Today many are trying to find as I did how to monetize a brand new medium. How do you make your hobby a sustainable income stream? How do you justify the hours spent creating content for the bean counters in your life?
First a disclaimer; if you are doing this as a hobby or altruistic goals to spread the truth about the US Constitution and gun rights then you don’t have to monetize. There is nothing wrong with that. I started off that way. I found out that I needed to monetize to operate.
Before you seek to make money you need to provide good content for a while.
Social Media as you see it today came after the Black Man with A Gun Show Podcast formerly known as the Urban Shooter Podcast. It is hard to imagine promoting your blog or podcast today without Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube but I did.
Like the pro athletes of yesterday that ran miles, suffered concussions, broken bones and made millions less than the stars of today; I am in that group.
Over the past twelve years I have tried and did a number of things to pay for the bandwidth, hosting, hardware and software use to podcast.
One of the things I have to do better is to promote the people that have supported me. I plan to do that better in 2019.
There is an art to promotion, marketing and selling that is not offensive to your audience. Nobody likes being sold to nonstop. We are almost used to it but we don’t like it.
For the business owners that may be interested in sponsoring my work in the future here is a snapshot of my statistics for my podcast.
I also have an customized app that could be co-branded. It has had over 8K downloads.
For my fellow content creators here are a few tips.
As an entrepreneur in the 2A community that has tried a little of everything to be successful I want to share what I found what works in almost every business.
Here are five ways I know a content creator can make money. It is easier to write than to achieve.
- Selling products
The gun world is pretty cool. The people are interesting. I’ve been a part of it since 1986.
The subject of gun control is evergreen. The topic is political. There is money to be made and unfortunately wasted. Organizations exploit the hell out of it. We fall for the shenanigans like clockwork.
My first advice to the new business owner is to find a niche. The riches are in the niches.
Know that there are hundreds of instructors coming up and going out. The ones that stick around, have identified their target audience, and with rifle precision have gone after them. The shotgun approach or just hanging out your “shingle” and waiting for customers doesn’t work well.
Like my grandma used to say, “if you chase two rabbits, you’ll get none.”
To fill a scheduled class for example, all of your clients should be the same. This is not in looks but in what they want from the course. Some can’t be there for one thing and the other for something else. You have to know what they want and give it to them.
One of your challenges is going to be that your perspective clients don’t know actually what they want. Part of your process has to be to change that. You have to prequalify them.
That way you ain’t wasting your time.
As an instructor you have to keep learning yourself. Don’t be satisfied with just the NRA instructor certification. The NRA did an amazing job marketing their standard but it isn’t the end all.
You will also need to know marketing, basic business, adult learning techniques, and some crisis management. After every shooting, you have the opportunity for a televised or radio interview. You have to learn how to present yourself in a way that you want and not what the media wants. It’s a skill.
You have to be able to critical of yourself and teaching style so you can determine what market is best for you. Believe it or not, everyone is not going to like you. (I know hard to believe isn’t it?) You might be a great fit though for an all-female class, or not. You might work better with law enforcement, or not.
There’s a lot more but I’ll share the rest later.
Rev. Kenn Blanchard has been a firearms instructor since 1986. He has traveled abroad armed in over thirteen countries protecting diplomats and VIPs. He has trained with the USMC, Navy, US Army, IDF, US State Dept., FLETC and others. He created African American Arms & Instruction, Inc. training security guards, police officers and civilians in first aid, CPR and firearms use. He became a gun rights activist in 1991 and helped five states get concealed carry reform. He is respected in the firearms industry. He created blackmanwithagun.com in 1999. He is the author of Black Man With A Gun: Reloaded and created the podcast in 2007 that now has reached over 2.1 million downloads.Check out these podcast: Black Man With A Gun Show , Speak Life church , and Indian Motorcycle radio The Books, Kenn has written.