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From Side Hustle to your first $10k Month

Early in my career I was laid off from a steady role and it felt earth-shattering to me. One day I had checks coming in biweekly and the next, nothing. I’d never felt so powerless. It was in that moment that I decided that no one job would ever hold my livelihood in their hands again. I picked myself up, decided I would learn to code and, even while working for others, I did freelance or one-off jobs to have more freedom.

Side-hustle has become less of a buzzword and mores a way of life. Creating another stream of income gives you the freedom and power to turn your passions into profit. It allows you to explore your own creativity and achieve financial independence on your own terms.

But let’s take a step back. A Side hustle is a venture or project you take on outside of your regular job or commitments to generate extra income. It allows you to leverage your skills, interests, and passions to create a small business. They’re popular because they provide you a safety net, a creative outlet, and a pathway to greater financial freedom. Look, no one is saying you have to quit your job! But, if you ever feel like you’re living pay check to pay check, it may be a good idea to find a way to generate extra income.

Not sure where to start? Book a quick clarity call with me and I’ll help you uncover ways you can turn your skills into income! Book Here.

Now, let me share with you how I did it. 

Figure out what you’re going to sell

A side hustle is only as good as the product you’re going to sell. What are you passionate about? What skills do you have? If you like to play the guitar, maybe that looks like teaching folks how to play or setting up a YouTube channel. If you’re a designer, maybe that looks like offering your services to up-and-coming businesses. Start by making a list of at least 5 items that you think you could sell. 

Who are you going to sell it to

The unfortunate truth is that if there’s not an audience for what you’re selling you may be building upon the wrong idea. You should develop a clear picture of the type of person who would benefit from your offer. Come up with 3-5  reasons why you think they would benefit from your offer.

Talk to your ideal customers

This may look like talking to close friends or colleagues who fit the profile of your ideal customer. Ask them if they’re experiencing the pain you’re solving for. Ask them if they have a solution in place today. Ask them how much they pay for that solution. Your goal here is to validate that there is money to be made in your arena. Gather as much information as you can. 

Re-evaluate your offering

Now that you have a better idea of what you’re selling, and who you’re selling it to – you should come up with a package or packages that include exactly what folks will receive when working with you. You want to deliver a transformational service. What do folks get when working with you? Where are they before they start to work with you? And where will they be after working with you? Clearly define this.

Scope creep lives in the gray areas. If you’re not familiar with scope creep, consider this scenario. You offer a ‘Gold’ package to your customers. You start working on your deliverables, and then the customer comes back and says ‘Actually can I have x’, ‘Do you mind also doing x’, and so on. With scope creep, you fall into a trap of a never-ending package that you’ve already locked yourself into a rate. 

Determine your price point

Now that you know what you’re building, start to think about how you’re going to price your service. You may be tempted to offer your services at a cheap or discounted rate – don’t do this! People perceive value by how much money they spend with you. My absolute worst clients were the ones I gave discounts. Steep discounts. But in the end, they were micromanagers, always nickel and diming to get an even cheaper rate, or just downright rude. In addition, you should take into account any services you may need to subscribe to, taxes, and ultimately how much time it’ll take to take a client from A to Z. 

Sell your services

Your number one job as the leader of your business is to sell. If you can’t convince one person to buy from you, this may not be an easy path for ya. But don’t worry, here are some strategies that’ll help you get started.

  1. Build a landing page or website. It doesn’t have to be a fully built-out site but just have something. A website signals to folks that you’re worth buying from.
  2. Create sharable graphics that showcase what you’re selling. Use a tool like Canva to put together some informative graphics or images. They should convey who you are, what you’re selling, and why folks should work with you.
  3. Build your social media presence. Pick a platform that you’ll use to speak about your business. Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium? Pick one and focus.
  4. Share it with 50 close friends and relatives. A closed mouth doesn’t get fed. Even if those closest to you aren’t your ideal customers, they may know someone who could benefit from your work. It’s also a helpful signal boost. Put together a short blurb to go with your graphics “Hey [name], I’m launching a new service that [does this]. Do you mind following my page and liking and re-sharing my most recent post?”

How I made it to my first $10k Month

  1. I niched down. When I initially started, I’d work on any type of project that came my way. I’d do Shopify websites, bots, and more. With time, I decided to focus on what I enjoyed working on the most. For me, that looked like working on custom web applications.
  2. I started offering retainer services. Instead of project-based pricing, I started offering monthly retainer services. Each month, each client gets a certain amount of work. The value here was that I now had expected income month to month.
  3. I hired help. Instead of doing all of the work in my biz, I started to hire additional support that could help fulfill the work. But note, I would never hire someone to do work that I cannot do myself. You need to know every aspect of your business intimately before you hire someone else.
  4. I invested in coaching. I’ve spent over $10,000 to date on coaching. There are a lot of things I know I don’t know in business. Instead of trying to figure things out on my own, I’d rather pay someone else to give me the exact roadmap.
  5. I started talking about my services A LOT. You can’t be afraid to constantly share your process, your services, and the like. The people who will receive it, will receive it.
  6. Develop your point of view. You need to separate yourself from the humdrum and multitude of other business owners. What do you do differently and why? Share your thought leadership.

Keep going

Starting is the hardest part. Keeping up the momentum, is even harder. Confide in those closest to you. Keep posting across platforms, and eventually, your ideal customers will be so excited to finally find you online. When you feel discouraged, switch up the gameplay. Tweak the messaging, pricing, and packages. Use a different social platform. Eventually, you’ll get into a flow that works for you. 

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