We all have things that we absolutely love to do. Maybe you love to write. Maybe taking photos makes you feel like a million dollars. It’s the thing that makes you feel alive. That creates a fire in your bones.
But you don’t think you could ever make money from your passion. Surely, you think, I can’t make money doing [insert your passion]. Nobody would pay me to do that. It’s too much fun and I love it too much.
Thanks to the internet, almost any passion can be turned into a profitable side hustle. You can make money doing the things that you love the most. Yep. You can turn your passion project into a profitable project.
How would it change your life to make an extra $1,000 per month? Or double that? You can easily make that if you know how to create a profitable side hustle. In fact, if you know what you’re doing, you may be able to turn your passion project into your full-time job.
Of course, all this raises the critical question: how do you start a side hustle? In this eBook, we give you a roadmap for turning your passion into a profitable side hustle. We guide you, step-by-step, to making money doing what you love.
1: Prepare Yourself
Creating a profitable side hustle takes a lot of time, diligence, hard work, blood, sweat, and tears (well, hopefully not tears!). If you want to succeed with your side hustle, prepare to put in some work.
How do you create the motivation needed to put in all that hard work? Take a look at your life as it currently is. Are you living your best life now? Are you completely fulfilled with your day job?
If you’re not living your best life now, let that serve as a motivator for your side hustle. You really can make money doing what you absolutely LOVE. How would it change your life if you were doing work that actually made you happy?
To increase your motivation for your side hustle, envision what a successful outcome would look like for your side hustle. Paint a picture in your mind of what your best life will look like.
If you’re not highly motivated to make your side hustle a reality, it won’t happen. Because here’s the truth: your side hustle is going to take you away from other good things that you could be doing. You have to be willing to give up some good things in order to achieve a great thing.
Success happens over the long haul, not overnight. If you want your side hustle to be truly profitable, you need to be willing to make sacrifices to reach your objective.
The best time to start a side hustle is right now. Don’t wait any longer. There will never be a perfect time to get started. Start working on your project today and simply adjust as time goes on.
2: Identify Your Passions and Interests
A side hustle is the intersection of passion and profit. In other words, it’s all about taking the things you love and are good at and turning them into a profitable gig.
The first step is to identify what you love to do AND are good at doing. Both elements are required. If you want your side hustle to be sustainable, you must love doing it. If you don’t, you’ll burn out quickly.
You must also be good at your side hustle. In other words, you need to have the necessary skill set to make it a reality.
Ask yourself these questions:
○ What do you absolutely love doing?
○ What have people told you that you’re good at?
○ What do you lose track of time doing?
○ What valuable skills do you have that people would pay for?
○ What needs can you meet?
There is a psychological concept called “flow.” It’s when you find yourself so immersed in an activity that you lose all track of time and are simply focused on what’s in front of you. When do you find yourself in the “flow” of things? Pay attention to these moments. It’s these activities that could turn into viable side hustles.
3: Validate Your Side Hustle
Once you’ve determined what you think your side hustle should be, you need to validate it. Demonstrate that others will really pay you for what you offer them. Determine if there’s a “market need” for the product or services that you will offer.
So, how can you do that? Where can you find an audience on which to test out your idea? Some simple ideas include:
○ Ask your friends on social media if they would be interested in what you have to offer.
○ If you have an email list, send out a poll to them, asking who would be interested in what you’re going to offer.
○ Create a sign-up list where people can get more information. If numerous people sign up, it’s a sign that your idea has legs.
○ Offer to let people pre-purchase your offer. If a number of people purchase from you, you know that you’re onto something good.
Your goal is to avoid wasting time on ideas that won’t get any traction. If your polls, emails, and sign-up list aren’t getting much of a response, it may be time to move on to a different side hustle or adjust your approach to your offer.
4: Determine What Sets You Apart From Your Competitors
Unless you’re building something completely new and revolutionary, you’re going to be competing against others. If you’re going to succeed with your side hustle, you need to find a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Figure out how you’re going to stand out from the crowd.
How can you differentiate yourself from your competitors? There are numerous ways, including:
○ Better quality products or services
○ Better customer service
○ Faster delivery
○ Less expensive products or services
○ Aggressive sales tactics
○ Higher or lower profit margins
○ A noble cause you support with profits from your product
If you don’t find a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors, there’s no reason that customers should purchase from you. You absolutely must find a way to stand out in the crowd.
5: Define Your Goals
Defining clear goals will help you know what steps you need to take in order to turn your hustle into a reality. Consider laying out a set of goals that sequentially follow one another. For example, if you’re going to sell products on eBay, your first goal may be to create an eBay account. Your second goal may be to research the products that sell best on eBay, and so on.
When setting your goals, ensure that they are realistic. Your goal is to get traction, not reach your end goal right off the bat. Each goal should be realistic and achievable. If your goals aren’t realistic, you’ll again find yourself getting discouraged when you don’t meet those goals.
So, what are some small goals you can set that will give you traction on your hustle? These small goals should all contribute to your big, overall goal.
Do you need to…
● Research your market?
● Research the desires of your ideal customer?
● Create a website?
● Send out an email to your list, letting them know about your offer?
6: Create Milestones
Eventually, you just need to get started. Yes, you need to reach the small goals that will lead you to your big goal, but eventually, you just need to get your idea out into the world and evaluate the response. You launch, refine, fix problems, and then keep going. Then, your side hustle gets better as you go.
In order to launch, set milestones that will force you to take action. Setting milestones for yourself will ensure that you actually take action and don’t delay. Every milestone should be tied directly to a date.
Think of it this way. Milestones equal movement. When you set milestones for yourself, it forces you to move forward and prevents you from trying to get everything perfect.
Like your goals, your milestones should also be realistic and achievable. The more you reach your milestones, the more encouraged you’ll be about your side hustle. The more encouraged you are, the more you’ll want to reach more milestones, which will keep your project moving at a rapid pace.
7: Determine How You Will Sell
Before you can launch your side hustle, you need to determine how you’re going to sell your product or service. Thankfully, there are dozens of ways to sell products and services.
You can always sell in person. If you’re selling a product, you can take it to trade shows and markets. You could even go from door to door if you have the courage. You can sell directly to your friends or host parties where you show off your product.
You can also sell just about any product or service online as well.
○ For example, if your product is crafty (like soap), artisan, or vintage you can sell on Etsy.
○ If you’re getting products from thrift shops, you can sell them on eBay or Poshmark.
○ If you’re trying to break into the freelance world, you can find jobs in dozens of industries on websites like Upwork, Fiverr, or Thumbtack.
○ If you’re selling eBooks, you can list them on Amazon.
○ If you’re promoting a course you’ve created, you can sell it through Kajabi, Teachable, Udemy, or Thinkific.
○ If you’re a handyman, you can find hundreds of jobs on TaskRabbit.
○ If you’re a coach, you can use Tailored.coach to connect with your clients.
No matter what you’re selling, there is an online platform to sell it. A simple way to find the platform that’s best for you is to Google “Sell [PRODUCT/SERVICE] online”. This will bring up dozens of results and allow you to find the best place to sell your product or service.
8: Start Selling
Once you’ve done the initial work up front, you simply need to get started. Your side hustle will NOT be perfect when you first launch it. You’ll make mistakes. You may have trouble landing your first customers. Regardless, you need to launch your side hustle.
Building a successful side hustle involves a lot of tweaking, refining, and making changes on the fly. If you try to get everything perfect before you launch, you’ll never get started.
Avoid getting discouraged if you don’t have massive success right off the bat. Keep working, refining, promoting, and selling. Eventually, you’ll hit on the right combination and the customers will start coming.
9: Market Yourself
To make your side hustle as successful as possible, it’s essential to consistently market yourself. You need to promote your hustle so that it gets in front of as many people as possible.
What are some effective ways to market your side hustle?
● Ask your friends and family to spread the word.
● Hand out flyers telling others about what you offer.
● Give out free samples (if you’re selling a product).
● Tell people about it on social media.
● Build an email list and regularly promote your product or service to the list.
● Start a blog and consistently talk about the pain points your customers feel.
● Create a YouTube channel specifically dedicated to giving loads of value to potential customers.
● Start a podcast in which you talk about elements of your industry and business.
● Appear as a guest on other’s podcasts.
● Do webinars where you teach valuable lessons and then promote your product or service at the end.
● Use paid advertising to drive people to your website.
● Consistently apply for jobs on the platforms mentioned above.
Don’t be afraid to market yourself. You’ve put in hours of hard work to get to this point. You’ve created a product or service that you truly believe in. You know that you truly can help people and really want to make a difference in the world.
Get yourself in front of as many people as possible. Don’t worry about what others will think. If you want to succeed with your side hustle, you must market yourself constantly.
10: Get Feedback From Customers
After you’ve launched, always keep improving. If you want to achieve the kind of success that will change your life, you need to constantly better the product or service that you’re offering.
This is where customer feedback is invaluable. Your customers can honestly tell you what is and what isn’t working. They can help you see past your blind spots and identify areas for change that you never would have seen otherwise.
Ask your customers what they like about your product or service. Ask them what features they find most valuable and which ones could use improvement. Ask them how your product or service has benefited them and what benefits they would still like to see.
Asking customers for feedback is a way of being transparent and authentic with your customers. It shows them that you really care about them and their opinion and that you want to offer them the best possible product or service possible.
11: Provide Amazing Experiences For Your Customers
One of the best ways to get new customers and keep your existing customers is to create amazing experiences for them. Your goal is to show them that you care deeply about them and want them to be incredibly happy with what you have to offer.
How can you create incredible experiences for your customers? There are literally dozens of ways:
○ Provide amazing customer support.
○ Send a handwritten thank you note with every product.
○ Include an extra surprise with your product.
○ Dedicate time to helping your clients work through their challenges.
○ Send a card on the anniversary of their first purchase.
○ Call each customer just to say thank you.
○ Create short, custom videos thanking each one of your clients or customers.
The more you can delight and surprise your customers, the more likely it is that they’ll tell their friends and colleagues about you, which will generate referral business. If you really go over the top with the way you treat your customers, you may even get exposure in prominent publications.
12: Build Sustainable Income
Eventually, if all things go well (and they will!), there will come a point where you have to decide whether or not you want to quit your day job and make your side hustle your full-time job.
The final step is to get to the point where you have sustainable cash flow. In other words, you have a relatively stable amount of money coming in each month. If you have consistent cash flow, this gives you the option of quitting your day job.
How much sustainable cash flow should you have? Ideally, you want to be generating at least 75% of your income from your side hustle. This will give you the flexibility to decide whether or not you want to quit your day job.
When thinking about your income, don’t forget to take into account expenses. You’ll have to pay self-employment tax at the end of the year. You also probably have expenses involved in keeping your side hustle up and running.
One important thing to note when it comes to quitting your day job. There will probably be a sense of fear and apprehension around quitting your job. After all, your job offers you stability. But don’t let fear keep you from following your dreams.
For more tips, tools and motivation to help you on your online, small business journey, sign up for the weekly emails HERE. Learn from my successes as well as my mistakes that will hopefully give you clarity and a strategy as you plan your new small business launch.
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