Doing what you love for a living is what we should all be striving for — just the sound of that is super appealing, wouldn’t you agree? How would it feel to wake up every morning knowing that as you got out of bed, you were heading off to do something that you love?
I can tell you it feels amazing.
I know that it can seem like a far-fetched dream when you consider starting your own side hustle and then transitioning into your own business full-time. It’s overwhelming—where do you start?
The other issue that can crop up is the sacrifices that you’ll need to make in order to get your side hustle up and running. Now I don’t know what your current situation is, but if you’re reading this, then I’m going to assume that you’re not exactly enjoying your job or where you are at in life.
So here are some things you’ll need to think about before you start the side hustle process:
- You'll likely be less available to help with things after work. While this is short-term, it could cause issues with your family, significant other and friends. Be upfront with them all and ask them to cut you some slack while you figure this stuff out
- How much time do you spend watching TV at night? It's fair to say that you could be doing something more productive with your time, like working in your side hustle. This one's up to you though... how much do you want your side hustle to take off. Sometimes missing out on a bit of TV is worth it.
- What about your lunch breaks during work? Can you spend that time learning about your business?
Sacrifices need to be made in order for you to get your side hustle off the ground. They aren’t permanent, they are temporary, but have an honest talk with yourself to ensure that you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Rather than let overwhelm and procrastination stop you in your steps, let’s break down what you need to do to start your freelancing business TODAY.
Steps to Starting a Side Hustle or Freelancing Business
Step #1: What’s your skill?
Before you can get started, you need to figure out what skill you’re going to use to get yourself into making money quickly.
The best way to figure out what the best skill to start with is to do the following exercise:
- Answer this question: What are you trained to do? Break that down into the skills required to do this
- Answer this question: What are your hobbies or what are the things you love to do?
- Answer this question: What do your friends, family and colleagues ask you for advice on a regular basis?
Once you’ve answered these questions, narrow the list down further by identifying the skills you can do right now without any further training and also the skills you love to do.
It’s important to note that you’ll need to make sure that you have all the tools at your disposal to do your skill. What do I mean by this? I mean that if you’re a graphic designer and you plan to create logo’s, then you’ll need a program like Photoshop at your disposal.
Step #2: Is your skill gonna make you money?
AKA, can you monitize your skill; is there a demand for it? You might be sitting there, scratching your head, trying to figure out how you’re going to figure this one out, but stick with me here. Simply follow these next few points and you’ll quickly find out whether your skill is in demand or not.
If you’ve opted to go with a skill that is predominantly completed online, or has an online aspect to it, then you’ll want to head over to a site like www.upwork.com and have a look at the jobs posted there. Do a quick search on your skill and see what comes up. If you’ve got more than a page of jobs showing up, then it’s a sure bet that not only is your skill in demand, but people are also going to pay you for it.
If your skill is more offline, such as mobile hairdressing or dog walking, then you’ll want to head to a site like www.craigslist.com and look in the classifieds. Are there requests or jobs posted there for what you’re offering? If there are, then again, there is demand and also a way for you to monitize your skill.
Hold on a minute Lise! What if I can’t find my skill anywhere? It’s simple, go back to your list of skills and start the process again.
If you’ve got a good feeling about your skill and it’s a business you are passionate about and what to start, and there is limited demand for it, then you should do some further research into this. But that’s outside the scope of what this blog post is about.
The aim here is to find a skill that you can get started within in the next 7 days, not to make things tricky.
So, find a skill that’s gonna make you moola that you can do easily and move onto the next step.
Step #3: Set up your website
You don’t have to get too fancy here. You also don’t have to worry about a domain name or hosting if you don’t want to. The key is in setting up a website where people can find out what is you do and how they can get in contact with you. It’s your online face.
WordPress.com is the easiest website to get yourself up and running and it’s free. What I love about WordPress is that you can easily switch to a hosted version and add a domain name at a later date.
If you want to grab a domain name now, you can do that too, I use www.godaddy.com. You can use your domain name to redirect to your free WordPress site, so that it makes it easier for your clients to find you. If you want to keep it simple, grabbing your name as a domain is always a good place to start.
Don’t get too hung up on this part of the process, simply get your site up, ensure you have an about page, contact page and a portfolio page (if applicable) or some images of you in action doing your skill.
Step #4: Find your first client
Up until this point, everything you’ve done has been about you, but now it’s time to get yourself out there and find your first client.
Depending on your skill, there are a few different places you can check out to get started. Let’s start with those of you who are going to be mainly online.
Here’s a list of sites you can start with:
- www.upwork.com <-- this is a general site where you'll find a number of different freelancing jobs available
- www.freelancer.com <-- similar to Upwork, you'll find a ton of different side hustle gigs you can get started with
- www.problogger.net <-- the job board here is mainly for blogging or writing work
- www.99designs.com <-- this one is for graphic designers
If you’re going to be doing something more offline, than Craigslist is your best bet. You can either respond to requests that are already there or post your own details there. Because you’ll be predominantly be working with local people, doing a quick flyer drop in mailboxes or dropping flyers into local cafes, libraries etc will also pay off.
The other thing you can do is send an email out to your immediate network and let them know what you’re up to and if they can refer people to you, that would be great!
And that’s how you start a freelancing side hustle. This should take you no more than a week to implement, if you just follow the steps and don’t think about it!
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