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The gig economy is growing, you might have heard, and there is even a bigger chance that you’re a part of it. In fact, in 2019, 48% of millennials and 39% of Gen Xers had a side gig, according to a Bankrate Survey.
If it feels like everyone you know has a side hustle these days, it’s because many working Americans are finding additional opportunities to earn income on top of their regular jobs. So if you’re one of the many millions of young adults who are grappling with financial difficulty, or simply looking to earn more money, finding a side hustle may be a great way to drum up some cash.
There are vast opportunities available today online due to the growth of the Internet and smartphones that were not available to prior generations. No longer is one’s economic status dependent on the jobs available locally.
While there are thousands of such opportunities available online, it’s important to consider that some will have much greater financial reward than others.
So while it’s convenient to sell the items you don’t need on eBay or work for a delivery app to make quick cash, investing your time wisely on developing a new skill like becoming a digital marketer or a personal chef can be a better long term strategy.
Develop a strategy
If you’re interested in developing a side hustle, consider developing a strategy that makes the most sense for what you are trying to accomplish.
Are you working on a long term career goal but haven’t landed your ideal job? Consider working part-time or as a contractor in that field.
Are you especially talented in a special field like music or sports? If so, become a private instructor in that field and start building a book of business.
The great thing about working in a field you enjoy or teaching something you love doing as a hobby is that it won’t feel like regular work at all and can be quite enjoyable.
You’ll never know if your side hustle the potential to grow into something substantial. But with most things, if taken seriously and invested in over time, it could have the power to transform your life.
There is no shortage of ways to find a side hustle in the growing gig economy; the challenge lies in finding a strategy that fits within your short term or long term goals.
Great things are accomplished in life by doing the same little things over a long period of time.
Not only can you excel at something slowly, bit by bit, but you will become an experienced figure of authority simply by sticking to learning one craft. That is not to say that you shouldn’t try a few gigs and test the waters to see if you enjoy them. Look for ones that offer better opportunities for advancement.
Below, I will highlight a few general strategies for making extra income, and how you can excel at them.
Selling things you don’t need
Many of us have items collecting dust somewhere in a closet or a garage that can be turned into quick cash. Our friends and family may also have a similar desire to sell things they no longer need. They may be interested in allowing you to post and sell it for them for a commission – don’t be afraid to ask.
Craigslist, ebay, and Offer Up are just a few places you can list your items from free to nominal fees to ensure a quick sales cycle. There are people doing this professionally for others so it has the potential to turn into a serious business. Taking professional photos and getting positive feedback from buyers are keys to success in this line of work.
Drive for Uber or Lift
Do you already drive a lot? This one may be perfect for you. Many people with existing side jobs can still drive for Uber or Lift. The great benefit of being a driver for these apps is that you can simply turn your availability on or off. So at the very least, you can make extra money at any hour of the day by giving rides to people whenever it is convenient for you.
Maximizing this strategy requires some planning and discipline. You need to make sure your car is always kept clean, for example. And since you’re going to be behind the wheel, you cannot have alcohol or drugs in your body. Lastly, other people are trusting you with their life, so make sure you’re not too tired before taking on the next passenger.
Learn Digital Marketing
I have taught myself web development, Google and Facebook Ads management, and SEO among other things over the last several years, and there has never been a shortage of demand for these services, no matter the condition of the economy.
The truth is, many people need these services. In my experience, baby boomers in particular believe in online marketing strategies, don’t care to learn it themselves, and are happy to pay someone else to do it for them. You should focus on learning these channels one at a time. But there are enough resources online that you can learn everything methodically. Over time, you can build a portfolio of clients, gain referrals, and even establish your own agency.
Become a tutor
Teaching is a rewarding experience and there is never a shortage of younger minds not fully grasping what the teacher said in class. You may have to brush up on some of the subjects and updates to criteria and curriculums though – 8th-grade math questions aren’t a piece of cake for everybody.
You can break the location barrier for growth with this strategy as you can tutor people all over the Internet using a video conferencing app like Skype.
Become a pet walker/groomer
Who doesn’t like to play with fluffy animals all day and get paid for it? If you’ve ever owned a dog, you know that taking a stroll with them in the park is both relaxing, meditating, and, of course, a healthy task most people are simply too busy to do every day.
Animals will grow an affinity to those who care for them over time and you’ll find yourself new and true friendships, albeit friends who are owned by others as pets. Build a large enough client base by advertising your services locally with flyers and door hangers. You may end up hiring others to work for you and turn your passion for animals into a successful business.
Start a mobile car wash/detailing business
A mobile car wash business can be lucrative in upscale neighborhoods. Pass out flyers and advertise your services locally, list it for free on Google maps, Yelp, and social media sites. You may even get to be alone with luxury cars and drive them in the driveway which is something most people will never experience in their lifetime.
Look sharp, be on time, be professional, and don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Wealthier folks may not be as inclined as others to wait in the carwash for an hour. This is a potentially highly rewarding and relatively low-risk business. The best part is, you never know what opportunities will arise from gaining the trust of successful people.
Honorable Mention: Become an Amazon Reseller
By becoming an Amazon Reseller you can get your product(s) in front of millions of shoppers. You have the option to allow Amazon to do the fulfillment and sell worldwide.
Learn the ins and outs of managing Google pay per click campaigns, and use your certification to help small businesses. You can charge them a fee (10-15% of their ad budget is standard) or an hourly rate and build a book of business.
Get hired as a freelancer and build a reputation to gain more and more short term and some long term clients. Focus on a niche or related services.
Honorable Mention: Advertise your personal chef business on ihirechefs
There is so much content online about cooking that anyone can learn and practice their craft to perfection on their own. Turn your passion for cooking into a money-making venture without the hassle of owning a restaurant.
Create a website on Wix
Whether you are promoting a product or selling a service, you’ll need a professionally designed website. Wix has simple drag and drop editing features allowing anyone with basic computer skills to create a customized website.
Farbod is a serial entrepreneur having started 8 different companies in marketing, sales, and technology since graduating college. In 2015, he founded Novia Marketing, an innovative lead generation and full-service marketing agency. His clients have ranged from one-time data buyers to presidential candidates. He also owns a SAAS platform called SYNC Profiles for local businesses to help them gain better visibility online, manage their data across the Internet, and generate positive online reviews. Full Bio | Connect With Farbod | LinkedIn