From Play to Pay
From Play to Pay Day: Turning a Hobby into a Career
If you enjoy knitting, photography, making art, woodworking, or another creative hobby, it’s not unreasonable to want to turn it into something you can do professionally. Offering up your skills or selling your homemade goods can earn you an income and enhance your quality of life by giving you more time to spend with those you love.
Ready to get started? Keep reading for some practical information from SEAL Media on how to turn your passion into a paycheck.
People Prefer Handmade
If you need a little encouragement, Paper & Stitch explains that people tend to favor handmade items over mass-produced merchandise. People buy artisan goods for a number of reasons, including originality or as a way to connect with the community. One of the best ways to get yourself in front of these people is to participate in craft fairs or events that would draw interest to your budding business. This takes work and lots of preparation, but the effort is usually well worth it.
Selling crafts and other handmade items is ideal for telling one’s story, which is where content marketing comes in. Tap into the expertise from SEAL Media to get your story and brand in front of potential customers with strategies like digital marketing and explainer videos.
Setting Up Shop
Before you book your first event, you need to know how to attract people to your products and make it easy for them to go from window shopper to dollar dropper. The vast majority of shoppers don’t carry cash, so implementing an electronic payment system is vital in capturing as many sales as possible.
Historically, point-of-sale systems have been expensive and cumbersome. But now, services like those offered by Cloverl mean you can accept cashless payments easily and securely. The smaller hardware makes it more convenient for the consumer, and easier for you to keep up with which products are in demand and which you can leave behind on your next event endeavor.
Getting people to pay attention to your booth is another issue many up-and-coming entrepreneurs experience. In these situations, you’ll need to have a banner or poster to draw attention to your area. Even if you don’t have creative skills, you can create and print large graphics like banners using Microsoft Office.
Other craft show must-haves include a large table, shopping bags and gift wrap, a dolly or hand truck to move your goods from your vehicle to your spot, and a way to keep your items organized. For example, if you sell items such as knitted products or jewelry, you want to ensure a neat and tidy display.
Service Instead of Stuff
When people think of hobbies, they often think of woodworking or other pastimes that produce tangible goods. But your hobby may not be something you can sell at a trade show. If your interests lie in family or wedding photography, cake-baking, genealogy, or another service-based hobby, there’s still plenty of ways to start your own business. Advertise on social media, network with friends and family, and volunteer your services to your local school, charity, or community organization.
Perhaps the least pleasant aspect of turning a hobby into a business is the fact that, when you make this transition, you have to start paying taxes. IRS.com offers more information on how the IRS classifies hobby income and how you can take advantage of deductions for incurred costs.
If you turn your hobby into a form of regular income, registering your business can actually help you with your taxes. Many people choose a limited liability company (LLC) for their entity thanks to the ability to protect personal assets as well as the tax advantages. If you choose to register as an LLC, you can also simplify this task by handling it through an online service like ZenBusiness or LegalZoom.
For those needing to brush up on their business skills, going back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree is a great strategy as you move forward. Earning an online degree in business allows you to learn about management, accounting, entrepreneurship and much more. It also adds to your credibility, and completing classes and tests online allows you to continue working on your enterprise without attending in person.
Your natural talents are something people will pay to enjoy. If you’re considering starting a business, you can turn your favorite hobbies—or hidden talents—into a source of income. A word of caution, however: You must tread carefully. Don’t rush into the process. You might find that when you feel obligated to perform on demand, your passion may become something you dread.
SEAL Media loves to tell stories. People will not remember facts and figures but they will remember how you made them feel. Contact us today and let’s team up to optimize your message and your brand! firstname.lastname@example.org (949) 335-3764. Contributing writer Joyce Wilson