Your lifetime of knowledge is easy to package into bite-size pieces that people will buy, to help you earn money in retirement. Learn how in this article.

How to earn money in retirement by selling your knowledge

by | Sep 19, 2022

By the time you enter retirement, you have a lifetime of knowledge. The things that come easily to you on a particular topic are ideas and skills that other people will find extremely useful.

So, packaging them in bite-size pieces is a quick way to share what you know, and get paid for that.

In this article we’ll share:

  1. How do I package my knowledge to make money?
  2. Where do I put my knowledge so that people find it and buy?
  3. What kind of topics can I sell knowledge on?
  4. But what if what I know has already been taught?
  5. How do I get people to buy my knowledge?
  6. What do I say in my marketing posts?
  7. How to be intentional about designing your retirement life

How do I package my knowledge to make money?

Too often, people overcomplicate things when it comes to putting their knowledge in a form that other people can easily understand.

They think they need to make a fancy course or write a whole book, which certainly are ways to earn money, but to begin with, you can sell something as simple as a PDF document or a quick video. The key is to package it with a title and useful content that will solve somebody’s problem. Bonus points if it helps them solve that problem fast!

Think about how you can make quick ‘packets’ of information that people will easily buy.

For inspiration, look at the questions people ask about your field of expertise, so that you can answer ‘how to’.

Where do I put my knowledge so that people find it and buy?

There are many popular platforms on which you can sell your knowledge products. Many people use Amazon, Shopify, WordPress (with Woocommerce plugged in for the product pages), Wix, Squarespace, or platforms like Kajabi for courses.

But you can start out very simply with a platform such as Gumroad.

Gumroad does not take any upfront fees, which makes it simple to begin with one or two products. We like their tagline: “Sell what you know and see what sticks”.

It’s also something that you can set up in a short time.

When you visit the Gumroad site and sign up, you’ll be asked to verify your email address.

Once you have clicked through in the email to do that, you’ll see this dashboard. There’s even a handy library to help get you started.

When you create your Gumroad account and verify your email address, you'll be taken right to the dashboard to start selling.

Then, click on ‘Home’ to set up your profile, and the system will show you where to upload your first product.

What kind of topics can I sell knowledge on?

The easiest way to decide where to begin is to look at your existing expertise.

For instance, a bookkeeper may decide to create:

  • A guide to setting up your business on Quickbooks
  • Bookkeeping basics for small business
  • A guide to bookkeeping concepts

Guides can also be created for specific industries for their bookkeeping, which will help them sell faster because people know it’s exactly the thing they need. For example: ‘Bookkeeping Guide for Car Repair Shops”.

The key is to think about who you’re speaking to, then offer something they will find useful.

But what if what I know has already been taught?

Don’t fall for this fear that will stop you from getting started.

The simplest way to think about this is to consider, for example, the number of books in a bookstore on any single topic. Lots of people say much of the same thing, but in their own way. And you might have even read many books about a particular topic and then had that “aha” moment, because the author put it in a way that finally made sense to you.

People worry that what they teach is not new. But think about when you read more than one book on a topic and the way one author explains it suddenly makes sense!

Just share what you know, as you are.

Your personality and teaching style will resonate with somebody. And once you have found your first customer, you can go find more people like that.

That’s the other helpful thing: when you are making your first product, think of it as though you are teaching one person.

That will help you be specific and stop you getting stage fright 😉

When it’s relevant to one, it will be relevant to many more.

How do I get people to buy my knowledge?

Once you have created a knowledge product, you need to let people know it is there.

There are many ways you can do this. Think first about the people you created the products for, and where they can be found.

Some audiences spend a lot of time on Tik Tok, others on Instagram, and still others on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn.

Remember that the internet is going to give you almost 5 billion prospects for every product you create … it’s just a matter of narrowing down who your product is relevant for. Don’t confine your ideas to just your local area, unless your knowledge is area-specific.

Let the number of internet users inspire you as you think of products you can sell, that share your knowledge.
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Pick a couple to begin with, and create a schedule where you post on those platforms. If your audience is on Instagram, you can post once each day; if they’re on Twitter you’ll want to post a couple of times each day.

What do I say in my marketing posts?

Nobody likes being sold to all the time, of course.

So when you are marketing, mix it up a little. Keep in mind the principle that “people buy from people”. To help your prospective customers know who you are and why you can help them, you want to build your authority as well as show you are interested in them as human beings. 

Take a look at this example from Chris Do on Twitter, then the answers people gave:

Engaging with prospective customers helps you build authority, show your expertise, and above all, show people you are interested in them.

The answers from people who follow Chris (just a few are shown here), and his responses, demonstrate his authentic approach to selling:

When you show a genuine interest in your prospective customers, they are happy to pay for your knowledge.

For inspiration, you can start with this kind of mix of social media posts:

  • A story about someone who is like your prospects, the problem they faced (relevant to what you sell) and how your knowledge helped them solve that problem.
  • A fun moment from your everyday life
  • A quick tip relevant to the problem they face. 
  • Feedback from people whose situation has improved after they put your ideas into practice.
  • Answering questions people ask on forums
  • You could write articles about your area of expertise and share those in a post
  • Share an opinion on a current event; some people may not like your opinion, but those who agree are more likely to be customers who will appreciate your products.

You can create your posts each day, but it can be useful to create them in a batch each week or month, and schedule them in advance. 

By scheduling, you have a presence that is regular even while you are doing other things (Golf, anyone?).

This mixes nicely with your sales platform on Gumroad; you will find you are creating an automatic system for sales: people discover who you are, what your products help them with, and it’s easy for them to buy.

How to be intentional about designing your retirement life

Wherever you are financially, it is possible to think about the knowledge and skills you have built up over a lifetime, and create a level of income from that. Use automatic systems (and don’t be too proud to ask for help in setting them up!) so that you can literally see money paid into your bank account at all hours of the day.

Even if industries change, your wisdom is timeless. There will be principles that hold true regardless of the tools people use, so don’t be afraid to step up and share what you know.

The first step might just be giving yourself the permission to try something new.

This helps you be intentional about designing your retirement life, instead of feeling stuck in a less-than-optimal situation.

Give yourself permission to try something new to earn money in retirement, and be intentional about designing your life.