The hard part of a side hustle is exactly in the name. It’s a hustle and can take a long time to build up revenue that’s worth your effort.
One in three side hustlers answered they need the additional income for day-to-day living costs, and 39% of U.S. adults have a side hustle, according to a 2023 Bankrate survey.
I started my side hustle of teaching financial education in 2020, with the same motivation to not only pay for daily expenses, but to start saving for retirement while I still had the energy to hustle.
If you’re trying to build a side hustle or full-blown business for extra income, here are three tips to enhance your business reach. I scaled up my side hustle to a full business in four years, and with the help of these insights, you can make your growing side business truly stand out to potential customers, without breaking the bank.
1) Leverage The Power Of Press Coverage
Newer business owners can spend a lot of money and energy constantly proving their credibility or expertise. National and local press coverage is an effective strategy for many successful brands.
According to SCORE, a nonprofit that supports small businesses, 77% of them use social media to connect with their customers. In addition to building brand awareness, many small businesses also depend on social media as a main sales driver.
However, an often overlooked way for small businesses to reach a larger audience is to tap into traditional platforms such as television, news outlets and publications that are looking for new stories to circulate every day.
It’s a myth that getting yourself published is difficult, but a mistake that entrepreneurs can make is that they talk about themselves and think that will get them noticed.
Instead of pitching yourself and your business, message your favorite publications with potential headlines for articles they could write about your side hustle, that would be of interest to their readers instead.
For example, my first national story was not about myself and being a money coach. It was personal storytelling with my husband: “How we ditched $300,000 of debt in 3 years: Small wins help achieve a big dream.”
Rather than relying solely on social media for new customers to find you, leveraging the power of press provides validation and boosts your overall brand image, saving you a lot of time convincing people about your brand’s worth.
2) Not Everyone Who Needs Your Help Is A Potential Client
The biggest mistake I see new entrepreneurs make is thinking that everyone they meet is a potential customer. The truth is, the real difference between your target market and true customers lies in those people’s willingness to pay for your services.
They are only potential customers if they are willing to pay you (and you don’t have to convince them so hard).
I started to separate followers on social media with real customers by putting out a low-priced offer for $7 to my audience to see who was truly interested in working with me.
If someone isn’t willing to pay me $7, it would be unlikely they would pay me hundreds or thousands of dollars for my full offers.
So, it’s crucial to identify and focus on the right clients to enhance your side hustle’s growth and profitability, even if you’re just starting out.
3) Don’t Shy Away From Repeating Yourself
The marketing rule of 7 implies that someone has to be exposed to your business at least seven times to remember it, let alone want to buy a product or service from you.
Personally, I’ve found that number to be more like 10 or 12 times as I’ve had people who have known my business for years and only started reaching out recently as potential customers.
Specifically, they may have an idea of your business, but are not sure exactly what your unique value is and how you best deliver it.
Aside from constantly repeating on your media platforms what your business is, you also need to repeat what exactly you do and whom you best serve.
So, don’t worry about sounding like a broken record. Consistent messaging is key to embedding your brand in the minds of your audience. If you haven’t said it at least a dozen times, you haven’t said it enough.
Think of it as the catchy chorus of a hit song – the more your customers hear it, the more it sticks, and the more likely they’ll remember it when they need your services.