Tuesday, November 10, 2015
12 Unique Things You Can Do to Make the Most of Your Side Hustle Right Now (The #3tofree Series)
I see you, side hustler.
I see you workin' that 9-5 (or 8-6), then coming home, only to keep working. I see you pounding away on your laptop, burning the midnight oil and making another cup of coffee so you can finish that blog post. I see you waking up extra early for Skype meetings and Periscopes, stepping out during dinner dates to check Instagram, and hiding in the bathroom at your corporate job for Twitter chats.
I know you're working hard, and I give you mad props for that. This is me giving you a high five and pat on the back. But I'm here to help you work smarter, not harder. Have you heard that saying before? It didn't come outta nowhere. It's the truth!
You don't have to be trying to do everything, all the time. There are really only 12 tasks you need to concentrate on right now. Quit pulling all-nighters and start enjoying your passion. Scroll down and I'll show you how.
Freedom and fulfillment are closer than you think, my friend.
1. BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE
Let me be blunt for a moment. If you don't have clients, then you are not a business. And your clients come from your audience. Therefore, the most important thing you can be doing right now is building that foundation of people. Whether you're a blogger, a web designer, a coach, or any other type of solopreneur -- you need humans around you, who adore what you do, in order for you to get paid.
Related article: 7 Tips to Grow Your Community and Find Paying Clients via the-loudmouth.com
2. START TAKING ON FREELANCE AND/OR PRO-BONO CLIENTS
Before people get comfortable paying you, they need to see proof.
Testimonials are the best way to show that what you do works. And if you want to gather those without prior experience, you'll need to do a handful of favors for free. You really only need a couple sentences from a few people. Potential clients want to see that you are liked, admired, and trusted. You can also do small, paid freelance jobs (like logo designs or one-off coaching sessions) for cheap. You should always have appointments and projects on your books, whether for practice (at the beginning) or for profit (later).
Related article: Top 10 Things to Do After You're Booked Out via evolveandsucceed.com
3. CREATE 3 PRODUCTS/SERVICES AT 3 DIFFERENT PRICE POINTS
The process of pricing can seem intimidating if you've never sold anything of your own before, but trust me, it's not as hard as you think. I'm not going to give you any mathematical equations to figure out. You simply need to think about the following: how much you need to make per month to survive; how many hours you'd like to be working; and how other peeps in your industry are pricing their stuff. You'll also want to have a range of price points based on how much time and effort goes into each product or service.
Basically, you want to make it easy for anyone to start buying from you, no matter their income level. So, right now, I offer The 30-Day Guide to Bolder Blogging (a $9 workbook), The Blog Analysis (a $129 service), and Three Months to Freedom (a $1500 coaching package). I've also included examples from femtrepreneur.co, below. Try to come up with a low-ticket item first, then something mid-range and eventually a premium offering. These are things that you can develop over time while at your full-time job so that you're already making something from your own biz before you quit.
Related items: Find Your Niche ($10), Webinar Rockstar ($397), Launch Your Signature Course ($997)
4. GET INVOLVED IN A COMMUNITY (AND CREATE YOUR OWN)
The blogosphere is a huge party in and of itself, but there are so many fun little pockets to explore.
Getting involved in communities and cultivating community around your own blog is key to building your audience (as discussed in #1). Start by checking out Facebook groups, Twitter chats, and Instagram hashtags that other bloggers have started. Joining current events and challenges (like Devan's #22DaysofBranding or Maya's 45-day #GetPaidChallenge) are also great ways to make new friends -- and meet people who just might need what you have to offer.
Related article: 10 Ways to Build an Active Community on Your Blog via thenectarcollective.com
5. MAKE A TO-DO LIST AND DESTROY IT DAILY
Y'all know I love making lists and showing them off. But I don't just color code them so that they look pretty; I have an extremely strategic, streamlined way of organizing my tasks. With multiple business ventures and an energetic toddler, I simply don't have the energy to stress about what's next. I always know what I'm supposed to be working on and how to get it done. Of course, I'll help you do the same if you choose to partner up with me. Turning dreams into plans is my jam.
Related article: The Daily System That Makes Me Get Things Done via mattieologie.com
6. INVEST IN EDUCATION
Srsly tho, if you're doing something for someone, you need to be constantly educating yourself on the best way to do it. Technology moves super duper fast these days, and it's important for you to stay in the know. Since you're still bringing in a regular paycheck from your day job, set aside your Starbucks money and start using it towards e-books or e-courses instead. Sacrificing your morning latte will be SO worth it.
Related article: Why You Should Invest Time + Money into Your Blog via inspiredbloggersnetwork.com
7. POST ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT CONTENT THAT STANDS OUT
I know that you're a unique, sparkly snowflake and all that jazz, but "being yourself" isn't enough anymore. The internet is too saturated for that. Your content needs to be soaking wet and dripping with your BEST self. Think you don't have time to create amazing blog posts with content upgrades, and social media statuses with custom-made graphics? Here's your solution: Don't do it as much. Quality over quantity, love. I'm giving you permission to take it easy. Slow and steady wins the race.
Related article: 9 Free Content Types That Lead to List-Building and Revenue via mayaelious.com
8. COLLABORATE WITH OTHER BLOGGERS, BUSINESS OWNERS, AND MENTORS
Not only is teaming up with other babes in your niche extremely fun, but it's probably going to have the best ROI (Return On Investment) when it comes to building your business. You're going to learn a lot, grow your audience, and make new pals for probably $0. Webinars, Instagram takeovers, and guest posts are just a few types of collabs. Now that Periscope, Snapchat, and Vine are on the scene, you can experiment with those, too. Don't be afraid to reach out to someone you'd like to partner with.
If all else fails, start with a compliment. Everyone likes those.
Related article: 33 Types of Blogger Collaborations for Fun and for Profit via byregina.com
9. KEEP UP WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
Okay, if you've been reading this blog for awhile now, then you'll know how much I gush about Hootsuite and how much time it's saved me. As someone with a full-time job AND a side business, you must start using a social media scheduling tool. I demand it. :) It will take away lots of stress and anxiety.
Of course, you need to pop in every now and then for actual conversations -- but 90% of your statuses can be pre-made. Simply take a few hours on your day off to queue up some posts, and bam, you're done!
Related article: 6 Ways to Keep Your Side Hustle Active on Social Media via the-loudmouth.com
10. START SAVING UP FOR BIZ-RELATED EXPENSES
I touched on this a bit in #6, but if you want to take your business seriously, you'll need to spend money on a few other things besides learning. When you're just starting out, it's cool to DIY and hack what you can, but eventually you might want to invest in professional headshots, a cleaner website design, tools to make your biz easier to run (like in #9), a VA (Virtual Assistant) or other vendors, etc.
Not trying to overwhelm you here, I promise.
Related article: How to Prep Your Online Biz for Emergencies or a Vacation via the-loudmouth.com
11. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU LIKE (AND WHAT YOU'RE BEST AT)
Yo, this is the coolest part about not going full-time yet. Since you're still relatively new to the game, you can change whatever you want, as much as you want. Switch up your blog post topics, move to a new blog platform, even change your niche if you like! You can truly figure out who you are and what you desire. Spend this time honing in on your vision for your life, business and blog.
Related article: How to Get Clear on Your Vision and Find Your Sweet Spot via thealishanicole.com
12. LEARN HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME WISELY
Since you're probably busier now than you ever will be in the future, you are in the perfect position to learn how to manage your time. Which is great, because once you become your own boss, you'll need to be an absolute master at that. And the good news is, if you can work your biz around your full-time job, then you definitely have the skills needed for entrepreneurship.
However, sometimes it can be hard to figure out how to make that transition from side hustler to total self-employment. That's why I've created Three Months to Freedom, or #3tofree: 6 sessions of straight-up, one-on-one business motivation coaching for 3 powerful women (that's it!) who want the freedom to stand out and start serving online. We'll focus on your long-term vision and map out the short-term goals to get you there. Sound good?
Click here to help spread the word about this limited-time opportunity (I won't be taking on any new clients for months after this), or just use those handy share buttons on the side. :) Don't forget I'll also be on Periscope hosting live discussions all week! See you in there, lady.