In 2009, Graham Cochrane found himself jobless during a recession. With limited opportunities for full-time work, he took on freelance projects and focused on his music blog side hustle.
Today, Graham works just five hours a week and earns around $160,000 a month through his blog and business coaching company. One of the most fulfilling aspects of his work is teaching others how to leverage simple online tools and turn their skills into profitable side hustles.
In this article, we took some advice and wisdom from Graham, and explored three types of businesses you can start TODAY, without any upfront investment.
1. Turning Your Expertise Into A Thriving Consulting Business
Do you have a skill or knowledge that your friends always seek your help for? Graham has clients who have successfully turned their expertise in motorcycle repair and English pronunciation for Japanese speakers into thriving consultancies.
To begin, reach out to your existing network and offer one-on-one coaching sessions tailored to their needs. Set up appointments via phone or video calls to discuss their concerns and guide them on the path to success.
Over time, you can develop a curriculum based on the most common issues you encounter. Expand your client base by requesting referrals from satisfied customers, sharing their testimonials on social media, and featuring them on your website.
2. Stand Out In The Marketplace With Specialized Services
If you have a talent in fields such as graphic design or video editing, numerous websites make it easy to promote your professional services. Platforms like Fiverr and UpWork allow you to create a profile, list your offerings, and connect with potential clients.
To increase your chances of success, follow these tips:
- Be specific in what you offer to reduce competition. For example, a long-form YouTube essay video editor may have less competition than a general video editor.
- Write personalized proposals for each job posting, demonstrating how your skills and experience can address their specific needs.
- Encourage dialogue by asking questions about the project in your proposal. This shows you’re proactive and gives the client a reason to follow up.
Don’t forget to reach out to former clients, employers, and friends. Offer them a friends and family discount on your services to encourage their support.
3. Turn Your Passions Into A Business Using Different Revenue Streams
As a content creator, you can earn money through advertising revenue, affiliate post revenue, sponsored posts and brand deals, and selling digital materials to your audience.
Focus on a niche topic that you’re knowledgeable about and leverage your existing network to share your content. Don’t worry about having everything perfectly in place; the key is to start and remain consistent in posting content.
Graham recommends YouTube as the ideal platform for new creators because of its advanced search function that makes content easily discoverable. You don’t need a massive following to be successful.
One of Graham’s clients earns over $150,000 a year teaching pastors how to deliver better sermons, with just 7,000 YouTube subscribers. In fact, Graham himself secured a deal with a major affiliate partner when he only had a few thousand followers.
To join the YouTube Partner Program and earn money from ads, you need at least 1,000 subscribers and either 4,000 watch hours in 12 months or 10 million YouTube Shorts views.
Be true to yourself and incorporate your unique style to stand out from the crowd. Embrace your distinct personality, as people are drawn to authenticity.