There’s an excellent chance that people will look back on 2020 as an overall mistake. So far, It’s brought us a global pandemic, straining geopolitical tensions, and the eruption of long-standing police issues into worldwide protests — and as I write this, it’s only the middle of June. Who knows what else could go wrong before 2021 comes along to offer us a reprieve?
That said, it achieves nothing to focus on the negatives, and there are some positives that have come from all this turmoil. In the business world, for instance, there’s the growing acceptance of remote working: forced to operate outside of their offices, many companies have learned that they can operate remotely without losing productivity (and while saving money).
There’s also the uptick in self-employment through running side hustles. Whether they’re been fired or furloughed during a tough time or simply run out of ways to use their free time, plenty of people have taken the plunge of looking for modest income streams they can handle from home. If they stay small, that’s fine — and if they grow, they can provide new careers.
But this level of popularity has also boosted the level of competition. There are so many small businesses out there that it’s difficult to stand out, so how are you supposed to manage it? The key is digital PR, using the reach of the internet to build a worthwhile brand (traditional PR certainly isn’t dead, but it’s in a tough position at the moment). Let’s take a look at some tips for how side hustle entrepreneurs should approach digital PR:
They should consult digital PR agencies
The world of digital PR is rather difficult to get into, and entrepreneurs tend to be busy, which means it isn’t the best idea to start out trying to learn everything there is to know. There just isn’t enough time for it — and even if there were, it would still make more sense to consult digital PR experts. They can stop at consultation to keep their costs down, building up plans they can follow themselves, or they can outsource their entire digital PR campaigns.
This is particularly worthwhile because beginners don’t even know how to track the impact of digital PR campaigns. Even if they run through the basics of marketing analytics, they’re sure to be woefully ignorant of so many vital elements — and not even tracking digital PR work correctly makes it almost impossible to consistently improve it.
They should become active on social media
Love it or hate it, social media is a necessity for so many businesses today, not least because it allows companies and individuals alike to compete on a somewhat-level playing field. Sure, having a verified Twitter account looks good, and those with big budgets can pay to have their posts promoted, but it’s still entirely possible to spend no money at all and get some attention.
The biggest thing side hustle owners can do is look for the people their side hustle is designed to serve — their target customers — and start conversations with them to learn more about what’s bothering them and what they’re looking for. They can then promote themselves in a relaxed and pressure-free way, making people more likely to check them out.
They should partner with other entrepreneurs
Small businesses succeed when they help one another out, and the same can be said of entrepreneurs running side hustles. Most of them aren’t in direct competition, so why shouldn’t they team up wherever possible? Imagine two entrepreneurs with different businesses but similar customer bases: perhaps one who makes custom clothing, and another who makes custom furniture. By endorsing each other, they could both benefit.
The best way to find such entrepreneurs is to put time into networking: joining online forums for side hustle owners (Reddit has numerous relevant subreddits) and using platforms like LinkedIn to find people in similar (but not overlapping) lines of work.
They should focus on their personal brands
Lastly, entrepreneurs need to know where to focus their digital PR efforts, because most of their work should go towards building their personal brands. Here’s why: they may want to run multiple side hustles at some point, and their current side hustles might not amount to much. If they put all their effort into their personal brands, the impact will carry over to all their ventures.
Accordingly, they should look to establish themselves as trustworthy, professional, and creative. Putting time into writing blog content and appearing on industry podcasts will allow them to promote their ventures and build their names at the same time.
Digital PR is more important now than ever before, and side hustle entrepreneurs need to make great use of it. By trusting in experts, getting active on social media, partnering with compatible entrepreneurs and building their personal brands, they can do just that.