It’s snowing outside. (As I begin to write this on Nov 3)
Been snowing lightly all day.
Not amounting to much on the ground, but its a NICE site to see!
Yeah, I know, you’re thinking better ME than YOU. I can appreciate that. I’m one of *those folks* who actually ENJOYS winter – being outside in the crisp, cold air – and with a day that has remained in the low 30’s all day, I know those days will be here – very soon!
I’m ready… bring it on! I was studying for a PSIA Exam much of the day (it’s a ski instruction thing – and yes, that is my winter “job” – just finished it with a 98% score!). Hey, someone has to ski 100+ days each winter! Honestly, I LOVE it… I get TONS of powder and fresh snow AND TONS of SUN – and I get to eat like a teenager and STILL LOSE WEIGHT!
Seriously, last winter I was packing away at least 4000 calories each day – perhaps more – and I was STILL SHRINKING!
Ok, my goal here is NOT to “sell” you on the “winter in the Rockies” lifestyle, but it IS to talk about “Earning Income On The Road”. So lets start here…
Start with my video – then continue with the written narrative below.
Start With Taking A Personal Inventory
What are you good at? What are your skills? What do you LIKE to do (that has a chance of producing income)?
If you have a “marketable skill” – photography, crafts (that you create), nursing, RV repair, writing, skiing etc. There are MANY opportunities for you as you travel. Even if you don’t, we’ve only just begun! And… we’ll talk shortly about HOW to market your skill – essentially turning your skill into currency.
Also – I’m sure that you the reader have some ideas to ADD to this post as your input helps to bring a post “alive” and add to its value to others – I want to ENCOURAGE you to do so by going to the comments section below and ADD YOURS!
Next, lets focus on RV Lifestyle
When I think about RV Lifestyle, I think about how do you wish to live? I will share mine as an example – I choose to “stay put” for 6 months during the winter (in my RV), hence I can hold a “traditional” job – in my case as a ski instructor. After the winter snows melt, I travel for a few weeks, then camp host all summer, then have a more prolonged travel season (of about 2 months) as I return to my winter destination.
I like traveling, but I also like “settling in” to one place for a while – and with my RV, I’m not locked into being at the same ski area each winter.
Now, what about YOU?
Do you want to be “stationary” for a period of time? Or travel daily/weekly/monthly? These decisions will impact your options for earning “on the road”.
Oh, and know this – I do not consider camp hosting as part of my “on the road income” plan as all it does is allow me to trade my site for a few hours of volunteer work each week. In my video I share my thoughts on trying to work at campgrounds and the relative merits of that strategy for income. Here it will suffice to say, I would much rather keep my camp hosting on a volunteer basis! To me camp hosting is a way of keeping my costs in check – not a way to generate income.
Hourly – Residual – Leveraged Income Options
Most of us are quite conditioned to “trading hours for dollars” – and if you derive pleasure from or during your work, that’s a fine option. An RV repairman who knows how to fix something and takes pleasure and pride in his work as he trades his (valuable) time for a pre-agreed sum, is certainly entering into a “win-win” relationship. I feel the same when I spend a day with a group of “students” learning to ski, or an hour with a student who wishes to learn Chemistry (I do on occasion tutor Chemistry via Skype).
These forms of hourly income (for me) are an agreeable way to earn on the road. What I would personally always want to avoid is trading my valuable time for a minimal wage doing something that offers little intrinsic reward or value. You the reader of course should evaluate for yourself where you draw the line on such work.
When it comes to finding work – of course use networking when possible – and there are several Facebook groups dedicated to “rv related” work, but also let your “fingers do the walking” with Google. If you have an “in demand” skill, something as simple as a flyer in a few key spots in the park and in town could do the trick.
In my video, I also mention “residual” and “leveraged” income. Residual typically happens when you acquire a customer – when they purchase a product from you, profit is earned; if they return to buy more of it, you earn again. Residual income is prevalent when you are marketing a “consumable” product.
Generally, the greatest effort is involved in initially acquiring that customer. Think about this in your own life, when you first purchase something, you have to really think about it, but if you consume the product and liked it, you will return to the vendor and ask to repurchase it. This behavior produces “recurring” or residual income. Of course, the requirement for gaining a customer in the first place is… you must be in sales! This includes the sale of products as a distributor or affiliate, or sales as an “independent representative” (more on this shortly) of a company.
To provide a specific example, I became a distributor for Arginine Infusion – a “best in class” arginine product I personally use and believe in. Arginine shows great promise in reducing risk of heart disease – and much more. I use the term distributor and NOT “independent representative” as that term is “code speak” for a network marketing company (often called “MLM” or “home based business”).
I chose to distribute Arginine Infusion after speaking with the owner of the company and reviewing their product – and comparing it to the competition. I must emphasize again the difference between being a distributor and an “independent representative” as the latter represents a network marketing product – many of which (if not most) are NOT priced competitively as they have to build in funds for the elaborate pay plan these companies have.
Note: There are a few network marketing companies that DO make sense and I’ll be discussing that shortly – along with the concept of leverage.
The Golden Age of Business – Anyone can be a distributor or an affiliate
The Internet changes EVERYTHING. You and I can create a website and YouTube video for little (or no cost). And… that website and video has the potential to reach MILLIONS of “prospective customers”. Before we talk about marketing, lets detail what being an affiliate is all about –
Amazon is one of the best and easiest places to start. Amazon will pay you a commission for sales you generate – and since Amazon sells *virtually everything* – and at a competitive price, its easy to find something you have a passion to promote.
When you are an affiliate or distributor (there is no cost associated with becoming an affiliate), and in many cases associated with a network marketing company, you do not have to maintain any inventory, and in most cases do not have to handle any money directly for purchases. All this has been created for you by the merchant providing the products.
For the purposes of illustration, this page has several “offers” – the first two are Amazon (affiliate) offers, the third is my arginine product, next is “Wise Foods” – another affiliate program, managed by “Commission Junction” – a marketplace where you can find MANY things to become an affiliate for. Lastly, I have an Amazon offer for water filters (great for RV’ers as we have limited space/weight to carry lots of water and these filters will work for about 1 million gallons of water!)
If you are going to be in sales – learning how to market online is THE KEY to success
Marketing is the action of getting the word out to potential buyers on products that (hopefully) YOU believe in. Before the RECENT advent of YouTube and Google’s search engine (over 70% of all internet searches), frankly marketing was beyond the reach of the typical small business owner. After all, purchasing advertising in a newspaper, or on TV or radio is far too costly for most “home based entrepreneurs”.
The internet has given US a chance. With minimal expense, we can produce websites and videos that have the potential to reach millions.
When it comes to marketing online, I’m a firm believer in VIDEO marketing. Consider how a video enables you to learn about a product and potentially the person speaking on its behalf. I have made several videos that promote Arginine Infusion and Send Out Cards for this very reason. The challenge is to get your video to “rank” for specific keywords when people search Google or YouTube (the #2 search engine). A keyword is actually a phrase that people type in when they are looking for something specific.
As an example, I have been working to “optimize” my Arginine Infusion videos for the phrase “L Arginine Benefits” – a phrase I learned is worth ranking for through my “keyword research”. I chose it based upon the number of people who search this “keyword” every month and the level of competition I have in getting it on page one of a YouTube (or Google) search. To see how I’m doing with it, go to YouTube (I have been working to optimize for YouTube) and type in “L Arginine Benefits” in the search box. This is only one of several keywords I am working to rank for. And… remember, anyone can create, post and work to rank a YouTube video for free – or a very small investment in their business!
Incidentally, you can use this same approach to market yourself as a tutor, repair man, or consultant. AND… I teach this and mentor folks in how to create, rank, and promote videos. Contact me – look for the contact link below.
We really HAVE experienced a paradigm shift
In the “old days”, home based business entrepreneurs had to get out there and “hustle” to generate business. Frankly, I believe this is what gave Network Marketing such a bad reputation (more on that point in a moment.)
The paradigm shift? Today, a well constructed video campaign and website can get you results that was simply not affordable (or even available) just 20 years ago. The result? Your clients will seek YOU out – rather than the traditional strategy, often referred to as the “3 foot rule” taught by most “home based business” companies.
The key again is to “learn to play” in the world of “keywords” and “ranking” videos.
Is it even worth considering ANY “network marketing” company?
In one word, yes, BUT…
Allow me to start here – the reason I still consider network marketing (MLM) companies relevant today is they can fit the “location neutral” (on the road) lifestyle quite well, and in many cases offer both residual income AND leverage. Leveraged income enables you to earn from your efforts AND from those on your team. Think of “team based income” as an “override” on the income generated by someone who decides to join you in the effort to promote and market a particular product.
It truly CAN be a “symbiotic” (win-win) relationship IF you serve to teach your team how to market in the 21st Century, and in turn, their success increases your financial return for your efforts.
THE KEY however is to find a product that is 1) in demand and 2) priced right and 3) does what it claims to do – not such a simple set of requirements frankly. In my terms, when a product meets ALL 3 “requirements”, I term is “best in class”.
The simple reality is many (most?) network marketing products are NOT a “best in class” as they are more pricey than their competition – and in health and wellness, one of the main areas for networking companies to “play” in because of their profit margins and consumable nature, the products come with a bunch of (truly) incredible claims about their “ability” to do what they supposedly do and very little HARD evidence that they really work. I strongly encourage you to be VERY skeptical when reviewing ANY network marketing “health and wellness” products.