If you are like a lot of people, you might have gone from one good job to three bad jobs in the past couple of years. What was once considered a side hustle is now just another low-paying job that takes a lot of time and hard work. You might suddenly have the need for one of your hobbies to start bringing in some sort of income. That is a lot of pressure on something that you used to only do for the fun of it.
This raises a lot of questions, such as how do you turn your favorite hobby into an income? Perhaps you do a podcast about your favorite TV show. How do you get people to start paying for it? Perhaps you don’t get people to pay for it directly. Maybe you do the podcast for free but sell an associated product or service.
Then, you have the even tougher challenge of figuring out how to get the word out that you have a product or service to sell. This is where marketing comes in. Is this a good time to ramp up your startup’s marketing budget? Because you are trying to convert a hobby into dollars, you probably don’t even have a marketing budget. You need to market like a pro, but with an amateur’s wallet. Here are some ways to pull it off:
If you want to make a big splash like a big fish in a small pond, consider an OOH billboard strategy. Think of out of home advertising as anything you can’t easily consume inside the house. It is not what you find on a smartphone, TV, or radio, or phone directory.
That said, it doesn’t necessarily have to be out in the elements. It could be in a subway station underground. Even the most diehard smartphone fans have to look up from time to time. What they see when they look up is likely the kind of inexpensive but effective ad you could be using to boost your next side hustle. Billboard advertising is not just for fast foods and freeways. Large signage is everywhere, especially in a metropolitan city.
Billboards are a lot more affordable than you think. And they are surprisingly good at making impressions in 3.7 seconds, or however long they are in a person’s field of view. If your website is short enough, that might be all you need to post on the sign. You would be surprised at how impactful the text, “popcornfans.com” could be if also augmented by the image of dripping butter.
Get to know the printables you can sell for extra bucks. Not only can you start a printables business on the cheap, you can use them to promote your business. A printable can be almost anything, including the following:
- Coffee mugs
Just walk into any gift shop and notice all the things that have something printed on them. Now, imagine your business logo, product, or service being displayed in the same way. You can use printables in a number of ways such as including them as a value add. Banks hope you walk off with their pens because the pens are emblazoned with their messaging. You can also sell printables such as hoodies, for a premium. People who love your podcast also wear hoodies. They are going to buy another hoodie. Give them a chance to buy one of yours. They will advertise you every time they wear it.
Local SEO is the secret sauce to leveling the playing field. To someone doing an internet search, your business is the same size as any other business. You can use the same methods and techniques to push your business to the top of the page. In fact, local search can give your small business an advantage over a big one by estimating distance. People who are in a bind will prefer the closest location. If location is not a factor, including local knowledge in your optimization will stand out. Don’t just do search. Do local.
Everybody has a side hustle these days. Make yours stand out by using OOH marketing, printables, and local SEO. Because they are all so affordable, there is no reason you shouldn’t do all three.