Tips on How to Convert your Hobby into a Freelancing Business

Recently I had a chance to speak with my friend Vinita who has been working on converting her hobby of writing into a freelancing business. Here are some tips from her that I thought I should share with you.

Everyone has hobbies that one loves to do in leisure time for relaxation and enjoyment. You can monetize hobbies and convert them into profitable freelancing business/side hustle in the digital era.

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Many hobbies/skills make money online such as writing, programming, photography, music, designing, video editing, etc. There are several freelancing websites and social media platforms where you can find work. Start cold-emailing and join various online community groups.

Important considerations before you start

It is crucial to know certain things before you start freelancing such as:

  • You may have to sacrifice your favorite pastime, weekends, and vacations.
  • Decide and communicate your charges per hour or project.
  • Don’t quit your full-time day job until you find permanent clients. Work on weekends and spare time during initial days.
  • Analyze whether your skill is marketable and in demand.
  • Ask yourself whether you are self-disciplined and can manage time well to meet deadlines. Also, you need to be patient if the results are not up to your expectations.

Tips to overcome these challenges

Generally, freelancers get paid on a per-project basis. There will be days when you will be out of work. It is challenging to ensure consistent work and income. There is a lack of job security at the beginning of a freelancing career or any online business (side hustle). 

Tips to control finances

Since future income is uncertain, the tips given below might help you cope up during the tough days:

  • Create a budget and plan your finances properly.
  • If you earn extra money in some months, save it diligently to compensate for the tough days. Inculcate the habit of saving money regularly.
  • Start investing early. Watch educational videos related to finance. Invest at least 10% of your income.
  • Claim all the eligible tax credits, exemptions, deductions from your freelancing income to minimize the tax liability.
  • Build an emergency fund that can easily get liquidated when your income flow is low.
  • Try to do freelancing or other online business part-time until you establish a client base.
  • Unstable work-life balance

The workflow may be unpredictable and, there would be periods of ups and downs. Some clients also expect you to be available 24 hours a day, answer their calls and, attend meetings. You may have to work overtime to achieve the targets.

Tips to manage work

  • Learn how to manage multiple competing priorities and urgent deadlines.
  • Outsource tedious tasks and transfer your workload by hiring virtual assistants.
  • Communicate to clients about your off-hours, vacation time well in advance. It creates reasonable expectations in the minds of clients.
  • Know your limitations and how much work you can handle at one time. Don’t overcommit to avoid negative feedback, burnout, or missed deadlines.
  • Create a schedule for week/month and stick to it. Make sure you spend time with family and exercise daily.
  • Isolation

In 9-5 jobs, we interact with our colleagues and managers regularly. Contrarily, you spend maximum time alone working on projects when you freelance or work on a side hustle. Communication with clients happens via phone or email.

Tips to overcome loneliness

  • Attend networking events on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Join groups and be a part of online communities.
  • Join Yoga/workout classes or become a member of a sports club. It will help in relieving stress, developing confidence, and improving physical and mental health.
  • Take short breaks in between. Go to a coffee shop or have supper with your friends.

Hopefully, these tips from Vinita helped you a little to gauge your path and know what to expect if you want to turn your hobby into something that can bring in some monetary benefit!

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