It’s 2017. Time to start hustling!
Do you have a side hustle today? If not, consider the side hustle that’s right for you.
Some side hustles are perfect for meeting short-term needs. Selling stuff you no longer use on eBay, Craigslist, Kijiji or Facebook Groups can be a great way to cover a budget gap, but unless you have tons of stuff, it’s not often a side hustle you can use for a big financial goal.
Some side hustles require a long-term investment. Starting a blog is an example of one of those side hustles that requires you to invest lots of time up front to see returns later.
What I love most about service-based side hustles is how quickly you can get started. A service-based side hustle is basically freelance work. You offer a service and customers pay you for the service. Pretty straightforward, right?
Launching a Service as a Side Hustle
If you’ve decided to launch a service-based side hustle, you can get started as soon as this month. All you need to launch your service-based side hustle are a service and a client. Transactions are straightforward–you provide the service and your clients pay you for the service.
Clients are the lifeblood of service-based businesses. Without clients paying you for your service, you don’t have any income.
But here’s the thing. This is your service-based side hustle! You’re starting a side hustle to help you meet a financial goal you have in mind. Thus, you don’t need dozens of clients to fulfill your goal, especially not if you priced your services at a fair-market rate.
Because it’s likely that you don’t need dozens of clients to fulfill the income goal for your side hustle, it’s important to start with a goal and to be clear on exactly how much you want to earn each month.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” ― Yogi Berra
What is your side hustle goal for 2017? How much do you want to earn?
Financial Goal for a Side Hustle
Let’s say that for 2017, you want to make $10,000 this year in your side hustle or about $833.33 each month.
If you’re a digital marketing & SEO side hustler, you priced your services at a rate of at least $75 per hour. In order to make $833, you need to work a little more than 11 hours each month.
$10,000 / 12 months = $833.33 per month
$833.33 / $75 per hour = 11.11 hours
You might be thinking, “Wow! I don’t need to work as many hours as I thought.”
Side Hustle Comparison Spreadsheet
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should pursue digital marketing and SEO, you can use the spreadsheet below to compare common side hustles.
This side hustle comparison spreadsheet breaks down hourly rates, the number of hours you anticipating work, and how much you could expect to make each month/year.
Client(s) You Need to Meet Your Financial Goal
How many clients do you need to fulfill 11 to 12 hours of work each month to meet your financial goal this year?
That’s a great question.
Depending on the digital marketing needs of your client, some clients need more help than others. More help means more hours.
In a service-based side hustle, you get paid by the hour, so the more help your client needs, the more you work (and the more you get paid).
more help = more hours = more income
If you’re a digital marketing & SEO side hustler, you need one client to start.
How do you know how many hours your client requires for digital marketing?
The bare minimum investment I recommend for digital marketing for ANY small business is 10 hours per month, though 15 to 20 hours per month is recommended. If your client invests in *slightly* more than the minimum, then you’ve hit your target.
Where to Find Your Client
There are countless online and offline opportunities for you to locate your first client. Any place you interact with a small business owner, you have an opportunity.
Do you ever buy anything online? These online storefronts (i.e. websites) selling products are potential clients for your SEO businesses. Your best bet is to look for the business owner’s contact information on the “About” page and reach out via phone or email.
Do you buy anything from Etsy or eBay? These sellers likely have websites for their brands that they use to drive traffic to Etsy or eBay. You could email sellers of products you like and let them know how you can help them with their websites.
Larger retailers, such as Amazon and Overstock, have internal marketing teams. These aren’t your target clients, but they could offer opportunities for full-time employment in SEO.
There are non-ecommerce websites that would be interested in SEO, too. Bloggers rely on affiliate and advertising revenue, so they invest in SEO to increase website traffic. If there is a particular blog you follow that you enjoy, consider reaching out to the blogger to offer your assistance.
Here is a list of other resources you could use to find warm leads (i.e. online or offline business owners actively seeking assistance):
- LinkedIn ProFinder
- Private Facebook Groups
- and many, many more!
These are clients who may have brick-and-mortar businesses in your area, such as insurance agents and lawyers.
Offline clients represent a tremendous opportunity as they are often less comfortable with marketing their businesses online than businesses referenced above. These clients know the importance of SEO, but they haven’t invested the time to make improvements. (Small business owners are busy and often wear many hats.)
Make a list of small businesses in your community that you frequent. Find out who the owners and managers are of these small businesses. When you’re ready, reach out pitch those digital marketing and SEO strategies, like content marketing, that can help them grow.
Retaining a Client for the Long Run
While you may only need one client to meet the financial goal for your side hustle, the most important is keeping this client for the long haul (unless you prefer to work on a project basis).
A key to growing your side hustle in digital marketing and SEO is one HAPPY client.
Good communications skills and excellent customer service are critical to make your new client a HAPPY client who is likely to keep working with you for months or even year.
Video: Cultivate a referral tree.
One happy client is a client you can grow with. One happy client is someone who will refer you to other business owners. One happy client might be all the marketing you need for your side hustle or side business.