How do you start a side hustle?
It’s a question that more and more people are asking.
In fact, Bankrate reports that 45% of working Americans have a side gig that’s separate from their regular job.
That’s not surprising when you think about the financial challenges a lot of people face: debt, monthly living payments, transportation expenses, and childcare.
And even if your day-to-day job covers all the bills, it’s not uncommon to get the “itch” to master your craft and try your own hand at calling your own shots and managing your own business.
Whatever brings you here today, these 7 tips for how to start a side hustle will provide you with the basics you need to get your feet off the ground!
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1. Assess Your Side Hustle Availability
Before you start a side hustle, you’ll want to think about the amount of time you have to devote to it.
If you’re working a full-time job, that’s 40 hours gone already.
On top of that, you have to factor in weekly errands that need to get done, as well as time for you (never forget that part!).
Be realistic and write down how many hours you have available each week and use that as a baseline for how much work you can take on. Remember, this isn’t some competition to work as many hours as possible right off the bat!
Take your time to ease into it and adjust as necessary.
Only have a few minutes to spare? Check out my list of 37 side hustles you can do from home. There’s ideas there for everyone!
2. Define Your Services
What skills do you bring to the table that you want to offer potential clients? Some ideas include:
- Freelance writing
- Graphic design
- Website development
- Pet sitting
- DIY crafts
The list goes on and on!
Now, write those services down and expand on them.
For example, you may be starting a side hustle that’s around freelance writing. In this case, your services may include writing blog posts, writing social media content, writing newsletter copy, etc.
You can then use these ideas to build out your menu of services and establish prices, which we’ll talk more about shortly!
3. Price Your Services
Have no idea what to charge? There’s a calculator for that!
The BeeWits Hourly Rate Calculator takes into account how much extra money you want to make, how many hours and days you’re available to work, and any overhead expenses you may incur (such as advertising, buying equipment, etc.).
When you start a side hustle, keep in mind that you’ll have to pay self-employment tax. You can calculate out how much you’ll owe with this handy calculator.
As you sell your services, be sure to set aside part of your income to cover these taxes so that when spring rolls around, you can easily pay them without scrounging for the cash.
4. Buy Any Necessary Equipment or Software
Before you put yourself out there and start getting clients, you’ll want to make sure you have all the equipment and/or software you need to make your side hustle a success.
A few of the items every side hustler should have are:
- A reliable computer (I personally have had the best luck with MacBooks) with other useful accessories, like a mouse and wireless keyboard
- A camera for taking images of your work for your website and social channels
- A work-specific email (it’s easy to set one up on Gmail for free)
Depending on your side hustle, you may also need to buy craft items, screen recording software, a tripod for easy hands-free recording, and so on.
Take a moment to write down everything you need to start your side hustle before diving into the next step.
5. Create Your Website and Social Media Profiles
Having an active presence on the internet is one of the best ways to find potential clients. Your website doesn’t have to be anything fancy — just be sure to outline who you are, what your services are, and how you can be contacted.
You’ll also want to be sure you’re active on at least a few social media platforms. You wouldn’t believe how many people are out there looking for side hustlers who can help them!
Be sure to post relevant content on your social media profiles and keep your website updated.
(Pssstt… If the idea of launching a website feels intimidating to you, consider hiring a freelancer to get you set up. It’ll save you the headache AND you’ll be supporting a fellow side hustler.)
6. Network to Find Your First Client
Now comes the fun part — you get to put yourself out there and land your first client!
I know it may seem intimidating, but you can do this!
If you’re still working on building up your website and social media channels, you can still advertise your services on sites like Fiverr, Upwork, Guru, and the several other freelance job boards out there.
And don’t be afraid to talk to your friends and family about your new side gig! They may know someone who could be a potential client.
7. Get Testimonials and Reviews
Once you’ve worked with your first few clients, ask them to write a testimonial or review about your services.
We live in a time where people like to read reviews before committing to purchases, so having these clients testimonials could be the difference in whether you land your next gig or not.
Be sure to ask for permission to share these on your website and social media channels!
So there you have it — 7 tips for how to start a side hustle.
Remember, every new business has bumps along the way, but don’t let them discourage you! Continue to refine your services and create SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound).
You’ve got this. Now get out there and show the world what you have to offer!