How many times have you ever wondered if you could make more money? U.S. News and World Report references an Indeed.com study that indicates one in three people worked a part-time job on the side in an attempt to earn extra money to meet their living expenses according to survey results from over 3,000 participants.
Since employers have been slow to raise salaries to meet increased living expenses, about 4.9 percent of all employed Americans reported working a secondary part-time job according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As someone who worked two part-time jobs during college to meet my living expenses, I know how exhausting it can feel to work multiple low paying jobs. I used to work at a popular grocery store handing out food samples in the day-time. Then, when I’d get off from work at 4:30 pm, I’d change my clothes and drive across the street to work a closing shift at a restaurant from 5 pm – 10 pm.
This schedule only lasted about eight months because I got burnt out quickly and couldn’t even imagine working one of those jobs full-time.
Instead of getting an extra part-time job with a set pay rate and limited hours, it may be more lucrative to turn your hobby into a side hustle to earn more income.
The Benefits of Having a Side Hustle
- You can earn extra money doing work you enjoy instead of doing work that just brings in a paycheck
- You can set your own hours and your own rates to determine how much you earn
- You can work on your own schedule and give yourself a break or work ahead whenever you feel like it
While the benefits of a side hustle sound great, there are a few things you need to do in order to convert your hobby into work that earns you an income.
1. Clearly Define How your Hobby can Benefit Others
First, decide what your hobby is, and how it can help others. You may have several hobbies that you need to analyze in order to determine if there are potential customers that you can serve.
Search for others who may be earning extra income or making a living by monetizing the specific hobby you have and learn about how they got started and the tools they used to establish their side hustle in the beginning stages.
Once you are positive about which hobby you want to monetize you might even want to seek out a mentor or join a support group online or in your area so you can surround yourself with positive people who are eager to succeed and help you succeed as well.
It’s easy to think of other people who have the same goals as you as competition, but when you start to view them as an inspiration and a potential partnership opportunity, you’ll set a much better foundation when it’s time to launch and grow your side business.
2. Start Generating Some Samples of your Work
Before you start marketing your side hustle and establishing paying customers or clients, you may need to do a little work for free to prove yourself first.
For example, aspiring freelance writers may guest post on popular websites and blogs for free in order to get their name out there and establish writing samples, while a new photographer may take portraits of others for free to build their portfolio and generate positive reviews.
If you’re selling a product, you may want to visit a few trade shows or events and hand out free samples or host a giveaway.
If your hobby is truly enjoyable, you might not mind doing work for free at the beginning stages and building connections because it will pay off when you land your first paying customer.
3. Pitch Potential Customers or Clients
Pitching potential clients and customers can be fun and scary at the same time. It can feel awkward to put yourself out there, but this crucial step will help you decide whether your side business will sink or float.
Depending on what your niche is, you may need to send out multiple pitches or invest in advertising and marketing for your online platform in order to gain attention.
However, if you’ve built up value in your product or service and can communicate it clearly, established a strong portfolio and witnessed others in your niche earning money from similar work, you are likely to land some business if you stay persistent.
It’s important to land at least five customers or clients to help support the idea of moving forward with your side hustle. Once you find your first batch of paying customers, you can find more.
4. Scale up and Improve your Business
After you start bringing in an income, you need to use your profits wisely and consider how you can grow your business and improve it. For example, it may be wise to build an email list so you can stay in touch with past customers by providing them with offers and attract new customers as well.
It’s also important to scale up when you think the time is right. When you have enough loyal customers or clients, consider raising your rates a bit to a fair amount that reflects the work you do.
Scaling up and earning more money is the fun part, but you have to invest in your side business and work hard to improve your skills and service before you get to that point.
Have you ever considered turning any of your hobbies into a side hustle? Why or why not?