This is the second post in the How to Start a Side Hustle series.
If you want to begin building any type of side hustle or consulting business, it’s really important to get your name out there. Why? Because people are more likely to buy products or services from people they know than a stranger. My experience was that I was able to launch my consulting career because of my blog. Here are five low-cost ways that you can spread the word about your expertise, services or products in order to attract your first client or customer.
Start a Blog
Blogs are the most low-cost websites you can set up to promote yourself and your side hustle. In fact, you don’t even need a blog AND a website these days. A blog will do just fine because it showcases your expertise on a regular basis, versus websites that are typically more static and don’t keep people coming back to hear what you have to say. Although most people still use blogging for personal use, one of the biggest benefits to having a more professional blog is that blogging can allow you to become well-known in your dream career niche or field. Need help getting started? Download my free ebook, The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Blog. It’s a 37-page resource to help you with all the aspects of blogging in order to build your personal brand!
Get Your Own Business Cards
This is one of the most important things you can do to market yourself and your side business. Ever since I was 18, I’ve had my own business cards. And even when I was working a full-time job, I kept a stack of business cards in my purse to let people know about my blog and where to contact me about my side hustle. My favorite place for business cards is Vistaprint. I’ve used them for the past 10 years because of their low cost, easy-to-use website and quick delivery. And when I say low cost, I mean low cost. New customers get 250 premium quality, color business cards free! (You just pay for shipping.) Click here to order yours. They also have a ton of professional business card templates, but I always keep mine very simple.
And don’t be afraid to tell people (on your business cards) that you have a side hustle! For instance, the backside of my business cards say “hire me” with the different consulting areas I work in. People always comment on how bold it is. But you have to remember that marketing yourself is like marketing a product. You have to tell people what action you want them to take after they see what you have to offer.
Attract Fans and Followers
If you want to market yourself and you’re not on Twitter by now, I don’t know what is wrong with you. You can get started using my Twitter 101 guide if that helps. Once you’re on Twitter, you should be following other people in your dream career field or niche as well as tweeting insights about those specific topics (and less tweeting about the TV shows you watch every night or how much you hate your job). If you have a blog, you should also set up a Facebook fan page for yourself in the “writer” or “website” category and link to it from your blog so people can keep up with your updates. Don’t forget to put your Twitter and Facebook names on your business cards!
Get on YouTube
People like TV. People like movies. People really like to connect with other human beings by face, so it makes sense that millions of people watch YouTube videos everyday. Yeah, you could wait until you get interviewed on TV, but in the meantime, the best way to let people get to know you by your face and voice is by posting video updates on YouTube. It’s easy and free! Pick a topic that you can share your expertise and opinion on and post a brief video about it every week or every month. It’s up to you. Just be sure to spread your videos far and wide once you take the plunge into YouTubeland. Need inspiration? Look no further than Kim Love. For the past two years, the natural hair enthusiast has used her YouTube channel, KimmayTube, to share her expertise with the world and recently leveraged it to launch a successful retail business.
Dust Off Your Email List
Chances are, you don’t email people in your network as much as you could. Yes, it’s nice to post updates on Facebook and Twitter, but alas, everyone is not on those social networks, and even if they are, you can best believe that they don’t read every single update you post. So, take a couple hours every month to use email to update your friends, family and trusted colleagues on your new career goals and what your future business goals are. Give them a reason to sing your praises or connect you with people in their network who may be doing similar work. I guarantee that there’s someone on your email list that will be interested in supporting your side hustle or willing to help you get to where you want to go!
What are some other low-cost ways you could market yourself in order to promote your side hustle?