Learn how to market your skills to make money during the stay-at-home order

JOHNSTON COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Things may look bleak on the job front for many of you, but there are ways to make money while social distancing.

Kelly Phillips teaches a class through Johnston Community College called "How To Make Money When You Don't Have A Job."

The class is three weeks long, and Phillips said she covers dozens of ways to make money on your own--many of which you can do right now even during the stay-at-home orders.

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"This class is designed for people who are out of work and don't have a lot of money sitting around to invest in a new business, so most of what we cover takes zero money to start," Phillips said.

In the class, Phillips said the first thing that you'll learn is how to create multiple income streams that are efficient and effective. If one income stream goes down, you have other ones to keep you going financially until you can recover.

Phillips said this class is not for get-rich-quick schemes or multi-level marketing; instead, she teaches you how to use your talents or hobbies.

"Let's say you're really good at taking photos on your phone," she said. "You can actually sell those photos. Those are worth money to people, and I can show you how to get them online and sell them to people."

Phillips also offered another idea. "Let's say you're really good at coming up with funny sayings. I can show you how you can create your own t-shirt line without ever having to touch a t-shirt or put any money down on the product," Phillips said.

Part of the class also teaches you how to watch out for scammers. Some of the biggest work-from-home scams involve mystery shopping, or office management jobs.

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Fraudsters send you legitimate-looking checks--part of your job is to cash those checks, take that money and go shopping, and then send some of the money back. The bank will eventually tell you those checks were bad, and you now you are responsible for that bad check. Scammers also pretend to be with legit companies, and a key is to always look at the sender's email, as that is a red flag if it's not associated with that business offering you the job.

"When someone offers you a lifeline, you want it to be true and so if you don't know exactly what to look for and you really want this to be a legitimate job offer, it can be easy to miss some obvious signs like that," Phillips said.

The best advice is to watch out for the too good to be true offers. When money is tight, you don't want to lose even more money trying to get that new job.

Phillips' class is open to anyone in the state, and if you are unemployed, underemployed, or have received a layoff notice, the college will waive the $70 fee so you can take the class for free. The next virtual class begins on May 4th. For more information, click here.
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