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Side Hustle to Main Gig

Can You Turn Your Passion Project into a Business?

By Syed BalkhiPublished 2 months ago 7 min read
Side Hustle to Main Gig
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

(Disclaimer. This post used AI for plagiarism checking, grammar correction, outlining, and research. Otherwise it is human-drafted with experience-based information.)

Many of us dream of turning our side hustles into our main source of income. The idea of pursuing our passion full-time and being our own boss sounds enticing. But how do you make that leap from a side gig to a thriving business?

Transforming your side hustle into a profitable and sustainable venture is not an impossible feat, but it does require careful planning and strategic thinking. And that's exactly what you're going to find in this post - some effective ways to turn your side gig into a thriving business.

Tips To Turn Your Side Passion Into Profitable Business

First, start by acknowledging that you're ready to take your side hustle to the next level. This means you have to change your approach and mindset about your side hustle. Now, look at it as a real business and use the following practical strategies to transform it into a profitable business.

1. Engage in Personal Branding

Personal branding is all about defining your unique value proposition as an individual. It's the brand of YOU, and you need to develop a clear message, and voice, and approach to how you want to project your image online.

This means focusing on your values and what makes you special and consistently communicating these across various marketing channels like your blog and social media.

By developing a strong personal brand, you can establish yourself as a niche expert. You can either do it by sharing insights about your field or showcasing your work.

Let's say your side gig is graphic designing. You can brand yourself as a creative and innovative designer who brings unique visions to life. Showcase your design work through an appealing portfolio website, and share your expertise through blog posts or podcasts. By establishing yourself as a go-to designer in your niche, you'll attract more clients and drive your business toward success.

Remember, personal branding is not just about visual elements like a logo or website design. It's about crafting your unique story, positioning yourself as an expert, and consistently delivering value to your audience.

2. Provide Higher Value

To succeed, you need to differentiate yourself from the competition by offering higher value. Go above and beyond in delivering exceptional service to your clients. Understand their needs, exceed expectations, and consistently deliver outstanding results.

Providing a superior customer experience will not only help you secure repeat business but also attract new clients through word-of-mouth referrals.

Suppose you run a side hustle as a virtual assistant. Instead of just handling administrative tasks, offer additional services like social media management, content creation, or email marketing.

Or you might be a baker who not only creates delicious treats but also provides personalized, themed decorations or offers unique flavor combinations that set you apart from other bakers.

By providing a broader range of skills and taking on more responsibilities, you demonstrate your commitment to delivering high value to your clients.

To this end, I suggest reading the book $100 Million Offers - How to Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No. This book is geared to helping you offer more value to clients and scaling up your income in the process. Reading this can be a gamechanger for anyone.

3. Reach Out to 'Five Star' Clients

Clients won't come to find you; you need to reach out to them. And if you want to get great clients who pay well and know the value of your work - you should find 'five-star' clients.

These are the high-value clients who align with your brand, appreciate your expertise, and are willing to invest in your services.

Finding them isn't easy. You need to have a clear idea of what your five-star clients look like and what they need. Next, you need to find them through personalized outreach via social media or email. Platforms like LinkedIn or Crunchbase are your best options for finding such valuable clients. You might even need to invest in premium memberships to reach out to them directly but this effort might be well worth it.

When you do reach out, craft personalized messages, share case studies or testimonials showcasing your successful work. And highlight the unique benefits of working with you. It will take time but networking and building relationships with industry leaders will open doors to lucrative opportunities.

For instance, you're a freelance web developer. To attract high-value clients as a freelance web developer, you need to proactively reach out to them and showcase your expertise. And not only that, you have to focus on providing higher value than a web developer normally would. For example, you aren't just designing a website - you're helping them get 10x more traffic, double their client numbers, or something else.

Also, as a designer, you'd have to stop reaching out to small businesses that can't afford to pay you well. Instead, you'd need to shift your focus to large businesses or agencies that require complex website projects.

Showcase your past work, emphasize your problem-solving skills, and demonstrate how your expertise can help these 'five-star' clients achieve their business goals.

4. Create a Pipeline by Offering Free Things

Generating leads and maintaining a consistent flow of potential clients is crucial for growing your business. In fact, this is the hardest activity for anyone who wants their side gig to become a serious business.

The key is to create a pipeline - a metaphor and visual tool representing a stead flow of clients so you have regular income. How can you do this?

A good idea is to offer free resources or introductory consultations. Imagine you are a professional photographer specializing in portrait photography. To attract potential clients and create a pipeline, you could offer a free photography tips and techniques through an eBook or a guide on how to prepare for a successful photoshoot.

Or if you offered SEO services, you could offer a free website audit for your clients. This will have them interested in the information you provide.

You'll be offering free things but make sure to add a form in the process of giving people free ebooks or downloads. In order to access the free resource, visitors would be required to enter their name and email address. This allows you to capture their contact information and follow up with them later. You can automate this process using an email marketing service or a lead capture tool. Just make sure you have a way to follow up when people opt for your free services and products.

5. Network by Attending Conferences, Workshops, and Events

Networking is a powerful tool for self-employed individuals. Attend industry-specific conferences, workshops, or events to connect with like-minded professionals, potential clients, and mentors.

Engaging in conversations, exchanging knowledge, and sharing experiences can open doors to collaborations, partnerships, and insightful advice.

These in-person interactions allow you to build rapport, showcase your expertise, and establish meaningful relationships.

Additionally, networking at these events can also lead to word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations, further boosting your marketing efforts.

Nowadays, networking can also be done online. Through LinkedIn or relevant social media, groups can also expand your reach and create valuable connections. You want to give a few of these events a try and connect with others - in the long run, this will bring more clients to your door.

6. Collaborate With Other Side Hustlers

Let's look at a scenario.

You're a website designer who needs some written content for the websites you create. However, you're not confident in your writing skills. Rather than turning down potential clients or outsourcing at a high cost, consider collaborating with another side hustler who specializes in content writing

Look for someone in your network or online communities who is looking to expand their portfolio or gain experience. Propose a mutually beneficial arrangement where you design the websites, and they provide the copywriting. This way, you both enhance your skill sets, offer more comprehensive services to clients, and potentially increase your earnings through referrals and joint projects.

Plus, you get to save the costs of outsourcing or hiring a freelancer.

There are many more ways to collaborate with others and it doesn't have to be through an exchange of services. You can simply ask for a recommendation or give on when the opportunity arises. Try to build goodwill by helping your fellow side-gig-to-business-owners and you'll create powerful social capital that will pay you back later.


Transitioning from a side hustle to a full-time gig is no cakewalk. It requires dedication, perseverance, and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. But the rewards that await you are worth every ounce of effort.

Take risks, learn from your failures, and celebrate your wins. Every step you take towards growing your side hustle is a step towards realizing your dreams and living life on your own terms.

Follow the tips shared here and you'll grow in no time!


About the Creator

Syed Balkhi

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.

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