A side hustle is a way to make extra cash to top up what you earn from your day job, and might include training to become a nutritional therapist, writing a book, or growing and selling dried herbs, for example. If you’re thinking about starting your own side hustle, you’re in good company. According to a report from Bankrate, over 44 million Americans now have a side hustle to provide extra income or to eventually scale into a full-time career. There’s nothing more attractive than taking more control over your finances and creating the lifestyle you want.
It’s also easier than ever to launch and grow your side hustle with the help of technology and a strategic plan of action. From validating your idea to finding the help you need to scale your business, here’s how to use technology to power your side hustle for success.
Validate Your Side Hustle
One of the best parts of starting a side hustle is that you can test the waters and validate your idea on a small scale before investing too much of your time and money. Figuring out if your side hustle idea is viable can take as little as an hour by hopping online and seeing if there’s any competition. Look at sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, or even Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com to see who is successfully selling their products or services online.
If there’s no competition, chances are high that the market doesn’t have the demand for your idea. You also can offer your services or products to your network and see who jumps on it. Once you have a few sales lined up, you can expand into marketing and advertising to create a broader customer base for your side hustle.
Use the Right Social Media Platform
Reaching ideal customers isn’t that hard if you use the right social media platforms from the start. You may be a Facebook fanatic, but if your customer base is mostly college students, you’re less likely to generate the interest you need to get your side hustle off the ground. Instead, look to a platform like Snapchat that attracts young millennials in droves.
Meanwhile, Instagram is the perfect platform for a broader audience, whether you’re targeting millennials or Gen Xers who are visually oriented and looking for new products and ideas to enhance their lifestyle. Gather inspiration from a brand doing it right like Amway. They are the experts at side hustles and sharing high-quality visuals of their home products.
Sell Your Goods and Services Online
There are plenty of places to sell your goods and services beyond your network, farmers markets or local consignment shops. Look online for places to set up your side hustle in as little as an hour with sites like Upwork, Amazon FBA (fulfilment by Amazon), eBay, Fiverr or even Pinterest, where buyable pins drive consumers to your products.
The trick is focusing on where your customers are already buying other products and slowly branching out. Stretching yourself too thin and trying to cater to everyone will just dilute your efforts and make it harder to market and scale your side hustle for success.
Refresh Your Skills
Need to get a refresh on Pinterest or figure out how to build a better WordPress site for your side hustle? Online learning is booming with endless options to help refine your skills and learn on the go. Whether you’re looking for free tutorials on YouTube or an affordable course on Udemy, there’s a learning platform for just about everything.
Start reinvesting a small portion of your side hustle revenue into online learning to scale your business further. It’s also a smart way to keep your skills fresh for your day job and fuel your career aspirations.
Find the Right Support Staff
At some point, a growing side hustle needs some support staff to keep things running smoothly. But you don’t have to rush out and find permanent part-time help. Instead, side hustlers can hire other side hustlers to help with everything from data entry to bookkeeping. Look to sites like Fancy Hands, Bench.io or GrowthGeeks.com to find qualified help to give your side hustle renewed focus and momentum.
There’s another reason technology is so important in powering your side hustle. As the world continues growing into a hyper-connected global economy, side hustlers and brands need to be online to continue growing their businesses. After all, side hustling is all about hustling to grab a piece of that online presence where consumers are ready and willing to buy.