The biggest reason why someone might delay starting their side hustle is that they don’t feel they have the time to do it. The thought of starting a new side business is overwhelming and the to-do list just way too big. But, there is one thing you can do to get your business started right away. Like, today. You can begin to build your audience right out of the gate. Even if you aren’t set on what your business, product or service is yet, you can decide WHO you want to sell to and create an audience for these potential paying customers.
As side hustlers, we don’t have the luxury of time. We use all the time outside of our everyday priorities such as day jobs, caring for our families and commitments to pursue our side hustles with the hopes of earning more income every month. Big projects often fall off the rails because they feel like they move along too slowly. A new business venture is a huge undertaking but it is not impossible. Once you have decided roughly what your business is about, you can decide who you are going to sell to. This is your ideal client, something I talk about a ton, so get use to it!
Your ideal client is the person you imagine using your products or services. Having a clear picture of this person will help you market to the right group as well as develop the right services and products because you have a deep understanding of their lifestyles and pain points. Traditionally, lots of business coaches will tell you to create an imaginary person and lifestyle for them. But, what if you know real people who could actually be your perfect ideal client? This would make market research so much easier, wouldn’t it? You may have a few business ideas kicking around in your head but unless you decide who you want to work with and create for, you won’t know if your idea is good or not. That’s why I suggest starting to build an audience as soon as possible.
Think about all the people in your life you have come across in person or through social media. Choose 3 people to be your inspiration… your muses! Jot down everything you think you know about these people and create your ideal client profile. See what the 3 of them have in common or what makes them slightly different.
To create an ideal client profile consider these points.
Their age, gender and ethnicity
Do they have children?
Where do they live?
What are their core beliefs?
What worries them?
What challenges do they face?
Where do they find information? (Magazines, social media, news, etc.)
Who do they admire and look up to?
What makes them happy?
Now take it a step further and really get into their heads and write a day-in-the-life story about each one of your muses. What is her morning routine? Does she even have a routine? How does she use social media channels? Is it on the fly or is it something she truly enjoys and makes time for? What keeps her up at night? What does she do for work?
You see where I am going here…
I created a workbook for you to jot down your ideas. Download it here and get your ideal client profile ready to hit the next step.
Building an audience early on will help set the foundation for a successful launch as well as get a feel for your ideal client and if you’re on the mark with your business idea. It’s kind of common sense to test out your ideas before you invest too much, right?
On to the next step…
How to build your audience for your side hustle
1. Pick your platform
The next thing you can do to build your audience is decide what platform your ideal client uses most and would be most beneficial for you. As a side hustler, you may not have time to focus your energy on 4 different social media platforms plus a blog plus a newsletter. Now that you have identified your ideal client avatar, do some research on demographics to see where your time is best spent in terms of marketing platforms. This article from Hootsuite is a very thorough overview of the main social media platforms.
Marketing Platforms That Help Build Your Audience
Keep in mind, some of these platforms can work together. For example, you can start building your email list through Pinterest by pinning links to a landing page for your newsletter. Or maybe you focus on your blog and promote it though LinkedIn. Decide on what you think you’re able to realistically accomplish and work on it simultaneously with your business itself. But, the idea is to decide where you time is best spent and do it well so you can nurture a specific group of people who will be warmed up and ready to buy by the time you launch.
2. Create Content
Content is queen. I think the original line is “king”... but nah. She is queen and if done well, that content will help find you the right people for your niche audience.
Most marketing these days isn’t selling at all, it’s actually content marketing.
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Ask yourself, what is my ideal client interested in? What do they care about and what will make them click and follow. Create content about that. Touch on their pain points and really dig deep to create content that makes them relate to you and trust you. When it comes time to sell them something they will be more likely to buy in the end!
Jot down some ideas on topics that your ideal client profile would find valuable. Categorize these ideas and rotate your categories regularly so your audience starts to see the whole picture. I created a space for this in the Ideal Client Profile Workbook.
Finally, you need to commit yourself to a consistent routine that is realistically achievable for you. You now know who you are talking to, you know what you want to say to them so they stick around now it’s time to decide how much time you can commit to growing your new audience. Consistency is key to keep your audience engaged. Make sure that you don’t over commit and leave little or no time to work on actually getting your business up and running. This is a recipe for failure. Be real with yourself and commit to a set amount of time for audience building a week in addition to time towards your budding side hustle. A consistent presence on whatever platforms your choose will also help gain trust with your audience.
You can start this TODAY. Why wait? How long does it take to jot down these ideas and get one platform up and running? An hour? Remember, nothing is set in stone and it doesn’t need to be perfect. You can always pivot your business idea based on the response you are getting or not getting as you build your audience. Try different angles, topics to see what sticks and allow yourself to grow from what you will learn as your build your audience for your side hustle.