As the popular philosophical quote goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” Unfortunately, it does not hold up well in reality. Many people who choose to follow their passions often have to work another job just to make ends meet. The reality is that some professions are just more profitable than others.
Still, you should not let this stop you from making money while doing the things you love. While your passion may not support all your financial needs, it can increase your income, provided that you do it properly.
In this article, we will discuss how you can turn your passion into profit. We will tackle the best practices and top tips to help you get started.
Find Your Passion or Develop It?
Before you can start monetizing your skills, you need to reflect on how you view passion. A study by Stanford researchers Carol Dweck and Gregory Walton revealed two perspectives on passion: believing it is fixed and believing it is developed.
According to the research, people who believe in fixed interests think they should wait to discover their true passion. This means if a topic or activity seems difficult upon first contact, they often disregard it and move to the next one. These people often have narrower interests.
On the other hand, people who believe in developed interests think that passion can be cultivated and nurtured. Instead of waiting to find their true passion, they invest themselves in a field regardless of how difficult they find it. These people tend to have a wider range of interests.
The study concludes that people who cultivate and nurture their interests are more likely to have successful careers. Their willingness to invest in different skills makes them flexible.
While believing in fixed interests does not automatically mean you will fail, it provides you with fewer options. You may end up wasting your time searching for your true passion while others are developing theirs and making progress.
If you have already found what you are good at, good for you. You can start making money doing it. But if you are yet to find it, you do not have to. You can just choose a skill and nurture it until you become good enough to get paid for it.
How to Get Paid Doing What You Love
As mentioned above, professions are not made equal, especially when it comes to how well it pays. This article will not teach you how to build a fortune off your hobby or past-time, but it will guide you through the process of making money off it.
How much money you earn will depend on many factors, such as your field of expertise and the state of the economy. Before diving in, it is important to manage your expectations.
With that said, let us discuss the steps in monetizing your skills.
1 – Identify your skill or passion
As discussed, it is advisable to nurture your passion instead of finding it, especially if you want to start making money off your skills immediately. Regardless, you have to identify what exactly you are good at. Are you a musician? A woodworker? A mechanic? Your skill is your product and you need to know what you are selling.
2 – Hone your skills
Even if you think you are already proficient in your passion, this step still applies to you. Whether you want to flaunt your ability in pottery or exercise your online gaming skills while earning, never stop improving. Failing that, you can lose your edge and no one would see value in what you offer.
To continuously improve, you may take courses, attend workshops, and read books. The act of making money off your passion is already good practice, but you should still practice even if it is just for fun.
3 – Create a portfolio
For workers, a portfolio is like a sample product. It shows potential clients what you are capable of doing without paying for your service. Therefore, it is important to build a portfolio that showcases your skills and demonstrates your expertise.
Since you are only starting, you can fill your portfolio with projects you worked on for leisure. But when you start getting paid, you can start featuring projects you did for a client. You can build a portfolio using a website, a social media page, or a physical document.
4 – Build a network
You may not like this step, especially if you are introverted, but it is essential to succeed in monetizing your skills. Building a network gives you access to potential clients, which means a greater income potential.
Explore the community of your field. You may attend events, join groups, and connect with your peers. Make sure to build a healthy relationships with potential clients, collaborators, and other professionals in your industry.
5 – Plot a business plan
Offering your skills in exchange for money is a form of business. And any business requires a plan if it is to succeed. Your plan should answer the following questions:
- What services will you offer?
- Who is your target market?
- How will you market your services?
- What are your financial goals?
As you answer these questions, more questions will pop up, and your business plan will have more detail.
6 – Set your prices
How much are you going to charge customers for your services? While you may feel pride in what you do and feel like it is worth a lot, you need to set realistic prices. Your prices should correspond to your level of expertise and the current market rates. Other factors to consider include the time and money you spend providing the service.
7 – Promote your services
Get the word out about the services you offer. Share your portfolio, website, and other marketing materials. This is where the network you have built will play a crucial role. The bigger your network is, the wider your reach will be. Social media platforms are great for marketing your services.
To give yourself a boost, consider offering discounts or other promotions to entice customers. You will not earn a lot at the start, but it helps establish your business and build trust with your customers.
Another good practice for promoting your services is starting a blog. If you are not used to writing, it may seem daunting, but it does not require you to be a stellar writer. If you can write decently, a blog can be a critical part of your marketing strategy.
Who would not want to earn a living doing something they love? Your hobby might be a bad primary source of income, but it can be a good way of earning extra. If you are going to spend your free time on your hobby anyway, why not earn money while doing it?