From the fitness turned business influencer, ‘BeerBiceps’ to the housewife turned chef icon ‘Kabitas Kitchen’, social media has helped many Indians turn their hobbies into a full-time career. Even the biggest names in YouTube like ‘MostlySane’ and ‘BhuvanBam’ never thought they’d have a chance to quit their day job and pursue their dream of making comedy videos full-time.
But if the pandemic is any evidence, content is needed now more than ever and mediums keep popping up to connect it to its consumers.
Even with the death of TikTok many replacement apps like Triller, Roposo and Moj popped up in no time and the biggest twist being Instagram starting its own reel feature as an in-built version of the same.
So, here are the steps you need to take in order to turn your hobby into a possible career –
1. Brand Yourself
Whether it’s cooking, fitness, music, comedy or anything else, make it your identity i.e. the very thing you’re known for. For starters, showcase your work on social media. Make it your digital CV of sorts. Gauge your competition, see what everyone else is doing and eventually come up with how you’ll do it differently. In a time where a meme like ‘Rasode Mein Kaun Tha’ went viral and brought a well-deserved fan following overnight to a talented musician, the sky is the limit! Get creative and carve your niche and maybe someday you too can get a music video for a song about your very own stinky pet.
2. Leverage Technology
It’s time to inform everyone that you will be taking requests. From cooking/fitness tutorials to freelance graphic designing, there are tons of ways to make money. Use technology like Zoom for conducting classes/webinars, Insta live for engaging with your followers and even platforms like Patreon for monthly memberships with custom work. Make your friends share your work on social media and don’t forget to reach out to other people for collaborations. Keep a track of referrals from existing clients. While most jobs need prior experience, here there’s a level playing field. You’re your own boss, the office is at your laptop, so simply, let your work speak for itself.
3. Figure Payment
You might be new in the scene, but never undercharge. You may start with a few free projects in the beginning to get the word out and build some credibility. But after that, know your worth and ask for it. Ensure that everything is documented, send invoices, keep track of payments too. Apps like goDutch can be beneficial for this very task as you can receive payments there via UPI, keep track of them and even send reminders if there are delays. You can even set up online stores like Etsy and InstaMojo for merchandise as you expand your revenue model. This hobby could possibly be a full-time career so treat it with the utmost seriousness. Put all of your energy in delivering your best work and get your money from all clients and punks alike.
4. Learn To Say No
At first you might hope to take every opportunity you’re getting. But there’s a point where you need to differentiate between a difficult project and a difficult client. Bad clients will be detrimental to your business in every way possible. They’ll pay poorly, be extremely difficult to work with and then at the end of it all they won’t even be the ones you could rely on for a good review. Save your energy and learn to say no to such clients and before you know it, you’ll find someone else who actually values your work.
5. Set Future Goals
Think about where you see this hobby going. Whether you want to turn it into a collaborative effort or a solo business and when exactly you see all of this happening. Set up milestones that you desire to achieve. Think of what resources you would need to hit each milestone in your journey – from hiring additional team members to turn it into a larger business or simply investing in more equipment for a solo initiative. This might sound overwhelming, but all of this planning helps in the long term. Don’t be afraid to learn, consult others and explore all available options to come to an informed decision. Take it step by step and stay on high alert to get the most out of your talent. And before you know it, you’ll have way more than just a ‘pla’ to put into action.
YouTubers and other social media influencers have made the get-rich-quick idea seem almost too easily achievable. But the reality is that for every successful one, there are hundreds or even thousands who are still trying or simply didn’t make it. Hence, rather than being pessimistic or going all starry-eyed towards your dream, a strategy is imperative.
Keep your day job, give your one hundred percent to the hobby and gradually, hone your hobby into a medium of steady revenue.
People are starting businesses even in this pandemic as we speak.
So, what are you waiting for?
Your dream is just a click away.