Launch a side gig

Hi there, so you want to launch a side gig, perhaps even a full business? Welcome to the announcement page for my new course which will teach people how to do this.

For the first run of the course I am going to build this business, step by step, where those who are interested can follow along and create their side gig too.

I don’t want to prepare anything in advance beyond this page because I want the process of developing the idea, building the brand, setting up the website and everything else which is required to take the concept to reality to be a live case study.

Please note: there will be a free version of the course but as the course develops certain paid services will be introduced.

Course outline

The following is a breakdown of the course structure but this may change as the course develops:

  1. Planning:
    - Planning
    - Full-time v side gig
    - Focus
    - Patience (unless virally lucky then this takes time)
    - Time management
    - To do management
    - Family support
    - Budgeting (template for fixed and ongoing costs)

  2. Product:
    - Ideation: (podcast, news site, ecommerce, consultancy, service, personal assistant, digital courses)
    - What is your product?
    - How it is delivered?
    - How will make money?
    - What are the costs of business?
    - How will customers buy?

  3. Branding:
    - Coming up with a name
    - Coming up with a mission statement
    - Thinking about fonts
    - Thinking about colours
    - Creating a logo and icons

  4. Prelaunch (building awareness and a community):
    - Why
    - How (collect email addresses + social follows)
    - Social profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Medium, YouTube)
    - Announcement website
    - Email integration
    - Preparing your announcement (messages and goals)
    - Delivering your announcement (who to?)
    - Community building (collecting emails and social follows)

  5. Product:
    - Prepping for launch
    - A note on lean methodology
    - If it is a podcast (record initial shows)
    - Shop (source your products)
    - News (prepare your content)
    - Consulting (how will you deliver?)
    - Process (what happens when?)

  6. Website:
    - Standard Pages (home, about, contact, blog and newsletter)
    - Design
    - Home page
    - Custom product pages (my course, also link to ecommerce, podcast etc…)
    - Course delivery
    - Integrations (Google Analytics, MailChimp, AddThis)
    - Admin
    - SEO optimisation

  7. Marketing strategy:
    - Strategy
    - Calendar
    - Email
    - Social
    - SEO
    - PPC
    - Social ads
    - Measuring

  8. Launch:
    - Message
    - Friends and family
    - Email
    - Social

The course will be delivered as a combination of written tutorials, videos and webinars, perhaps with options for interactive AMA sessions.

Why launch a side gig?

I find there are generally two reasons why someone wants to do this:

  1. To make money

  2. To start a new career

More often than not though, this is about making money, which is fine. For full transparency, I am doing this myself as a business, therefore I want it to make money. I often find that people are scared to admit this, like it is some moral crime to make money, I’ll let you into a secret, it isn’t.

So as I develop this business I will be looking at revenue models but also a way of providing the course in some way for free. Lot’s of companies have this model, one of the tools we will use is Mailchimp, which will be more email marketing, they too have a free price tier.

While I have some ideas I am not sure what the pricing model will be, this will be developed with research during one of the course modules.

Patience

Launching a business, whether full-time or a side gig will require hard work and patience. Yes some people achieve overnight success through luck or virality, but do not expect this. I have been writing and building content for 18 months now, I started with zero followers on Twitter, zero visits to my website and zero listeners to my podcast. 18 months of hard work has given me an audience for this and you should be prepared to work hard and demonstrate patience yourself.

There is no guarantee of success with this. I can’t promise you that your idea will work or that you will make money, all I can do is share my lessons from 20 years in digital marketing and in building my own side gigs.

What side gig?

You may already have an idea or just know that you want to do something but not sure what. This side gig of mine will be education and therefore will make money charging for educational services.

Here are some ideas for side gigs you can do today:

  • Podcast (revenue from advertising)

  • News site (revenue from advertising)

  • Ecommerce (revenue from selling products)

  • Consultancy (revenue from selling your time)

  • Specific service (revenue from a specific service you offer)

  • Digital courses (revenue from selling courses)

I will attempt to create each of the above at some point to provide detail specific to the type of business but the first course will be for educational services. If you take the course you should be able to follow the courses for your specific need.

Warnings

A few notes for transparency:

  • There are plenty of gaps in my knowledge

  • Don’t ask me if your idea is a good one, this is down for you to decide

  • Don’t ask me to promote your business, this is down to you to do

  • I will use the tools I specifically know such as Squarespace, Mailchimp etc…

  • I won’t be able to provide one to one support or mentoring, that just won’t scale

This is an experiment in both building a business as a live case study. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.