Use Your Talent to Bring in Extra Income

Edited by Aliyyah Camp, Shelley, Eng, Anonymous

In today's day and age, it is important to diversify your income. You cannot always count on the job security from your full-time employer. Even if your full-time job seems secure, having some extra income could not hurt. This is where side talent-based businesses come in. A side business is something you do on the side to generate additional income. It usually involves something that you do at your own leisure rather than a part-time job.

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In addition to monetary benefits, a side business can help you develop your skills and boost your confidence. When you utilize your talents to bring in extra income, you are developing those skills. This makes you a more marketable person in the workforce. When you are in charge of your own income, it boosts your level of independence and self-worth – thus, increasing your confidence.

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Here are step-by-step instructions to help you find a talent-based side business to bring in extra income.

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Identify Your Talents

Aliyyah drawing talent.jpg
  1. 1
    The first thing you need to do to find a suitable side business is identify your talents.
    The best side businesses are those that are based on things you are already good at. You do not want to come up with a side business idea and then have to learn a bunch of new skills before you can begin. To identify your talents, ask yourself the following questions:
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    1. On what topics do people ask for my advice?
    2. What items do people ask me to fix for them?
    3. What do I do relatively quickly that takes other people a long time?
    4. Do I have any certifications?
    5. What do people think say is unique about me?
    6. What do I consider my strongest assets to be?
    7. How can I solve other people's problems?
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  2. 2
    Write down the answers to the questions you asked yourself.
    You can enlist the help of family and friends if you want to get an even better idea of your talents. Once you have the answers to all of the questions written down, look for themes. Are any of the answers very similar? Do people generally ask me for advice related to things I know how to fix? You are sure to find some common threads in the answers.
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  3. 3
    The theme and common threads in your answers will lead you to find the talent that will make the best side business.
    Here is a list of side business ideas based on specific talents.  
    1. Craft making – good at knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, sewing, etc.
    2. Recipe designing – good at cooking and baking
    3. Freelance writing – good at writing and social media
    4. Wedding photography – good at taking pictures
    5. Babysitting – good with kids
    6. Delivery service – good at driving and navigating
    7. Dog walking – good with dogs
    8. Event planning – good at hosting parties
    9. Graphic designing – good at graphic design software and drawing
    10. Furniture building – good at analyzing instructions and finishing projects
    11. Hairstyling – good at doing hair
    12. Housekeeping – good at cleaning
    13. Coaching – good at inspiring others and being accountable
    14. Fitness training – good at weightlifting, cardio, and training others
    15. Tutoring – good at any school subject or second language
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Pick The Most Lucrative Talent

Aliyyah writer.jpg

The next step is to pick the most lucrative of the talents you have. Think about which one will generate the most income for you. If you are good at writing and have a couple of extra hours each day to write for websites, freelance writing would be a great talent to start honing. If you are good at knitting but know that the items you make will not sell for much, craft making may not be the right side business for you. To pick the most lucrative talent, you will have to do some research on the associated side business. Here are some places you can look to get an idea of how much money you can generate from the side businesses mentioned above:

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  • Craft making – Etsy.com
  • Recipe designing – ThumbTack.com
  • Freelance writing – FreelanceWriting.com, AllIndieWriters.com, ProBlogger.net
  • Wedding photography – WeddingBug.com, ThePros.com
  • Babysitting – AngiesList.com
  • Delivery service – TaskRabbit.com
  • Dog walking – Care.com, Local dog walkers in your neighborhood
  • Event planning – NomadEvents.com
  • Graphic designing – 99designs.com
  • Furniture building – Craigslist.org
  • Hairstyling – Your local beauty salon
  • Housekeeping – Mopp.com, MollyMaid.com, Handy.com
  • Coaching – AttainMyGoal.com, NationalCoachAcademy.com
  • Fitness training – Your local gym
  • Tutoring – Tutor.com, Wyzant.com

CostHelper.com is also a good general resource to find price estimates for all the services listed above. Once you pick a talent and corresponding side business that you know will make you some money. It is time to get started. Read on to learn how to build your clientele.

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Build Your Clientele

Getting your first customer is always the most difficult. If you chose a side business in which you complete services online, then you may have it easier. There are plenty of freelancer websites that connect people with customers online. Here is a list of them just to name a few.

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  • Freelancer.com
  • oDesk.com
  • Elance.com
  • PeoplePerHour.com
  • Upwork.com
  1. 1
    To build your clientele on those websites, simply bid for jobs that you qualify for and wait to be awarded a project.
    It is best to bid for jobs that require little or no experience when you are first starting out. This way, you can get more gigs and have some good testimonials to show on your profile page. Once you have completed five or more projects on the freelance website, you can begin to bid on higher-paying jobs. If you do an excellent job on a project, the same employer may hire you again for repeat work. That is the goal.
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  2. 2
    If you chose a talent-based side business that does not have a website that links freelancers to employers, you have to work even harder to land your first customer.
    The best way to land your first customer is to offer your services for free for a limited time. For example, if you want to be an event planner on the side, you may offer to plan someone's 50th birthday party for free in exchange for a good testimonial and referrals. Once you have testimonials and referrals, it is time to create a portfolio. Read on to Step 4 to learn exactly how to create a portfolio for your side business.
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Create A Portfolio

The purpose of a portfolio is to showcase your skills, qualifications, and previous work. A portfolio serves as proof to a potential customer that you are the right person for the project. The best place to build your portfolio is online. To do this, you will have to make a website. You can either make your own using our detailed instructions or you can outsource the project and have a web designer do it. If you are just starting out and not making a lot of money with your side business yet, it is better to do your best and create a simple website for your portfolio.

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  1. 1
    To showcase your skills, list all the main talents you have that are related to your side business.
    For example, if your side business is fitness training, you can list the following skills:  
    1. Weightlifting
    2. Cardio exercises
    3. Dieting
    4. Yoga
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  2. 2
    To showcase your qualifications, list your credentials that are backed by institutions.
    For example, if your side business is tutoring, you can list the following qualifications:  
    1. Bachelor's degree
    2. Certifications
    3. Classes taken
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  3. 3
    To showcase your previous work, include concrete examples.
    If your side business is freelance writing, provide links to published work or provide writing samples. If your side business is furniture building, provide before-and-after pictures of the projects you have worked on.
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No matter what your talent-based side business is, having a portfolio is important. It is the equivalent of having a resume for a job interview.

Raise Your Prices

  1. 1
    The last step in finding a talent-based side business to bring in extra income is to raise your prices.
    Aliyyah money falling frog.jpg
    Once you have built clientele and have an impressive portfolio to showcase your work, you will be more than qualified for well-paying gigs. The pay for those jobs that you took on when you first started in order to build your reputation will seem like chump change once you start to take on bigger clients and larger projects.
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  2. 2
    The easiest way to raise your prices to get new clients at higher rates.
    This means you will have to advertise your portfolio to more people in order to get your work in front of more eyes. You can do this by sharing the website with friends and family and asking them to share it to others as well. If you are completing your talent-based side business online, you can bid on even higher-paying projects on those freelancer websites.
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  3. 3
    When raising your prices, you may find that you have to let some of your old clients go.
    They may not have the budget to support your higher prices. It is up to you whether you want to keep your original low-paying clients to maintain the relationship or if you want to let them go. As long as you continue to focus on getting new customers at higher rates, you will continue to earn more and more income from your side business.
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Quick Tips

  • You are bound to run into at least one customer who refuses to pay. Take it as a lesson learned and be more careful in choosing people to work for.
  • When first starting out, it is a good idea to beat your competitor's prices. If someone is offering a service for $50, offer the same service for $40 in order to be competitive.
  • Never work on your side business while you are at another job. This is called using company resources for personal gain.
  • If you experience burnout from overworking yourself, take a mental break for one week and then resume your side business again at a slower pace.
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Business & Management

Recent edits by: Eng, Shelley, Aliyyah Camp

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