Cool Way This Side Hustle Helped My Main Business

Insights into how a side hustle can unexpectedly strengthen your main gig.

I lied (sort of).

When I last emailed you, I said I would focus on my music.

I started, but I had some developments with my main business.

I figured I’d share because there may be a lesson or two for you regarding your situation.

Plus, I really miss writing to you guys and, as you’ll see, it’s good for business.

So, today, you’ll learn about;

  • My wake-up call

  • How a side hustle can help your main project

  • A framework to help you decide on what projects to focus on

Wake Up Call

Since we last talked, a few things happened that were a wake-up call.

First, I lost two long-time clients.

Oh shit!

Second, I missed out on a few opportunities because in the words of one of the missed opportunities…

“Oh, I didn’t know you did that.” (“that” being digital marketing).

No, I’m a long way from going broke, BUT both were wake-up calls.

I’ve been coasting on referrals for the past few years. I need to be more proactive with my own marketing.

So, before focusing too much on the music, I need to shore up my main business. To do that, I’ve decided to pivot a little by zooming out from Google Ads.

Here’s the plan…

Side Hustle To Main Gig

This plan directly resulted from the research and work I’ve been doing here on Redefining Retirement especially as it relates to the AI stuff.

I’ve learned that the more “artificial” things will become because everyone’s creating everything with AI, the more valuable “real” will become.

I plan to do…

Broaden The Scope

AI makes it easier for me and potential clients to do more. I am going to offer more than just Google Ads management. Sure, it is still at the core of what I do, but I’m learning that more and more businesses need a multichannel approach these days.

A cross-platform approach can offer some great low-cost, high-visibility opportunities. I will use my own business as a guinea pig to prove it.

More Authenticity

We’re still early in the early days of AI, but there is already a crap ton of AI-generated articles, audio, and video. This is a big opportunity. Being more human and being seen, warts, and all is becoming more and more valuable every day.

To show that I’m not a bot, I plan on doing more live videos to ramp up the human feel—less editing, warts, and all.

Also, I will focus closer to home to start, allowing me the opportunity to meet clients face-to-face. Trusting people closer to you is easier, especially when offering internet marketing services.

Productized

I like client work, but I want to help more business owners. Especially those just starting out and those with smaller budgets.

For example, in the past month, I’ve spoken with a mom named Melissa, who is starting a unique gardening business, and a guy named Jason, who, like me, wanted to escape the 9 - 5 and has just started a home inspection business.

I really loved giving them some tips on marketing their business, and I don’t want my fees to be a roadblock to helping them in some way. Especially when there are AI tools that I can show them that can make things easier for them.

So, I’m still feeling my way through this, but my plan is to create productized offers based on a business owner's particular situation and how much time and/or money they can invest.

  • Done by you (aka DIY)

  • Done with you

  • Done for you

Yes, I will still take on clients, but only those who qualify using a framework my friend and excellent graphic designer, Jose Peleaz, uses.

This one…

Decision Framework

A photo I took at one of Jose’s presentations.

I will consider working with a client if two out of three of the following:

  1. Clients I’m excited to work with (Fun).

  2. Clients who can afford to invest in my services (Good $$$).

  3. Client projects that would be great to add to my portfolio (Great Portfolio Piece).

It’s a really effective way to decide whether you are working with clients or deciding how to spend your time on anything.

Anyway, that’s the plan. I’m only a tad further than the “back of the napkin stage,” but I feel good about it.

Your Three Takeaways

To recap, here is what you can take away from this post:

  1. Don’t get too comfortable; sleep with one eye open. Don’t wait for a boss or a client to send you packing; always be learning, improving, and looking to diversify your income streams.

  2. Start a side project. Writing about AI and geeking out on the future of work with you here on Redefining Retirement gave me insights that are helping my business. What fun side project can you start?

  3. How to choose. I used the framework for clients, but you could just as easily use it to choose a side project, new job, or opportunity.

Aaaaand, that should do it.

Thank you for reading!

Have a good one,

Corey

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