Instead of delving head first into the world of entrepreneurship, many test the waters with a side business. A side hustle is not only a fantastic way to earn extra income, but a safe and effective way to become a full-fledged, self-employed entrepreneur. It’s safer because you keep your day job and usually start out as a solopreneur.
But safe side business and successful side business are two different things. Building a profitable side business begins with leveraging your skills, experience–and perhaps, what you are most passionate about.
Here are steps to create a new side venture that will generate extra cash, potentially grow into something bigger and increase your net worth.
Where does your expertise lie? What are you most passionate about?
Pick a topic that interests you and launch a blog centering on that topic. But a profitable blog can not be a live digital diary, so you can’t just write aimlessly and on a whim.
For a blog to be a successful side business, the platform must provide some sort of unique value-add in order to grow a following. Aim to provide helpful tips, DIY steps, unique insights and commentary, and so on. Equally important, you must stick to a consistent publishing schedule so your audience knows when to expect new content. Make sure to share each blog post via the right social media channels, be it Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Be patient, as it can take time to build a following and engaged audience that will allow you to monetize your website. Digital ad placements, affiliate content marketing and online consultations are just some ways to turn your blog into a business.
Thanks to 3D printing labs, cosmetic labs, test kitchens and more, it’s easier than ever to bring your invention to the marketplace. You needn’t create a new contraption from scratch; you can become an inventor by adding a new take on an existing product. Or enliven a category with a certain aesthetic or style, like applying a signature pattern you created on skateboards or bicycles. Consider launching an ecommerce marketplace for a specific set of products or your own handmade creations. The possibilities are endless.
Some side hustles center on the invention of a physical product. But many build their business by marketing their own skills, be it writing, designing, developing, marketing, accounting, social media management, financial consulting and more. It all starts with building a website that showcases your portfolio. List your skills, display your best work and perhaps share some referrals from past colleagues and clients. In addition to a clear online resume, your website should have a dedicated About Me/Bio page. Write about your career path, background and passion for developing and sharing your most marketable skill. Make sure your website has a way for prospective clients to contact you and enquire about your consulting services.
It is one thing to provide a skill as a service, but you can also take that same marketable skill to create a coaching business. Here, other ambitious professionals pay you for a one-on-one, intensive learning experience. You can look to websites like Savvy or Clarity.fm to find people hoping to gain your level of expertise. But even with these community platforms, you still want to make sure you have your own professional website showcasing your experience and merits in a given topic. Here, client testimonials will be especially critical.
Online Course Teaching
Instead of singular coaching sessions, craft an online course or series of courses. The setup and time required to turn this into a scalable business depends on your professional network, reputation and following. But once you figure out your curriculum and find a community of paying students, online teaching can be a powerful and consistent source of income. While you can turn to Teachable to build your curriculum and class, it is still important to have your own site and blog showcasing why you are the best professional from whom to learn.