5 Ways to Turn Your Hobby into a Career 70

5 Ways to Turn Your Hobby into a Career

This is a guest post by Cara Smith. She works as a blogger cum editor for HivRnaTest. She holds an MBA degree in hospital and healthcare management. When she is not working, she loves to travel the world and make new friends.

Being in love with one thing yet marrying the other and still you expect peace in life! Would it not be perfect if you get to spend your entire life in the service of your dreams and hobbies?

Why not pursue what you love and do it so professionally well, that people cannot take their eyes off your art?
Why not go ahead and secure a lavish career doing things your heart and mind is already in sync with?

If you are reading this on your phone or laptop, life as you know it is not about survival anymore. Life does not give you a 30- day’s trial option. It is happening right now.

But what if, right before you die, your entire life flashes in front of you and there is this 30-second advertisement video which you cannot skip. What if there is really nothing much to show about your accomplishments in all your life? What if that 30 second Ad is all you got?

There can be a lot of self-doubts while opting for your hobby as a career option. Although, if you enjoy doing it, no profession is useless! It will be more satisfying than a usual 9-to-5 job.

However the way reality whispers in that dream, “Mind if I come in?” It makes you sigh while you fall back on the chair. Doesn’t it?

Yes, it is not going to be a smooth ride. But many dreamers have done it successfully in history. You see, it’s really not about how good you are right now, but how well your motivation springs you to take action in reality.

I am quite sure, you are whispering under your nose right now,” If that was as easy to do, as pimping out yet another blog post into the cyberspace”. I understand your qualms.

If you are an optimist and all your replies for above-mentioned questions are ‘Yes’; filled with rage which involves you violently thrusting your fist on the table, may be. Then let’s stop being a victim.

Let’s start making some practical advancement towards your hobby and give a little nudge to start snowballing your way to an awesome career.

Here are some cliff notes to begin with:

1. Start a website and share your knowledge.

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Awareness is the new trademark for superiority.

People are hungry for updated information to flaunt it around. Hence, there is a steep inflation of privately owned websites.

Build an audience for yourself. Money should never be the preference.

By that I do not mean, giving up all your comforts and possessions, but assisting others with your skill sets.

Find ways to tickle people and leave them with an impression of your art. Collect good wills. Time will come when these founding bricks will build your career-castle.

2. Write a book.

If you are good with words, start scribbling.

Never judge a book by its cover, but its index. Yes, you think you might not be ready, but you are always ready to start taking sticky notes about your hobby or how you create it. The whole process involved.

Start small and one fine morning you will have ample pages to get to work.

Remember slow and steady wins the race. Yes, it is true, always.

Here’s a beginners’ guide on how to write and self-publish your first eBook.

3. Become a mentor.

Start teaching to learn.

The word is not preaching here. Teaching things while constantly assessing your shortcomings will only increase your grip on the subject. If nothing, teaching those skills can further be turned into a profession.

For some ideas, maybe set yourself up as a private instructor, personal trainer, or ring a bell to your local school or college or even tuition centers. You will never regret teaching what you love to students who really want to listen to you.

You see, when you take your skill sets seriously and start passing it on to other interested parties, you start a chain reaction. Karma will be kind to you this time, I promise.

4. Become a youtuber.

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Every aspect of creating a career out of a hobby involves marketing as much as manufacturing the product or presenting your art.

Many companies are on the constant lookout to find new ways to market their products – and to make an interesting video go viral is one of the best ways to do so.

If you are good with making crafts, artwork or even baking, why not shoot a video of you creating it. Show it to the world. Production companies are always searching for good video editors, short film makers or a photographer.

Whether you are still pulling up your socks or you are already in the mud, you have to shout about it. Make sure you are heard.

Youtube is an excellent platform for a two-way communication.

Remember, it’s all about how conveniently you can communicate with your customers or clients. Communicating involves active listening too. Make notes. When you are selling your art, it should be more about the person receiving it.

Take every criticism in good spirit. Make separate notes for it. With the pace the internet is simply marking its territory in every person’s pocket; digital marketing is sure the future gateway to your career path.

5. Start your business.

Be always professional. Always is the keyword here.

Whether you are providing a service for money or not, attention to details is a must. It’s all about the little things that make a difference. If you are good with general maintenance or repair works, why not offer your services to local people.

The world is full of talented people, no doubt about it. You will never find your competitors sitting idle. So go ahead and start your start-up already.

Remember, to be professional means being honest with your work. You will for sure gather some eye raising attention. In fact, inculcating attention to details in your hobbies can do wonders in your skill sets.

So dear dreamer, stop searching for the meaning of life and actually start doing something about your passion which is burning like lava inside you.

There are already enough people in this world who do not come out of an ATM till they really find the deep meaning of life, right there. Never be that person.

Never be someone or somebody. Be your hobby.

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 6

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

***
Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.