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I have been working in the freight industry as part of the family business for 21 years, that is a long time in one particular industry and as the saying goes you can do less time for murder…
In my 21 years in the industry I have always tried to find new ways to make money for the family business, I find it fascinating to try and attempt a new idea and love seeing it come off, even more so when there is a great financial reward for my efforts. .
Off course, not all my attempts at earning money have worked…I have had plenty of failures.
The world is not changing when it comes to earning extra income, the days of going door to door to as a salesman no longer apply in the modern era, there has been another shift in how deals are done and how business is created.
Online marketplaces have created a huge opportunity for people to earn an additional income.
What Is An Online Marketplace?
Online Marketplaces are now the new battleground for solopreneurs to acquire work, you no longer need to walk the streets trying to hunt down new business by knocking on as many doors as possible, you now just need to enter your email address and password to create a new account and you are all set, your new audience will be clients from places all across the world.
Are you familiar with marketplaces? The best examples for freelancers looking to earn an additional income would be sites such as:
These types of websites have created extra wealth for a lot of individuals who have worked very hard to earn themselves an extra income, off course, it is not just a case of signing up and watching the money roll in, you need to have skills and expertise in the area’s that you are selling your services for e.g. content writing, ebook cover design etc. and then you also need to try and stand out from the crowd, these marketplaces are very busy places and it can be difficult to be awarded jobs when you first sign up as you have zero feedback…but don’t let that put your off, everyone on the site who is doing well now started with zero feedback.
How can you grab some opportunities when you first sign up?
- Create an excellent user profile
- Upload a professional photo of yourself
- Show examples of previous work
- Confirm that you are prepared to over deliver
- Be prepared to work for low pay at the start
- Promise to deliver on time every time
- Always respond to any questions from interested parties in a timely fashion with detailed answers
It can feel like a chicken and egg type scenario when you first sign up to a marketplace, but if you put in the hard work you will be presented with opportunities, make sure that you grab them, even for low pay, and to build up your feedback and over time you will then see more opportunities presented to you.
Remember, as with all money earning ideas, it tends to be a marathon not a sprint.
These marketplaces not only create opportunities for solopreneurs to earn some extra money for themselves but they have also created opportunities for people looking to save money in a number of different areas, for example if you wanted an ebook cover designed before the invention of these types of websites you would paid a lot of money to have a cover designed, now through sites such as Fiverr you can purchase a cover for your new ebook for as little as $5! okay, you might want to spend a little more to ensure the quality is as professional as possible but even if you then doubled your budget and paid $10 the savings would still be huge!
The same applies to content writing, logo design etc. the list goes on and on for the services that you can now purchase and the savings that can be made are substantial.
Anyone can have success with earning an additional income on a marketplace, I managed to do it and so can you.
I will now run through how I was able to earn extra revenue for the family business.
I have earned money from various ideas but one of my most profitable encounters was by simply entering the phrase “shipping auctions” in to Google, I then discovered what was at the time a new website by the name of Uship.com
My immediate thought was “WOW!”, how had this idea not been thought of before? And why had I not thought of it?
The idea behind the website was basic but very effective – basically if you are looking to ship a car, motorcycle, boat or personal effects, you enter the items details in to the site along with where you would like to ship the item to and from and then sit back and wait for freight forwarders such as myself to make bids on the consignment, the person placing the items, the shipper, then accepts the bid which they find to be the best for them, off course, normally this would be the lowest financial amount that has been bid.
It works very easy!
Zero to £45,000
I started placing bids on vehicles and cars that needed to be moved across Europe and to/from the USA as that is primarily the routes we cover in the family business.
It took a few bids to get going but before I knew it, I started having bids accepted on a regular basis. The whole process was easy enough, I was not really doing anything different to what I would normally do in my everyday job routine, bid on an item, hopefully win the auction and get the item to its destination in the quickest time possible.
Speed and great customer service is imperative to win business on online marketplaces.
The first job that I won the bidding on was to ship a Saab motor vehicle from the USA, the owner was a little apprehensive in using my services as I had zero feedback…that is understandable, so it was very much a chicken and egg situation, I needed to win jobs to be able to receive good feedback from a happy client (as long as they were happy with my services off course) luckily for me the owner of the Saab showed faith in me and we shipped the car across without a hitch, he then kindly left me 5 out of 5 stars with a glowing review and this then helped me tremendously when bidding for future shipments.
Customer service is key to building up any new business and it is even more important when trying to build up your reputation when using an online platform to try an earn an additional income.
Word of mouth travels fast online:
My average overall score was also 5 stars out of 5:
In total I won bidding on 65 Jobs:
This was great for me! But, even more success was to come, a few of the people who I had done work for were companies and not individuals and had started to become repeat clients, they also started to recommend me to other companies looking to employ a freight forwarding company, this had an amazing knock on effect – I probably then got an additional 100+ jobs in!! Some of these clients are still working with me now.
All in all, I probably earned at least £45,000 from using an online marketplace, it has been a huge success for me and has helped me build up the business and create great working relationships and opened up new doors and opportunities for me.
I have also learnt a great lesson, opening one door and then having some success can then open more doors, more opportunities create even more opportunities, all leading to positive knock on effects.
Try something new, if you do not succeed do not think of it as a failure, think of it as a learning experience to help you do something better next time, keep trying hard and when the door opens to a great opportunity make sure you step through it and make the most of it.