It is a common misconception that the majority of hobbies are unprofitable. You see, a lot of people spend years and decades in jobs they hate, which makes them assume that it is impossible for one to make money doing something they genuinely enjoy. Fortunately, there are so many examples out there proving otherwise. Still, how does one turn their passion project into a profitable business? Is it purely luck-based or is there a course of action that can drastically increase your odds? Let’s find out!
1. Figure out a way to make a profit
Passion is a key component in making it in the business world. The biggest problem lies in the fact that passion just isn’t enough. Think about it, for how long will you remain passionate after a certain project keeps losing your money? Are you really going to stay passionate about something that fails to provide you and your family with the lifestyle that you want, year after year? So, before you start, you need to figure out a way to make a profit.
This is nowhere near as difficult as it was in the past, seeing as how the existence of the internet has created a global trading platform where every commodity has its buyer. For instance, as an aspiring artist, you have platforms that specialize in self-publishing the form of art that is your primary field of interest. A writer can self-publish their book on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing or similar platforms. A photographer can find an app where they can sell their photos. In fact, there are even some apps that specialize in smartphone photography, which means that you can pursue your dreams even without expensive equipment.
2. Leverage your passion
The next thing you need to do is leverage your passion in order to get a competitive advantage. What this means is that, since you love what you’re doing, you won’t have trouble pulling those extra hours. Since the subject matter is something that you hold close to heart, chances are that doing research on the industry-related topics won’t be that much of a problem. Apart from this, while networking, you will encounter people who will be able to tell just how passionate you are about this, which will provide you with that extra bit of leverage that you so desperately need. In other words, your passion should be turned into an invaluable asset.
3. Set business objectives
The next thing you need is some solid business goals. Doing the work that you deeply care about can be a great thing, however, it can sometimes make you too subjective about how well you are doing. Doing something that you love is a reward on its own but as an entrepreneur, there are other goals that you need to focus on. For instance, you have business objectives like profits, website traffic, customer retention rate, conversion rate, etc. to care about. In order to stay objective, what you need to do is ensure that all these goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound).
Previously, we’ve mentioned that networking is a major advantage that people on their passion projects have on their side. Why? Well, because you’re interacting with people who have similar interests or backgrounds. People who talk with conviction gain a massive bonus to charisma, which makes them quite appealing to others. Moreover, if you decide to give event marketing a try, you also have an edge of knowing what to aim for. Regardless if it’s a virtual or a traditional event, chances are that you’ve already attended a few of these in your time. This means that you have the privilege of using this previous knowledge in order to provide your audience with optimal event experience.
5. Establish a strong digital presence
Establishing a strong digital presence is incredibly important and it starts with you making a great website. Hiring someone to do so is usually worth the money. Once this is done, you might want to consider starting a blog. Here, you can write your opinions, your personal experiences or just write about why you love what you do and what is it that you love about it the most. Next, you should make social media profiles and start making yourself known on all the subreddits and forums that you’ve previously attended, as a fan or an enthusiast. All in all, you need to start spreading the word as soon as possible.
6. Finance the project
Another thing you need to figure out is the way in which you can finance the project. Doing something on a massive scale requires resources. Sure, some people decide to stick to their day job in order to finance their passion project. Others sell assets, lend money from friends and family members or use their personal savings. Either way, you need to do some budgeting and devise a fundraising plan. As of lately, crowdfunding has become more popular than it ever was in the past. Platforms like Kickstarter and Patreon have made it so much easier for aspiring artists and entrepreneurs to finance their passion projects.
At the end of the day, even with everything done right, there’s really no guarantee. If there was such a thing as a recipe for success, no business ever would fail again. Still, being passionate about what you do gives you a significant head start. Combine this with a proper business plan, adequate budgeting and fundraising, as well as decent marketing. With all this on your side, you will be much more competitive. Once your business takes off, you will gain additional motivation.