Not ready for the big commitment of freelancing full-time? Freelance as a side hustle. According to the U.S. government, if you earn a minimum of $400, you are considered as having self-employed income. This could be a great beginning for a side hustle, if you want to keep your day job while you explore your options.
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Don't have a side hustle? Let's brainstorm
Fortunately, finding a side gig with earning potential is not too difficult. There’s always a need somewhere. It’s about figuring out your skill, or what you’re willing to provide, and locating the need of others willing to pay for it.
Write down all your professional skills, like if you know how to program or work as an accountant. Think of soft skills, like negotiation or cultural training. Next, write down skills that are a bit more personal. Do people commend you on your good listening skills? Do you receive compliments on the way you dress? Be sure to include hobbies you enjoy, like rollerblading, photography, or playing video games. When you’re writing these down, it’s important not to filter what you write down with the wrong conclusion of, “This can’t make money”. An open mind is the first step in locating a side hustle you enjoy and can profit from.
Time to poke around your life and see what people’s needs are. Think of a variety of demographics, from senior citizens, working mothers, to 10-year-olds. What challenges do they face in their everyday life? What kinds of activities would make their lives easier or more enjoyable? Once you locate a few needs, ask yourself, “Do these kinds of people already pay money for this service/product? Where? If not, do they have the resources and/or interest to pay?”
For example, senior citizens usually rely on family to see to their needs. While it’s not uncommon for this demographic to live in an assisted living community, there are still errands they want done. They may not want to give these errands to family members as they feel they overburden their family, or simply just want to spend more time with them. You’ve delegated and scheduled a few projects at work, so why not be a concierge for a few senior citizens? Maybe if people compliment how you dress, you can work as a stylist for busy, working moms who don’t have the time to shop for themselves? Being of service is the ultimate successful side hustle.
You've found your side-hustle, now what?
- File the legal paperwork
Nothing takes the wind out a freelancer’s sails, then talking about legal stuff. It’s essential to continue, so you’ve got to do it. Fortunately, it can be pretty simple. In the U.S. you don’t have to form a legal entity to begin. All you have to do when it comes to tax season is fill out a few extra forms about our extra income. If you want to set up a separate entity, setting up a LLC can be done in a day, making the entity liable, not you, in case anything goes amiss.
2. Find your marketing channel
You’ve got your demographic. Now is the time to ponder how to reach them. Marketing to the 65+ crowds differs largely if you’re trying to teach young kids to rollerblade. Naturally, the best kind of marketing is word of mouth. The most effective strategy is usually the simplest. Tell your family and friends about your new freelancing gig. Ask them to share with fellow teachers, parents, work colleagues, or church members. They might have a few recommendations for you, like contacting a local youth center or may know a few ladies looking for someone to do grocery shopping. Additionally, go online and begin posting your services on freelancing platforms, like Upwork. If you want to be a portrait artist on the side, begin posting finished work on Instagram. Who knows where the Internet will lead you!
3. Create a professional work process
This may be a side hustle, but it must have just as much structure as a day job—if you want to be successful. The most effective freelancers centralize all their documents, like their flyers, invoices, and time sheets. It makes it much easier and faster for you to figure out which customer needs what, leaving you time to focus. You don’t want your side hustle to take over your life and become a point of stress. It’s meant to earn you extra cash, not disrupt your life. With Freework, you can easily do this—even on your mobile. Even if you’re at 9-5, you can quickly make an invoice before you head to your team meeting. Freework equips you to actualize your dream of selling kombucha, styling working moms, or composing video game music. We do the organizing, while you do the hustling.
Freework is the operating system for a freelancer’s entire work life. We centralize all documents into one simple, space and make it accessible on every device. We deliver the “free” in “freelancer”, giving our customers the peace of mind to explore and succeed.