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Additional Income for Garden Experts

Gardening is a massive industry across the world.

According to the book "Garden Tourism by Benfield, CABI, 2013:

  • Around 300 million people visit the world's public gardens in one year
  • US$34 billion was spent on gardening by Americans in 2005
  • US$40 billion is spent worldwide annually on flowers

We know from other studies that more Australians participate in gardening on a weekly basis than the number who participate in sport.

Clearly the gardening industry is big, and people spend money on gardens and gardening.

How to Make an income as an Gardening Expert

In the past, it was simple. Someone would learn about gardening, develop a reputation as an expert, and get a job; perhaps employed by a broadcast or print media organisation to be the "resident" garden expert, maybe as a teacher in a college or community centre, or perhaps working for a public body such as a local council or government department.

The world has now changed, and is continuing to change in many ways. As a result, many of those who have the expertise feel they have lost their way. The traditional ways of building a career have diminished, and new opportunities are not always obvious.

  • Big media organisations are either disappearing or changing in the way they operate. Some are embracing the internet and expanding their audience through digital and online publishing and broadcasting. Either way, they are not employing as many resident gardening experts as in the past; and when they do give someone work, it is often under different conditions with less security or chance of ongoing employment.
  • Government bodies have rationalized many of the services they provided in the past. They sub contract work that was once given to an employed garden expert, and some of the services have simply been cut.
  • In many places, there has been a decline in employment for gardening teachers. People can learn about gardening by watching a syndicated TV or radio program where one expert reaches hundreds of thousands of people (and perhaps millions in the future). This has reduced the demand for people to stand up in front of a class and talk about gardening.
  • There is a strong trend toward people being self employed, so forget the idea of finding a comfortable, secure, long term job where someone employs you as a garden expert. Most people in England and Australia today are working either in their own business, or individually as a sub contractor. Those who do find permanent employment tend to stay in the same job for just a few years, then move on.

These and other changes are changing the way in which garden experts engage with people. Clearly there are ways that used to be dominant opportunities which are no longer an opportunity. At the same time though; there are new possibilities that have arisen; and there are probably lots more ways of "selling your expertise" still to come.

Clearly, if gardening is the significant industry which it is, there are still lots of opportunities for "experts" to find gainful and profitable employment in that industry.  They must however be in tune with the way the world is changing, and be prepared to work differently to how experts worked in the past, identifying and seizing on new opportunities as they emerge.

What Can You Do

First, stop waiting for someone to offer you a book contract, a TV show or radio show.

Second, raise your awareness of what successful garden experts around the world are doing; not just the small number of highly prominent TV personalities or top selling garden writers. There are thousands of others who have adapted to change by doing things like starting their own blog or online business, or setting up their own garden school, garden tours or consulting practice.

Third, put more effort into networking. With the current rate of change in the world, it is critical that you are connected, and stay connected. If you know gardening but have fallen behind the pack once, it can be very easy to get out of touch and fall behind again. The reality is simple: the way a garden expert makes money today is different to how they made money in the past; and in the future it will be different to how money is made today.

Fourth, try different things. Diversify your income to be financially more secure. Don't wait about for work to come to you; go and find it. Play on your strengths and work on improving your areas of weakness. Take control of your own destiny (and income).

 

ACS CAN GET YOU STARTED IN THE ONLINE ARENA

We have an affiliates licensing package designed with gardening experts in mind. It aims to provide you with an opportunity to develop an online presence (which in itself may attract customers who previously didn’t have you on their radar). More than that though, it provides an opportunity for a whole new revenue stream that can compliment and add to your existing business.

  • We can set up a new web site, branded for you that can offer a whole range of downloadable books and automated short courses.
  • You can sell these both through the internet and to customers who visit in person as add on sales.

If a customer is buying fruit trees or roses, you can sell them a short course or book that shows them how to prune these plants. If they are talking about developing a new garden, there are short courses or books on garden design.

Adding a 20 hour short course to a sale can increase your profit on that sale by over $100.

Once up and running, there’s nothing stopping you adding other mail order products to what the site offers, from the range of things you already stock. Anything that can be sent profitably though the post can be worth offering (from garden gloves to bulbs); and once you are selling over the internet, your potential customers can extend well beyond the local community.

Talk to our staff and explore the possibilities!

For more information on how to become an Affiliate, email kate@acs.edu.au

 

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