It’s important to have a role model. What kid didn’t have a poster of Michael Jordan, Joe Montana or Wayne Gretzky up on their bedroom wall at some point? And the thing is that role models are not restricted solely to children either, as adults can always have someone to look up to too, regardless of age. And sometimes, these role models really have very little to do with the actual jobs that they do and more about the way that they go about doing it.
A fine example of this for all the professional bloggers, Internet marketers and aspiring dot com moguls out there is British-American comedian John Oliver. He has cleverly and quietly become quite the celebrity with an increasingly large fan following. How did he do it and what does it have to do with making money online?
Learn Lots from Your Mentors and Colleagues
Most of us know John Oliver as one of the correspondents (and writers) from the multiple Emmy Award-winning The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He was featured in many of the segments and he was the one called upon to helm the desk when Stewart left to make a movie. It was from this experience and from working with people like Jon Stewart that John Oliver has then been able to host his own show on HBO: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
The basic format of Last Week Tonight is not all that dissimilar from The Daily Show and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. John Oliver was able to learn from his mentors, colleagues and role models to carve out his own piece of success. And in the case of Internet marketing, even hugely successful folks like John Chow learn from other successful people like Timothy Sykes and Matt Lloyd. Never stop learning and never stop moving forward.
Proudly Put Your Personality on Display
If you think that it’s difficult to stand out and make a name for yourself as a professional blogger, try getting noticed as “just another comedian” or “just another comedy writer.” You need to focus on what makes you special, what makes you different from everyone else.
Absolutely, John Oliver borrowed a lot of inspiration from his time at The Daily Show for the current work he does on his own program, but his hosting style and his take on comedy are quite different from the approach that Jon Stewart takes. John Oliver can be himself in front of the camera and people are drawn to his personality. You can do the same. Be true to yourself and let other people accept you for who you are.
Work Less and Do More
The regular late night talk shows are on five nights a week. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is on four days a week. And then there is the brilliance of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which only airs once a week. Instead of working four shows each week, Oliver now only has to deal with one. He has figured out a way to make more money working fewer hours (we assume) and this kind of approach is exactly what you need when you earn your living online too.
Time is truly your only non-renewable resource, so spend it wisely. Put systems in place such that you’re no longer a slave to the work week in order to earn your way through life.
Embrace the Online Community
For the most part, when you make your living on the Internet, you likely work in relative isolation. This is true for freelance writers like me, just as much as it’s true for Internet marketers like John Chow. For us, many connections are made through social media and other online channels, and we can leverage these connections for mutual success.
Something that John Oliver has done very well with his new show is really leverage the online community. He encouraged his established fan base to go on Twitter, using the hashtag #GoGetThoseGeckos in regards to the geckos Russia sent into space and seemingly lost. The fans who sent out relevant tweets effectively helped John Oliver reach a broader audience without being so in-you-face with the marketing. That’s genius.
And while you’re forced to watch other TV shows on regular television or through the network’s website directly, the people working at Last Week Tonight have a huge fan following on their YouTube channel where extended clips are posted every week. They’re consistent and they’re open. You can be the same with your audience.
Have Fun and Laugh at Yourself
As online entrepreneurs, we do what we do because we love doing it. Making money is great, but if you’re not having a good time, none of that really matters. And part of having fun means that you can’t take yourself all that seriously. I’ve commented before about John Oliver’s self-deprecating British humor and we can all laugh at ourselves in much the same way. Life is far too short to be far too serious all the time.