Looking to turn your side hustle into real cash?
We have the answers you are looking for!
Freelancing while you're in school is always a great way to get some experience, some extra spending cash for social activities, and even get your foot in the door with promising companies. Every paying gig is a good gig, right?
But, could it become more?
Here's how to turn your side hustle gig into a cash cow by doing what you're good at and turning it up a notch:
Troll Every Gig Site
Are you just going to your tried and true favorite client or job board? Look beyond what you're used to and open some new doors for yourself. Here are some gig sites and some tips for getting the most out of every one of them:
- Look For Gigs In Each City - If you're only looking in your own city, you're missing opportunities for remote freelancing in others. Go through each one.
- Check It Often - Get in the habit of going through Craigslist at least once a week if not more often for fresh opportunities.
- Create A Template To Respond - Don't just copy/paste every time you respond, but you should have a solid response that you know highlights your best work to customize in order to save time.
What makes this gig site stand out among the rest? It focuses specifically on design gigs and it's set up for you to continue to build your portfolio. Tailored towards students who are studying at a US university, Boonle provides a great way for businesses to connect with students on freelance design work.
Check it out for yourself. It's free and easy to use.
If you're already a Gigwalker, good on you! You're taking advantage of handling small tasks with your smartphone for a few bucks.
If not, give it a shot. It's kind of awesome.
- Check It Before Running Errands - If you're already planning to head to the mall to buy some new kicks, why not check out Gigwalk to see if there are any opportunities for cash on the way?
- Use It On Vacation - When you're traveling you may discover gigs that aren't available where you normally are and it can send you in some interesting directions to get to know the area.
With a little elbow grease, it is possible to make a full-time living on Fiverr. Because you're actively marketing yourself on Fiverr and not just responding to posts, you want to stand out.
Here are some tips:
- Invest In Promotion - It may be worth it to pay someone else to take some head shots of you if you're a designer or have a designer create a logo for you if you're a photographer. Looking professional matters.
- Keep Track of Progress - The platform offers great analytics to keep track of your sales and how well you're doing overall. Stay on top of the trends.
If you're tired of having to pay to use freelance websites, check out Hubstaff Talent. Hubstaff Talent is completely free, no fees and no markups, unlike many other similar websites that have a pay to play business model.
After you create your profile, businesses can search for you based on skill, availability or location and reach out to you directly if they think you'd be a good fit for a gig. No dealing with third party websites to communicate, it's all done directly between the two parties.
You can also browse through hundreds of remote jobs on the Hubstaff Talent Remote Job Board and apply for whatever ones catch your attention.
Create your profile here: https://talent.hubstaff.
Up Sell Existing Customers
Do you have regular clients and customers who love what you do? Hit them up for more money! That doesn't mean you don't have to earn it, but you do have to ask for it.
If you're a designer, for example, assess their brand's presence online and offer to make improvements for an additional rate. It just may be the match they need to ignite change at their company and you could be the one to strike it.
Ask for Reviews
Your best clients and customers who email you and text you to say that you're the bee's knees may not always think to leave good reviews for you, so you have to ask. Fiverr, LinkedIn, and Facebook (if you have a Facebook page) are great places to do this.
Not only will this make you look good when potential customers and clients look you up, but it may even help you in the link building department if you get enough of them.
Have and Maintain a Website
This could be your first and last name as a domain or a company name that you create and register. You always want to have someplace to send existing and potential clients to who are just waiting for a reason to pay you to do a gig.
Happy with your existing roster? You're not reaching far enough! If you get new interest, you may get new business and an excuse to raise your rates as well.
Raise Your Gig Rates
You may have had to lowball in terms of your talent for a while, but you're starting to get noticed and instead of having to turn down gigs, it may be time to raise your rates.
If you're getting interest from lots of different clients and customers and it's taking longer and longer for you to fulfill orders, supply and demand determine that it's time to charge more. It's simple math.
Diversify Your Skill Set
Just because you're the design gig guru doesn't mean that every gig you do has to be all focused on design. Why not venture into writing and marketing?
Also, if you've just taken a class in something that's given you a new skill to try out, don't wait until graduation to get your sea legs. If you're not feeling 100% confident with your skill level at first, you can always start out charging a bit less just to see how things go, but you should definitely give yourself a chance.
Save Up For Bigger Opportunities
As tempting as it may be, don't blow all your gig money on X-Box games, beer, and junk food. Once you graduate, you may want to relocate, travel, or explore other professional opportunities.
Save the dough you're banking for starting a bigger business of your own or with a business partner. You could put your gig forces together in order to expand and keep growing.
Alternately, you could use all the money you're saving to pay off your student loans and graduate with less debt. Without having high payments every month, you're saving yourself for brighter opportunities!
Get Friends and Family Involved
Yes, this could mean that they'll be asking you for professional favors, but it doesn't have to mean that if you stand your ground. Having the support of your friends and family is helpful when you're trying to turn your gig-based economy into a cash cow.
Hand out business cards every chance you get and promote yourself as much as possible. You never know who knows who. Get out there and network.
Have a success story about turning your side gig into your main gig? Leave a comment! We want to hear about it.