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  • Shawnee Sande believes that anyone can monetize their skills in a metaverse.
  • She says you can be early by playing with the platforms, joining communities, and learning skills.
  • Some platforms offer free tutorials on building and creating NFTs for the metaverse.

2021 was the year that digital assets became mainstream, especially after Facebook announced its rebranding as Meta.

The total sales volume for nonfungible tokens in 2021 was more than $14 billion, about 40 times the volume in 2020, according to Properties in decentralized metaverses, a form of NFT, sold at ludicrous prices — one sold for $4.3 million in November.

The sudden surge of interest, the volume of projects, and the numerous platforms can be intimidating to newcomers or those who aren’t tech-savvy. Some critics say the metaverse is overhyped and full of regulatory loopholes.

But Shawnee Sande believes the sector brings a plethora of opportunities that anyone can benefit from. And she has made it her mission to help others, especially women, enter the metaverse.

She’s the co-owner of Beta1Creative, a digital marketing agency that helps clients bring their brands to the metaverse. She’s also a social-media influencer who goes by the name PeachNFT, a character who theoretically lives in the metaverse.

Peach's mission is to teach others how to monetize in the metaverse and through NFTs. Though Peach isn't yet an actual digital character, Sande says she's making her an NFT.

"It's really not that different from the physical world," Sande said. "It's just being a little bit more creative and seeing what you can do to stand out and not be left behind."

Major brands like Adidas have entered the metaverse by partnering with NFT projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club and creating digital merchandise. Nike recently acquired RTFKT Studios, a company that creates virtual sneakers, for an undisclosed price.

Sande said the opportunities for earning an income would be endless, and whether you're an individual or a small business, the best way to take advantage is by being early.

Ways to start now

Whether you're a business owner who wants to advertise digitally or an individual who'd like to drop an NFT collection, there's something for you in the metaverse.

Sande said the most important step is gaining exposure, by entering various metaverses and playing around on the platforms. She recommended checking out Decentraland, The Sandbox, or Roblox.

Inside, you can interact with other avatars and even attend events. This is a great way to meet other early adopters.

Joining Telegram groups and following Twitter accounts such as Decentraland's will keep you updated on events and connect you with key people in the community.

"If you are a landscaper in the physical world, there is a place for you in the metaverse, and you can be one of the first ones," Sande said. "So how are you going to do that, tell people, and learn how to do that? No. 1 is to get attention and start getting to know people."

The same goes for real-estate agents, clothing designers, and those who want to be digital landlords. Sande added that different metaverse communities were hiring people with various skills.

The second thing you'd want to do is build your community. Sande did this by creating her character, Peach, an NFT and metaverse educator.

"I want to build my community around that and be able to provide people value so that when my NFTs do drop, I have the community, the people are there, everybody believes in the purpose," Sande said.

If you're a real-estate agent entering the sector, you'll probably be one of the first, Sande said. This would be an opportunity for you to learn about the industry and then to help onboard other agents.

Finally, start learning basic skills. There are free online resources that teach users how to design things, and they don't all require coding skills.

Decentraland has the Builder, which allows anyone to create objects and is accompanied by video tutorials, though moving finished products to the marketplace may include gas fees.

The Sandbox has The Game Maker, which allows users to build experiences and is accompanied by a tutorial.

Roblox, which said in 2020 that it would pay over $250 million to developers working on its app, provides tutorials on its developer page.

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