So, you’re thinking of starting a new side hustle. What should you do while you wait for your kit to arrive?
Come up with a name and feel for your “brand” (i.e., what you offer, because it’s more than just products). Mine was Sensible Lips, Beautiful Faces to hint at the academic aspect for a while, and that worked well. The Yana Boutique is not good...I will need to fix that some day.
Set a date for an in-person launch as well as an online launch. The online one could be a preview before your kit arrives. The in-person launch will happen once your kit arrives and you have stuff to show people.
Create a Facebook group. I can do it for you to make sure the settings are right. Do NOT randomly invite people to this new group (I definitely screwed that up when I started).
Make a list of people. The list would include anyone you’d feel comfortable telling in a private message that you are doing this new thing. Obviously, the locals are the ones that you would invite to your in person launch; everyone else to the online launch that will happen in your new Facebook group. Everyone on your list should be someone you actually like or would like to know better. Don’t include anyone that doesn’t spark joy…lol...I mean people you dislike.
Look at your list. Are there people on it whom you haven’t talked to in a while? You are not going to randomly message them to tell them about your new side hustle (gross). First you have to reconnect in a genuine way.Read through their most recent Facebook posts (or wherever else they post stuff…even Google Scholar if they are an academic who you haven’t talked to in a while), see what they have been up to, reach out and say hi. This isn’t going to work with people you actively dislike, so as I said, they shouldn’t be on your list! For people you talk to daily or weekly, you can probably just get straight to the point and tell them about your new hustle.
After you’ve had lots of one on one conversations about your new adventure, you might want to post about it ONCE on your Facebook profile to catch some friends who didn’t make it on your list, but that’s it. The rest will happen in your private group. Generally, posting about one’s business on one’s public Facebook profile is frowned upon. In fact, using your profile to sell like that is against facebook policies. If you want a public page, you can create one for your business at a later stage. Right now, focus on the launch parties.
Prep for the online launch! We will actually do this together by collaborating in Google Docs (scripting posts and pics to go with them). This is really no different co-authoring a paper, except way more fun.
By now it’s towards the end of the week and you should have warmed up some of your contacts, and it’s time to invite people to the online and/or in person launch. Ask people if they’re interested before sending them a group invitation or the link to join the group. Then comes the slightly annoying part where lots of people will say yes, but then flake out on actually joining the group, or join the group and flake out on actually looking at stuff in it; basically at any point where there’s a possibility of flaking out you will lose some people. Same with the in-person party. Expect that to happen. They might flake out, but you won’t. You will follow up with them later.
By the end of the week you should be ready to run the online launch (but remember, I’ll be holding your hand/spoon feeding you on every step of the way!).
If this chill, sensible approach to sales appeals to you, you can work with me by enrolling here. If you want more info, ask me a question here. As with anything, success in this business depends on consistency. I cannot guarantee you will succeed in the lucrative sense, but I can promise that you will (re)-establish meaningful connections with other humans.