VI. Implement a Solid Marketing Strategy
If you’re shy and timid and you’re scared at the thought of talking to random people and businesses, then you’re in for a shock. Your side hustle is never going to take off if you don’t go out there and let people know you’re open for business.
So, before you even think about which marketing strategy to employ, you need to figure out how you can toughen up ASAP. You need to build the confidence so you can market and ‘sell’ yourself to potential clients.
Put yourself in the shoes of your prospects: would you want to do business with someone who exudes confidence or someone who doesn’t? I’m sure you’ll choose the former.
Once you’ve built your confidence in your skills and believe you can deliver what your side hustle promises to offer, then it’s time to market yourself to your audience.
Now, the kicker is that there are many different types of marketing techniques you can use. Look around you, how are your competitors marketing their brand? Is it working for them? Should you do the same or should you look for another strategy, so you can tap into a different and less saturated market?
What you ultimately decide on will depend on your industry. But, for starters, let me give you an idea of the most common marketing strategies that can work for many side hustles:
Word of mouth marketing
Word of mouth is probably the purest form of marketing there is, yet it’s also one of the most effective. How many times have you bought a product or subscribed to a service your family and friends have recommended? Or, how often do you ask them for recommendations?
The reason why word of mouth works so well is that we tend to trust the judgment of people we personally know. So, when they say you should check out this new business on 8th Street, then you’ll go check it out as soon as you get some free time.
For your side hustle, it’s important you use your existing network of friends. Ask them to help you get the word out about your service. If anyone asks them why they should do business with you, they can easily vouch for your skills, your talent or your integrity.
Once you start getting some clients, make sure you go above and beyond what’s expected of you. Give them a lot of value and make sure they have a very positive experience. If you do this, you won’t even need to ask your clients to help spread the word about you, they’ll be happy to do it of their own accord!
This kind of marketing strategy will only work well for side hustles that target the local population. If you’ve got an online side hustle, then this may not be the right marketing tactic for you.
For this marketing strategy to succeed, you need to make a personal connection with the people you’re going to be talking to. You’re going to be knocking on their doors and talking to them personally, so talk to them like people. Don’t be pushy and aggressive because you’re just going to get the door slammed in your face, or worse, have security called on you!
For door to door marketing to succeed, you need to think outside the box. Don’t just knock on people’s doors, give your card, and leave abruptly. Instead, what you should do is introduce yourself and tell them you’ve started a new business. Say something like, “If you need my help, here’s my card. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.”
For instance, if your side hustle is painting people’s walls, then you may want to say something along the lines of “When your paint starts to fade, just give me a call, and I’ll be happy to offer my introductory price even if you call me a few years from now.”
See, you’re not pushing them to use your service right away. You’re just sharing what it is you do and how you can help them. That’s all there is to it really.
Social media marketing
Everyone’s on social media nowadays. Whether you’ve got an online or offline side hustle, you can benefit from the power of social media marketing.
First, you just need to know where your target clients are hanging out. Are they on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, or some other social networking site?
Then build an active profile and make sure it matches your branding. Post content that shows your expertise. Don’t post anything silly that will make you look thoroughly unprofessional.
Start reaching out to your target clients. Follow them and/or write thoughtful comments on their posts. You can also send them private messages, but don’t be aggressive and pushy. You want to gain their trust, so they’ll do business with you, you don’t want to scare them off. If you send them a private message, make sure it’s going to be worth their while.
Social media marketing has the power to grow your side business exponentially. But be very careful in how you go about doing it. If you annoy too many people, you can quickly lose your reputation, and you may need to start again from scratch!