Do You Have Marketable Skills To Make Money Online? - Phil Hawksworth

Do You Have Marketable Skills To Make Money Online?

So you wanna work online..?

Whether you envision sitting in the corner of your local coffee shop with your laptop, catching the sly glance of the young barista checking you out…

Or you want to be at home; seeing the kids grow up, the dog snoozing at your feet, no stress from bosses or office politics…

Maybe something more exotic. The digital nomad lifestyle I’m living; beautiful nature, glamorous resorts, sunny beaches and beautiful girls…

Whichever is for you; they all have the common means to getting there.

You need to be working remotely, online, and you need to be working for yourself.

But Phil…


“I don’t have any relevant skills to make money online or experience I can use in an online business”

Guess what? I’m going to tell you that you likely do.

The disconnect is simply that you do not realise the value you are sitting on. It’s not a lack of skills to make money online, it’s just a lack of perspective for how valuable you can be.

By the end of this article, I should have you convinced. If not – leave me a comment.


The best place to start an online business is an online freelance business…

Building a brand, generating a following, creating and selling your own products… is hard.

It’s hard as hell. It’s risky, it takes a long time, and it’s not a smart place to start your first business.

The better idea is to start with a freelance business. Everyone will have a skill they already possess, which can be leveraged into an online freelance business.

The best part about it, there are generally no start up costs, and you could potentially sign your first client today. A freelance business is going to be profitable from day one. That makes it an infinitely safer bet than any kind of product business.

“That’s all great, but you still haven’t told me what I can do with my skills to make money online…”

Ok Tiger. What we need to do first is look at the perspective of the person who would be hiring you. The most basic principle of marketing and sales is that the market/buyer dictates what the offer is.

No amount of jamming your amazing [widget] down someone’s throat will work if they don’t want it or need it.

I’m uniquely positioned to have hired a bunch of freelancers when I was a business owner, before I ever did any freelance work myself.

This gives perspective. I know what it’s like to hire a freelancer, what clients are looking for, and what will make or break a freelancer.


Over the years I hired…

  • 2 virtual assistants
  • 3 web designers (this was before you could do stuff yourself with wordpress and drag and drop template designers)
  • 10-12 graphics designers
  • 3 video editors
  • 1 transcriptionist
  • 3 PR managers
  • 2 social media managers
  • 1 book editor
  • 2 SEO people

These varied from people on Fiverr for one off gigs, up to monthly retainers for thousands of dollars.

I have plenty of experience on that side of the equation, and I will tell you all about how to stand out, do what your clients want, and make them love you, in a following post.

During this time I had a fitness business. My skills and experience were primarily in fitness.


When I first became a freelancer…

I started off my freelance journey as a writer.

Hardly a skill I developed in the gym, is it?

I was just naturally talented (relatively) at writing.

I can write quickly, have good spelling and grammar, and can get a message across. Hemingway I am not… but you don’t need to be. This is the point I’m going to get onto in a minute. You need to be competent to have a good freelance business, you do not need to be the best in the world.

I used my experience in fitness and leveraged my contacts. Why spend 4 times as long writing about something I need to go and research, when I can write about fitness in my sleep because I’ve been living and breathing it all of my adult life?

So all I did was use something I have a reasonable natural talent for to develop my freelance business.


Why do business owners hire freelancers?

Business owners hire freelancers for two reasons.

  1. They don’t know how to do something, and don’t want to learn
  2. They could do something, but it’s not a good use of their time/energy

I could have posted on Twitter and Facebook all by myself. Rocket science, it is not…

Yet I hired social media managers, and VA’s at various times, to do it for me. Why?

Because I don’t like doing it, find it boring and annoying, and it is taking my time and energy away from doing much more important tasks that actually move the business forwards.

Video editing, on the other hand, I just don’t know how to do (as evidenced by my YouTube channel) and have zero desire to learn how to do.

So I would hire these things out to people online.

Let me ask you, could you write tweets and Facebook posts? Pretty sure anyone has the ‘skills’ required to do that. Nowadays the industry has moved on, you would need to be able to do a bit of photo editing for Instagram and perhaps whatever the hell kids do with Snapchat.

But if you’re under 25, you grew up with these, especially if you’re female – the things you do at Starbucks in your spare time could be leveraged into a professional freelance business.

If you’re in public, look around you, I bet 90% of the people under 30 in your immediate vicinity have their face buried in social media apps right now, right?

How many of these people are being paid to do that? None, I would guess.

But think about local businesses; mom and pop shops. The owners are probably older, they’re probably busy, and likely don’t understand social media.

Between premises, inventory, staff, bills, they already have 6-figure expenses. If you could generate more business for them, do you think they would pay you a grand or two to do that for them?

It doesn’t matter if it takes you 4 hours or 40 hours per week. They will care about the revenue you add to the bottom line. If you can demonstrate how this will benefit them, why would they not hire you?

Opportunity is everywhere, if you would only recognise it.


What skills do you have?

What if you’re not in the social media generation?

What if you’re not creative, or artsy, or good with design stuff?

You will have some skills to make money online; skills that other people would value. Let’s go through a checklist:

Download the full list of potential online freelance businesses here.

Do you have a natural talent for something that you are above average at?

Do you have something that is second nature for you, which most people can’t do?

Do you have skills from a previous job or business?

Are you willing to do low skill work to get started, while investing in raising your skills to access better opportunities?

Let’s explore each in more detail…


Do you have a natural talent for something that you are above average at?

I’m an above average writer. I’m not great, but compared to most people who spend 3 days creating a typo littered, grammatically cringe-worthy, piece of writing that I could do in 45 minutes… I’m above average.

That is good enough. Remember why business owners hire freelancers. It is almost never a good use of a business owners time to be writing content. Unless their business is publishing, it’s almost certain they would be better off hiring that out and doing something more important.

You just need to be able to do a competent job for them to gladly hand that work off to you.


Do you have something that is second nature for you, which most people can’t do?

Speak two languages fluently? Do translation

Great radio voice? Do voiceover work

Everyone is good at something, think outside the box and leverage things you can do naturally. You don’t immediately see the value because it is second nature, but to a business owner who needs this service and cannot do it, it’s a no brainer to hire someone.


Do you have skills from a previous job or business?

There will be something you’ve done in previous jobs or businesses that has a use for other people.

Think about it, a for-profit company would not hire you if you didn’t provide value for them. If you provide value for that company, why would other companies not also need that service?

Unless you work in government or some other bloated bureaucracy where you don’t actually do anything, what you do on a daily basis is valuable to somebodies business.

Perhaps it’s an offline task?

Alright, think about how you could potentially leverage it to be online. If not the exact same thing, you will have developed skills that are transferable.

Maybe you can’t do your job online, but there is opportunity to write about it, teach it, or do something else in a complimentary industry.

Jamie has a great post about how bloggers are broke, but blogging develops skills like writing, website management, SEO; which all have value to businesses if you would do them freelance.


Are you willing to do low skill work to get started, while investing in raising your skills to access better opportunities?

While I was doing freelance writing, I was skilling up in copywriting and marketing, which would allow me access to better paying, more challenging, more enjoyable freelance gigs.

If you’re really at a loss for what to do. If you genuinely have no skills to make money online, then you need to ask yourself a simple question;

Are you committed to doing this?

If you are, then you simply need to go and skill up. If you’re not, then stick with the cubicle.

If you’re committed to skilling up in whichever area interests you the most, you simply need to do something to pay the bills in the meantime.

If you have a job, I would recommend you keep it while building a freelance business on the side. If you’re dead set on working online, or there is little opportunity where you live, then do some basic online tasks. Be a virtual assistant, transcriptionist, write product reviews- anything to pay the bills for a short period of time while you learn.

The other alternative is to get something to pay the bills for now, while you focus on skilling up. Drive an Uber, be a security guard, work behind a bar – something to pay bills while you develop skills and start transitioning to your own online business.

There is no shame in taking a low-skill job for a short period while you build something of your own. It’s not a career, it’s just a stepping stone.

If you’re not willing to do any of these things, then ask if you really want it enough to make it happen?

What could you do to transfer your skills into an online opportunity?


Freelance to Freedom…

Yes! I want to gain freedom and control of my life with my own online freelance business… Using the skills I already have to be profitable from day one! Please notify me when the course is ready…



Like it? Share the love