Get Your Web Hustle On! How To Promote Your Side Gig Online For Success

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You’re working a full-time gig but your heart is focused on growing your side hustle. Your time is scarce, so how do you market your passion business? The Internet, of course.

Start with the perfect email to your circle of family and friends.  “When you write your email, you want to make sure to include all the relevant details, so that you avoid an influx of follow-up emails and people who receive it can easily forward it on to other contacts they know,” reported Muse.

Before sending your email, figure out who you want to reach; what kind of work/business you want to attract; what price you’re going to charge for your service; and what you’re asking from your family and friends (i.e. for them to buy from you, pass the word along, or work with you, etc.)

Your email, according to Muse, could sound like:

Hope you’re doing well. As I’ve mentioned to a few of you, I’ve started freelance copywriting as a side gig. Many of you know how much I love to write, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while, so I’m excited to start taking on some fun projects. As I get started in this venture, I’d love your help!

I’m specifically interested in helping women entrepreneurs write website copy, marketing materials, and social media posts.

If you know any women entrepreneurs who might be looking for some copywriting help, I’d be grateful for an email introduction. Also, if any of you are starting your own entrepreneurial endeavors, I’d love to hear more about your project and explore ways I might be able to help.

I appreciate your support and look forward to connecting with you soon!

All the best,

Alex

Once you reach out to your family and friends, don’t keep bombarding the same folks for requests. Even your more ardent supporters will get tired of your emails, messages, and texts. So spread the word around and space out your outreach efforts over a period of time.  “Try using Hootsuite or something similar to schedule your messages and use lots of pictures and video,” advised marketing brand strategist and business coach Tiffany Victoria Bradshaw, president of Bradshaw & Co. Business Consulting.

Beyond emails, create a solid presence online. Set up a website for your passion profession. Christian De Pape, head of content for Recruiting Social, an innovative recruitment company, told us you can cut costs by using a DIY website through Squarespace or Wix.

Advertising on the web can be a great way to generate sales and attention without spending much. “Do some keyword research and set up some simple pay-per-click ads that lead prospects to your website,” De Pape suggested.

And while pushing your product via social media is a good idea, De Pape pointed out that ads are actually more effective. “Social media marketing has all the sex appeal, but pay-per-click ads gets your offering in front of prospects when they’re actually looking for it. When someone is scrolling through their Facebook feed or Instagram feed, they’re way less likely thinking, ‘I want to find Fido a cute Halloween costume’ then if they’re searching Google for ‘dog Halloween costume,’” he explained. “Social media is about building relationships. Pay per click cuts to the chase.”

For some businesses, however, social media is the best way to showcase their goods and services. That’s what Bradshaw found out. Bradshaw’s side hustle is baking and social media has allowed her to show off her goodies. “I have mostly used Facebook and put up pictures of the finished products and recently I have created some videos that I will use. These are candid shots of folks who tried my amazing chocolate ecstasy cookie bars for the first time,” she told us.

If you’re selling actual products, there are networks that you should definitely use. “You can take advantage of appropriate marketplaces like Etsy, Handmade at Amazon, Darby Smart, etc. depending on the type of product or service you offer,” said Pratima Aravabhoom, founder of CraftStreetDesignCo.com. These marketplaces already have customers so it makes a lot of sense to list and spend on promoting within these marketplaces.”

Make use of hashtags as well, as they can be important in helping you reach the right audience on social sites. “You can also use Pinterest Rich Pins or the Instagram store to sell by using hashtags and reaching out to influencers,” Aravabhoom said.

But don’t just put your stuff out there without monitoring the outcome. Aravabhoomi advised that you “Measure the results of every marketing activity. It is very important to know if you are getting the biggest bang for your buck in online marketing,” she said, adding that there are various tools to monitor your online outreach, such as Google Alerts  and Google Analytics.

The Internet is a great marketing tool, but be aware of the disadvantages of marketing a small business or a service online. “You can’t hide from your mistakes. You can’t hide from what people will say about you–on Yelp, on social media. Online marketing is not a megaphone; you really do have to be prepared for a dialogue with prospects, current customers, and past customers–but satisfied and not,” said De Pape. So make sure you have all your ducks in line before putting anything online.

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