— February 8, 2018
I recently attended a networking event for freelancers where several people said they were having issues trying to decide on a service to provide. Their current situation is one where they have multiple skills, but they don’t know what they should stick to.
Just because you have multiple skills doesn’t mean you can or even should try to make money from them. I know this sounds strange given how often I talk about multiple streams of income, but there’s a big caveat.
The truth is there is a difference between having multiple streams of income and making money from multiple skills. I have multiple streams of income in the form of freelance writing, affiliate marketing, spokesperson work and consulting. This is all under the same skill of content creation, particularly in the finance and business niche.
Now, I can run social media accounts. I can run Facebook ads too. Does this mean I should be making money from it? No. First, because I don’t want to. Second, because it would cause confusion as to what it is I actually do.
That being said, I’m in a position where my bills are paid either way and I can choose to turn down work. But what if you’re in the beginning stages of a business? How do you choose between multiple skills?
Follow the money
The easiest way to choose between multiple skills is to follow the money. If you can design anything from clothing to logos but the money lies in making photo books, stick to the photo books.
This doesn’t mean you need to be here forever, especially if it’s not what you truly want to do. It just means you’re choosing this skill to pay your bills while you figure out your next steps.
For example, I have a client who is a travel agent. What she really wants to do is make money with influencer work for travel brands, but she knows she needs to build the brand first. In the meantime, she’s working on booking destination weddings because that’s where the money is. It’s also a good stepping stone to what she wants to do.
Keep it simple
When you try to sell multiple skills, it becomes problematic because no one understands what you do. By the same token, it becomes overly complicated and hard to explain. That’s why, when choosing between multiple skills, pick something you can easily explain to an eight-year-old.
This isn’t to say that your prospective clients have the intelligence of a child. What I’m trying to say is you need to be able to easily explain things in order to make money from them. If people don’t get what you do then they won’t hire you because they don’t know if you can be trusted.
Another way to see this is to pick one problem you can fix for people. You can surprise them later with your multiple skills, but for the sake of sales, you need to keep it simple.
Having multiple skills will take you far in business, however, it can be a detriment to your sales and marketing. The truth is sales is simple. Making money is also simple. That’s why you need to decide on one skillset and take it from there.