3 ways you can turn your side hustle into a full-time gig.

My introduction to the world of gig economy happened by chance at the end of 2021. An ex-colleague of mine had started freelancing on a platform called Fiverr and was making an additional $500 – $1000 a month. My ears perked up. I had always been interested in starting a side hustle but was stuck with two questions: where do I sell, and what do I sell?  

With the first question answered, I dropped off the call and sat down to create my account. Now, the hard part: WHAT do I sell? I had been in marketing for almost five years and had good experience in both strategy and execution, but I knew that I wanted to be involved in defining and shaping a brand. How do I sell that, I thought? After digging on the platform and discovering other providers with a similar skill set, I found a title reflecting the work that:

1. I enjoyed doing

2. I was good at

Brand Strategist. 

After hours of researching and tweaking my gig, I launched the same day. Despite my perceived lack of experience and poorly designed cover photo, one phrase kept going through my mind: “Just start.” 

Looking back now at my first gig, I am surprised that anyone clicked on my profile, but within a few days, I got an inquiry from a sustainable luxury Spanish fashion brand starting out and needing a brand strategist. I thought I had struck gold! I had always envisioned collaborating with a sustainable fashion brand; now, they were my first client. 

Since then, I have worked with global multinational brands and gained experience in over a dozen industries, from fashion, beauty & the arts to renewable energy and NFTs, and have been able to build more sustainable business practices into their core business strategies! Working across these different industries has been exciting and invaluable to my journey as I have picked up best practices from each. 

If you’re considering dipping your toes into the world of gig work, here are my three lessons.

Start small: 

There is some debate about this, but when I initially started freelancing, I set my prices very low. The main driver for me was to build a portfolio and gain experience. I was fortunate enough to have a full-time job, so I did not rely on the income from my side hustles and took many lower-paying gigs so that I could learn and tweak my processes. Many of these gigs, like copywriting and project management, were not scoped to include brand strategy, but I always found a way to work on and bring in the business purpose and quickly realized I wanted to build purpose-driven brands. During these gigs, I also connected and worked with other passionate professionals and started to build my agency network. 

Nothing is “below” you:

 This has been my philosophy in work and life. If the work interested me and I could contribute positively, I would do it. This approach has always worked in my favor because although my work now is more focused on strategy and creative direction, I know how to do what needs to be done and can jump in (and often do). This thinking also opened up so many opportunities for work and collaborations that I may have missed out on if I felt that the work was not for me to do. If you are starting as a freelancer and unsure what exactly you want to do, pick up what interests you and give it your 100%. After wearing many hats, you’ll have a clearer idea, even if it means you know what you DON’T want to do. 

Personal touch and human connection: 

If you’re looking to stand out from the thousands of gig workers you’re competing against, remember that the person on the other side of the laptop is a human who wants to see their business succeed. It may seem obvious, but a genuine interest in the person AND the product/service they’re selling is essential. 

If the project interests you, consider a free 30-minute consultation to gain a better scope and understand what success looks like for the brand. In my experience, this has been a game changer because you can establish whether there is synergy between you and the client and if you’re both moving in the same direction. I recognize that this is not always scalable, but even a quick introductory Loom goes a long way. 


Stay in touch: 

Projects can span from a few weeks to months, and within that time, you have (hopefully) built a strong relationship with your client and a genuine interest in the business’s success. Reach out to your clients every few months to check in and track how they are doing. Their success is your success!

Get going

Perhaps the greatest lesson I have learnt from this journey is to just get going. Your first gig won’t be perfect, and it probably never will be because you have to constantly update and iterate to make sure it speaks to your audience. 

Start small, be open to various roles and projects, and work on creating an authentic human connection with your clients. If you’re starting out on a similar journey, have fun and see every gig as a lesson and an opportunity to bring value to your client and their clients. 

Want to connect with me on how to get going? Get in touch.

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