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How to Turn Your Hobby Into A Bottomless Cash Cow: 10 Tips for Success

new hobby
Read time: 6 min.

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Hobbies are fun, but they tend to be a net drain on your finances. Anyone who has gotten into writing, fishing, or playing chess knows this all too well. 

With that said, there are some rare souls out there who’ve figured out how to turn their regular hobbies into cash cows. They’re doing what only a small proportion of people manage to do and getting paid to play. 

For the majority of people that sort of thing might sound a little far-fetched. After all, someone has to sell insurance and clean toilets. But it’s not quite as remote a possibility as you might think. 

Have you ever wondered how to turn your hobby into a cash cow? If so, this post can help. We take a look at everything you need to do to achieve success. Read on to learn more. 

Identify Your Niche And Target Market

The first step is to identify your niche and target market. You want to figure out what makes your hobby unique and who might be interested in paying for your services. 

It might sound like a long shot, but if you can do something, the chances are that it’ll be valuable to someone else. 

For instance, as a knitter, you could specialize in making cozy scarves, hats, and gloves for winter lovers. Or someone who loves playing chess could charge for lessons or set up a club. The possibilities are endless. 

Create A Catchy Name

The next step is to come up with a catchy name you can post everywhere online. Once you set up your brand and target market, you want something that will appeal to your audience and make you stand out. 

Brands often spend too long thinking about their names, believing they are extremely important. What usually matters more is the quality of your services. Ideally, though, it should be short, memorable, and relate to what you’re doing. For instance, someone wanting to set up a piano tuition business might call it something like “Pitch Perfect” or “Tinkle Time.” 

Set Up An Online Presence

The next step is to set up your online presence and showcase your work. You want something that potential customers can access to review your work and see what you’re all about. 

These days, setting up a website is easy. You can pay someone on Fiverr, or you can use WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace to create your own. In some cases, you might just want to use a social media account and get traffic that way. But be warned – platforms can demonetize you at any time if they disagree with something you say. 

Promote Your Hobby And Network With Others

After that, you’ll want to promote your hobby and network with others. Once you have an online presence, you should start joining real communities, handing out quality business cards with your brand name and contact details, wherever you go.

There are also online communities for people who want to start craft businesses. Many gardeners, for instance, use GardenWeb, a gardening forum where they can share ideas. Email marketers often create groups on Twitter to help them organize their activities and build links with other people. 

Offer Samples And Discounts

Once you’ve done that, the next step is to get people really interested in what you’re doing by offering samples and discounts. Customers love it when companies give away free things because it builds trust and helps generate real connections. 

For instance, artists can give away free sketches to people to show them the kind of work they do. People who craft small wooden figurines can do something similar, showcasing the beauty and artwork involved. 

Giving people a taste of what you offer entices them to come back for more. Free samples lean on the power of reciprocity which is a powerful force in sales and emotions. 

Provide Better Customer Service And Follow-Up

As a hobbyist, you’ll also want to focus on providing better customer service and following up with the people you serve. Once you have clients on your books, it’s critical to ensure they’re okay once they buy from you. This approach helps to build trust and encourages them to come back for more. 

Let’s say you love photography and you decide to become a wedding photographer. Don’t just send the bride and groom their snaps a couple of weeks later after editing. Instead, check they are happy with what they receive and make amendments if they are not. 

If you can adopt this approach, people will recommend you. That’s because they know that their friends and contacts are also more likely to get what they want if they go to you. 

Don’t be one of these brands that ignore customers once the sale goes through. Maintain contact and constantly work to generate the next sale, either through text messaging, email marketing, or another method. 

Ask For Referrals

The next step is to ask for referrals. Growing your customer base as fast as you can requires your top customers to do some of the work for you. 

If people receive good service, they will often be willing to do this. Word-of-mouth can be a powerful form of marketing and help you attract people who are looking at what you have to offer. 

Take hair styling, for instance. If you do a great job at a wedding, everyone will see and wonder who managed to pull it off. The VIPs will also recommend you to their circle of friends, which could dramatically increase the business to generate. 

Once you have referrals, the chain reaction can be significant. Contacts tell their acquaintances and the process continues until you have a substantial customer base. 

Keep Learning And Improving

The next step is to keep learning and improving, keeping your hobby fresh so that you enjoy it and can offer others value. You can do this in many ways, including:-

  • Reading and buying books
  • Watching videos and listening to podcasts
  • Taking online courses on how to get better at your particular craft
  • Using online courses

If you can keep learning and developing, your customers will notice. Every time they go back to you, they get something better. And that’s precisely what they want.

Experiment With New Ideas And Products

Of course, you don’t have to stay within your hobby’s confines. You can branch out and do different things, once you feel confident. In fact, that’s how many businesses wind up diversifying their product offering. Mastering their core services often yields more peripheral or experimental activities, some of which succeed, and others fail. 

Experimentation is also a way to keep your work interesting. Instead of doing the same thing every day, you have opportunities to test yourself and do something enjoyable while working at the same time. Your life feels less repetitive, and you’re able to get more done. 

Have Fun

Lastly, it’s essential to have fun. That’s probably the most important tip of all. Your hobby is something you love doing and enjoy every day. If it starts to feel like a burden, take a step back and reevaluate. You don’t want your passion to turn into drudgery. 

Fortunately, today’s economy means you have plenty of options in this regard. For example, if you’re not keen on trading your time for money, you could sell an offline course instead, and then interact with the entire cohort once per week. 

Don’t stress over perfection or competition. After all, the whole point of using your hobby to make money is to enjoy the process. 

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