Let’s face it: everybody has a side hustle these days — your friends, your co-workers… heck, even the kid next door is in on it; and with good reason! Having a side gig is an excellent way of getting some of that extra dough for your savings account.
Yet, the main thing that’s on everyone’s mind is to ultimately turn that hobby into a ‘jobby,’ right?
So, how exactly do you accomplish that?
Set Clear Goals
When you first started out, your primary goal was to make just a few extra bucks on the side. In the past, this seemed like a good goal at the time; now… not so much. If you really want to upgrade your gig-income, you need to think big! Rid yourself of this outdated mentality, stop being content with only a few sporadic and irregular payments, and set entirely new goals for yourself. For instance, start making daily or weekly financial goals and do your best to surpass them. Create a budget and keep track of your progress. Also, try to up your game; if you were writing two posts a week for your blog, increase that number to four, and so on. It’s important to look at these goals as a sort of challenge; this will drive you forward and keep you motivated.
Challenging yourself is one thing — getting organized is a whole different ball game. In a nutshell, what you ought to be doing is getting your hands on tools and apps that automate some of the more repetitive (laborious) tasks to help you accomplish more in less time. Some of the more useful tools — that are also free of charge — include:
Asana — a project management app; excellent for staying on track, organizing your tasks, and avoiding unwanted distractions (procrastination).
Evernote — your very own digital notebook; it’s cloud-based so you can share files between multiple devices without having to send them back and forth. You can also capture webpages and record audio files.
Wave — an invoicing and accounting software; easy-to-use, made specifically for freelancers. You can process client payments, payrolls, and transfers automatically; everything a budding entrepreneur needs.
Build Your Brand
To really take your side hustle to the next level, you need to work on creating a cohesive brand across all platforms. That way people will take you more seriously and your side gig will look more reliable (and professional).
But first, you need to think of a suitable brand name that will attract clients and foster confidence in your abilities. A general rule of thumb is to keep it short and simple — in other words, memorable. Brainstorm words that best describe your brand and ask friends and family for some honest feedback. Next, you want to register a company with your new brand name and convert your side hustle into a legitimate business; not only for the image but to attract investors and venture capitalists as well. Finally, don’t forget to create an engaging logo to match your new identity.
Expand Your Team
Once you finish consolidating yourself and your brand, you want to start building a strong team. After all, you don’t want to burn yourself out too quickly; chances are you still have your 9 to 5 job and other errands to attend to. Find people who are better suited for some tasks that you aren’t a great fan of (or good at) to complement all your weak spots. That way you not only add more depth to your team but you also get to focus on doing things you do best (and enjoy the most). In addition, be somewhat strict with your selection as you don’t want to deal with potential personality clashes and egos later on.
Double-Down on Your Marketing Efforts
You can’t expect to earn serious cash from your side gig if people don’t know who you are and whether you even exist. Hence, you need to start marketing yourself both on and off the Internet to expand your reach and get new clients outside of your close circle of acquaintance. Get on social media and interact with prospective clients and customers. Participate in (positive) discussions, tag followers to start engaging conversations, and expand your network. Once you establish a solid online presence on social media, you can look towards creating your own website to promote your personal brand even further; adding a blog — if you don’t have one already — would also be a good idea.
Whatever you do, your ultimate goal should always be to grow your email list and convert customers; use pop-ups, educational videos, and limited-time offers to get their attention. At the end of the day, it really all comes down to how good you are. Remember, practice makes perfect.