Do you have a skill that you only use in your free time? Though you may assume it’s only suitable as a hobby, there’s a chance you can turn the talent into a money-making business venture.
Hobbies that could potentially be monetised include painting, woodwork, baking, web design, dog training — literally anything that provides value to others.
The problem is that many of us are afraid of taking action, even when we know we have a marketable skill, because we are afraid of failure.
We fear that if we attempt to monetise a hobby and fail, we’ll no longer feel joy or satisfaction from the activity or others will regard us differently.
This can be a scary proposition that may prevent many talented individuals from pursuing their dream. If this sounds familiar to you, then listen.
With a little preparation and strategy, you can enjoy positive results. Here are a few tips:
1 Create a plan in order to begin monetising your hobby
The plan will have to be tweaked along the way. Start part-time and gradually shift into full-time work.
Once you decide that starting a business is for you, there are many books that you can read to develop your plan.
2 Start your business as a side hustle
You need to first test the waters while you are still working to make sure you have a viable revenue model for your small business. Don’t risk losing your day job before you are ready to pursue your business full-time.
3 You don’t have to go from hobby to million-dollar business in days
Your top goal is to get your first sale. Your first sale is the hardest and most important sale you’ll ever make.
Making your first sale depends on the product or service you’re selling. If you’re selling a service, you may want to start by offering a free trial to generate word of mouth marketing.
If it’s a product, advertising the right way can lead to sales. Social media is a powerful tool if you’re trying to reach the mass market with minimal resources.
While you may believe in your product, it’s important to remember that other people have no reason to believe in it. You haven’t proven yourself yet. Hustle for that first sale and then turn it into multiple sales.
4 Maximise your time
For most people, working a full-time job and spending extra hours pursuing a hobby isn’t practical. You’ll have to get creative about how you use your time.
Wake up an hour earlier than you’re used to and get some stuff done before your regular job.
Alternatively, involve your children in your hobby so you can spend time with them as you work.
5 Go online
Create and maintain a website, social media profiles, and everything else that goes into branding yourself as a professional.
Consistency will establish a positive image for you, which in turn will result in more customers. Spend time on at least one social media site to gain insight about your target customers.
Use time on Internet research to source vendors and suppliers and to confirm your target market.
6 Word of mouth and networking
Be active in networking and marketing your business through word of mouth. Reach out to your contacts from college and any business associates to update your contact database.
Make sure that you don’t ruin something that brings you joy. People pursue hobbies to blow off steam.
Research on potential customers before you start turning your hobby into a serious business.
Successful businesses require dedicated work and responsibility.
8 Stand out
It is difficult for small businesses to compete on price. You must clearly identify your niche customer and spend some time developing a signature product or services. Anyone will buy something once. How will you get them to buy it over and over again from you?
First published here