Right now there’s never been more opportunity to make money from your passion. There’s recently been a surge in self employment and a rise in niche business. Thanks to the internet, global communication and promotion has never been easier. But we know this. The question is, how do you get started? Whether your passion is singing, writing, shopping, beauty or organising. Or anything for that matter, there are a few considerations to bear in mind. They could help you on your way to making your millions!
Ever since I could remember I’ve always had an entrepreneurial side. From selling NERD’s sweets 2p for 3 to kids in my street at 7 years old, to written short stories that I could sell to my family at age 9, I’ve always wanted to have little projects on the go. Whilst some have been successful over the years, others I’ve lost interest in. It proves that some things just weren’t meant to be. So here are my tips and tricks and things I’ve adhered to when considering my own business and money streams.
It quickly became the biggest route to market of our time. At the click of a button we can order something from almost all over the world and have it tracked and delivered within a few days. Sometimes even within 90 minutes! You could be a florist, an artist or someone offering any type or product or service. The Internet must be the first point of call. It’s never been easier to set yourself up with a website (WordPress, GoDaddy and Wix are great sites to check out). If it’s not your strong point, designers come pretty cheap too. WooCommerce is the tool to use on WordPress if you want to sell online. Shopify is another great platform to use when selling. As ASOS and Net A Porter as well as thousands of kitchen brands, dog walkers and pretty much anything and anyone has proved, online makes selling easy.
Leading on from the last point, marketing your product or service online is also important. But don’t just stop at a website giving basic information about your shop/address, what you sell (or do) and an email. Try including short blogs relevant to your customers. It should increase your SEO rating (search engine optimisation meaning your website will appear further up the search results). In addition ask customers for testimonials, offer recommendations and high quality pictures for what you do or sell.
Sticking with the digital theme, e-books are another great way of turning your passion into a money maker. Try writing about your experience or giving hints and tips for your area of expertise. It’s a great way of sharing sought after information in return for cash. Prices can vary obviously according to your calibre of work and experience in the area. For instance I have seen an e-book on wellness and sleeping for around £10 or a photo editing e-book for around £30 from someone top in the blogging business.
When I had my blog alongside my job at GQ, it was a great little hobby that quickly turned in to a money maker. But these days with almost everyone blogging it can be tricky to use it as your sole income. Unless you have tens of thousands of readers every month. I’m very lucky that my blog and social media reaches 500,000 viewers a month but I don’t like to rely solely on sponsored posts for my income. My brand extensions since blogging full time now include speaking at events, modelling, YouTube and consulting. These days being a one trick pony doesn’t work so it’s important to branch out. There are so many success stories from people who focused for so long on one route and then suddenly something somewhere else goes viral et voila. They find their money from a different pool.
Don’t Quit Your Job
(Just yet). I’m all for women making a go of being self employed but we do need to be realistic here. If you’ve worked (as I did) at your career for 8 years it can be a lot to leave behind unless you’re very, VERY, sure. I adored working in media. I thrived on the thrill of getting new ads in and I excelled when stressed and under pressure. It was so enjoyable being on the pulse of London’s forward-thinking, media industry. There came a point in my career where I became so obsessed with bettering myself that I soaked up information wherever I could. I was fortunate to be invited to some really great research events, some fantastic digital seminars and I met some very influential people. I learned so much from them and would do it all over again if I could. Developing your skills and knowledge, even by volunteering and working outside of office hours is crucial to staying ahead.
In that vein, networking is also important particularly if you’re just starting out. I’ve met so many incredible bloggers just by messaging them for a coffee on Instagram. Don’t be weirded out, it’s totally normal! Don’t be put off by someone’s following either – I’ve been lucky enough to communicate with some bloggers who have over 1 million followers and even some celebrities and famous doctors/artists/designers/photographers. We’re all human so don’t feel intimidated. Running your own events or group meet ups is also a great way to meet others with the same passions as you and even if you meet 20 new people and 1 new collaboration comes from it, that’s one more collaboration you have than before.
When I fell pregnant and changing in the street for blog photos was further from my mind than eating a salad, I started doing some consulting for digital brands (marketing, social media and web design) alongside my blog. I have a degree in Marketing and have dabbled in building brands up for a while now. Back then I would work for as little as £100 a go. These days that’s more in the thousands. The thing is, everybody needs to start somewhere and you need to build a few success stories to build your reputation. When you have those gems of experience and you aren’t under pressure with the threat of failure (and failing BIG if you’re being paid big and the brands are big), it’s a great way of getting comfortable. It’s often why many internships are paid minimum wage and why photographers sometimes start out with free photo shoots for their portfolio. So try gifting your mates your new hand-made mug or tasty jam, give them a book of advice for Christmas – chances are, word of mouth will travel far and you may get some orders in.