Side hustles are nothing new but since the pandemic started they’ve really gone mainstream. Lockdowns gave many people more free time to pursue new interests or really improve on their hobbies. If you already had a side hustle, the downtime may have allowed you to make it your main business (or at least think about it). If you’re still thinking about it, here are some points to consider to turn your passion into a business.
What exactly is your passion?
Your first response to that might be something like “fashion, beauty, and lifestyle”. That’s great but it’s a lot to cover. As a rule of thumb, when you’re first starting out in business, you want to be very focused. So, for example, if you love fashion, beauty and lifestyle pick one of those topics to cover in-depth. In fact, ideally, you can make your focus even closer.
If you love fashion even more than beauty or lifestyle, then hone in on exactly what part of fashion you love the most. For example, are you really into accessories? Do you love the style of a particular era? Are you a genius at putting outfits together? Decide what you love the most and focus on that, at least to start with.
Where is your community?
If you want to turn your passion into a business then you’re going to need customers. Your customers will come from your community. That means finding your community needs to be one of your top priorities. Your first thought may be to look online. This is definitely worth doing. It is, however, also worth building real-world connections whenever you can.
There are all kinds of reasons why you want to have a solid community base established before you start trying to monetize your passion. Most of them hinge on the fact that your community gives you a solid base to grow your business, and it stops you from being dependent on finding customers who’ll leave good reviews. As such, it also protects you from reviews being manipulated. Sadly review manipulation is becoming a very common problem for businesses, especially small and/or new ones. The Yelp extortion issue is a case in point.
What is your path to monetization?
At the end of the day, turning your passion into a business effectively means figuring out how to make money out of it. It’s advisable to have a plan for doing that right at the very start. Of course, your plan can change over time. The key point is that any changes should be done mindfully.
Probably the most obvious, and usually the quickest, routes to monetization are adverts and affiliate links. These aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, they can be a useful way to get the ball rolling. At the same time, however, they both have their drawbacks. What’s more, it’s risky to rely on either for your long-term, living income.
Similarly, brand deals can be useful (and can pay well). As with adverts and affiliate links, however, it’s risky to rely on them for your long-term, living income. Ideally, therefore, you want to develop a product or service you can sell yourself under your own brand.