Do you remember the olden days? You know…the days when the only people with a recognizable personal brand were celebrities, politicians, and big business leaders?
We all know it’s a different story today. With the advent of the internet and the abundant growth of social media, it’s now possible for anyone—even fun teens like the Backpack Kid—to make revenue by growing a personal brand.
While your side hustle may not include sharing an infectious dance move via Instagram, it doesn’t mean you can’t boost your side hustle revenue by investing more into your personal brand.
To help you out, here are some personal branding strategies that will result in you growing your side hustle, becoming an industry authority, and helping you reach your financial goals.
1. Build and Optimize Your Website
Creating a website is one of the top ways to build a personal and lucrative brand. Why? Because consumers find you, and your side hustle, primarily through an internet search. And, top search results influence purchasing behaviors—ka-ching!
Don’t believe it? Take a look at the following stats that show the power of having a solid online presence:
- 65 percent of online users view search as the most trusted source of information.
- 84 percent of business decision-makers start their buying process with a referral, and Google is the very first place people look after getting a referral.
If your side hustle doesn’t exist online, then it’s impossible for internet users to find you online.
Yes, it’s important for your side hustle to have a website. But, why invest in your personal brand? Because, statistically, consumers trust people more than companies.
For example, employees have 10 times more followers than their company’s social media accounts on average, and content that is shared by employees receives 8 times more engagement than content shared by brand channels.
When push comes to shove, consumers respond more positively to the people behind the products or services. So, take the time today to build your new website around the person running your side hustle—you.
2. Tell Your Story
Another reason consumers connect more with personal brands is because people love human stories.
Take Jon Morrow, for example. Jon Morrow is the founder of SmartBlogger and one of the most influential bloggers on the internet and of our time.
Not only does Jon Morrow provide data-driven, professional blogging insight to beginners, but his story is incredibly inspiring. It’s easy to fall in love with Jon Morrow the second you learn who he is and what he has had to overcome to be where he is today.
If you don’t already know his story, here is a quick overview. Jon was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) at a young age—a disease where people aren’t expected to live through adulthood. However, Jon has never let his disease stop him from living his dreams. He started out blogging about his life journey, has built one of the most successful blogs in the industry, and is radiantly living out his life every day.
Humans have an innate neurological response to storytelling—it’s in our DNA, folks. Do yourself a favor and cling to your story as your top marketing tool for your personal brand. Consumers will love you for it.
3. Build an Active Social Media Presence
Building your social media profiles is another top way to boost your personal brand, especially if you are looking to increase annual revenue from your side gig.
Look at Simone Bramante, for example. Bramante (@brahmino) uses his personal Instagram profile to grow his photography business. By quickly browsing through his Instagram page, followers, and potential clients can see who he is as a photographer, what his shots look like, what he values, and what he will bring to the table if you hire him for a photo shoot.
Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to showcasing who you are as a person and business owner.
It doesn’t matter if your side hustle is photography, fitness, comedy, dog walking, cooking, or marketing, you can leverage your personal brand through social media to boost your business.
On the flip side, it’s also interesting to note that brands will often reach out to social media influencers to help them sell products. In fact, influencer marketing is currently a $5-10 billion dollar industry. And with 65% of influencer marketing budgets projected to increase this year, there are no signs of it slowing down.
4. Invest in Your Personal Content Strategy
Truth be told, it won’t do you much good to have a blog or social media presence if you don’t have a content strategy. Similarly, it’s difficult to acquire followers, and become an industry leader if you aren’t putting out any content.
It can be overwhelming to come up with a content strategy, especially considering how many different content types are out there. But, the good news is, you don’t have to write articles, produce videos, run webinars, build an online course, and publish infographics all the time and every day.
Just commit to one content type, work on becoming consistent, and then grow from there. When in doubt, consider starting with the content type you enjoy producing the most. Once you have a good following and are making more money, you can hire people to help you with your content strategy.
Personal Branding and Your Side Hustle
It’s probably safe to say that “side hustle” is code for your passion project or dream job. In other words, it’s part of who you are. Don’t be afraid to build your personal brand into your side hustle. You may just find you are making connections left and right, establishing yourself as an industry leader, and boosting your revenues faster than you ever anticipated you would.
Now is the time to get started, and the best part is it’s easy. With the help of Gator Builder, you can take the first step in building your personal brand by getting your website up and running.
Ashley R. Cummings is a professional freelance writer specializing in SaaS, tech, and advertising/marketing. In a previous life, she was a Russian teacher at Brigham Young University, a corporate trainer, and a grad student—all at the same time. When she’s not writing, you can find her traveling the world with her 2 kids and husband, reading poetry or taking a deep dive into the fabulous world of comedy. Connect with her on Twitter at @ashleyrcummings.