Tag Archives: Social Media

Creating Multiple Income Streams

Professional genealogist Claire V. Brisson-Banks discusses how to create various income streams to supplement the research side of your genealogy business.

Creating Multiple Income Streams

[Editor’s Note: Claire V. Brisson-Banks, BS,  MLIS,  AG® is a professional genealogist and owner of Timeless Genealogies.]

As a professional genealogist, there are times when there are too many clients and times when there aren’t enough clients. So what does one do to keep the income coming in? We need to link up with other businesses, be affiliates, support one another and help each other out by supporting other products connected with our business, etc. Use social media to the max and I believe in giving back to the community you work in; often this opens up opportunities to get work that is paid.

Genealogists love to research; they enjoy the “hunt” for those elusive family members of their clients as well as their own. One of the biggest hurdles is “knowing when to stop” and being honest with a client. If they hire you to do 10 hours of work, you need to do 10 hours and that includes your research, report, documents, etc. When you do more time than what you are being paid for you are (1) reducing your own income, (2) increasing the expectations of the client and (3) creating false expectations for genealogists in general. Learning to structure your time properly with your clients will be beneficial to both you and your clients.

Here are some ways that you can develop other income streams as part of your genealogy business

  • Consider conducting classes online either through “Google Hang-outs,” using Adobe Connect or You Tube or checking out other groups that provide online instruction and seeing what is needed to get involved.
  • Consider being an in person instructor at a conference, a school that offers genealogical subjects either in person or online, your local library, a 50+ community, a local community center and/or a local community college. Each of these groups pays their instructors for the class or classes use your research skills to locate these kinds of facilities in your area. Make sure your business cards and your expertise is known at your local library, someone is always catching the genealogy bug and often they go to the local library to get started after they get lost online, it is very easy for the newbie to be overwhelmed with all that is available for them to try and do this on their own.
  • Check with other genealogical/family history publications to see if there is a need for an article for their publication. Often local societies are looking for articles to fill their quarterly subscriptions, most provide some sort of payment for that article; be sure to check all the fine print before you write the article to make sure you follow all their requirements and monetary payment is worth your time to do the article.
  • Partner with another company that provides services connected with your services. By checking out how to be an affiliate, you can usually sign up and add their logo to your own site. Depending on the terms and the affiliate agreement, the money you earn through this links can vary. However, a variety of different things usually bring in something which all adds up in the end. Sometimes you can exchange logos and help each other. With all the resources available it should be easy to locate companies you can work with in this field. Using Google.com as your search engine, type in “Genealogy Affiliate Programs” and don’t forget to also do “Family History Affiliate Programs”. You’ll be surprised at what comes up, pick and choose wisely, and always read the affiliate materials; each affiliate pays a different percentage of sales made through your site and your links.
  • Consider adding other genealogical/family history products on your own website. When you least expect it, those items do sell and add much needed funds to your income. In 2004 I teamed up with Quintin Publications selling their out of print Family History and Genealogy books on CD. It is amazing how much is sold in a year bringing in something with each sale.

This blog article is barely scratching the surface of this topic. I highly recommend the e-book by Thomas MacEntee entitled: Genealogy Opportunities 2015: How to Make Money in the Genealogy Business available on Amazon.com.

Regardless of all the above, you must keep your skills up, attend conferences, get your name out there, keep an eye on social media, keep up a blog and let others know about your talents. This author has multiple blogs; you can see my contributions here.

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Claire V. Brisson-Banks, B.S., AG® is an Educator, Leader, Librarian, Genealogist, Forensics, Family Historian, Writer, Avid Blogger, Technology Expert, Marketing, Mentor, Lecturer, and Business Owner.

About Claire V. Brisson-Banks

Claire V. Brisson-Banks, B.S., AG® is an Educator, Leader, Librarian, Genealogist, Forensics, Family Historian, Writer, Avid Blogger, Technology Expert, Marketing, Mentor, Lecturer, and Business Owner.

She is the owner of Timeless Genealogies, a provider of ancestral research services. Her personal areas of expertise in connection with genealogy and family history are Technology Advances, Social Media, US, Canadian, England, Scotland, Brick Walls and Working with and Involving Youth in Family History and Genealogy.

Putting Social Media Marketing on Autopilot – Part 1: Strategize and Automate

Genealogy professional Caroline Guntur of The Swedish Organizer shares her social media strategy that has helped her find success as a solopreneur.

Putting Social Media Marketing on Autopilot – Part 1: Strategize and Automate

[Editor’s Note: Caroline Guntur is a Certified Photo Organizer, Personal Historian, and Genealogist, and the CEO of The Swedish Organizer, LLC, a company that provides customized family history solutions to clients all over the world, as well as online courses and workshop]

Social Media is Essential, Not Optional

Social media marketing is essential to the modern entrepreneur, especially in those industries where consumer education is of importance. I consider the genealogy industry to be one of those industries. There is an endless supply of knowledge to absorb; as a person new to the family history field, and as business owners we all have a wonderful opportunity to lead those people to their discoveries, and at the same time, increase our sales.

But social media is a double-edged sword. Done right, and the rewards are great. Done wrong, and itis a waste of time. So how do you become successful at it instead of wasting your time? How do you know what’s working? Before I answer those questions, you have to understand how social media works. There are three main things that impact the effectiveness of your social media marketing more than anything: quality, consistency, and engagement.

Focus on QCE: Quality, Consistency, & Engagement

Quality simply means posting quality content. You will stand out if you create great content because (unfortunately) there is so much bad content out there. People like anything that’s helpful and actionable, like step-by-step tutorials, so focus on creating in-depth content, like how-to guides, instead of topical overviews. Think of great content as anything that will help your customer overcome the hurdles they face and help them take another step in the right direction. Little wins pay off big-time.

Consistency refers to how you post your content. Sporadic posts and random comments will not do much for you, or for your business. Every business needs a clear-cut social media strategy well-planned out in advance, and you have to post on a consistent schedule across all social media platforms, not only to show your followers that you’re paying attention, but also in order to get better traffic to your accounts and website. Without a strategy in place, consistency is close-to-impossible to achieve.

Finally, focus on engagement. This is something that is often overlooked, but it is some of the most valuable information you can have as a business owner. Having a large number of social media followers does not necessarily translate to great sales numbers, so don’t worry if you do not have the largest following in your niche. Instead, track your engagement rates, such as how many people shared your latest blog post, or how many people responded to a campaign. Those are the people who actually care about what you have to offer, and that pre-qualifies them as prospective customers. I would rather have 100 engaged customers that 10,000 followers who don’t care about my message.

A Clear Strategy Avoids the Social Media Time-Warp

Many times, I have heard colleagues say that they are afraid to get on social media because they feel it will start sucking their time away, and they will no longer be able to keep up. “Better ignore it instead.” I suspect that those people are scared because they do not know what to post, when to post, or why they are posting. Browsing the web aimlessly with no clear intention is guaranteed waste of time, and this is why you need a strategy, especially to avoid the social media time-warp.

A social media strategy does not have to be complicated, it just has to be planned, so ask yourself: Why am I on social media? What is it that I want my customers to do? and how can I help them do it more? This usually clears things up pretty quickly. Want to educate them? Share industry news and best practices. Want them to trust you? Offer them helpful advice and tutorials. Want them to call you? Give them your phone number and a reason to call. It’s pretty straightforward when you think about it. Social media is your opportunity to connect with your audience better, to let them get to know you, and to forge a bond that leaves them wanting more all the time. You have to deploy the same tactics as those in the entertainment industry, and strategize ways to get life-long fans (in the form of repeat customers) instead of a bunch of one-hit wonders.

Delegate to a Scheduler

Keeping up with your social media feed manually could easily be a full-time job, so the solution is to not do it manually. All of this can be automated. One of the pillars of productivity is delegation, which becomes even more essential if you are a solopreneur. In a nutshell, you have to delegate as much as possible whenever you can in your business, and it applies to your social media as well. Why? Because you are not a full-time marketer. You are a genealogy professional, and you need to spend your time billing clients instead of posting online. The solution is to invest in a good social media management program that can auto-post quality content you have created (and curated) on a set schedule consistently, and create engagement within your community for you.

There are countless schedulers out there on the market, some free, and some subscription-based. You can use one, or a combination of many, and it may take a few hours to figure out what works for you, but the sooner you do it, the more time you save. Marketing your small business will always take up administrative hours, but by delegating your social media posting schedule, you can free up much of that time, thereby increasing your profit margin.

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About Caroline Guntur

Caroline is a Certified Photo Organizer, Personal Historian, and Genealogist, and the CEO of The Swedish Organizer, LLC, a company that provides customized family history solutions to clients all over the world, as well as online courses and workshops.

Caroline is a Certified Photo Organizer, Personal Historian, and Genealogist, and the CEO of The Swedish Organizer, LLC, a company that provides customized family history solutions to clients all over the world, as well as online courses and workshops.

Caroline runs two blogs: Organizing Photos (OrganizingPhotos.net), a blog dedicated to helping people tackle their digital photo collections, and Searching Scandinavia (SearchingScandinavia.com), a blog aimed at connecting Scandinavian-Americans to their heritage by offering research help, repository tutorials, and exploring the Scandinavian culture.

Caroline is a Professional Member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO), the Association of Personal Historians (APH), the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Computer Genealogy Society of Sweden (DIS-Sverige), the Genealogical Society of Österlen, Sweden, and the Genealogical Society of Ystad, Sweden.

A native of Ystad, Sweden, Caroline has a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Communications from Hawaii Pacific University, and a Master’s Degree in Media Management from Columbia College. She currently divides her time between the United States, and Sweden.