
Don’t buy a lot of stock (or use a dropshipper), and don’t invest in expensive office space or technology. Focus on building solid relationships by finding customer advocates and keeping them happy (tweak your offering if that’s what people are reflecting back to you).
Operating your business fully online means low start-up costs. The risk is minimal, and if your store doesn't work out the way you thought it would, then you can move on.
What you’ll need:
4) For the Super Organized Mama: Virtual Assistant
Become a virtual online assistant and get paid to work from home so you can work around your lifestyle. Being a VA means you can pick the work that you do – do what suits your lifestyle and make money when you need it.
VA jobs suit people transitioning from more traditional office-based roles, and you can easily work part-time. The work will be varied, but it’s important that you stay super organized and that you can have a quiet space at home to work as you may be answering the phone. VAs often undergo training before they get set up – but mostly that’s just about getting to know the client and the software.
There are loads of virtual assistant agencies out there (many of them franchises). That’s probably a safe place to start until you’ve built up you own clients.
5) For the Adventurer: Fearless Freelancer
As long as you are able to get the work/life balance right, you can become successfully self-employed in a number of different niches. Freelancing has become an increasingly popular way to make money at home and it’s easy to see why – you can leave the corporate or agency life behind in favor of more fulfilling work.
New digital opportunities mean that women are able to work from home and coffee shops with their laptops – before they’ve even had a corporate career. For other women, freelancing is a great way to find new challenges in their industry and strike out on their own.
Here are some popular freelancer careers:
Freelancing obviously isn’t as easy as quitting your job and ‘hey presto’ – you need to really think about whether you’re ready to take on the responsibility of client management, tax returns and invoicing. The best freelancers start slow – working alongside their day job until you have built enough capital and work to fully cut the cord.
Some freelancers build up a credible online brand, building traffic and custom that way. Others focus more on word of mouth, and may not need to ‘launch’ themselves if client work is keeping them busy. But it’s always a good idea to have a professional website and a promotional strategy ready – you never know when you might need it.
Passionate about writing for the startup and entrepreneurial audience, Kayleigh has recently been part of setting up an exciting project at MicroStartups.org, which donates all of its website profits to charities that help people reach their full potential. Find out more on Twitter (@getmicrostarted).
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