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How I Built My Side Hustle Through Social Media

I landed my first side hustle about a year into my full-time job, a year and a half after I finished grad school. How did it happen? It was all because of Twitter. I happened to be following a fellow Fordham alum, saw her post a freelance writing opportunity, and the rest, as you may say since you are currently reading my writing, is history.

Since that happened three years ago, I have had several different side hustles, mostly in the freelance writing and digital marketing spheres. The remarkable thing? Almost all of these side hustles, minus the couple that came from personal connections, came thanks to social media.

Social media is more than just fun and games, and I am the first one to tell you that. It is such a great place to find opportunities – both side hustle opportunities and full-time gigs.

More and more companies, organizations, and people are utilizing their social media to post available opportunities, and you should be taking advantage of this. I can hear some of you asking, “but how should I start?” Well, here is how I started, and I hope it helps you as well.

How I Built My Side Hustle Through Social Media

1. Follow people with common interests.

When you’re looking for freelance or side hustle opportunities, you should follow people who:

  • are in your industry
  • are in the industry you want to get into
  • like the same teams or have the same hobbies as you do
  • graduated from the same university as you
  • have a need for your skillset

Following people with similar interests is a great way to develop relationships with them, and a great way to know if there are available opportunities in said fields that you are already interested in.

Like I mentioned above, I got my first freelance gig because I was following someone who graduated from the same grad program that I did. We had never met, but we had that in common, resulting in me following her.

2. Don’t be afraid to engage with people. 

Social media is meant to be SOCIAL – it’s right there in the title! You need to engage with people. If someone tweets at you or comments under one of your posts, respond! Even if someone has not engaged with you, initiative a conversation with them.

What’s the worst that can happen, they don’t answer? Big whoop. If I had not responded to the tweet about the writing opportunity – engaging with someone I actually had no engaged with before – I would not have gotten more information on it nor would I have been able to apply.

And that writing gig was the stepping stone for all of my others, all because I responded to a tweet!

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3. Post about your interests.

You should not just be using your social media for conversational purposes. You’ll want to show that you know what you are talking about, as well. You also want to show that you are passionate for the field. Be sure to consistently post relevant news pertaining to this industry.

Additionally, be sure to show yourself off! Post articles you have written, and so the world of your abilities.

It was because of both of these things that I was able to land a writing gig in the sports world. I was tweeting a lot about the New York Mets, as well as tweeting articles I have written (for the non-sports world). This was all seen by the Editor of a Mets blog, and I was asked if I had any interest in joining the team as a writer.

4. Join applicable chats and groups.

Did you know that there are Twitter chats in almost every niche you could imagine? It is very easy to attend, and open to all!

This is a great way to engage with folks with the same interest with you, and a great way to get your name out there to thought leaders in your field.

Additionally, there are also Facebook groups for every niche as well. Request to join one! Thanks to a Facebook group I was in, I was able to pick-up a new writing gig that was posted by another member of the group. Both of these things foster a sense of community. People belonging to the same community tend to want to help each other out. Plus, it’s always great to learn from others in your niche, as they have likely been in your position once.

I was able to get my feet wet in the side-hustle world thanks to social media, and it has only grown from there. If you are looking to do the same, go for it!

Feel free to comment below or connect with me on Twitter if you want to chat more or are still a bit nervous about using social media in this sense!

About the Author

Michelle Ioannou

Michelle graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelors of Arts '13 and a Master of Arts '14. She's currently working in corporate America with a side of freelance writing. She wants you to learn from her experiences and mistakes so your 20s can be your best decade. When she's not working, she's likely planning her escape to a tropical island.