The value you bring is directly related to the skills you have developed. The more skills you develop or the deeper you master your current high-income skills the more value you can bring.
The more value you bring to your clients or organization, the more you’ll be able to earn. Value, skills, and earnings are each other’s best friends.
In this article, I’ll mainly focus on those high-income skills you can learn in your spare time without a college or university education.
I think we can all agree that doctors, lawyers, or engineers are careers with high-income skills, but these skills can’t just be learned in your spare time without a formal education.
We live in a creator economy. Some of the biggest stars of today are YouTubers, Twitch streamers, or Instagram influencers. In fact, on average, we spend more time each day consuming digital media (such as YouTube or podcasts) than traditional media (such as TV or radio).
There’s a lot of money to be made in the creator economy. And no, you don’t need 100k+ followers to make some money online.
Keep in mind, even though literally anyone can start a YouTube channel or publish on Medium, content creation is a skill you need to develop. Your first videos or articles will likely suck and get zero views. That’s okay.
The important thing is that you’re getting started by developing your content-creation skills. You’ve joined the creator economy.
Nowadays, there’s a platform for any type of content— whether it’s video, blogging, audio, or images. When you’re starting out, I highly recommend you begin with creating content that plays to your natural strengths.
If you’re not that good in front of a camera but you’re a really good writer, don’t make videos on YouTube or TikTok, but join Medium, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
And if you’re not that good of a writer but can keep people hooked on your stories, start a podcast or YouTube show. The more you play to your strengths, the faster you’ll gain views and followers. The more views and followers, the more money you’ll make.
Every business needs marketing. Every. Single. One. This means there’s a lot of demand for high-quality marketers. Whether we’re talking about branding experts, ad specialists, digital marketers, or content marketers. Marketing is an essential part of every business.
Merely having good products or services is not enough — you need good marketing to grow. Without marketing, your potential customers won’t even realize you exist.
How can people ever buy from you when they don’t even know you exist?
Since marketing is quite broad, I recommend you focus on a specific marketing sub-skill first, for example:
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Business to Business Marketing
- SEO Marketing
- Email Marketing
I learned a ton more from the self-studying I did in my spare time. Many of the best marketers don’t have a marketing degree.
Instead, you can learn marketing by reading books from successful marketers or entrepreneurs who speak from real experience, following online marketing courses (from SkillShare, for example), and studying the marketing strategies of the most successful brands of this moment.
On top of that, there’s no better teacher than real-world experience. Consider starting an online side-hustle to apply your marketing lessons. For me, that’s been the ultimate way to develop my marketing skills.
All in all, marketing is a high-income skill whether you work for yourself or for an employer. Better marketing equals more sales — it’s that simple.
Most companies need great marketers and high-quality salespeople. Keep in mind, sales and marketing are not exactly the same. Being a good salesperson doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a good marketer — and vice versa.
For example, you might be great at creating ads, but you might not be as great at a one-on-one sales conversation in which you have to convert a prospect to a client. You might be great at building a brand, but not as great at creating high-converting sales funnels. It’s a different game.
Developing your sales skills doesn’t happen at university. It’s too dry and theoretical to teach you sales. Instead, read a few books from some of the best salespeople and apply their tips in real life as soon as possible.
My personal favorite is ‘The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything To Anyone’ by Fredrik Eklund, who’s the number one real estate broker in New York.
All in all, when you’re great at sales, you’ll be in high demand for a lot of businesses. As your skill directly helps improve the bottom line of a company, you can expect good money — whether in extra commissions or a big paycheck.
Copywriting is the art of writing persuasively so that readers are more likely to perform a certain action. It’s mostly used on sales pages to convert readers into customers, but it can also be used to convert readers into email subscribers or followers, for example.
Copywriting is a highly valuable skill because it tends to directly increase the sales of a business — whether your own or the one you work for. The more persuasive your writing, the more money you’ll make. It’s that simple.
In my opinion, any content creator, writer, or marketer should learn at least the basics of copywriting. Whether you’re selling or product or not, copywriting will improve the overall quality of your writing and make content more engaging for the reader.
Personal Finance & Investing
I believe that everyone should learn about personal finance and investing. It’s such an essential aspect of our lives — whether we like it or not. It amazes me that, to this day, it’s still not taught in school.
Nevertheless, we all have to deal with money. And the better you understand it, the more you’ll make and keep. Therefore, learning about personal finance and investing is one of the most valuable high-income skills to develop.
It frustrates me to see hard-working people experiencing crippling financial stress because they haven’t been taught how to manage their money. The lack of global financial education has stacked the cards against most of us.
It’s time to change that.
Fortunately, money management isn’t rocket science. It’s a skill you can easily develop in your spare time by reading books from the most successful investors. By following just a few simple rules, you can completely change your financial future.
The hardest thing about personal finance and investing is the terminology used. The investment world purposefully uses complex terms for relatively simple things to make it seem like rocket science. It’s key to learn all these terms and become financially literate.
By making it all super complicated and intimidating, investment managers hope you get too scared to invest by yourself and instead hand your money over to them. As a result, they profit handsomely from handling your money despite roughly 80% of active financial managers underperforming a passive index fund portfolio.
All in all, get in complete control over your money and learn all about personal finance and investing. Learn about savings, inflation, stocks, index funds, crypto, real estate, and yes — taxes. Mastering these financial skills can truly be life-changing.
Whether in marketing, content creation, or other aspects of business, video production is becoming more and more important. As it’s usually a time-consuming task that requires highly specific skills, it’s one of the first tasks that companies hire freelancers for.
All in all, video production is a high-income skill because it requires unique abilities. Whether editing videos for online courses, producing video ads, or any other form of video production, it’s in high demand.
Just like video production, graphic design is such a specific skill that it’s in high demand. Whether it’s designing logos, visual marketing assets, or even PowerPoint presentations— when you can make beautiful designs, it tends to be highly compensated.
In a business environment that’s becoming increasingly digital, coding becomes an increasingly valuable skill. Nowadays, most businesses need an app, website, or software program — and they’re willing to spend a lot of money on it.
For more than a year, I worked at a start-up that developed an app for the medical industry. I can tell you, the software developers were the stars of the company. The app’s quality was literally in their hands, so they were of great importance to the company.
There are many online courses and resources to learn coding by yourself — some free and some paid. Popular examples are Codecademy, SkillShare, or FreeCodeCamp.