These days, who’s satisfied with just her day job? We know for a fact that many of you Saradonas are following your passions right out the front door of your office and into your side hustle. Ideally, you love your day job as well, but for many of us there’s something we’re interested in beyond our 9-5, and while it may not yet pay the bills, we feel strongly enough about it that we’re trying to build it into a self-sustaining business.
Side hustles take many different forms- mini business consultancy? Cupcake delivery service? Mystery novel writer? – one thing’s for sure: it’s not easy to juggle a full-time gig with your part-time gig and make all the pieces fit together, especially if there’s a family or active social life to keep on top of, as well.
In order to help you get your side hustle up and running, we’ve queried our buddies with successful side projects and came up with 7 key tips that are a great starting point to grow your business from an intimate tea party to an all-night rager:
- Know Your Story And Tell It Well
Every time you meet someone new is a great opportunity to boost your side hustle. Do new contacts want to hear about your boring job in marketing? No! Do they want to hear the energy and excitement trill in your voice as your describe your love of helping friends redesign their homes, or your passion for cataloguing and sharing the most beautiful waterfalls on earth? Yes! Rehearse your “elevator pitch” until you’ve synthesized your core message perfectly, but remember not to sound too robotic- be enthusiastic and authentic and people will want to hear more.
Yes, we know, everyone has a blog these days, but it really is the best way to share broad swaths of content on a regular basis. Updating your website now and then is important, and we’ll get to social media in a moment, but a blog gives insight into the development of your business and the most important parts of it, now. Besides, blogs are so versatile these days that they can contain all kinds of content, images, and video, for example, and easily link up to your social media.
- Social Media
Depending on the type of business you have, different platforms will be more relevant than others. Pinterest, for example, is consummately visual, while those on Twitter need to be able to synthesize their message into a few shorts chunks. Obviously if you have a food business, for example, invest in a good camera and lighting and get those photos up on Instagram and Facebook! Try not to get buried in your social media updates, though, and make sure you’re focusing on developing out your business, and not just promoting it.
- Create Substantial Content
People’s time is valuable, so make sure to give them something they’ll really want to spend time absorbing. Remember that a webinar might be a better option if you have complicated content and need to share a screen to explain it. Podcasts are also highly effective content-delivery vehicles. Most of us have at least some minimal back-and-forth commute each day, and a podcast can perk up even the grimmest subway grind. Make people look forward to hearing what you have to say!
- Build a Community
Through social media, personal networking, or whatever it takes, make sure you’re connecting with others. Word-of-mouth can be your strongest asset, and never underestimate the value of a brand ambassador who loves the work you’re doing and wants to help you share it with others. Thought leadership can be a great way to build your business, too- many bigger brands are interested in smaller success stories to highlight, and may even pay YOU!
- Get Your Community Involved
Create ways for people to be participatory in your business. If possible, let them contribute their own content, e.g. recipes, exercise tips, etc. Create a challenge that your followers can do either with friends or loved ones, that brings them into contact with other people loving your product or service. And make it fun!
- Be Authentic and Consistent
Make sure you deliver consistency and quality. Whatever your side hustle, if you’re burnt out doing something repetitive, see if you can outsource it to an intern or someone external to the company (while keeping costs low). Keep your energy high for the core content, product or service you’re best at and need to be producing yourself, and probably the reason you got started in the first place.