A 9 to 5 job is great, a lot of people are lucky to have them. However the truth is sometimes having a full time job just isn’t enough to support the lifestyle you want to live. Sometimes you need a side hustle.
I started freelancing and made $4,000 my first year which was a nice chunk of change to have. Money is addicting, that may sound shallow but it’s true. As I saw how much money was out there to be made I wanted more. In 2013 I made $11,000 and in 2014 I earned $14,000 from my side hustle. Then I decided to take my part time job to the next level and in 2015 I earned $28,000 from freelance writing and social media consulting. This year I took it one step further and created a legitimate business from my side hustle, I stopped calling myself a freelance writer and gave myself a new title…Owner of Well Said Content.
If you want to grow your side hustle into a small business here’s how to do it:
Put in the work
Everyone thinks that being self employed is glamorous, but it’s also a lot of work. The freedom to work from where ever you want takes time to get to that level, when you start out it’s late nights and in my case a lot of tears. I never say no to clients, even now, and it has made me a trusted source for well read (or should I say said – do you see what I did there) content.
I can almost bet money that if you talk to any entrepreneur (just ask Sandy @yesiamcheap) they’ll tell you that it takes months, maybe even a year before they make real money. However if you put in the work the rewards can be very
Network whenever you can
As a freelancer gaining experience is your key to a successful side hustle. The more clients you gain the bigger portfolio you can build and that gives you credibility. Word of mouth is golden in business because a referral is almost guaranteed to be a client. The downside is not a lot of existing clients (even the happy ones) think to mention your work to their friends.
Networking is such a big part of growing a business. Tell everyone what you do, share it on social media, contribute to groups on LinkedIn, put business cards on car windshields (which I’ve done and got two clients from), stand on a street corner and hand out flyers and make t-shirts or bags with your brand. Stefanie O’Connell does this and she’s known as The Broke and Beautiful Life girl everywhere she goes – well that and a millennial money expert.
Ask for the jobs
Whether it’s a full time gig or side hustle the early stages of running your own business is the career equivalent of a little puppy with big paws trying to run around. It’s a hot mess. Referrals are great, but I hate relying on anyone and I don’t think true entrepreneurs do. I’m more of a take-matters-into-my-own-hands kind of girl and I ask for jobs.
That’s right I pitch companies and small business owners to get the work. I target financial advisors, real estate agents and fin-tech companies who have websites and may be off to a good start, but aren’t consistently updating their content, don’t share often on social media and don’t have an active blog. This is my current model because it’s a lot easier to step in and be the savior as oppose to trying to convince someone that content is a necessity to grow their business.
Eventually with my own business blog, social media activity (specifically posts, sharing and targeted ads on LinkedIn) and ever-growing portfolio of clients I’m hoping that I will become the go to girl for all money related content.
I’ll keep you posted.
If this post has lit a spark in your entrepreneurial spirit come back on Tuesday June 28 for part two where we’ll talk about how to reach out to clients to offer your services and get the business.