There are divergent opinions on this – most people say you should do something you love, while others say you ought to be more pragmatic and work at something that pays you well.
The lucky ones can do both, make a good living doing something that may not be their first choice but also finding the time to spend doing what they love. The luckiest can make a good living doing what they love to do.
But most of us are not that lucky.
In this edition, let us look at something quite commonplace and see how you can make money out of it: watching films or shows.
Two caveats before we proceed:
First, don’t put making money a goal. Remember what the wise say on working on what you love and money will follow.
Second, this will take time. You spent at least 3-5 years getting your degrees to get a job. Give this at least 2 years before you think of making money. You may get results in one week or one month but that is an exception.
Most of us love to watch something we like. We have favourite films, shows, actors, directors, songs, music, genre, etc. that we give a few hours a week if not every day.
If you want to try making money out of this, here is what you can do:
Spend a month researching on the social media platform that gives you the best audience. For most people in the media industry, it is Instagram. You can select that or choose something you prefer like Facebook or Twitter.
A good way to understand what is happening in that space and what you can do is by following the influencers. See what they are doing. Is there something that has not been done? What can you do to fill this gap?
2. Note the Hashtags
Make a shortlist of the hashtags being used. They are used by social media platforms to group posts and if someone follows a hashtag, they will see the post that has that hashtag.
3. Start Liking, Sharing and Commenting
While researching, start liking and sharing posts from the people you like. As a rule, the ‘stars’ have a massive following and you may get lost in the crowd. But most of the important people that make a film or show a success such as supporting actors, cinematographers, editors, etc. don’t get due credit and neither have a large following. Start with them.
Post thoughtful unbiased comments. Follow the people who follow you. Be supportive.
4. Start with Your Own Posts
Once you have selected your platform and got some experience on its nuts and bolts, start putting up your own posts. Start doing it once or twice a week for the first month or so, and then once a day without fail.
5. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Use graphics. There is a reason the saying goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. There is a website and app called Canva where you can create your own free graphics.
You can also use posters of the films or photos that are covered by a Creative Commons License that allows you to share the photos (usually without edits). A good source is Wikimedia Commons. As a rule, all Wikipedia photos are covered under a Creative Commons License. For example, this link will take you to the publicity poster of Raja Harishchandra and you will see the licensing terms under the Licensing section if you scroll down the page.
6. Keep at It. Adopt and Adapt
Keep following people. Keep being supportive. Share insights.
Adopt what works for others, and Adapt it to give it your own voice.
7. Join Discussions or Simply Host One
As you go along, you will make friends. Chat with them on common topics. Join watch parties, discussions. Volunteer to help others on live broadcasts.
Host your own live broadcasts or Zoom meetings where you and your friends can talk about what you like or what you don’t about a movie or show. Record and put it up online. Tag everyone who has attended.
8. Analyse and Get Better
This is something to be done on a regular basis. Find what works and get better at it. Find what does not and remove it. Make everything a step-by-step process.
9. Keep Notes, Plan and Implement
Simply following the above 8 steps will give you a good presence but if you want to monetise your hobby, start thinking of it as a business. Every good business spends a good chunk of time researching, planning and strategizing. Like with everything else, start small and get good at it.
The social media scene changes fast. Don’t hold on to things that don’t work for you. Adopt and adapt.
These 9 steps ought to give you a good following within a year or two. It will start small – invites to watch parties or premiers, tagged by the people you follow, and other such small stuff.
But it will grow. You will soon be asked to promote a film, show or a product. This is where the money starts to come in. The better you are than your peers, the more money you stand to make.
And as you get better and better with experience, the money will follow.
This example was specifically to help you monetise your interest in films and shows but this process of starting small, slowly building a network and giving more than you take works for all industries. It will work if you paint, sing, play an instrument, create designs, create handmade items, play offline or online games or do something else.
You may not become a millionaire at this but you will make some money. More importantly, it will open doors for you. And these doors will lead to opportunities.
But remember to stay the course. Most people don’t get anywhere because they expect results too soon or put in too little effort. They simply stop.
Don’t be like them. Embrace the process and you will get there.
In the end, a quote on doing what you love from the famous poet, Maya Angelou.
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off of you.”
You can also refer to this page where we have listed different programmes that you can use to grow your skills. If you like a subject that pays well, then it makes sense to augment your skills and earn from those skills.
This page gives you the starting blocks to increase your income. Though these are affiliate links, each of those courses have been checked for quality. Go to the page and pick a skill you want to learn and grow your money.
If you want to upgrade your mindset, you can check out our Evolution U programme.