Side hustles are pretty common these days. In fact, according to MarketWatch, one-third of Americans need a side hustle to pay expenses. Starting a side hustle can be intimidating though, especially for people that have little experience with freelancing or running their own business.
Luckily, with just a few tips, you can easily turn your side hustle idea into a reality. But, let’s not stop there. With these tips, you can actually turn your side hustle into a profitable, full-time business.
Here’s how to get your side hustle off the ground in 2020.
Change Your Mindset
First things first, if you want to get your side hustle off the ground, you need to change your mindset. Many people who have a side hustle see it as just that, a side hustle; something they do in their free time that makes them a little extra money. But, if you want to turn your side hustle into a fully-fledged business, you need to stop thinking of yourself as a side hustler or freelancer and start thinking of yourself as a business owner.
So, instead of saying to yourself and others “I do graphic design on the side,” say “I have a graphic design business.”
When you start to think of yourself as a business owner, you’ll be more confident in your ability to take your side hustle and turn it into a successful, full-time business. Plus, when you think of yourself as a business owner, other people will think of you as a business owner, which will help you gain the confidence and trust of potential clients and customers.
Create a Schedule and Stick to It
After coming home from your day job, it can be hard to sit down and start working on growing your side hustle. But, you need to make time for it if you want to grow it into a successful business. So, you should create a schedule and stick to it. By making a schedule to follow, instead of coming home and saying “I’ll work on my side hustle tomorrow,” you’ll be able to hunker down and get things done easier.
You can mark off an hour each weekday or you can set aside 4 hours on the weekend, whatever works for you and your lifestyle. In fact, Chris Guillebeau, the author of Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days, says that with just 30 minutes per day you can create a successful side hustle. Remember, when creating your schedule, set a notification alarm for it. That way, when you’re dealing with day-to-day distractions, you won’t forget to work on your side hustle.
Next, your side hustle isn’t going to be successful or turn into a full-time business if your to-do lists are scattered all across your work area.
To get organized you can use a tool like Trello or Asana. Asana is a web and mobile application that will help you organize, track, and manage your work. With this tool, you’re able to lay out all of the tasks that need to be done and set due dates for them to help you stay on track.
You also need to make sure that you’re not spending hours manually completing repetitive tasks that could be automated with the help of some online tools.
Check out some of these online tools to help you automate processes and get organized:
- Hubstaff – Automates time tracking, reporting, and invoicing.
- Zapier – Connects all of your apps and automates your workflow.
- Buffer – Schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more.
- Bidsketch – Create professional proposals in minutes with their proposal software.
- HubSpot Meetings – Allow your prospects to automatically schedule meetings with you.
Implementing just a couple of automated tools like these will help you save a few extra hours each week. You can then use that precious extra time to work on growing your business.
Present a Professional Image
When you look like a hobbyist, clients and customers won’t give you their business because they’d rather go to a professional. So, if you want your side hustle to be successful, then you need to present a professional image.
The first step to presenting a professional image is to create a website. Not just any website though. If you want to look like a real business, you need your own domain name. A free website such as www.wix.com/mybusiness doesn’t look as professional as a domain name like www.mybusiness.com. With your own website domain, you’ll also get a professional business email address, which also looks better than emailing potential clients from your Gmail account.
And don’t worry, you don’t need to hire a web designer to create a great-looking website like the one below from copywriter Tyler J. Koenig.
With WordPress and many other website builders, you can get free or affordable website templates that will give your site a professional look in an instant.
On your website, be sure to post any glowing customer testimonials you have to show potential clients that they should work with you.
Start Marketing Your Business
Now that you’re starting to treat your side hustle like an actual business, it’s time to start marketing it like one too. But aside from printing business cards and handing them out to family and friends, get online to promote your side hustle.
Social media is a free and very effective way to promote your side hustle business to a wide range of people. For example, check out how Stitch and Wick promote their hand-crafted products with this eye-catching Instagram post.
Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags on your social media posts so you can attract more potential customers and clients. In the Instagram post above, Stitch and Wick use hashtags like #SoyCandles, #GirlBoss, #SideBiz, and #BuyLocal to attract customers that are interested in buying soy candles from locally-owned small businesses.
Don’t be scared to dive into your side hustle headfirst in 2020. With these tips, you’ll not only get your side hustle off the ground, but you can reach a level of success that you could have never imagined. And maybe in 2021, you can quit your day job and run your business full-time.