Are you good with animals? Spread the word to friends and neighbors that you're available to watch their pets while the owners go on a vacation or weekend trip. Pet owners often feel more comfortable leaving their furry friends in the care of an individual rather than placing pets in a boarding facility, so getting referrals shouldn't be too difficult. If you can't commit to lodging animals in your home, consider starting a dog walking or waste cleanup business.
Another benefit of niche marketing is that it is very word-of-mouth-friendly. People in a niche tend to be in frequent contact with others in that niche, which means more opportunities to get the word out about your business. For example, expectant mothers attend prenatal fitness programs, take childbirth education classes, and shop at maternity clothing stores, where they meet many other expecting mothers.
Even the portrait and general-interest options, though, aren’t really for beginners. Photography businesses can be complex operations, with lots of equipment required and years of portfolio and relationship building necessary to really get steady income flowing. Still, if you’re a hobbyist already, starting a photography business as a side operation is a great way to make some extra money and possibly begin a career change.
Since launching their free plan just two years ago, Wistia has expanded its user base from 3,000 to more than 110,000. This kind of success simply isn’t possible unless you listen to your customers, provide them with an excellent product, and remain committed to their success and not just your own. Wistia knows that customer happiness is everything – even customers who aren’t paying subscribers. This kind of responsiveness not only generates a lot of positive buzz, it also helps businesses with small (or nonexistent) budgets grow, a win-win for everybody.
I love referral and affiliate marketing. It’s where the vast majority of my income comes from these days. Even if you aren’t a blogger, you can get in on the action as well. You can get paid to refer your friends to a wide variety of legitimate services. While there are many companies like StitchFix that will give you store credit for referrals, we are focusing on those that offer cold, hard cash today. Keep in mind, you will need to be signed up for the program yourself to take advantage of the program. But, you shouldn’t be referring people to things you don’t use anyway.
Knowing that you need to make every marketing dollar count, niche marketing can help you to abide by the Pareto Principle, better known as the 80/20 rule. This theory purports that roughly 80% of your results will come from just 20% of your efforts. When applied to marketing in general, that means 80% of your efforts are not directly tied to your results. In other words, less is more, and this is where niche marketing comes in.
Alex Ikonn and his wife Mimi launched Luxyhair.com after they realized how hard it was to find great hair extensions in the marketplace. This hair extensions ecommerce retailer has built their business on the fan audience they’ve attracted through YouTube tutorial videos. They have a serious following, which is exactly what has enabled them to grow their business to seven figures since 2010!
Do you love woodworking? Even without a huge workshop, you can create some of the more popular crafts and sell them. And like most things, your success in business isn’t necessarily related to how skilled you are as a woodworker. So if you can figure out which products consumers want and just create those, you could have a good business plan. Etsy.com and farmers’ markets are a great place to start selling.
Whether you want to become your own boss, start a side hustle, or earn extra money on the side, any of the strategies listed above can help. By finding ways to increase your income, you can free up more cash to pay down debt, save for the future, or invest for retirement. Saving money is only half of the equation. And if you truly want to get ahead, you might want to figure out how to make money – and hopefully, lots of it.
Another idea someone could do from home is to start a service or write a software program that scours local ad listings (like craigslist) for a particular used item a person wants to buy. They have services like this for new items, but not used. I know others like me who are keeping their eye out for something used (like a canopy king bed!) but don’t have the time or inclination to search for it every day.
Tailor your content to your audience. Use targeted, “insider” terms for keywords in your marketing messaging, content, and social media. Think of words and phrases that your target customers would use while they searched for a solution like yours. This is one of the few times I will tell you that a bit of jargon can work wonders. Use words your customers would use – and use them correctly – to connect with your audience. This strategically placed jargon might even earn you a little “street cred.”
Businesses always need graphic designers to help them convey information visually, through logos, advertisements, posters, websites, and the like. While it is possible to be an entirely self-taught graphic designer, most have either a certification or a degree. Other than the cost of design software, this business has very little overhead and can be done anywhere with a dedicated computer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers have a median salary of $45,000.*
My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and build a following of hundreds of thousands for this blog and my podcast series.
Robert said he did an average of 4-6 of these gigs per year for a while depending on his schedule and the work involved. The best part is, he charged a flat rate that usually worked out to around $100 per hour. And remember, this was pay he was earning to advise people on the best ways to use social media tools like Facebook and Pinterest to grow their brands.
2) Another booming niche market is catering to seniors - 75 million Americans were born in the years between 1946 and 1964 (the so-called baby-boomer generation) and are now retiring or headed for retirement and according to research by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) nearly 90% of them wish to continue to live at home in their communities. This has opened up many opportunities for small businesses that cater to this niche market: