curiouscutie123 asks: I’m a teenager and want to earn money, but my country doesn’t allow people my age to have jobs, and I don’t know how to reach people who would hire a teen to babysit their children, or mow their lawn, or any other work. How can I find such people?
Hi curiouscutie123 –
The answer to your question is one word, and it’s a word that will probably mean more and more to you as you get older. The word is “Marketing.”
Why have you ever heard of Coca Cola, and why do I know you have? Because of marketing. Why am I pretty sure that you know “Iron Man 3” is out? Because of marketing. And why in the world have you heard of a dog on the other side of the world from you, who is happy to offer suggestions to help out your life? You got it, marketing.
Marketing is simply the first step in getting someone to know about, and hopefully be interested in, what you’re offering. Once you’re talking with them, then you’re really interested in Sales, but for now, Marketing is your game.
So how do you go about it? Do you spend hundreds of millions of dollars getting the public interested in you, the way soft drink and movie companies do? Of course not. Do you stand on a streetcorner yelling at everyone that you want them to leave their children in your care? Probably not a good idea. Do you walk around your neighborhood putting papers in mailboxes that say what you’re offering? Maybe. Do you put up notices advertising your services? Maybe. Do you start today, telling everyone you know about what you’re doing and asking them to tell their friends? Maybe. Do you knock on people’s doors and tell them what you’d like to do. That’s tough, but it might work really well.
The truth is, curiouscutie123, there is no absolute right answer for what you should do. You want to spend as little money, effort, and emotion as you have to, to get your message to exactly the people who might hire you. But it will require something.
Most likely you found me because I have a good presence on some search engines. But if so, you would never have heard of me if you hadn’t gone looking for an answer to a question.
So your first job is to figure out what it is you’d like to offer, and then to find a way to find the people who might be interested in that. Do you know a place where lots of parents go? Could you put a sign up there advertising your babysitting service? Maybe you could talk with someone at a local elementary school, and see if they’d let you advertise to their students’ parents. Do you know a place where people get plants? Maybe that’d be a good place to advertise lawn mowing. Or (and I know this is scary) could you just phone your parents’ friends, or the parents of kids at your school, to offer these services?
Marketing requires a few important skills. You need to be able to find the people you want; you need to figure out what they want so you can tell them how you can help; and you need a thick skin! Most marketing ideas fail. So be ready to keep trying – to try one idea, and see how it works, and if it’s not ready, then try another idea. And keep trying until it works.
Now you’re probably groaning as you read this! You want to make money, and I’m telling you about a lot of work you need to do before you can make any. It’s true, marketing for a job only creates the job, it doesn’t make any money right away. But marketing is what sets you up to have a job – and most importantly to be the one people go to for it. After all, you’ve got lots of people living near you who would have answered your question about finding work, right? But you chose me.
And from the bottom of my heart, I am deeply proud and honored that you did.
But without my marketing, we never would have had a chance to even talk.
Good Luck! Let me know what you come up with!