Earn a Secondary Income with Less Investment
As technology improves and people have more flexible options available, side hustles have moved from the sidelines and into the forefront. COVID-19 lockdowns showed this more than ever. As people worried about how to pay the bills in a time when employment was more uncertain than ever, quarantine side hustles became the talk of many internet forums and social media groups.
I have a deep interest in how businesses operate, so I found myself paying close attention to all of the options, looking at what would make the most sense for people. My question was, “How can someone make an extra $1000 per month without spending a ton of money on equipment, stock, advertising, and all the other typical business expenses that tend to eat into the cash side hustles are supposed to create.”
After running a lot of scenarios, one stood out among the others: Becoming a digital content creator.
Offering services as a digital content creator can be an excellent side hustle for an ambitious individual looking to make an extra $1000 dollars a month. I’m going to tell you exactly how you (or anyone) can start earning a good chunk of extra cash within a few months with almost no money down and a bit of hard work.
How to Make Money as a Digital Content Creator
As a digital content creator, flexibility and adaptability are the two most critical skills you’ll need to rely on. You’ll need to be able to produce all kinds of content, from graphics and copywriting to video. Keep in mind that you’ll also be working with different industries, businesses, and types of people. Finally, you need to produce content that hits home with different audiences, which might mean entertaining videos, instructional content, or sales and advertising content.
So, now that you know what skills to focus on, let’s get into the meat of what you’ll need to do. Here are a few concrete steps you can take to get started as a digital content creator earning $1000+ per month.
A Roadmap to a Successful Side Hustle
1. Find Three Clients and Build a Portfolio
It goes without saying that the driving force behind the income you make is dependent on the clients and relationships you create. If you’re just getting started in the digital content game, you won’t have the luxury to charge massive prices upfront. The first client you secure as a beginner will have to be FREE in the initial go-around.
Don’t be discouraged, though! This is all exceptionally valuable for your experience, credibility, and expansion of clientele. The idea is to use this first client as a jumping off point for future income. From this first client, you’ll likely be introduced to your second client, and maybe even third and fourth.
Remember, your best leads are the people you already know and who know you. Their simple feedback and reviews can easily lead to new mutual relationships, which means more work and money for you!
With that in mind, remember to underpromise and overdeliver for your first client. Put your heart and soul into this, because even though you’re doing it for free, it’s the foundation for all your future ventures.
2. What to Charge Clients
Once you have two clients (in addition to your free client), you can charge a standard $500 fee per month. This should include one on-site visit in the evening per week to take photos for them. Video content can be offered as a bonus at these visits.
Once you’ve taken them home and touched them up in Adobe Lightroom, send your clients anywhere between 5–10 photos per week. The “per week” part of this is important; clients will want to see progress, so by breaking up your services into weekly meetings and deliverables, you’ll show them that you have a high commitment level to them and their project.
The more you expand your skills, stay on top of new trends and techniques, and offer fresh types of content, the greater the potential there will be to eventually upcharge your client for additional services, such as videos, social media management, and more.
3. Grab Some Basic Equipment Essentials
Before you start, you’ll need a few items. Showing up with just your cell phone doesn’t look professional, and that’s an important image to project upfront. It shows how dedicated, serious, and legitimate you are, and that you have high-quality equipment to deliver excellent content.
Any type of camcorder or Go-Pro can be used for recording video footage for clients in a minimum of 1080p. You’ll also want a full DSLR or Mirrorless camera. Cell phones can be used as a backup source for photos and recording. You’ll also want a tripod and some basic sound equipment, such as a lapel mic. (My Equipment List)
4. Bonus Pro Tip
If you are having trouble finding your first client don't sweat or stop the hunt. You should still work on your portfolio in the meantime. To do this, work our YOUR OWN brand.
Build Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok content for yourself. This is not intended to be your new fulltime job (which it can become) but rather to show off your skills and gain context of what works on each platform.
Eventually, focus on one platform (For example I mostly focus on YouTube). With the other platforms only getting filtered content from your favourite. *When you start making content fulltime and you know how much effort goes into making organic content for just one platform, you will remember this paragraph and know what I mean.
Turn Free Time into Money Making Time Today!
I’ve crunched the numbers a lot, and there’s the potential in this side gig to make you more than just an extra $1000 dollars a month! As you learn more and build your portfolio, you’ll be able to upcharge and sign up more clients to your services. For example, if you end up with 6 clients and start delivering services worth $800 per month, you’ll be earning almost $5000 per month.
Content creation is the perfect side hustle if you want to eventually transition it to your primary source of income. It’s all about how much you’re willing to put into it.
Want to learn more about how to become a content creator? Follow me on YouTube and check out my recent video about How to Scale Up Your Content Creation. You can also pick up the book that outlines my entire marketing philosophy: If You Sell, You Lose.