Learn how to monetize your passion like a pro on this episode of Getting Rich, sponsored by Acura

On this episode of Getting Rich, sponsored by Acura, go on a financial journey with Carmen Perez as she outlines the pro tips and tricks to own your bank account, from credit scores to crushing student loan debt.

If you’re growing tired of the daily grind, it might be time to turn your passion into a business! After all, they say, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” 

But monetizing your passion is easier said than done, and it can be hard to know where to start. Fortunately, financial expert Carmen Perez (@makerealcents) of Make Real Cents is here to help. In this episode of In The Know’s Getting Rich, Carmen shares her tips for turning your passion into a profession, then sits down with artist Caroline Stoughton (@carolinestoughton_art) to answer her questions about monetizing her art. 

The first thing you need to do, according to Carmen, is identify your passion. Figure out what interests you and what makes your interests special. “Are you selling used clothes? Well, great. You need to ask yourself, what’s the difference between you and any of the other thousands of online retailers out there,” Carmen explains. 

Next, identify your customer base. “The more specific your product, the easier it will be for you to find your customer base,” Carmen explains. “A lot of people are in the market for a new backpack, but how many would want to buy that one that was made using your super secret recycling process that uses old grocery bags? Some would, and that’s who you need to find.”

In order to find your customer base, Carmen recommends researching other businesses that are similar to yours. “Seek out your prospective community of customers and find out what they want,” she explains. “Look at what marketing strategies work for your customer base and follow suit.”

Once you’ve identified your product and who would buy it, it’s time to take your business live! To do that, Carmen recommends putting some thought into different ways you could sell your product, and whether it makes more sense to sell online or in person. “But what’s the best avenue? Well, that depends,” she notes. “Are you selling something perishable? If so, shipping your product might not be the best idea, but a farmer’s market might be ideal.”

Next, Carmen sits down with artist Caroline Stoughton and advises her on how to make her art business more successful. “Are there like, three main ways that someone could put themselves out there as a brand?” Caroline asks Carmen. 

“Absolutely!” Carmen replies. “So I would recommend just leaning into social media. That’s a great place to start your marketplace and just being online and having an online presence. And then going to maybe meetups or groups and just talking to them and finding out how they best market their stuff.”

When Caroline notes that she finds bookkeeping overwhelming, Carmen recommends starting small, and just using a spreadsheet or even a pen and paper to keep track of sales. “It doesn’t have to be anything super sophisticated,” she explains. “And I know that can sound overwhelming, but once you get organized and develop a very simplistic system that works for you, you’ll be fine.”

Carmen concludes the episode with 3 simple tips that will help anyone looking to turn their passion into profit: Invest in your brand identity, make the most out of social media, and, last but not least, be patient!

“Building a successful business takes time and effort, so if you aren’t making millions of dollars after the first week, that’s okay,” Carmen says. “But you’ll never get a chance to make those millions if you’re not willing to stick with it and put in some hard work.”

Carmen is not a registered investment advisor. The above information is not investment advice and is intended for educational purposes only. Please consult with a financial professional to assess what investments are suitable for you based on your financial objectives, needs, and risk tolerance.

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