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3 tips to turn your hobby into a $200k business

Image of an older person and a child playing chess outside
Anyone can turn their hobby into a side business in 2022. (Source: Getty) (Ronnie Kaufman via Getty Images)

We all have a hobby. Whether it’s sport, movie or tv franchise, video games or even chess, it’s the only thing we really want to spend most of our time on.

And the good news is that in the current market of flexible working, it is possible to turn virtually any hobby into a career.

There are tens of thousands of people who through a bit of grit and effort have built hugely sustainable careers from their favourite pastimes. Gen-Z has changed the way stable jobs and universities have been perceived because with the help of technology building a side business has never been easier.

Here are three of my favourite tips for pursuing that alternative career path.

1. Find your niche

Money shouldn’t be perceived as something that is earnt, it should simply be recognised as moving from one person's hand to the other and there is always a catalyst or a trade-in value.

You should view your hobby in the same manner.

What value or skill could I provide to other hobby enthusiasts that would be worth paying for?

For example, I have unhealthy addiction to chess which I could monetise by selling lessons, making YouTube content to garner ad revenue or even live stream and build a subscription base. If I wanted to take it a step further I could build out some form of chess digital product.

Step one, in my opinion, is to recognise the size of your potential audience.

Something I live by is 1,000 true fans. If you have 1,000 people paying $50 every quarter, that'll earn an instant $200,000 per year. Doesn't seem unrealistic, does it?

2. Work out if you'll sell digital or physical products

What should you sell? As good of a question as this is, it is purely contextual. As much as my heart is in eCommerce products there is baggage you need to learn (like sourcing and fulfilment) which means it could be easier to start with a digital product such an an ebook or subscription service.

What I would do is take any other mainstream skills I have like graphic design, copywriting or web development and merge them with my hobby to build a unique offer.

For example, if I were photoshop proficient, I would find the biggest chess players or influencers, design content for their socials, and eventually, charge for it.

3. Build your brand on social

It’s never been easier to get your voice heard and nurture a fanbase. It'll take some time, but even though it won't happen straight away, remember, consistency always wins.

Take advantage of the viral nature of short-form content and produce for TikTok, IG reels, Snapchat and Youtube and you will eventually have your own platform and be swiftly working towards your 1,000 true fans.

I started a TikTok channel a few months ago and spent 20-30 minutes a night producing. That channel now has over 20,000 followers. And if I can do it, anyone can.

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