We are experiencing a time in our society when, more so than ever before, a person is able to market themselves and find an audience. Social media has given us the tools to reach likeminded people who not only share our enthusiasm for certain hobbies but are also willing to support them too. This means that, if you have a particular talent or skill you enjoy working on but would also be interested in seeing it become a full-time career, now is your chance.
To transform your hobby into a source of income, while possible, isn’t a quick process and you should be prepared to work hard and learn about the tools that will build your audience and support. Here is everything you need to know to begin.
Know the Right Platform
There are a number of ways you can market yourself and your product but finding the right platform makes all the difference. Trying to market yourself as an artist won’t be as effective on Linkedin as it would be on Instagram. And, despite being streaming platforms, many artists are finding success on YouTube and Twitch too, demonstrating that there is room for creative thinking and innovation as thousands of people tune it to watch the process of an artist painting. It’s important to think about your medium and how it fits into the platform.
There are also new platforms appearing often too, each one created to meet new demand. So, while eBay and Amazon might be the largest shopping platforms, Depop and Big Cartel are specialised and more suitable alternatives, dedicated to independent fashion and creative businesses.
Treat It Like a Business
Do you have a workspace? Have you figured out the right prices to cover your materials and time? Whether you are making beard oil or teaching yoga, to begin living off of your work, you need to understand its value.
The first step is to decide and locate the necessary environment for you to be working. A workshop or studio, whether inside a spare room or outside in a custom-built log cabin, your workspace should be a priority. Then, once you have the space to work, you can figure out your costs. How long must you spend on your product? What materials and overheads are required? Without a dedicated space or the right consideration, you will be starting at a loss, which makes it harder to get off the ground.
Build Your Brand
The cost of widely accessible tools and communities dedicated to supporting and finding small businesses is competition. If your carving spoons or teaching a language, you are going to be competing with many others who are looking to do the same. This is where branding comes in.
To stand out from the crowd, you need to be memorable and likeable. Simply putting yourself out there and flooding people’s timelines with advertisements won’t work. Look at similar businesses and even your competition to find out exactly what works and what doesn’t. Listen to feedback too. While you may have experience with your product, the ability to work social media is entirely different, so be open to hearing advice!