The Side Hustle Blueprint - Get Paid Now
This episode in the side hustle series focuses on defining your passion, unlocking what drives you and platforms to monetise your side hustle.
Here's a link to the first episode covering suggested hustles that best suit your schedule and experiences. The Side Hustle Blueprint: Take-off
Not all side hustles are created equal. The BankerX side hustle matrix categorizes the different levels of roles against the time it soaks up & the level of involvement.
The side hustle is the finished product, but the real secret lies in the rich ingredients behind the main dish. Alain Ducasse is a world-famous chef who held 21 Michelin Stars across his career. His globally renowned dish? Vegetable stew. Seven seasonal vegetables, locally sourced and slowly cooked. Every dish is served in a porcelain dish, a signature touch.
Alain leverages quality, time, simplicity and finishes with a unique touch to produce consistency - a meal that tastes identical every time you taste it at any of his restaurants across the world. These are great lessons for developing a successful side hustle.
Alain Ducasse's porcelain dish has become so popular that it sells as a standalone product (dish only) for EUR80 (R1,650)
Source the right ingredients. You're sharing a piece of yourself through your side hustle either through time, energy, education, a physical creation or a combination of these. You're inextricably linked to your product. It's one reason a side hustle can be more fulfilling than a regular job. In a corporate job we sometimes become disconnected to the final outcome and get lost in the process. Toxic emotions flare up - being disillusioned, feeling resentful and even getting excessively fatigued. Your side hustle is an outlet to energize you in addition to being financially rewarding.
Like a Michelin Star chef, balance is important. Deciding upfront which ingredient is your strongest will set you up to be successful. A common mistake is to focus on too many complex ingredients. You formulate a hustle that aims to solve all of the world's problems. We try to be too many things to too many people. If you partially solve one tiny problem - you will be successful.
Accept the shortcomings and embrace the limitations. If you have a baking side hustle and cakes aren't able to travel long distances, don't give up entirely on the cake dream. Use the tools & platforms that exist to support your business. Focus on making really great cakes, that's the primary aim. If your cakes are terrible - you have no business. On the topic of losing focus, many of us constantly put other people ahead of ourselves at the expense of our mental health & sacred energy. Inevitably selflessness leads to being forced to be selfish when a part of us breaks down. Focus on the main product. Focus on yourself. The money, success and recognition are all by-products of repeatedly executing your passion with excellence.
The BankerX trolley contains your list of every ingredient you're pouring into your side hustle.
After filling up your trolley, you may end up saying any of the following:
"I have a great idea, but I'm actually really time poor"
"My key ingredient is my knowledge but I don't know how to package it"
"I'm thinking about selling my art but not sure where to list it
"Actually have no idea how payments systems work...."
"I wish someone could keep track of my performance"
The great news is platforms exist to solve every one of those problems so you can focus on harvesting quality ingredients. You can focus on what really matters. Here are a few top platforms where you are able to sell your time, experience and creations:
There's over 200 categories of online skills you can sell on Fiverr. It's a huge global marketplace for creatives with over 50 million transactions and a gig booked every 4 seconds. Takes roughly 5 minutes to set up a profile. In terms of how much you can charge, the price range is anywhere between $5 to $995. Payment is made to you immediately.
Fivver take 20% of whatever you make.
Additional Service charges? All purchases are subject to a service fee of $2 on purchases up to and including $40, and 5% on purchases above $40
The depth of services you can register is incredible. You can get paid for helping someone compile their LinkedIn bio, sell some of your sketches or even design a logo for a company.
Okay - I want to help someone with their LinkedIn profile, how much can I earn? Anywhere from a few hundred bucks to over 10 grand. No, seriously.
Each LinkedIn profile builder charges depending on how many sections they fill out for you. Remember, the buyer provides all the information - all the person is really doing is making it glossy. Some LinkedIn profile builders send you a generic sheet with tips, one size fits all for R300. Here's how each offering compares from a creator who is a best seller on Fiverr. This person used to work in HR.
If you think that's a ton of cash for a quick side hustle - there's more.... Fiverr selects roughly 1% of their top quality creators as PRO members. That's when this becomes really, really lucrative. Here's the packages offered by someone who has spent 15 years in HR for large global corporates.
Yes - that's nearly R14k for a LinkedIn profile, CV & cover letter.
Patreon is different to Fiverr in that it operates a monthly subscription model which is brilliant. It really provides a platform to create a side hustle that moves away from job/ gig based towards an evolutionary process. 5 million patrons (people who pay the creators) use Patreon every month. It takes roughly 5 minutes to register an account. There is no monthly maximum you can charge for subscriptions.
Patreon takes between 5%, 8% or 12% of monthly income depending on which plan you're on.
Additional Service charges?
Let's take a look at a few Patreon gigs & how much bank they're making. No better example than how to monetize a passion than The Fantasy Footballers. They charge up to $50 (R870) each month to have people listen to them talking about fantasy football. That convo you're having at the braai every weekend about Bruno Fernandes being a penalty merchant - someone is likely willing to hear it.
These guys have over 8,500 monthly subscribers at $5 each (minimum) which works out to roughly R750k.... a month.
Not everyone is going to start a fantasy sports podcast. Let's take a look at someone with less than 500 patrons. Angel Posadas-Miller posts low-carb recipes and sometimes even DIY projects she's working on. She has 430 patrons and makes roughly R15k each month. This could be you.
If Fiverr is the place for gig jobs, Upwork is more suited to larger projects with specialist knowledge. It is likely to soak up more time and require a higher degree of involvement with high-paying, long term clients. The skills required are slightly more technical.
Across all side hustle platforms you tend to find specialists will command a higher hourly rate. It highlights the importance of having one stand-out ingredient that really sets you apart. The low barriers to entry in most gig jobs means you will have to ask "can just anyone do what I'm doing?" - if you have spent a long time on your craft, the answer will usually be "No". Especially if you have spent a few years applying a skill - it's really difficult for anyone to replace your real world experience.
Here's a few jobs related to Excel on Upwork to provide an indication of what the pay is and hourly commitments required. Most roles can get you earning comfortably in the R1k per hour bracket for very basic/ core skills.
Overall Upwork is great for a strong set of technical skills and if you have a bit more time with the upside of connecting to larger corporates, building out your experience and possibly establishing a long-term relationship which can end up being pretty lucrative.
OnlyFans started out in 2016 as a platform for content creators to share exclusive cooking videos, tutorials & has morphed into one of the world's largest adult content subscription platforms.
The lockdown has been the catalyst to spark an entire wave of new content creators signing up & launching pages.
If OnlyFans was a country, it would be the 56th largest in the world
- 24 million users
- 200,000 new sign-ups every day
- 75% increases in sign-ups month on month
- $725 million paid out to 450,000 creators
The influx of new creators creating a surplus of content and a heavily competitive market has led to a skew in the distribution of earnings. A small % of creators make the largest chunk of earnings. The top 1% of accounts make 33% of all earnings while the top 10% of accounts make 73% of all earnings.
The distribution of OnlyFans earnings is so skewed the Gini coefficient is worse than South Africa (0.83 vs 0.68). It's basically the most unequal society on Earth! Average OnlyFans creator makes $136 (R2,300) for an entire month of work. You can check out a full analysis here:
OnlyFans takes 20% of creator earnings.
The company is involved in a litigation battle over three years of unpaid taxes, specifically VAT. Litigation across platforms is something every content creator needs to consider. In addition to OnlyFans being investigated, Donald Trump recently passed a plan to ban TikTok in the US and Apple are threatening to pull Airnbnb off the app store over unpaid commission. BankerX will cover the ins & outs of how to start and own your own platform as part of the side hustle series.
OnlyFans creators currently struggle against pirated content and criminals who scrape their content and sell it on the internet black market. Another important consideration is the ability to protect your intellectual property - this applies across all platforms. If you opt for the OnlyFans route, it is recommended to cash out your earnings as frequently as possible to protect against any freezes against the company.
In addition to the platforms listed above, here are additional useful platforms worth checking out:
The BankerX trolley is useful for weighing up the opportunity cost of your time. How does the basket of your insights, experiences and time weigh up against the job you're already doing? In a corporate job you get to a point where every additional hour becomes detrimental to your emotional well-being inevitably translates into poorer physical health.
Then there's the element of sacrificing time on relationships and giving up things you really enjoy. You become worse off for working harder.
The true benefit of having a side hustle is the value increases proportionately to the time and effort you invest, especially since the rewards are non-financial. By exploring the resources, opportunities and platforms out there we can leverage technology to market our skills, abilities and passions in ways that have never been possible. Your success story is a few clicks away.
We're all running out of time. When we look back at a life well spent - it's highly unlikely we will end up happily reminiscing over all the PowerPoint decks, excel sheets and terribly dry Zoom meetings we sat hostage in.
A great side hustle means you're not just selling skills, but more importantly - you're buying back time.
You're going to do great.