With nearly 65 million people freelancing in the United States in 2020, freelancers have become a major part of the American workforce. And the number of freelancers is growing continuously.
There is no denying that freelancing allows you to become your own boss, live the lifestyle you want, and enjoy the benefits of flexibility. However, reaching out to new prospects can be tedious and time-consuming, and is never enjoyable.
What if I tell you that launching side projects can not only help you create an additional revenue stream but also bring new clients?
As a freelancer, you already have a hustling mindset. All you need to do is to use it to your advantage and work on side projects with great market potential.
What types of side projects, you may ask?
Let’s find out.
Side-Project Ideas That Have Great Business Potential
Whether you’re a freelance content writer, graphic designer, or web developer, finding new clients is a constant hassle. Along with creating an impressive resume and portfolio on multiple freelance job portals, you should think of starting side projects that can help you attract clients without extra efforts.
1. Start Niche Blogging
Whether you’re a marketer, writer, or designer, starting a niche-specific blog will give you a platform to showcase your expertise and build a personal brand. You can easily create content relevant to your industry and provide valuable tips to fellow professionals.
For example, if you’re good at search engine optimization (SEO), you should conduct keyword research and optimize your website and blog content for relevant keywords. Write insightful posts on topics related to SEO and make them rank in search results.
Doing so can help you attract a steady stream of SEO professionals, marketers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs who want to get their websites ranked in the SERPs. And if you haven’t noticed it yet, all of these can be ideal prospects for your freelance SEO business.
You just need to add compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) in your posts to convince them to hire you to do their website SEO.
What else can you do to attract freelance clients using your niche blog?
- Create a “Hire Me” page listing your services and unique selling point (USP).
- Build a portfolio page that showcases your past projects, clients, success stories, and testimonials.
- Join affiliate programs of different trustworthy companies and build a relationship with them by driving sales. Once you’ve built a good relationship, you can also reach out to them with your extra service offerings.
- Contribute to other authoritative websites in your niche and acquire backlinks to your blog to drive referral traffic with high conversion potential.
There are many freelancers who are earning big by building a strong presence across the web.
One example is Classy Career Girl. What initially started as a blog grew to become one of Forbes’ 35 most influential career sites.
The Founder, Anna Runyan, now helps millions of women design and launch their dream businesses through her blog, online courses, and social media. She has also launched two membership sites, Corporate Rescue Plan and Love Your Career Formula as side hustle projects for women.
2. Launch a Micro-SaaS Business
Micro-SaaS businesses are often run by a single person or a very small team and they focus on catering to the problems of a targeted market.
As a developer, you can create a minimal loveable product that targets a niche enterprise segment and helps them solve a problem.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Identify a niche market (such as marketing automation) that you want to target.
- Check out the different tools available in the market.
- Identify a product feature that you can enhance and launch as a standalone product (such as push notifications on mobile).
- Build a micro-SaaS tool and promote it.
The clients who opt for your tool’s subscription are likely to need more customization and development services related to the product. That’s when you can offer your services as a freelance developer.
You can also customize your tool, add more features, and offer multiple subscription plans to cater to the needs of individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, and agencies. Doing so can help you increase your freelance income through subscription renewals.
Though launching a micro-SaaS business suits developers the most, you can think of creating a product even if you are from some other field.
Ryan Shank, the Founder of PhoneWagon, top-rated call tracking software, launched a SaaS company from scratch for just $40K. While he planned the product overview himself, he hired a designer and a developer to build the micro-SaaS tool.
The software helps agencies and businesses to improve their marketing spend by using local phone numbers for their campaigns and custom call tagging.
Now the company has a good clientele and their tool offers integration with other prominent industry tools such as HubSpot and Slack.
3. Create and Send Weekly Newsletters
The easiest way to reach out to a targeted client base is through email. As a freelancer, you can build a niche list of potential clients and send weekly newsletters to engage them.
You need to plan, create, and curate engaging content on industry topics. It can be a self-written blog post, an expert roundup post, or good content from top publications in your niche. You can include a mix of valuable industry resources in your newsletter.
Include compelling CTAs to let your subscribers know that you take up projects. You can also make extra money by advertising brands in your newsletter content while acquiring new clients.
It’s Your Turn to Start Valuable Side Projects to Get New Clients
Side hustle projects can not only help you attract more clients for your freelance business but might also turn into profitable business ventures themselves. So, start today!
Do you have questions about launching side projects to win more freelance business? Ask them in the comments below.