5 Ways to Turn Your Side Hustle Into Your Own Work-From-Home Business
Want to turn that hobby into a real business? Then click here!
Working remotely and living your life traveling when you want to, sleeping when you want to, and enjoying your hobbies when you want to - how does it sound?
For many people, remote work is synonymous with freedom, and not without a good reason.
While many people have been forced to work remotely due to the pandemic, others have known the benefits of this lifestyle for a while.
Remote workers know all too well that going independent and facing the global market is no small feat. To be successful in the long run, one must invest considerable time, work more in the beginning, and be capable of brainstorming ideas all the time.
The best thing about remote work is - you can do whatever you want.
Among remote workers, there are many types of people and even more types of jobs. Some people have turned digital nomads, others are freelancing, and many are working for one company from the comfort of their home. Basically, the choices portend whether you want to rely on one job or pick projects. The third option - which we are to discuss in a bit more detail here - is turning your hobby into your job.
The first thing you need to know - every service has its audience and customers. The key for being successful lies in continual quality, regular feedback and good advertisement. But, first things first.
1. Set Your Goals
We’re aware that the “set your goals” platitude is rather vague. Imagining things comes easy to everyone, but being realistic is another matter entirely. Still, if you plan to turn your hobby into a profitable job, you will need to be exactly that - realistic.
How much can you work, and what are realistic rates for that type of work? The first question you should be able to determine on your own (perform some testing if uncertain and opt for longer time slots if the time varies greatly). As for the second, do some basic Google search or (better still!) turn to colleagues for advice. Then, set some OKRs (objectives and key results.)
There are specialized forums and marketplaces for pretty much every vocation and hobby, so inform yourself properly before deciding on your rate. Unless you are a reputable expert, you should start moderately, around average prices, and go up after you have built a reputation and acquired a steady flow of recurring customers. Many hobbyists keep lower prices for their loyal clients and higher prices for new ones. Loyalty should be rewarded, after all.
2. Be Active Online
Even if you are the best of the best, remember that the world has yet to discover that. Usually, the first (and most complicated) step when going freelance is making your services/brand more visible online.
Basically, there are two ways to go about it (or the combination of both):
1. Advertise your services via your own website
2. Advertise your services on global marketplaces
It is always recommended to have a website because that practice speaks volumes about your professionalism, but that isn’t to say that you should spend a fortune on advertising it. Namely, in order for any brand to be successful, it must show up on the first page of Google search. Many SEO companies have made fortunes out of this fact, so instead of wasting precious time working up your SEO and advertising strategy, it is a good idea to advertise on global marketplaces while developing your website.
For example, you can sell your products on eBay, where there is a great influx of people and build your reputation steadily. Over time, you can direct your clients to your website and thus increase its traffic - boosting its Google ranking and online visibility in the process.
3. Go Social!
Cross-promotions are the most efficient way to reaching larger audiences, and it seems that social media is just perfect for that. Your SEO efforts should also be coupled with your social media activity. Make it a habit to share new posts/services/products on your social media profiles as soon as they have been published on your website.
Obviously, social media offers a large potential for sharing and re-sharing, which means that more people will see your posts and, by extension, more people will be directed to your website.
A word of advice, though: pay attention to followers’ comments and queries. Long-term success of any brand relies heavily on customer feedback and timely adjustments.
4. Newsletters and Email Marketing
Email marketing is the cheapest way of advertising. Admittedly, it does require some experimenting, but once you’ve come up with the winning solution, simply rely on automation.
Newsletters, on the other hand, are easy to compile. Announce your upcoming offers in a timely manner and keep it professional and concise.
Also, pay attention to the frequency of your emails. Even the most loyal of customers don’t appreciate being spammed. That’s what newsletters are for - an announcement to be followed up ONCE.
5. Blog Away
Finally, if you don’t blog, it’s high time you started. Blogging is free and widely available. Blog posts speak volumes about the writer, their professionalism, experience and expertise. Note that grammar also speaks volumes about the writer - make certain to double-check your spelling and punctuation.
You can use some of the available tools for that purpose (e.g., Grammarly) to help you with tricky parts.
In line with the abovementioned cross-promotion, make it a habit to share your new posts (and older ones, from time to time, for new followers) on your social media profiles. Share content properly to maximize your website visibility (e.g., use hashtags for Twitter posts).
Everything considered, turning your side hustle into your own work follows a regular pattern of establishing a successful process. Hobbyists have it easier in that they can advertise on popular platforms and take their time working their way to the top while maintaining stable incomes.
However, as is the case with all successful brands, to be on top of things, you’ll need to keep up with the developments, improve yourself constantly and adjust to meet clients’ needs. This routine is one that every professional has been upholding anyway. The only difference is - you’ll need to be tech-savvy.
Angela Ash is a writer at heart, focusing on numerous topics related to business, productivity, mental health, travel and more. But, she also loves to edit, is addicted to HARO, and somehow finds time to write poetry and play the piano.