How to Turn a Hobby into a Freelance Business

If you love reading, enjoy spotting errors, or even like to do some informal proofreading in your spare time, you could turn your hobbies into a freelance editing business. Or maybe you have another pastime that you’d like to start doing professionally. 

If so, this post is for you. We’ll explain how to turn a passion into a side hustle or full-time career.

Things to Consider

Whether you want to start selling your homemade brownies or get involved in book editing, you can make a business out of just about any hobby. But there’s a big difference between doing something for fun and doing it for a living.

So, before you dive straight into launching a business, there are a few things you’ll need to consider. Ask yourself:

  • Will your business be a side hustle or a full-time job?
  • Are you passionate enough about your hobby to work on it for long periods of time?
  • What can you expect to earn?
  • Is there a gap in the market for your niche?
  • What sort of materials or equipment will you need to upgrade your hobby to a business?
  • Are there any qualifications you need to offer your services professionally?
  • What are the necessary legal steps to get your freelance business started?

To answer some of these questions, you’ll need to research the existing businesses in your desired industry. Once you’re confident that your hobby-turned-business will work, you can take the steps toward making it a reality.

1. Write a Business Plan

A freelance business plan will help you determine what you need to start your business and how to grow it as your career progresses. Business plans usually cover:

  • A company summary. This is a summary of what your business offers and what you plan to achieve with it. It should include the value of your business, the services you offer, who your target clients are, and an estimated budget.
  • Goals and targets. This is a combination of short and long-term business goals, such as increasing your number of clients within a given time frame. Just remember to keep your goals SMART.
  • Marketing strategies. This section defines how you plan to find and reach out to potential clients. We’ll explain more about marketing as a freelancer later.

For more details on how to write an effective plan, see our blog post How to Write a Freelance Business Plan for Your Proofreading Business.

2. Set Up a Workspace

If you spend a lot of time on your hobby, you might already have a workspace set up. But if you don’t, it’s essential to establish a functional base from which to run your business.

If you’re a freelance proofreader or editor, your workspace will likely take the form of a home office. You might adapt a spare room or use a quiet corner somewhere. Wherever you set it up, your workspace needs to be:

  • Quiet and free from distractions
  • Well lit, with as much natural light as possible
  • Outfitted with comfortable, ergonomic furniture
  • Tidy and uncluttered so you can focus on your work
  • Well connected, with plenty of plug sockets and a reliable internet connection

You can even decorate your home office with art, plants, and other personal items to boost your mood and help you stay motivated.

3. Update Your Resume or CV

When launching a freelance business, you must let potential clients know you have the necessary experience. The quickest way to do this is by updating your resume.

But don’t panic if you lack formal work experience in your chosen industry. Any work done informally for your hobby (such as proofreading documents for friends) is evidence that you possess some relevant experience.

You likely possess desirable skills from work in addition to those from your hobby. If so, you might consider writing a skills-based or combination resume that highlights your talents.

And if you’d like to boost your resume even further, consider offering your services voluntarily to demonstrate your experience more widely.

4. Market Yourself

Marketing is essential to any business, especially freelance businesses that tend to rely on word of mouth to find clients. Ways to market your freelance business include:

  • Cold emailing potential clients. If you have an idea of who could become suitable clients, you can send them a cold email: an unprompted but professional message offering your services.
  • Joining freelance marketplaces. Websites such as Fiverr and Upwork allow freelancers to sign up and list their services so clients can contact them for work. These marketplaces are convenient, but they tend to offer lower paid work and can be highly competitive.
  • Using social media. Setting up professional social media accounts and joining relevant groups will help you network with clients and fellow freelancers, making social media a great way to market your new business.
  • Setting up a website. Creating a website for your business can help you access a wider range of potential clients and appear more professional. You can also use your website to host a portfolio, client testimonials, and even a blog where you can write about your hobby-turned-career!

Once you’ve identified the clients you’d like to work with, you can start promoting your business to them.

5. Take an Online Course

Finally, make sure you possess the skills necessary to turn your hobby into a professional business. These include soft skills, such as time management and attention to detail, and hard skills, like competency with Microsoft Word.

Whatever skills you want to develop, online learning can be a great option. Its benefits include:

  • Full flexibility when it comes to location and study time
  • More affordable course options
  • Unique ways of learning, such as interactive elements and international webinars
  • Frequent updates and life-long access for continuing professional development

If you’re interested in a freelance business as an editor or proofreader, look no further than our courses. With comprehensive course content designed by professionals, tutor support, and the option of guaranteed work if you pass both Becoming A Proofreader and Becoming An Editor with scores of 80% or above, we can help you transform your hobby into a freelance editing business. Sign up for a free trial and see where your freelance journey will take you.

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