AMY PORTERFIELD: “I want you to promise me, or promise yourself, really, that you'll treat your side hustle as something legit. Just because it's not your full-time thing doesn't mean it has to be just a hobby. If you don't treat it like it's important, like it's a priority, it will never become lucrative. It will never grow. You've got to nurture it. You've got to show up for it. And I know that deep down, most people would love their side gig to become their full-time thing, and the way that happens is you don't treat the side gig like a hobby.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY: Real quick, I wanted to talk to you about another podcast that I think you might love. It's called Being Boss, and it's hosted by Emily Thompson, and it's really just an exploration of not only what it means but what it takes to be a boss as a creative business owner, freelancer, or side hustler. So Being Boss is an amazing resource for anyone interested in getting inspired and, more importantly, getting started as their own boss.
So, head to wherever you get your podcasts to check out Being Boss. And I recommend starting with her episode on releasing the sense of urgency in business. Especially coming back from my sabbatical, this episode was a great reminder to slow down and be intentional. You're going to love it.
Welcome back to an episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. I'm so very glad you're here.
And if you clicked on today's episode, that probably means that you're one of the following: maybe you're in a full-time job that feels comfy, but your heart is calling you to become a business owner, an entrepreneur, and you're wondering how to make this happen. Or maybe you're in a full-time job, and you actually love it. You're not just comfy, but you really enjoy your job. But you have something that you've been thinking about wanting to create and putting it out into the world, and you're secretly dreaming of creating a side hustle as a creative outlet, but also something that can generate a little extra cash. Or perhaps you are working a full-time job, but you're also building an entire business on the side, but it's kind of wearing you down, and you need a framework to really make it work.
Well, my friend, whether you're one of those or a mix of those, I've got your back. Not only am I sharing my four proven steps for building your side hustle while still working at your full-time job, I'm also sharing stories from my students who have been or are in your shoes right now. They're doing all the things. They're busy. They're passionate. They have a vision. They've gone for it. They're finding success and a way to make it all work.
So I hope you walk away from this episode with a few things. Number one, I want you to realize that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to working full time and building your side hustle. Two, this is absolutely possible, and I'm going to show you a framework that will help you start moving in the right direction. And three, get you motivated and see yourself in other employee/entrepreneur shoes.
I think sometimes it's so important that we hear about someone who we can relate to, and they're making it work. They're having success. And we can find confidence and inspiration and motivation in their story. It can help us to think, like, “Hey, if they can do it, so can I.”
And before we hop into this conversation, if you go into this with this approach in mind, “If they can do it, so can I,” as you're building your side hustle and working at your job, think about it as a two-phase process. So phase one is making short-term money in your industry or in your niche or the market that you want to be in. And I'll share a couple of ways of doing that here in this episode. And, then, phase two is setting up the long-term ways of making money.
For example, in the first few years of building my business, I did one-on-one consulting, I did service-based work, I did coaching, all that good stuff, and I made some good money. I didn't necessarily love it, but that's pretty common for phase one. You're figuring things out.
And, then, in phase two, which is where I am today with my digital-course business, it's substantial. It's consistent. I absolutely love it. But I truly believe that you have to dabble in phase one before you can move into phase two because you learn so much.
So today's episode is very much about setting yourself up for success and for more ease and organization all in phase one so you can eventually move into phase two. And maybe phase two looks like you go through my signature course, Digital Course Academy, and you learn how to create and launch a digital course, and that becomes your signature offer that's making you consistent revenue, whether you stay in your full-time job or you bring that side hustle into a full-time thing and your primary income is through your digital courses, or something else. I mean, I'm biased, right?
So I hope you find all of those things in this episode so very helpful. So let's get into the stories and the four-step framework so you can kickstart or better manage and grow your side hustle while juggling your full-time job, plus whatever else is on your plate. Let's get to it.
Let's actually kick this off with a motivation moment. This one is from my student, Crystal. She said, “I'm currently working in a corporate job and have my business on the side. Long story short, I've had my online business since 2018. I've built it up, and I've created a solid foundation for my audience and content. Then, earlier this year, we faced a family need for consistent monthly income above and beyond just covering a few bills here and there. Cut to today. I'm working my corporate job and still running my business, creating a strategic plan to invest back into my business growth and level up my skills while also contributing to a retirement plan every month, something I wasn't able to do with my business alone. I'm not 100% back on the corporate path, but I'm not 100% an online-business owner either. But I'm dancing between the two, and I feel so much more creative in my business without the financial pressure to have everything work out perfectly or bust.”
So that's what Crystal shared, and I just want to thank her for sharing that with such honesty. What I think is important about her story is that she went full-time entrepreneur for a while, and life had different plans for her. But she embraced it, and now she's found a balance that works for her and gives her more creativity. And I love that so much. So it's a great illustration of how everyone's journey is so different. There's really no wrong way.
All right. So, are you ready for the first step? Schedule your tiger time. I've got a question for you. Have the last few weeks or maybe even months since you decided you want to start your side hustle left you feeling in constant chaos, maybe a little scattered? Or maybe you haven't even started your side hustle yet, but you still feel scattered and, like, “Oh, my goodness, there's so much to do.” Do you ever feel like everything except what you want or need to do for your business is actually dictating your life? Do you ever feel like everything but starting your side hustle or everything but creating your digital course gets your attention?
If you're nodding your head along with me, it's time for a new approach to your schedule. You need a system to make time for what drives your business forward or what will actually get your side hustle up and running, even if it's just a little bit here and there. You, my sweet friend, need a ritual.
Enter the concept tiger-time ritual. Now, for my OGs, you've heard of tiger time. You know what it is. But for those of you who maybe haven't been around that long, this is the part of your day that you fiercely protect, like a tiger and her cub, in order to give yourself the space to spend more time on the areas that matter most for moving your side hustle forward. The rules are strict, but the rewards are huge.
For me, my tiger time started out by being a time when I created a ritual for content creation, but by no means was it easy. I still struggle with it because my mind thinks I should be doing a million other things. It's tough. But once I created this consistent system, I've seen incredible results.
So here's how to get hyper clear and committed to your tiger time. Step one, define your outcome by asking yourself, “What's my vision for this time that I'm going to allot to doing whatever it is you want to do in your business?” So like, what's my vision for this? And then, “What would I ideally like to accomplish within this creative time space?” So think about this in terms of which areas of your business that you want to move forward and how this space would allow you to do that.
And then step two, make and strengthen your commitment by asking yourself, “What will happen in the side hustle I'm creating or in my business if I make the time for my tiger-time ritual? What will happen in my business?”
And then step three, set your time. I'm talking about getting it into your calendar, getting it scheduled. So you do this by asking yourself, “What is the one block of time that I can reserve two to three times a week?” And keep in mind that you can start with just thirty minutes a day, if that's all you have, but let’s try to work up to an hour or more.
And step four, decide on your rituals by asking yourself, “How am I going to make my space physically and emotionally distraction free?” So do you need to turn your phone off on all the notifications that come in? Do you need to put a Do Not Disturb sign on your door? Seriously, it works. Or do you need to book a sitter for two hours?
This reminds me of a recent interview I did with Shunta Gray. She said that she's trained her family so that if they see her office door closed, it means that Mom is busy and they'll have to wait until she emerges. I know, it doesn't work like that for every family, but I thought that was really smart.
And then, lastly, step five, be consistent and keep it sacred by identifying, is there anyone who can help hold you accountable for this time? What friend or team member or even family member can help and check in on you, that you're actually honoring your tiger time?
All right. So I want you to work through those steps and those questions, and you'll be well on your way to having some pretty powerful, intentional, and productive tiger time.
Now, there's one note I want to add to all of this, and that is that I want you to become an expert prioritizer. This is absolutely essential, and working through these tiger-time prompts will help you do just that. Sure. Right away things may feel a bit wonky and kind of all over the place, but with time, I promise you'll become a better prioritizer, because you'll start to see the clear vision of where you are and where you want to go.
Okay. So are you ready for another motivation moment? This is from my student, William. This is what he said. “I'm a full-time elementary teacher and also a biblical parenting coach. I started by coaching one-on-one clients roughly three years ago, and shortly after that started making content for my YouTube channel. I also started list building slowly. Last year I worked through Digital Course Academy, and I launched my first course. It's called From Sibling Fights to Family Nights.
Side note, William: that's an amazing title.
Okay. He goes on to say, “My one-on-one-client load continues to grow as well as my email list. I also began live speaking engagements this summer, all while still teaching in an elementary school, teaching online, and having a wonderful wife and eight kids. So, yes, we're busy, but it's good.”
Oh, my goodness, eight kids. So, first of all, thank you for sharing this story, William. Eight kids. Holy cow. But I can imagine he's incredibly busy, but at the same time, he stuck with it. And I love his story because it shows that you really can create your dream business while working and being present with your family. Is it easy? No. No one said it was. But I love that he's building up his business, growing his email list, growing his YouTube channel, while also having a full-time job as a teacher. Pretty cool, right?
Okay. Moving on. Next, you're going to want to create a lead magnet and set up your ESP, email service provider. So for starters, you're probably familiar with a lead magnet, also known as a freebie, an opt in, a free offer, all those things. So no matter what you call it, it's a necessary list-building asset to build, grow, and scale your online business.
So a lead magnet is anything you can give your audience for free in exchange for their name and email address. A successful lead magnet leads your ideal-customer avatar to engage with your brand and warms up your audience so they ultimately become your best customers. So your content is the mechanism that will attract your audience and pull them in, and your lead magnet is the one thing that will transform a fan or a follower into an email subscriber, not to mention strengthen your relationship with them instantly.
I'm not going to go into depth about how to decide what to create and how to create it. But you can check out my episode number 271, “How to Create a Profit-Driven Lead Magnet to Boost Sales,” and there's a lot of details in that one. In fact, Online Marketing Made Easy has tons of episodes about how to create and promote a lead magnet. But specifically, go check out amyporterfield.com/271 if you need to get started with a lead magnet.
So along with your lead magnet, you're also going to set up your ESP, your email service provider. And this is an email platform that houses your email list and supports your email-marketing efforts with tools and resources. So you use this to collect email addresses from visitors on your website. It also makes it possible for you to store and manage those email addresses and then send targeted marketing emails to specific people or groups on your list.
Now, there are dozens and dozens of email service providers out there. Usually, they all do the same thing: allow you to build an email list and legally send emails to the people on your list. But how they go about doing this and what additional features they offer can vary greatly.
So my very favorite is ConvertKit. So amyporterfield.com/convertkit. I think that they are incredibly affordable—they have a free option when you're just starting out—and they have the best customer support around.
All right. So the reason a lead magnet and an email service provider go hand in hand is that you actually link your lead magnet right up to your email service provider, and then you'll create your automated emails to nurture your audience there as well. So for more information on how to select and set up an email service provider, check out episode 322, “How to Build Your Email List from the Ground Up.” So amyporterfield.com/322, and I'll link to it in the show notes.
From there, you'll need to create consistent content, and this is probably nothing new to you. And I talk about this all the time, but create that consistent content, show up every week, and share it everywhere that it matters.
Okay, so before we move on to the next step, I've got another motivation moment for you. This is from my student, Roberta, and this is what she says. “I spent over ten years as a full-time corporate launch manager and created a side hustle for a few years before quitting my corporate job at the end of 2020. The biggest thing for me was that I didn't want to do service-based offers. I only wanted to have digital offers, and that was so hard. The other big thing was carving time to run the business while holding a six-figure career and a toddler full time at home when COVID hit. So shout out to Corinne Crabtree, who got to hear all about my time-management issues and helped me juggle all the things while running my launches on fifteen-minute time blocks.”
Side note: Corinne Crabtree is an amazing weight loss, but also business, coach. She does both, in my opinion. But she's been in my communities, and she's helped people with their limiting beliefs and their mindset struggles move past that. So sounds like Corinne coached Roberta about how to manage all of her time issues, so that was really helpful.
But she did fifteen-minute time blocks. Remember I said try to get thirty minutes or more for your tiger time? She couldn't. So she did what worked for her, and I love that.
I know that Roberta has been massively successful with her business, but that doesn't make every step of her journey easy. She's a great example of why it's so important to get clear about your tiger time. So thanks for sharing that, Roberta.
There are parts of running my business that I absolutely love. My favorite part is getting to work on my brand mission. I love thinking about the big picture, where I want to take my vision and my business in the next year. Heck, I even love thinking where I'll take it in the next five years or the next ten years. But with every business, there are parts that I don't love as much, parts I don't want to spend my time on. You know, those tasks that you push off until the last possible moment.
Well, that's why I love HubSpot CRM, or customer-relationship-management platform. With over a thousand integrations that teams will actually use, HubSpot helps eliminate friction and save you time, so you and your team can focus on what they do best. From social-media tools that help you publish posts to ad retargeting that helps customers find what they love about you, learn how HubSpot can make it easier for your business to grow better, at hubspot.com.
Moving on. Next, you'll want to put together an offer. And remember, you're going to have the time to set up your ESP, to create your lead magnet, to put together an offer, because you're going to set aside tiger time. So even if it's fifteen-minute segments, they start to add up. It's like when a personal trainer says, “Listen, if you've only got twenty minutes, then do what you can in twenty minutes because at the end of the month, you might have ten sessions in there that you've done twenty minutes, and it makes a difference.” It's the same thing with tiger time. So I promise you, any time you can put toward this consistently is going to count.
Now, the beautiful thing about actually creating something that you can offer to the world, let's say, in phase one, and support you while you continue to grow your business, is that it offers a way to make money that you can put back into your business and helps you to get to know your audience better as well. So remember, we're talking phase one, where you're just finding the most simple way to make money in the area that you want to make money in until you figure out how ultimately you want to build this business.
So here are a few ideas of what kind of offer might work well for you. You could create a PDF guide or some kind of workbook. I personally love this one because if you're still working full time, it's not surprising that you're strapped for time or energy. So this is a great way to create something that can be used over and over again to generate revenue.
One of my students created a twenty-one-page step-by-step guide that walked her audience members through organizing their closets. She sells it for twenty-seven dollars. She created the e-book content in Microsoft Word, and you could even do it in Google Docs. She then had her virtual assistant design the guide in Canva, which is something you can do even if you don't have a VA, and you can do it for free. And all of this took her approximately fifteen hours to create the e-book content and her VA about four hours to get it designed in Canva, and with another hour for edits, it took about twenty hours total to create this product. And then she promoted this through her social-media accounts, through her email list, and on her website. And the cool thing is this makes up about 6 percent of her business revenue, and she does really well in her business. So that's pretty cool, too, right?
Okay. Another strategy is to create an offer of limited one-on-one sessions or limited group-coaching spots. The nice thing about this offer is that you get to work face to face with your ideal customers. You'll learn more about their pains and struggles and desires and what they ideally need from you. So this is a great offer to have early on to help quickly shape your business and hit the nail on the head when it comes to serving your audience and providing exactly what they need. I did this where I worked one on one with clients for about two years, a little longer than I would have liked, but when I did this, I learned so much about what people needed and what they wanted in my area of expertise, so it was really valuable.
Okay. And then lastly, I love a good lower-ticket challenge for an offer. So you can simply create a new private Facebook group and do everything there or deliver it all via email. So maybe it's a five- or seven- or fourteen-day challenge—I like the shorter ones best—and you're going to teach similar strategies or practices that you would maybe do in group or one-on-one sessions. I really love challenges. I think it's a fun way to get your audience engaged. Definitely more work, but don't do one for free if you're trying to get a little quick cash injection. You'd want to charge for that challenge.
Now, speaking of a quick cash injection, I did an episode—it’s episode 479. It's called “Money in the Bank: 6 Fun Strategies for a Quick Cash Injection”—and you'll find it in my show notes. So just go to amyporterfield.com/479 or click in the show notes. But it's one of my most favorite episodes because it can help you make money fast.
Okay, next up, I want you to consider creating a workshop course. Now, as you're building your side hustle that one day might turn into a full-time business, I believe that all roads should lead to you creating a digital course, because I know that a digital course will give you more freedom and allow you to build a business that you absolutely love. But sometimes taking, you know, going from zero to a digital course might feel like a lot, which is why a lot of people get into my program, Digital Course Academy, and I'll walk you through the whole thing, A to Z.
But hear me out here. A workshop course is basically, like, a one- to two-hour training. You deliver it live, and you record it when you deliver it live, and then you could also sell the recording. And so usually you charge around a hundred or two hundred dollars for this one- to two-hour live training. And the big difference between a one- to two-hour live training, a workshop course, versus a webinar is that you're charging for it, and you're teaching something very specific, and you're not selling at the end of it. So that's a very big difference between a webinar.
But I love a workshop course because it allows you just to get your feet wet. You could keep it really simple. You just look for an area where your audience is stuck. Like, what are they struggling with? Where do they seem to get stuck all the time? What's a hot topic for them? And you can email your audience, you can post about social media, “Hey, I created a one-hour training all about x, y, z. I'm also going to do a live Q&A at the end. It's ninety-seven dollars. And here's a link you could go learn about it.”
You can do a really simple sales page with an order form, and you could get this up really quickly. So you spend a few hours on it. You can actually create something that people are going to buy. So I love a workshop course for those that are looking for that quick cash injection and they want to kind of dabble with digital courses. This is a really cool way to do it.
You can use your tiger time. So if you say, “Okay, this is how I'm going to be intentional with my tiger time. I'm going to create a one- or two-hour training. I'm going to write some emails to promote it. I'm going to put together really simple, short sales page. I'm going to post about it on social media, and, boom, I now have something that can make me money.” So it's just a really cool way to kind of ease into digital courses, and I love when my students do their workshop courses.
All right. So here's another motivation moment, and this one comes from my student, Brooke. So here's what Brooke said. “I do bookkeeping for local, small businesses. I also own and operate a local business called the Welcome Basket. After completing Digital Course Academy, I created an online business where I teach others how to start their own welcome-basket business like mine. I have two courses, and I now offer one-on-one coaching as well. I spent much of 2019 and half of 2020 working hard on my course and my weekly content. However, in the middle of 2020, I had to step away from creating content related to my courses to focus on my mental and emotional health, my family, as well as my local business and my bookkeeping job.”
She has a lot going on, right?
So she says, “I put my courses on evergreen, and I am still enrolling students without having to put a lot of energy into my online business. Imagine how my online business would be doing if I had stayed consistent with my weekly content and growing my email list and community. I will get back to growing my online business soon, but right now it's exactly what I need.”
So I wanted to share this one from Brooke because I think it's an important example of showing the amazing gift of being able to put a digital course on evergreen. Her life was in a season that she couldn't put a lot of effort into live launching her digital course. So she put it on evergreen, and she can choose to live launch again later. So there's a lot of ways to work this out.
Now, I'm not going to sugarcoat it. Evergreen takes some work to bring it to life, so it doesn't start working right away. It's more work than most people say it's going to be. But at the same time, you put that work in, and it then lives on forever, as long as you want it to, as long as you're tweaking it and making it better. So I'm a huge fan of live launching and evergreen together, like putting both of those models in your business.
Okay. So, Brooke, thanks so much for sharing that. And everybody who submitted stories about their side hustles, I am forever grateful.
All right. So let's move into our action items. So while this framework is so very important, there's something else that I'd love for you to promise me. I want you to promise me, or promise yourself, really, that you'll treat your side hustle as something legit. Just because it's not your full-time thing doesn't mean it has to be just a hobby. If you don't treat it like it's important, like it's a priority, it will never become lucrative. It will never grow. You've got to nurture it. You've got to show up for it. And I know that deep down, most people would love their side gig to become their full-time thing, and the way that happens is you don't treat the side gig like a hobby. So something to think about.
Okay, really quick, let's recap here. So you want to have a side hustle or you do have a side hustle, you want to really dial it in, step one is to organize and schedule your tiger time. So important. Step two, create your lead magnet, set up your email service provider, create that consistent content. You got to start building your audience. Step three, create a small offer to hold you over while you're creating, let's say, a workshop course, which is definitely more robust than the smaller offers that I mentioned. And then step four, I want you to actually create a workshop course. I want you to go for it. It makes a world of difference.
Now, this isn't going to happen overnight, so I want you to be realistic and be patient with yourself. You've got this, and I can't wait to see what you create.
Also, one more thing. If you're listening to this live, I currently have the doors open to my boot camp. It's called Course Confident: A 5-Day LIVE Bootcamp, to get digital-course clarity, attract your audience, and show up with confidence online. So in this boot camp, I'll be covering how to gain clarity on your course topic, whether you want to create a workshop course or a full-blown digital course; I'll help you with your course topic; what type of digital course is best for you and your business; how to price it appropriately—there's a formula I'll take you through—and how to create a crowd-pleasing freebie so you can grow your list while you are building your course.
So the boot camp is going to be extra special. I've never done anything quite like this before. It's forty-seven dollars, so it's the cheapest thing I have that you could buy. And it's a great way for you just to get your feet wet to figure out, is this something I want to do? We're going to have a lot of fun. Amyporterfield.com/course. So just go there, amyporterfield.com/course, and you can check out my boot camp. Time's running out, so do not wait. Go check it out right now.
All right. Thanks for joining me for another episode of Online Marketing Made Easy. I'll see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now.