If you’ve decided to go into business for yourself and work from home, there’s a pretty solid chance you’ve asked yourself, or are still asking yourself, “WTF do I do now?” I get this question constantly, so I thought I would break it down for you guys and share how I made $5K my first month working from home.
I get it- you’ve had this great idea. You’ve figured out what you’re good at and you know you can make money doing it, but how do you turn that into action? How do you take all that talent and turn it into profit?
When I finally made the decision that I couldn’t go back to my project management job, I was terrified. My maternity leave was about to end and my job had made it clear they were not interested in accommodating the new me who couldn’t stay past daycare closing times… but I had this fire inside me to take all the business-building skills I had developed over the years and turn them into something that made money. If I could pull it off, it meant no daycare. If I could pull it off, it meant no more soul-sucking corporate machine.
I decided there was no way to just wing it- I had to get serious and come up with a smart strategy, one that would take me from $0 to livable income in a short period of time.
Spoiler Alert: That strategy blew my initial goal out of the water and made me $5k in my first month working from home. Was it easy? No, I definitely had to work my ass off. But it wasn’t complicated- this eight-step strategy is something literally anyone can implement, which is why I decided to share it with you here on Real Mother Hustler.
So, here we go: This is exactly How I Made $5K My First Month Working From Home!
- Set a Financial Goal
- Create a Business Email
- Tell Everyone You Know
- Create Social Media Pages
- Get a Website
- Join Facebook Groups
- Go Networking
- Underpromise + Overdeliver
Set a Financial Goal
When I decided to go into business for myself, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to command any income at all, letalone the amount I was making before I had a baby. I crunched the numbers with my husband and we decided that if I could make 75% of what I made working, that we could pay our bills and hit our longer-term financial goals. So, that’s the goal I set for myself. This goal will look different for everyone- maybe you just need to contribute a bit to your household, or maybe you’re the sole breadwinner and you need this money to live! Figure out what you need to make, and write that number down. I highly recommend you sell your services in “packages” rather than by the hour- so based on your income goal you’ll know exactly what you need to sell to hit that number.
Create A Business Email
I really hope this goes without saying, but that hotmail address you’ve had since high school? Your future customers do NOT want to receive communications that way. If I receive a business email from email@example.com, you can bet I’m going to think twice about this person’s professionalism- do yourself a solid and set up a professional email address. If you own a domain name for your business, which costs $10-$15 a year, you can set up G Suite for $5 a month and get firstname.lastname@example.org, which instantly elevates your communications from random person to bonafide business.
Tell Everyone You Know
This is the number one thing I see talented businesswomen failing to do when they strike out on their own, and for good reason! Announcing that you are veering away from the norm and taking your career into your own hands is SCARY, guys. So often, the people that you are closest with in your life are the ones that will level the most judgement when you step off the path that they’re still on- and that’s a hard pill to swallow. You’re so excited about your own hustle, it can hurt a little bit when the people you count as friends barely acknowledge the announcements you make or the milestones you share. Here’s the thing, though: Just because they don’t get it, it doesn’t mean they won’t remember it. Just because they don’t respond to your posts, it doesn’t mean they didn’t notice them.
And what does that mean? It means that the next time they encounter someone who needs the service or product you offer, they are extremely likely to refer you- because it’s in our very nature as modern humans to want to show off the knowledge and connections we have. So, hop onto Facebook and spread the word! Share a photo of your work on your personal Instagram! Email your whole address book from that brand new business email and let them know what you’re up to, in case they or someone they know might be in need of your services. Chances are you’ll hear crickets, but trust me, they will remember you and refer to you.
Set Up Your Social Media
If you’re starting a business, you need to get online ASAP. Social media is the fastest, free-est(?) way to do that, so don’t waste any time! Get yourself a Facebook page at the very minimum, as well as an Instagram account. Set them both up as business accounts so you can track your analytics and pay to promote posts later on down the line, and be sure to link them so you can share your Instagram posts to your business page! If you’re a freelancer or a business service of some kind, it’s a good idea to make yourself a LinkedIn account as well. These accounts are going to be where everyone finds you at first- and you can build interest in your brand and anticipation for your future website, which is a huge bonus!
Get a Website
Full disclosure: I am a web designer, so I am obviously overflowing with reasons why your business needs a website and why you should let me make it for you…. But, no matter how or with whom you build your website, you need one. Why? Because you do not own your social media. None of us do. If Facebook shut down tomorrow, how would you reach the people following your page? How would they reach you? If your Instagram account got erased, where would your followers get information about your business?
A website is a piece of online space that you actually own- and you can use it to collect email addresses, so that no matter what algorithms get thrown your way, you can always reach the people that want to hear from your business. I’m going to share more about how to build your own business website later on, as well as some helpful checklists to make sure the site you do have is up to scratch!
Join Facebook Groups
Now, I have to preface this one by saying that this is not a long-term marketing or sales strategy. However, joining local business groups is an excellent way to make connections and get those first few sales in the door- and it’s also a great way to connect with local influencers that can help you grow your online presence. Look for groups that have ISO threads and seek out active places where people are frequently seeking services or asking questions. Position yourself as an expert in your field by providing thoughtful answers to people’s questions, and offering genuine advice and support. When specifically asked, pitch your product or service to those that are already looking for it- do not join groups and try to spam everyone with your sales pitch, it just turns people off. Oh, and while we’re here- are you in the Real Mother Hustlers Facebook group yet?
Meet People IRL
I hate networking. There, I said it. I hate fumbling for business cards, clutching a deeply disappointing cup of coffee, while a group of people that already know each other talk about the business they already have together and I feel pressured to be charming/mature/successful/articulate/all of the above. Having said that, there are hundreds of groups out there in the world that offer networking of very different kinds. The most valuable groups have regular meetings that allow time for you to introduce yourself and your services to the other attendees; again, these people probably aren’t going to be the ones that buy from you- but they will remember and refer you!
Underpromise + Overdeliver
When I first started offering my services, I was so afraid of not being “legit” enough that I inadvertently underplayed my abilities to my clients. While working on their projects, my perfectionism kicked in and I ended up going above and beyond their expectations without actively trying to do so. This resulted in a lot of “OMG” and “Wow!!” right off the bat, which won me a huge amount of referrals. Now, when I first started I was unknowingly underselling myself and have since increased my prices to reflect the level of care I like to put into my work. But I still explain to my clients in great detail how my processes work and what they can expect from me- this way, when I go above and beyond that to serve them through small details, they feel extra special.
So, what are you waiting for? As you can see, there’s nothing complicated about this list- and you don’t have to be a genius to execute this simple strategy (I mean, I pulled it off at a time when I was getting approximately 2.5 hours of sleep a night thanks to my spawn.) I hope this helps you on your road to self-employment, and I would love to hear your questions or experiences in the comments! Don’t forget, you can join our free education + support group here if you want more stuff like this delivered right to your newsfeed, or you can subscribe to Real Mother Hustler and get all the good stuff straight to your inbox!