Deciding to start a side hustle can be overwhelming and scary. Usually, you don’t know where to start with marketing and you don’t have a lot of time or money to spend because you aren’t even sure you will be doing this long term.
In today’s episode, I’m going to share the 3 basic marketing essentials you absolutely have to have to start your side hustle so that you look professional and legitimate to potential customers. Here is a sneak peek of what they are:
I dive into each one of these during the episode and then give you a place to start when you are done with the episode.
Links Mentioned In This Episode
Products We Recommend
Articles & Episodes Mentioned in the Podcast
Episode 2 – What is Branding?
Episode 3 – Top 5 website design mistakes
Episode 15 – Networking How To Maximize This Effective Marketing Tactic
Episode 37- Strong Brand Identity Part 1: The Customer
Episode 38- Strong Brand Identity Part 2: How To Talk To Your Customers For Better Engagement
Episode 39 – Strong Brand Identity Part 3: Branding Visual Identity
Episode 90 – Get a Website that Matches Your Values
Episode 94 – 5 Principles of Marketing
Nurturing and Designing Brand Identity
Top 7 Website Design Ideas For Small Business
Best Small Business Website Builder For WordPress
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What we discussed:
- How your branding can evolve with your business
- A website layout that works, even if you’re not tech-savvy
- Start small with word-of-mouth outreach and let your business grow as you network
3 Basic Marketing Essentials Transcript
*Not ready to give this episode a listen or watch just yet? Below is a rough transcript of today’s episode.*
I was asked by a friend who wanted to start a side hustle business. What do I absolutely have to have to start this business from a marketing perspective? So for those of you that are starting a side hustle and you’re not sure if you wanna have a side hustle, you like the idea of it. if you wanna keep it, then this episode is.
I’m gonna go over the three basic marketing essentials. You need to look professional, credible, to start a side hustle business. a little housekeeping. I make product recommendations. I’m gonna talk about articles and podcast episodes, and all of this is going to be in the.
Show notes on the website, on inma.com for this episode. there actually may be some extra episodes in there that I don’t even talk about, so definitely go check those out. And then there’s always a rough transcript of the episode in case you need to find something specific. Now, when I put links in there for products, for many of these we are partners so they are my partner links because we use them.
And so when I make a recommendation, it’s something that I have used before or we use over and over and over again, for our clients, for myself, all that other good stuff. they have been vetted. If you choose to use them, please use our. The little bit of money that we get back every time you guys use our links helps us keep creating all this great content and keeping it free for you.
Okay, so just to clarify, when you are starting a business, , there’s more than just marketing. So when I talk about three basic marketing essentials, I’m just talking about marketing. I’m not talking about the other things that you need to do, to set up that business for your service or for your product.
So realize this is just the marketing stuff. There’s a lot more that goes into it than that. but not everyone knows what they want that business to look like, when they first start out. And. usually can’t afford to do it full-time. so a lot of the folks that I talk to in this side hustle arena they’re like maybe college students or people just coming out of college or they’re people that have been in the corporate world for a very long time that are looking to, maybe make some extra income or to start to transition into something else.
Hitting closer to retirement or they’re people with families that are looking to make a little extra money but don’t wanna be outside the home necessarily,working at a second job. So that’s really what we’re talking about here, and there are limiting factors for that. And the two are time and money.
you may not have a lot of time because it’s not your primary job or you may not have a lot of money cuz you’re doing this to try to get more money. So you gotta make it really small scale, especially if it’s something that’s like a proof of concept. So you could try doing all the really big marketing things to scale of huge program, but that takes a lot of time and it’s usually a big investment in money.
and that’s really not what I think of as a side hustle. . And so that’s why I’m doing this episode, these three basic marketing essentials, that you need just to throw your hat in the ring for whatever you’re thinking about doing. Now for a service-based business, this is gonna be easier, right?
Because there are things you don’t have to think about, like manufacturing or shipping logistics or packaging, materials. this can still work for that. You’re just gonna have to include those things as.
So the three basic. Marketing essentials that I’m gonna talk about today are branding. You need a logo, you need to know who your customer is, and you need some type of a leave behind for when you’re meeting people. So like a printed business card, or a digital business card, or a flyer or something.
and then you need a website. This is for legitimacy. People are expecting you to have a website, even if it’s your very first customer, person that you don’t know. Outside of friends and family. They’re gonna wanna make sure that you’re legitimate if they’re going to give you money. and a one page site is gonna be perfect for you.
especially if you’re a service-based business or even if you’re a product business that maybe you only have one or two things that you’re selling, not this really big, blown out thing. And then the third essential is you need some type of outreach. You can’t just sit there and hope people find your website.
That’s not gonna happen. So you need to do something like networking or emailing or going on social media organically. this is how to let people know about your side hustle, about what you’re doing. So now let’s dive deeper into all three of these. So branding, this is your logo, your colors, the style that you wanna portray depending on the type of customer you want to attract.
there’s four episodes in the show notes on branding. One is my three part series on creating a brand identity, and then it’s the second episode I ever, created on what is a brand like. Elements, definitely take a listen to those. so you kind of understand all the different component pieces that you need for this.
So yeah, it’s the visual piece, but then as part of your brand, you also wanna make sure you know who your customer is or who you want your customer to be. So if your side hustle is kind. working in the industry. You are full-time, but just a little differently, or maybe something you’ve done before or you’re just doing it on your own, then you probably have a pretty good idea of who that customer is because of your day job.
But if, you’re going in a completely different direction. So if you’re a lawyer and you decide, all of a sudden you want to be a gardener, you’re gonna have to do some research on who those type of people are, what they’re looking for, that kind of thing. A passion project. But usually you’ve been doing it for a little while to figure out that it’s something that you really.
And maybe you wanna make a business, so it’s probably not gonna be too hard for you to figure out who those people are, but you need to take the time and figure it out. And I have a whole process in those branding episodes that I talked about that you can follow to figure that out now as four as your brand identity, that logo, the colors, all that stuff.
in this instance, this is something you can do yourself. This first version, if you’re trying to figure out. If this is what you wanna do, not sure about it, that kind of thing, or trying to start off really small. Then the first version of your logo you can do yourself. And then if it takes off or if you need to grow or make it bigger, then you can, get a professional branding package done for you.
So for this, if you’d go to DIY it, I highly recommend that you use can. , that is C A N V A. In the show notes, there is a link to the product. This is a design creation tool. for non graphic designers. And the biggest selling point of Canva is it has hundreds, if not thousands of templates that you can use.
So you can go in there and you can look at the logos and then they actually have logo templates, categor. By type of business, that you can have as a jumping off point, then all you need to do is just, you know, change a couple things around and boom your logos down. The nice thing is the templates were designed by graphic designers, so they are proportional, they are on trend.
the funk combinations are correct, so it’s visually appealing to start off with versus you trying to start with something from. , which you would have to do if you were using something like a Photoshop. You’re sitting there with a blank canvas and have no idea. and then the other nice thing is I talked about some type of a lead behind a business card, a flyer.
They have templates for all of those too, so you can create your logo first. and then take and pull that logo into a Desi, a template design that you like for a business card, and fill out the rest of the information. And sometimes you might even find where the designer that’s put the template up actually has a little package there, so it might be super easy.
if you’re not even comfortable with that, right? You can hire an inexpensive designer on something like Fiver or Upwork or Etsy, but realize you have to provide a lot of, feedback and creative direction. And if you’re not a designer, that’s really hard to do. like I’ll have my client say to me, I don’t.
I don’t want an exclamation point on this thing. And I’m like, exclamation point. and then when we looked at it, it was a highlight. So we in the industry know that that’s called a highlight, but they saw it differently. So, just be prepared that you gotta give a lot of feedback to those folks.
and they are graphic designers, and they may have templates that you can pick from, and then they just make the changes to it. So it’s, it’s actually not that different from Canva. , if you are gonna go with someone to create things for you, make sure as part of the logo, you make sure they add or they have a business card design in there.
That way you can get it all done ahead of time. And then for printing this stuff, I like a Vistaprint, right? I use professional, print companies when and where I need to with my clients, brokers. but that’s on a different scale. We’re not looking for a. Business cards, for one person. that’s where Vistaprint comes in.
My recommendation is do not go with their free version. the stock is really low quality and. I don’t think you’re gonna be happy with it. A standard card stock for a business card is 14 points. This is important to know when you go and look, because that’s part of the language of printing is, how they talk about how thick a business card is and the quality of the paper.
So My guess is if you’re imagining a business card in your head, and if it’s like just standard, you’re thinking of a 14 point stock and it’s decent, right? It’s, yes, this is a business card. It’s not a piece of copy paper or one step up from that. If you want something a little bit thicker, you know, you want a little heavier in the hand than you want 16 point.
and the nice thing is, is whether you go with standard or professional on Vistaprint at this record, It’s 20 bucks for a hundred cards and I’m sure a hundred cards is going to do you just fine to start out if you get to a point where you need more. typically what happens is the more cards you order, the less the cost is per card, right?
So you may do 5,000 cards for 50 bucks, but again, Vista print’s nice cuz they have hundred card packages and. They can print any other type of materials that you may need as well. So if you’re gonna do a flyer or anything like that, all of that Canva to Vistaprint is gonna work beautifully for you. Okay, so onto your next essential, which is a website.
So like I said, for service-based businesses, you can do a really nice single page website that is professional, that represents your business well, especially if someone else is recommending you. If you get to that point where you have people referring you, and they have not met you yet, you really need something spot on and professional.
and even for those product based businesses where it’s pretty simple, maybe you’re doing a digital download. Maybe it’s something that you do package and ship, but you’ve got one or maybe two. this option’s gonna work really well for you as well. . So here’s what you want to include on that page and how you want to include it.
This is the hard part when you’re building a website, not the technology piece, there are sites you can build very quickly from templates. It’s drag and drop, what we call a wizzywig editor, meaning, you just click point type. no coding whatsoever. But the hard part is figuring out what goes where.
So when you first come to a website, you have the menu at the top, and then that first image before you scroll. And we, in the industry, we call that the hero section, right? Because if someone hits your site, that’s what they’re gonna see. If they never scroll. We wanna catch them there. This is where you put the problem that you solve with your business, right In there, a quick phrase that’s easy to scan, where you identify, do you have this problem that lets the person know who’s coming that Oh yeah, they can answer that question.
Yeah, this is me. I have this. Oh, how do I solve it? That’s the next section underneath. So under that hero section, when they start the scroll, you put in the service. or product that you provided that solves that problem. So it’s the big one, two punch when you first get there. Nothing else, right? Call the action button in the upper right hand corner to say, Hey, this is how you get this.
Then underneath of the services or the products, you wanna put a simple three step process, one sentence for each step, on how easy it is to work with. . And then underneath of that you wanna include a stakes and benefits section. What’s at stake if they don’t work with you and what are the benefits if they do?
This is kind of finishing the selling process. you have this problem, here’s the service, and if you don’t work with us, this could happen. But if you do, this is what will happen. and you’re just kind of reinforcing everything. And then under that, your social proof, your testimonial. Is what you want there.
So they’ve seen all of that stakes benefits, and now here’s what other people think about you. And social proof is extremely important. If you haven’t sold anything yet to outside people, ask friends and families or colleagues to write something. , you only need a couple sentences. You don’t need an entire paragraph.
My guess is that whatever you’re doing, you’ve done it for someone else, in some form or fashion. You may not have been paid and it may not be under this new company banner, but you’ve done it. Those are valid, right? Cuz they’re talking about you. And side hustles are usually solopreneurs who are doing a lot of the stuff themselves in this phase of the project.
So again, get those testimonials where you. . And then the last section, which, we’ll often call the footer. You wanna have your logo in there, but you also wanna have a contact form so they can reach out to you. I am fine if you wanna put your address and your telephone number directly on the site, but do not put your email address on the site.
This is how severe spam happens. And when I say severe, I mean severe business owners who put their email address directly on the site. You can get, tens if not hundreds of spam emails in an hour. If you’re not careful when you put the contact form on the site, that limits it because then you can put things like recapture on there to, stop bots from filling it out, what they call honey pots, that kind of thing.
and then they don’t actually have your email address, which means they can’t take it and sell it to someone else. So no email addresses on the actual website. Contact forms only. And now for images, the images you wanna use for your site are to appeal to your audience. So basically you want those images when they look at them for them to see themselves.
Happily, enjoying your product or service or right afterwards, like the ramifications. so if you are a cleaning company, you want pictures of families in a very clean room, bare feet, bright and sunny, because that’s what you’re trying to achieve with a cleaning service is to give people a happy clean home, right?
so you actually don’t want pictures of buckets and mops. . in certain instances you may use a picture of a person cleaning, but not pictures of your van or anything like that, or your car, right? Because that’s not appealing to the person. What they want is they want to see the dream, especially in that hero image, to keep that in mind.
So if you don’t like technology, if a little bit of this is like, I don’t feel comfortable doing this, then it’s fine to start with a, website from something like a Wix W I X. just realize that, if you grow out of that, which you will, or it has a lot of limitations, you’re not gonna be able to pick it up and move it to someplace else, and you probably won’t find designers to help you.
But it is a good.
what I would recommend is if you feel like you can take on a little bit of technology and it’s really just, laying stuff out or filling in stuff, I would do WordPress with Elementor. There are hosts out there that will host and bring up a WordPress site for you. It’s all click, drag and drop type of.
menu based, no coding, and Elementor has a bunch of beautiful, extremely stable templates for you to use and you don’t have to buy external templates. to use it. And the nice thing here is that is your site, that WordPress site is your entity, which means you can pick it up from one host, put it on another host that hosts WordPress sites.
And it’s also extremely easy to find a WordPress designer. so when you’re ready to take your website to that next level, WordPress with Elementor is scalable and you can find help extremely. . If you want a little more detail around, the website pieces I was talking about, I did an episode on the five the most common mistakes I see on a website and then how to resolve ’em. so go take a listen to that episode. The link is in the show note. And though it’s technically not part of your website, it is a web asset that you need, is you wanna create a Google business profile. It’s formally known as Google My Business, if you’re familiar with that.
But what it is, is if someone searches for your company, in the Google search before you get to the website. So your website may be listed in the first spot, but on the right hand side is that Google panel that’ll say your company name, your information, maybe the telephone number, your logo, pictures, that kind of stuff.
That’s what I’m talking about. You need to open one of those. , it’s like a secondary website for your business. It’s free and you need it because, we as consumers that do searches have come to rely on that. There’s a lot of times people will go and look for a business cuz they wanna call you and they will literally just click on the telephone number from the Google Business listing panel as opposed to going into your website to do it.
Or they’ll look for your hours of operation, or any additional information. And you can collect a lot of reviews there, which help. from a search perspective as well. So that’s the second website piece, that you need. So now let’s talk about outreach, right? Most side hustle are brand new businesses.
Start with word of mouth marketing, the investment is low for what you could possibly get back. you can do $0 to a small amount of money. compared to other marketing tactics, and really all you have to do is sign up to go to a meeting in order to be able to talk about your business. So really that’s what word of mouth marketing is.
It’s network marketing. It’s where you go to events, where your leads are at, and you tell people about your business. , and then in return, you might have to listen to other business owners talk about their business, but that’s part of it. So if you are a business to business side hustle, meaning your business helps other businesses, then you want to go where those businesses are going to be, and they’re probably doing similar things to you.
So association meetings for that industry. Chamber of Commerce meetings. Chamber of commerces are great. Their membership fees are usually pretty low, a very small, entry per year. And then they also come with a lot of, things built into that meeting. If you’re a member, you get to go to certain meetings for free.
You don’t have to pay extra for them. And then there’s other low investment networking groups where you become a member. You don’t pay a membership fee, but if you go to an event, you might have to buy lunch for. , right? If the ticket is 20 bucks, but you’re only paying if you go not to be a member overall.
Both of those have advantages. If your, product or service is for the general consumer, homeowners, people, and hobbies, things like that, then you’re gonna wanna go to different type of meetings, meetings or events that they will be attending. So if it’s a hobby, . so if you are supporting the boating industry, maybe they have groups where boaters meet and talk, or car guys, that kind of thing.
if it’s general consumers, like maybe families or something like that, you wanna go to festivals and fairs or community events, or industry trade shows that are open to the public. So they’re interested in learning more about it. Like they have housing trade shows that are open to the public.
gardening, lawn care, that kind of. . So if you’re a little more serious about your side hustle, right? You wanna be more methodical with this networking outreach, I recommend joining a B and I, take a look at b and i. It is an international networking group. You join a chapter, you attend that chapter every week, and all of the members help get other members.
Right.That is the sole purpose of this. and it’s a great way to build your network fast, but again, there’s cost associated to it and there’s a time commitment. You have to commit time to this every single week to do it. So it’s, a network marketing process that they’re giving you and it’s a good way to learn how to be a business owner too.
You get a lot out of a bni for sure. If you’ve decided, okay, yeah, I wanna do this thing, I’m doing my side hustle. Let’s talk about your next steps, from a marketing perspective, or even before the marketing perspective, if you decided to take that side hustle on make sure you also decide how much time you’re going to spend on it, to get it up and running.
And then also, weekly once you’re live and running, because if it’s your side hustle, that means you’ve got other priorities too, right? You’ve got a job, maybe you’ve got a family. there’s things you have to take into consideration. And realistically, there’s only so much time you can spend on a day working on something, especially if it’s in your existing category of, work.
Meaning if you’re a software developer all day and then you’re trying to make a video game at night, your brain is gonna be mu. If you try to do that five days a week or seven days a week, or try to spend your whole weekend doing it and not have any other time, right? Burnout is real and it’s really real.
if you’re trying to run a side hustle in addition to your regular business. So have a plan in place of realistically how much time you wanna dedicate to this. and then if it does start to take off how you think you’re gonna scale, at least for the first six months, right? Don’t get caught off guard there.
Side hustles take off. Not all of them do, yours could be the one be ready. don’t get caught off. So now let’s talk about order of operations on how to get these essentials because it’s important. the steps you take to get from point A to point B with getting this stuff up and running.
it makes sense to do it a certain way, and it’s the way that I talked about them. So you start with your branding, right? You need your logo, your colors, your fonts, who your customer is before you build a website and before you start outreach. Don’t start outreach before the other things because then you’re not gonna look professional once your branding is done.
And I’m talking about completely done, right? Done, done. then you start your. Because then you know what your logo is, who your customer is, you know your colors, you know your fonts. It makes it easier to put all those things I talked about together. If your brand is solid, . And then once you have a website, the branding, all your print materials, then start your outreach.
You can probably start planning your outreach while you’re doing your website if you just wanna give your brain a break. But don’t start outreaching before that because if you’re gonna give out a business card, the website has to be up and running if they’re going to use the web address or if they decide to Google.
so don’t do these out of order. it’s gonna make it so much harder if you do them out of order and you’re not gonna look, sound or feel professional because you’ll know I’m not ready. All of these in order. They take the time, they take, it’s well worth it. So here are my final thoughts for you.
this isn’t just a good way to do your first side hustle. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur and you’re thinking about a second, you know, you’re a business owner and now you’re thinking about an add-on product. which could be a side hustle. , this is a good way to implement something like that.
Cause you might have three or four that you wanna try. You’re not sure which one’s gonna take off. You might not like it. It might be a little outside of your comfort zone, doing your essentials first. Having conversations with people, is a really good way to test and experiment with these different things at a very low cost of entry.
and in this case, that’s when you build the website using Elementor and WordPress because then whichever one takes off that one is super easy to scale right after the fact. so just keep that in mind. It’s not just for your first side hustle, but it could be for new and different, services or products for your company if you’re already an entre.
So here at Inca, we love to give back to the small business community. I provide a 45 minute consultation to anyone, to talk about anything marketing they wanna talk about. So maybe you wanna talk about your first side hustle and how to get started. Maybe you want to talk about a new product or service that you wanna add to your existing business, or maybe you wanna talk about search engine optimization.
That 45 minutes is for. Just go to the website, inma.com. That is I N k yma.com. Upper right hand corner, schedule a marketing evaluation and we are on the calendar together. If you have a quick question or you want to suggest a show topic, which I love, scroll down to the contact form, fill it out, and I actually answer all of those.
and it may just. , you know, quick answer. Thank you very much. But I, I do want to acknowledge everything that comes in cuz I do appreciate everyone who listens here. If you’re looking for more and different type of marketing education, we have marketing Masterminds where we have a blog and a YouTube channel.
We write articles, we create videos. Some of them are, strategy videos. Others are how-to videos on to do specific things using specific products or, how to implement certain type of marketing tactics. So definitely check that out and sign up for the Marketing Mastermind’s newsletter. As well.
That link is gonna be in the show notes because then we push all of that content as it’s created to you. And what I do with the newsletter is I kind of pick a theme. There’ll be a video, there’ll be a couple of the supporting, podcast episodes that will support that theme and or an article. So it’s like a little mini course in every single email just for you.
And then the products associated with that. So,hopefully you found this episode. helpful, enlightening for you. got you jazzed about maybe starting a side hustle. If so, share this with other, budding entrepreneurs, business owners that you know, anybody you’ve talked to about creating anything like this.
because I think they could get some use out of it too. And that’s really the purpose of this podcast is to help the small business community grow and thrive. So thank you so much for listening and I hope you have an amazing day.