Guest post by Robin Underwood
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spent on average more than five hours per day on leisure activities in 2018. The Brits aren’t far behind, spending an average of £90 a month and 5-6 hours a day on their hobbies! Londoners’ favourite leisure activities range from making music, reading and creating art, to pursuing photography, makeup artistry, and digital and web design.
If you’re a young London-based freelancer, creative, or small business owner with an arty hobby that you’re passionate about, we’ve got good news for you.
You can turn your hobby into a potentially lucrative side hustle that will bring in some much-needed extra cash.
The trick to turning a pastime or hobby into a money-making opportunity is finding out which platforms are available to sell your products and services on. You can use social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, freelancing platforms like Upwork, Toptal and DesignHill, or even traditional cold-calling and email marketing methods. Once you’ve got this down, you should get customers rolling in.
Here’s how to turn the most popular creative hobbies in London into profitable side hustles.
Makeup artistry is definitely one of the more popular side hustles in 2021. If you’ve spent time and money developing your MUA skills, you can use them to earn extra income from home, or as a travelling makeup artist.
You can kick start your makeup business by:
- Taking high quality photographs of your work. Ask your friends, family members and colleagues if they’d be willing to pose for professional before and after photographs for your business. You can use these images to market your skills on your advertising platforms of choice. Bonus points if your subjects will write glowing testimonials for you!
- Deciding whether to offer travelling makeup services or set up a shop. Operating from a salon can eat into your profit margins, but it appears more professional to your clients. You can maximise your profits and attract more clients by offering home- or travel-based services. Most side hustlers start their makeup artistry businesses at home if they have the space and tools available.
- Considering selling makeup products. If you’re passionate about cosmetics, you can offer your services as a makeup artist and sell quality cosmetics to your clients at the same time. Identify a brand that you are passionate about and find out if they have a representative program that will allow you to sell their products and earn commission. You can also sell accessories like makeup brush sets, foundation applicators and false lashes and lash adhesives to bring in some extra cash.
Graphic and Web Design
With the right approach, your graphic or web design skills can become a lucrative business. Better yet, you don’t need any professional graphic design experience to get started. As long as you have the skills needed to deliver a solid final product, you’ll be able to attract clients and earn good money from your side venture.
You can get started setting up your graphic and web design side hustle by:
- Gathering the right tools for the job. Graphic design jobs once required specialised programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Nowadays, there are dozens of free and affordable tools available. This has made setting up a side hustle that much more accessible to young creatives. You can use tools like InVideo, Crello, Offeo and Pixlr to design captivating graphics without spending significant sums of your own money to do so.
- Mastering WordPress as a web designer. A significant percentage of the world’s websites are built in WordPress. So, it pays to have some knowledge about this platform if you aim to start a web design side hustle. You can diversify into building new WordPress themes, creating useful WordPress plugins, or even writing web design-related articles for websites like Medium.
- Marketing yourself. There are many ways to do this, ranging from building a website that showcases your work to sharing your journey through a dedicated blog. You can also advertise your services on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or even Twitter. Of course, referrals are one of the best ways to attract more clients. Aim for positive word-of-mouth referrals from people you have already done design work for in the past.
Photography is a skill that’s always in high demand, especially if you’re able to capture special events like weddings, birthday parties and cultural celebrations.
You can go about transforming your penchant for photography into a side business by:
- Creating a portfolio of your best shots. Set up a simple online portfolio and put together a selection of your very best photographs. Narrow this selection down to just 20 or 30 photos that truly highlight your talent and skill. Organise these photos in albums in your portfolio to make it easy for prospective clients to browse them. Your portfolio should also include your contact information and your rates.
- Build your brand. Your brand as a photographer will help to set you apart from your peers and convince clients to work with you. It needs to be personal, creative, and true to your unique photographic style! Develop a powerful logo and distinctive aesthetic and put effort into developing it as your business grows.
- Sell stock photos. Selling your photographs to stock sites like iStockPhoto.com and ShutterStock is a quick and easy way to make money from your hobby. Becoming a contributor to these sites is also a fantastic way to get discovered by prospective clients.
Times are tough for young creatives living in London, and there’s no better time to start a potentially profitable side hustle than now.
You can turn your hobby into a thriving side business in a few easy steps, regardless of which skills and talents you offer.
Remember to consider how you’ll obtain the tools you need for the job, how you plan to showcase your capabilities and past work, and how you’ll market yourself before you launch your new business. Good luck!