For over 3 years, blogging and my creative studio was just a side hustle. In fact, my studio was part of Salty Blog. I freelanced for a couple of fashion houses and boutiques that needed help with their social media + photography. I never would have expected that in a few years this passion would turn into my MAIN hustle.
Before I fully committed to my studio and blog, I worked in politics. From doing research for educational policies to running campaigns across Washington state, I spent all of my 20s working 80+ hour weeks with my heart (somewhat) full. I kept pushing through because I knew I was making a difference. However, another day of this same routine wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. What I will say is that even with a very busy schedule, I’ve always made time to do something creative.
If you don’t know how to choose your career path, you can see this blog!
- Do all the things: In the beginning, try everything you want to try. Do you want to try illustrating? Photography? Blog about food? Every single one of these things has a different skill you need to acquire. Also, within that acquired skill, there are many different paths you can explore. Within photography, there are people who specialize in portraitures, fashion, food, etc., Through trying all the things, you are not only going to find what you want but eliminate what you DON’T want to do. You will be able to explore what you want to focus your side hustle on until it becomes your main hustle.
- Know your weakness: When you start getting serious about business, start mapping out what you are good at and what you lack. It’s important to know your weakness so you can find mentors and services that will help you. Of course, you should have a 101 knowledge of how it works but that doesn’t mean you have to be an expert at it. You can spend more time creating + getting clients, rather than spending 3 hours figuring out what tax form you should file.
- Have Focus: The narrower your field the better. I’ve always thought that being “well-rounded” was better than having one specific talent, but I’ve found my theory to be wrong. If you try to be well-rounded and please everyone, you are setting yourself up to fail. Your creativity is specific to you. While you can take generic contracts here and there, no matter what you do, your creativity will bleed a little into the project (even if it has project guidelines). As my friend Julisha said, “No two lines are the same.” You will be able to tailor what you want to focus your side hustle on. So figure out what you want to be good at and get obsessed about it.
- Build relationships not clientele: Relationships are the most important way to build your business. Go network with people from all different fields because one day, they might need you and you might need them. I’ve found clients in the weirdest places because someone I knew suggested that they “know a person who might need me.” Also, building a friendly relationship with everyone always brings repeat customers.
Alright friends, let’s do this! This is your year. Whatever you are passionate about, keep working on it. You never know when that side hustle you love will turn into your main hustle.
What other things do you want to know about starting a creative studio, blog or YouTube channel? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below!
Edited by: Samantha Yazzie