Nathalie Drewello

Your 9 to 5 Job Is Not 100% Secure – Time To Add A Side Gig

team work

Since the first lockdown in March, the coronavirus has cost hundreds of thousands of people their jobs in the UK alone. All over the world, unemployment has risen, especially in industries that depend on social contacts. This alarming situation makes a lot of people realize that their 9 to 5 job is not 100% secure. And relying on it is definitely not enough.

That pandemic took us all by surprise. Even though we were aware of the situation in China, for some reason, in the West, there was a general belief that it won’t affect us – like SARS, like Ebola. 

 However, things changed dramatically when the virus ‘reached’ the occidental world. All of a sudden, people who had jobs for years, worked in offices, pubs, shops or whatever kind of venues every day or night,  found themselves at home. Many were left in a deep crisis not knowing how they would pay their next bills. The lucky ones got furlough payments, but no one knew how long the situation would take and how long the government would be prepared to provide a degree of support.

Our basic needs that we thought are covered sufficiently resurfaced as a potential question mark reminding us that nothing can be taken for granted. Without a job, you might not be able to pay for your  rent or mortgage, you might not have enough to eat and without a roof under your head, you might not be able to find another job. 

There is government support for people who are in an emergency situation, but as it looks universal credit is by far not universal enough. And while many people are aware that government support wouldn’t be the solution, they also realise that they have one very weakness: With the reliance on their jobs and specialised qualifications, they realise that if they lose their job, there might be no other job for their specialised qualification profile available, because of a situation like a pandemic, an economic sectoral change, technological change or maybe because of their age.

If you are in employment, maybe it is time to think of some backup in case things go downhill for whatever reason.

In this article, we will first explore what the benefits are of having a side gig. Then, we will provide a few ideas of gigs you can do while still in employment.

What Are The Advantages Of Having A Side Gig?

The gig economy is booming, even before this pandemic, many people have already embarked on this journey and use these jobs as their main source of income. It is estimated that in the UK, five million people are employed in this type of job.

Before going further, I just want to clarify that I am not advising you to leave your current job but I rather encourage anyone to have a supplement of income. As you might have heard, many freelancers were actually rather ignored in the initial support packages by the government.

So, why despite this, am I advising you to see the gig economy as a potential opportunity?

As already mentioned above, things can change at any time. Besides, job stability as our parents knew it seems to have changed a lot for the past decades. So, doing something in addition to your day job can have a lot of advantages. In the following, here are a few reasons to consider:  

  • Paying back your debt: Some gigs are so well remunerated that some spare time freelancers bring home £1000 to £5000 every month. Remember that is added to your primary salary. If you have some credit to reimburse such as school fees, mortgage, or paying off credit cards, this supplement can really help you out. Having said this, in principle your lifestyle should be at the level of your regular employment income given the uncertainty surrounding the gig market.
  • Enjoying life more: Currently, as we are facing a second lockdown, there is not so much we can do right now. Hopefully, this situation won’t last forever. When life will be back as it used to be, earning any extra income enables you to enjoy life more. You can go out more often and meet friends. With more money, you can buy whatever you want or travel the world again. Having said this, you will also need to spend more time looking for gigs and doing the jobs actually.  
  • It’s empowering: When you work as an ‘independent’ or a contractor, and you start generating money from your own effort and skills, you feel very proud of yourself. It’s empowering as you realise that you have economic value outside your day job from your employer. Having said this, this is when you have established yourself in the gig market and could even imagine earning a living there.

The main reason for doing this, however, should be to establish a potential alternative route in the event that your main income source evaporates. In the beginning, it would be rather an exploration. It would be about learning to be competitive in this market, understanding the market, and while you’re having in the background a regular income you would still have a choice whether to take gigs or not.

What Type Of Side Gig Can You Do?

Finding time to work on a side gig requires time. You also need courage because after a long day from work, when arriving home, all you feel you want to do is just to relax. This is where you must be strong enough to still work on side projects. I guess determination and discipline must be added to the list of skill sets while starting any side gig.

Below is a small list of side gigs you can do in your spare time. Note that the list is much more exhaustive than this.

Pic by StockSnap
  • Photography: You might have seen this suggestion a lot, but the side gig doesn’t have to be something very fancy. It is easier to go for something you like and passionate about so that it won’t feel like a burden. So, for instance, you might love taking pictures and if you already have a big collection of images stored in the hard drive of your computer, why not sell them to some stock pictures websites such as Istockphoto, Dreamstime, etc.. However, please be aware that the competition is high and in order to be able to earn a decent income, you need to be able to stand out.
  • Write a blog: When I ask people who have a hobby if they have ever thought of starting a blog, they always look surprised. I am not saying that everybody who has a hobby should have a blog. But if you need extra money and you are exceptionally good at something why not share your passion with others? There are different ways to monetize your blog, but the most common ways are ads and affiliate products where you get a percentage of each sale. If you have a niche hobby, the prospects are actually quite good to create something where you can set up a follower base relatively quickly. The question would be how big this follower base is.
  • Freelancing: You might have talent as a writer or graphic designer. Whatever you are good at, there are so many gigs out there where you can use your skills. You don’t have to worry about finding clients, there are platforms like Upwork, Bark, Fiverr, PeopleperHours where you can create an account and start working relatively quickly. However, beware that the competition is extremely high. The most challenging is to get your first gig. 
  • Dropshipping: It is very popular and yet not so many people know so much about this business model. Dropshipping allows you to have an online shop without stocking any products at home or elsewhere. The suppliers directly send the products to your customers who have made the purchase from your website. If you want to build an e-commerce site,  Give me a shout via email at contact@nathaliedrewello.com and I’ll be happy to help.
  • Start a Youtube Channel: Most of you have heard about this. There are amazing stories of people creating a community as influencers and earning a lot of money. If you are comfortable presenting yourself, this could be your option. However, many of you have also heard that  Youtube is saturated. Do you know that in 2019, according to Statista, more than 500 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube every minute? And the report continues saying the platform had 2 billion logged-in monthly viewers. As you can see, there is enough market share for everyone. Similar to blogs, if you have a good niche and you are willing to invest a bit of your time to grow your channel, there’s a prospect of success. There are more and more people who make a substantial living from their Youtube channel.  

Finally, even though there’s hope that the pandemic will be under control next year, the economic consequences will be felt long thereafter. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to look into starting a side career in the gig economy to earn extra money – and who knows, you might even be the one who decides to quit your job to move on.

If you need help to build a website to sell your services or products, don’t hesitate to contact me via email at contact@nathaliedrewello.com or by filling the contact form.

5 Internet Marketing Tips for Small Business

5 Internet Marketing Tips For Small Business

As a small business owner whose potential clients aren’t necessarily people passing by the shop, you cannot ignore internet marketing in today’s economy.

If you want to stay competitive in your market, you know (hopefully) that marketing and more precisely Internet marketing is the way to go.

Although you are aware of the importance of marketing, you still wonder what to do or even where to start especially if you’ve little knowledge about the subject.

You might think online marketing is such a vast topic that you can easily feel lost between market research, branding, social media marketing, etc and promoting your business overall.

I hear from you!

Here are 5 important tips to start with your Internet marketing if you’re a small business:

  # 1 Tip: It starts with your website!

It might seem obvious to you that having a website is crucial for your business. But, believe it or not, I still meet business owners who don’t have any and who don’t even think that they need one.

You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • How do my customers find me?
  • Where do I sell my services or product?
  • How can my clients trust me if I have no website where they can check things out?

Or, if entrepreneurs have an online site, sometimes it doesn’t look professional, not up-to-date or not even mobile-friendly.

Again, ask yourself: Does my website look professional?

 If not, will my customers trust what I have to offer on my website?

Try to put yourself in your client’s shoes, would you buy on a website that looks poorly designed?

I guess, no.

So, why would you do it for your own business?

Nowadays they are so many platforms out there that help you build your own website. So, you have no excuse not to have a website. However, if you have limited time or you don’t think you’re so technical, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune.

Your website is the first ‘point of contact’ between you and your clients. It helps create trust and credibility. Think about it, on your website you showcase your products or services, provide customer care, offer valuable information to your customers and much more.

#2 Tip: Think Local

Get the basics done. If you have a local business, think about adding your business on a free listing such as Google my Business and Yell. Google my Business particularly is a powerful marketing tool that has features that other directories don’t have. For instance, you can post content, create events and list your products and services with their price tags.

Another awesome local marketing idea would be to write in your local newspaper about your products or services. In your article, you demonstrate how your services/products can add value to the community.

These tips described above are just to name a few but much more can be done for local businesses.

#3 Tip: List Building and Email marketing

You should definitely think of building a mailing list as it the backbone of your business.

Emails are collected via a webform that you placed on your website. And, you can decide to embed a form from a marketing service platform such as Mailchimp or Mailerlite. Or, you can create a form on your website and then connect to a marketing service provider via API integration.

It’s very easy to set up, but, if you have limited time, don’t hesitate to ask some support from a professional.

It might take time to build up a consequent list of potential customers but it worth the effort.

Email marketing is a powerful strategy that helps to create a relationship with your existing and future customers. Avoid being a hard seller; you should rather think in terms of adding value to their life. Once the trust is there, customers are more likely to buy from you than from your competitors.

#4 Tip: Social Media

There was a time social media was just that; social media and nothing else. Today, we are talking about social media marketing, just as you’ve realized, things have changed a lot for the past few years.

If you don’t like social media platforms or can’t see how they can serve your business, you better think twice. You can’t help it if your customers are for instance on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. You are missing out a lot by not showing up there. Besides, nobody asks you to hang out with no purpose. These platforms are great to connect with your audience, build your brand, drive website traffic and increase sales.

By the way, you don’t have to be on all the social media platforms, you should only focus on those which are relevant to your business.

#5 Testimonials

Another great tip for online marketing for small businesses is a testimonial.

Have you ever bought something online without checking for reviews? We’re all doing it.

And, I would assume you do the same.

Your customers will check what other people think about your services/products. So, make sure that positive testimonials are showing up on your website, or on other platforms where your customers can see them. Testimonials are always helpful as they represent a sign of trust.

Finally, even though you have little knowledge of Internet marketing these simple 5 tips will help you get started. As you can imagine, there are many more ideas to implement in digital marketing.

However, you can focus on a few marketing strategies as long as they show great results.

Feel free to contact me if you need some assistance with building your website and for your marketing.

Why Is It So Important To Update And Optimize Your Website Regularly?

laptop and notebook for wordpress website update

You finally made your way to the online world by having a website and that’s great. But, just don’t stop there. Do you know that your website needs to be updated and optimized regularly?

Let’s explore why is it so important to do so.

Show you care and are passionate about your business

 

I am baffled to see that some websites have not updated their content for over a year.

It is to wonder if the company is still in operation. Or, the next question that might come to your mind would be: “Do they care about their own business? How passionate are they about what they do? “

If you don’t show any interest in your own business by not updating your website, why customers should be bothered about your services?

By updating your website, you demonstrate to your customers that you do care and are passionate about what you do. This generally make clients want to know more about what you have to offer and eventually buy from you.

By the way, the change doesn’t have to be paramount. For instance, changing pictures or adding some more could bring some freshness into the look of the website.

Breaking down a big chunk of text into small paragraph and adding subtitle make already another difference in the design. Content will always look more engaging and easier to read.

Another simple example and yet that business owners (specially brick-and-mortar store) fail to achieve is to update their price list. The other day, I searched online for a beauty salon in Ilford and found one with more reasonable price than the one I used to go. So, I called them to book an appointment and after giving me a time slot, the manager mentioned that the price on the website was not accurate. Really? They don’t realise how upsetting it is. Sorry but this come across like they try to defeat me. According to her, the prices have changed since January this year and I called in May.

What is the point to have a website if you are not able to give accurate information about your services?

Do they ever think about the user experience?

Better User-Experience

In this ever-evolving world where information is everywhere, customers become more and more demanding. They don’t even have the patience to wait for a page to load more than 2 seconds, so imagine not displaying accurate information such as the price. At this stage, customers are gone. That doesn’t make it easy for business owners, does it?

Making a few changing on your website shouldn’t take too long to achieve. If you can make the change yourself, it is great otherwise ask help from a professional web designer.

If you optimize your website to provide a better user experience, your customers will enjoy the visit. And chances are they will certainly return.

Again, changes don’t have to be massive to be effective.  Let’s take the example of Sainsbury online grocery. They have made some changes to their interface months back. They put orange button for each item. This small change jump into my eyes as soon as I logged in. Then, they made another change on the trolley icon, the total of products bought can be seen.

The difference was obvious. And, I could say that the shopping experience is pleasant.

User experience is so vital nowadays that you cannot ignore it. Customers are more educated and expect more from your website.

 Getting More Traffic

Google is dominating the search market, either we like it or not. They often make changes in their algorithm that affect a website ranking.  Therefore, Business owners must be aware of what the search engine is looking after. 

Currently, it seems that Google is interested in content relevancy. So, if you have a blog, this is the perfect platform to write good quality and relevant content to your niche.

Optimising your website regularly for SEO is crucial to attract more traffic to your website.

How Often Should a website be updated and optimised?

In the title of this article, I have already given a clue regarding the frequency.

Obviously changing the main content regularly wouldn’t make sense. However, it is advised to update the About page content every 6 months. So basically, twice a year you can tweak a bit the text or add more information if you wish.

Regarding blog post, ideally it should be written every week. The number is up to you. If you can commit to write every day or post a few times a week, you should do it.

And, you will start getting more traffic as long as you continue delivering relevant and quality content.

Hopefully, you have understood now that updating and optimizing your website regularly is crucial if you want to stay at the top of the search. And finally, retaining or attracting more customers.

Do small brick mortar stores really need a website?

Brick-and mortar stores do need a website to attract new clients

Local shops often believe that they don’t need a website as their long-time customers know where they are. But what about attracting new clients?

You must be familiar with Google search ‘near me’ where you can look for anything near where you live or where you are in a specific location. So, for example, let say that you fancy eating Thai today but you don’t know if there is one in the neighbourhood. The first reflex would be to check on your mobile phone.

According to the website ‘thinkwithgoogle.com, (see article here, https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/local-search-mobile-search-micro-moments/) nearly one third of all of all mobile phone searches are related to location.

I have personally used it numerous times. I must say that I didn’t know so much about this concept ‘near me’. It was only a few months ago that I got aware of it by word suggestion in Google search engine.  The ‘near me’ keyword is quite handy and save a lot of time.

So, if your store is listed on an online directory such as yell, or Google my business, it is more likely that your shop come up in the search. As the result, that shop might have gain a new customer.

Having a website help to communicate the message of your brand

A website enables a company to display not only their services but also help to communicate the message of the brand.

The website is the perfect place for a business to share their values, what they care about and more importantly the promise to their customers.

Don’t assume because you have a physical store and have regular clients coming that they know your company’s mission.

Also, thanks to a website, you can control your reputation by display on it testimonials and feedbacks from clients.

Building relationship through Your website

On a website, companies can capture client’s email through all kind of forms.

And, it is obvious that getting emails and names from a brick-and-mortar store is not always obvious. I have been in shops where I was asked to provide my email for offers or whatever reason. Strangely enough I always hesitate. However, online, I feel that can control what I want to do.

These emails list can be used to communicate any offers or additional services that companies may have. You must have heard very often that ‘the money is in the list’. Once relationship and trust from subscribers have been created, stores can be sure that they sit on a gold mine.

The more credibility a shop earns with clients coming from your list, the more chances they buy from that business.

Selling online bring more income for your business

Having a brick-and-mortar stores are surely an easy way to have clients as they just turn up and see by themselves what are the products and services. However, that does not prevent a shop to expand their market by going online.

Selling online has tremendous advantageous as we all know. Put it simply, selling on a website or via social media channel will bring additional income for a restaurant or a store owner.

It worth to mention that some people prefer to go online than going to a physical shop. Whatever the reason clients have chosen to go online, it makes sense to respond to their needs.

Finally, nowadays having a website is a must even for brick mortar stores. They really need an online presence for attracting new clients and help to communicate their message to their targeted audience. Having an online presence has tremendous potential for even brick mortar stores.

Do you have a website for your shop? Would you like to have one? Contact Nathalie for a free consultation.

Nathalie Drewello, #webdesigner

Ultimate Small shop