What do you do when you haven’t quite landed your dream job? Most of us occupy ourselves with good company or invest our free time in a particular hobby. If you’re doing the latter, guess what – it may be a great opportunity for you to start making some money. And if you’re not quite there yet, now’s the time to start. You’d be surprised at the things people are willing to pay for. Here’s how:
1. Find a hobby you excel at.
By now, I’m sure you have a pretty strong idea of what you’re good at and what you have no business doing. Think about it – do you have a knack for making crafty little things? Are you outstanding at a particular task your friends and family always ask you to do for free? Some of the most popular categories nowadays are makeup artistry, home baking, graphic/web design, and photography – but you can probably guess that there is also an abundance of talent overflowing these classifications. So how do you stand out?
Figure out what the majority is doing and then take off in a completely different direction.
In Makeup Artistry, everyone is digging that super contoured and highlighted Kim K look so there’s become an enormous pool of artists to choose from. But not everyone wants to look like a Kardashian, so why don’t you offer a different style of makeup, perhaps a “look like yourself but better” – whatever that may be.
In Digital Photography, the film-esque vibe has been huge deal over the years and lately, there seems to be an increasing popularity in de-saturated images. You could be focusing on clean, minimalistic colors or perfect your people-directing skills so your clients don’t look “posed”.
Key takeaway: Find a hobby and then specialize! What makes you different and worthy?
2. Refine and refine.
The market is saturated in almost everything you can possibly think of and we always hear people talk about shaking things up in an existing industry or offering something novel that’s never been done before. The thing is, unless you’re almost genius, it’s hard as hell to do something completely original and innovative. So don’t necessarily focus on inventing a new product or service, but figure out how to do it better than the ones that already exist.
The only way to do this is to dedicate a massive amount of time to your “specialization” until you become so good you can’t be passed without someone noticing.
Key takeaway: Practice, Practice, and Practice – that old saying “practice makes perfect” is real!
3. Test the waters.
Take advantage of your exposure on social media, especially Facebook and Instagram since the people you’re connected to there typically comprise of a more personal network. Then see how your friends and associates respond – is anyone wowed? Does it seem like there’s someone out there willing to pay for your product or service. Post pictures of your work frequently without bombarding their feed. You don’t want to come off more annoying than talented.
Key Takeaway: Find out if people are willing to pay you before jumping in wholeheartedly.
4. Make it known.
Once you get a pretty good gauge of the amount of people who are willing to make a purchase, tell everyone what you’re doing, put up rates that align with your skills, and market yourself without being too aggressive. Sometimes the process takes longer than you think, but if you’re consistent and constantly refining, someone will eventually want to pay you.
Key Takeaway: No one ever gets paid without exposure and the right kind of marketing.