Can you really make money by doing what you love? Of course you can! Whether it’s knitting, wine collecting, running, book club or fishing, you can turn your favourite hobby into a sustainable business. Guaranteed! And the best part? You love what you do.

We spend a lot of time and energy mastering our hobbies and pastimes. It becomes second-nature for us to do what so many people wish they could do too. We can teach so many people about the casting of this fishing rod, the aperture of that photograph, the grapes of this wine, or the perfect eating plan for that family.

Believe it or not, but people will pay for your product or service. As they say, the riches are in the niches! And you have the (online) world waiting for your super power contribution!

Show notes

  • Building your hobby into a business is a reality
  • You know so much about your hobby or favourite past-time
  • We often take for granted that our passion comes second-nature
  • Building your business sales pipeline is the biggest challenge
  • The formula: know-like-trust-buy-repeat
  • Potential clients need to KNOW that you exist!
  • The process of walking a journey with potential clients to build likeability and trust
  • Can you accelerate or short-circuit the client journey?
  • Harnessing the power of referral and recommendation to elevate brand trust
  • Consistency is king and the art of repeat buys
  • It will take time to build your lifestyle business – start NOW!
  • Never underestimate the power of an online presence as a building block for your business
  • There are free resources at your disposal to help you with your online presence
  • I discuss in detail the different types of website builders and necessary technology
  • The ability to re-use your body of content that you have built over a long-term period
  • Building a life style business gives you the freedom and flexibility to live your best life
  • Be brave to be free!

Sign up for my free webinar series

Want to know step-by-step how to build your hobby into business? I offer you the know-like-trust-buy-repeat formula to build a sustainable business. Sign up for my free webinar series that will kick off in September 2019.

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Lisa Linfield: 00:21 Hello everybody and welcome to today’s episode of Working Women’s Wealth. I often get asked about how you actually can make money from the thing you love doing, whether it’s knitting, whether it’s wine and cheese, whatever it is that your love and passion is in life. Many people come to me and ask me about it and whether I am able to help support them in building a business. It comes because I have my course, the 16 Week Side Hustle that people ask me these questions. But I also think it’s related around the fact that all of us deeply would love to be able to leave that day job that we might be good at and we might enjoy, but rather to spend our time doing the passion of our life. And so I thought I’d put together an episode on what it takes to actually build a business around your hobby.
So for many people, they know a lot about their hobby that they think is just instinctual. This week I was working with my girls to teach them how to knit. Now I personally don’t know anything about how to knit. I did it way back when we were little. But one of the things I realized is that for those of you who knit casting on is probably just second nature to you. How many balls of wool you need to make a scarf is second nature to you, and what size the needles should be. Now for me as a mum who had no idea how I was going to teach my girls how to knit, what size should the needles be, how many balls of wool would it take? And when we actually got these balls of wool, what did we do with them? And so the thing that I’d love to share with you is that there are so many things about your hobby or your passion that are such basics that you’ve actually forgotten that you had to learn them at some stage.
So, in building any business, the real heart of building a business is creating a sales pipeline. People who are prepared to buy from you. The rest of it, how you get the knitting needles and the wool to people is actually a sideshow. Well no, it’s not a sideshow, it’s hugely important. But if nobody walks through the door, you cannot even work on how you get those knitting needles out the door. So the basis of any business is to build a constant stream of people who buy from you. And that works on a formula called know, like, trust, buy, repeat buy. And the reality about getting anybody to buy from you is that it’s pretty similar to getting anybody to really like you or marry you, and that the first thing someone has to do is actually know you exist. So if you’re the go to person for knitting, how do I as a mum know that you’re the person that I should go and look on your blog or website to find out what the size knitting needles I should buy for my daughter.
So you need to first focus on how you build, no, how do you build people knowing that you exist. Only once people even know you exist can they actually start liking you and trusting that you are going to give them the advice that they need when they need it. Now the knitting example, ironically my children are into it at the moment, but when I built the Side Hustle course, I decided that I would choose building a knitting business as my example to show them as to how do you build a website, how do you build know, how do you build like trust and buy. And the reason I chose knitting is because I know absolutely nothing about it. And it’s been a phenomenal learning curve to learn about the business of knitting as opposed to the hobby of knitting.
And there are few things that I teach in the course about how you build know, and like and trust. And there’s so many great resources out there. Even if you just put in a search bar, the word knit, you can find the questions that people are asking about knitting. So part of building your business is to take people along that journey of trust. And the reality is that takes a very long time. What I found in starting my different businesses is that the people who already know me, like me and trust me, buy from me. The problem is that the people who don’t yet know me take quite a long time to go through that curve of knowing, liking and trusting. The only way you can short circuit that is if someone is referred to you. If their best friend says, “Lisa has the base knitting shop,” then they are likely to trust me only because they trust their friend. Not because I’ve done the work to know like trust and buy.
So the first interaction essentially is almost a validation of their best friend’s opinion. But if I’m validated vaguely near what their best friend said, they will be happy to buy from me because they trust their best friend. So building your business based on your hobby essentially takes a little while to start building that know, like, trust and buy. And I recommend that anybody who has an existing job and who’s safe and secure in that job, but even slightly has a tiny little inclination that at some stage in their life, maybe in 10 years time they would like to try working on their own business. You should start now to build that know, like, trust and buy and the reason I say that is because it takes a long time to build a following and an audience.
The problem with relying on your friends and your personal contacts to buy from your business is that there comes a point where there’s only so many beginners knitting kits that they can buy and you need to be able to have a really solid stream of people coming through the door. Now, the great thing about having a long term inkling in your soul that you’d like to start a business about that is that you can start building your presence on social media, which is where people get to know you and like you and your presence in terms of a blog post or something without ever selling anything. And you will be so far down the track by the time you eventually want to get your customers to start buying. Now, it was a year after I had started my podcast, 52 episodes before I even discussed something that people could buy on my podcast, being the first version of my course. And it’s something that I think people often underestimate, is that when you look at people who’ve got up and running great businesses, you assume that they’ve always been like that.
And for almost every single of the, let’s call it celebrity entrepreneurial business people that I know, for many of them, they took a long time before they got a steady stream of sales because they had to build the content and build people’s knowledge that they existed, first. And the wonderful thing about having a long term thought five to 10 years that you might want to start a business is that you need to start building those foundation blocks now, because it takes time. So my view on my Side Hustle is that it’s a seven year business and it was a year before I even started selling courses, and I can’t stress to you enough how important it is because there was once a piece of advice that I was given, which is that it takes time to build your body of content that people need. And I’ve just watched a friend of mine go through building a website and it took them a year just to build the website because the website needs the content.
So I suggest to everybody that you start building a little Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest home for your little knitting interest, and that you start building the building blocks of know, like and trust. Even before you consider what products could you possibly buy. And the building blocks of know, like and trust essentially is some way for people to know about you. And that is that you would have something that they can find you either through search or on social media and that means that you need a social media site, or some form of web presence. Now let’s talk social media. It takes two seconds to set up a new social media site, so that is pretty easy for people to do. In the course I take you through how and what all you settings need to be for a business or to be search ready and all of that. But that’s pretty easy for most of us to do. That place where most people get stuck and then don’t do anything is that they go, “I’m no techie. I can’t build a website.”
And I have to tell you that that is me. I got into this whole stuff in my 40s, none of this stuff was instinctive to me and when I was in corporate I had teams that built websites and did things like that. But it is so easy to build a website. You do not need to pay anybody $2,000, 20,000 Rand, whatever it is to build a website. Because literally websites these days are drag and drop. And there’s mainly stuff you can do in terms of YouTube-ing how you build a website. I teach it in my course. I teach people how to do it, because literally it’s that easy that if I can do it, anybody can do it. I’m a corporate bunny, I’m an analyst, I’m a wealth manager and I’ve built three different websites from scratch all by myself. And the reason why is that no longer do you need to code. All you need to be able to do is drag and drop.
And the are many different places that you can look to get a drag and drop framework on which you could build your website. There’s a place called Wix, Shopify. Shopify is if you want to sell things. Wix is much more for creative and so is Squarespace, so if you have an art or anything that is creative, you can use Wix or Squarespace, but you can also use them for a different everyday blog. And obviously there’s WordPress. Now, WordPress is more scalable in the long term, but all four of them are very easy to use because they all have what’s called website builders. And these builders work on a very intuitive, easy to learn drag and drop process. And if you can drag and drop, you can build a website and there are so many videos available on the web that can teach you how to build a website.
And these days I want to get out of your head, the old fashioned website that has hundreds of different stations and lots of different pages. These days you need only one page, you need a page that you can scroll for ever and ever down below, and your whole website is on one page. So don’t overthink what you need. I went for my very first website, I paid to get it built and that was because I was starting out and I really didn’t know what it took. But when I built Working Women’s Wealth website, I built it myself. By then I didn’t have enough money to pay for a second website. So the fact that I didn’t have the money forced me to start learning. The other thing that you can do, if you don’t want to build a website, you can use other forms of commercially available blog sites.
So for example, the most common is a website called Medium and Medium is where people host their blogs who don’t want to have a website. And what’s great about Medium is that it brings people to the website. So there are thousands of people already on Medium, and it’s easy for them to find you once they’re on Medium. So you don’t need in fact to build a website to start writing articles on how to start knitting. You don’t need to go through anything because in actual fact, even if you don’t want to use Medium, these days you can work on what’s called long-form posts in Facebook. Posts that are actually articles that are situated inside Facebook. So in actual fact you don’t really even need a website, but what you do need is a commitment to start building some content, and a social media presence that helps people to know that you exist.
And I always say that when I started Working Women’s Wealth, I had a lot of enthusiasm and eagerness and all of that. And I said, “You know what I’m going to do is I’m going to do a podcast, a blog, and a video every single week.” But fortunately there was this little voice inside me that said, “I don’t think so. You’re working full time, you are a mother, and I don’t think that you’re going to get to be in the stage that you’ll be able to have the time to do all of that.” So I made a commitment to myself that I would do one podcast episode per week, come what may, whatever happened in life, I would make sure that one went out per week. So in the beginning I did start with all three, but I very soon, probably a month or so went down to just producing one podcast episode.
And the amazing thing that’s happened with that is that over time I have built a body of content, and I now have transcripts and content that spans over 90 episodes of me talking about my passion. And then what’s been able to happen so two years later is that I am now able to produce short little blog posts. I’m able to produce memes with quotes. I’m able to slice and dice that content to be able to form so many different things, different training courses, different social media presence options, different guest posts, et cetera, because I’ve started to create the body of content. So even if you have no intention of physically selling anything yet, I strongly advise that you start building know, like, trust and buy around your interest and start building a following, gradually start building your body of content so that if you do ever need to start a business because you’ve been retrenched, or you want to grow this love and passion of yours, you have done it gently and slowly over time.
And as I said, if you wanted to commit to once a week blog posting and you don’t even want to start a website, then post on Medium or post on your Facebook page for your little interest and start building that body of content now. If you want to build a podcast, there truly are easy ways to do it. I took a course by Pat Flynn called Power-Up Podcasting, but essentially the most important piece of equipment you need is a microphone, and the microphone that I use that I’m recording on cost $69 only and it comes with a stand and it comes with the ability to plug into your computer. You don’t need any fancy anythings. It’s got a USB port into the computer and it’s called an Audio Technica ATR 2100 and you can buy it for $69, this little thing with a desk stand, or you can buy for $79 the thing that comes with the other goodies that you will need in order to podcast. So it is that easy to get the equipment to start your podcast.
Then if you want to do one video a week, you just use your cell phone. So I have a cell phone stand that I pop my cell phone in, and I sit and record content. Very easily of good enough and perfect enough quality so that you can create a body of content every single week. And I would really suggest that you even take a gentle approach to it. Do it as a hobby, do it as an enjoyment, do it as fun. But if there’s anything that you have a great interest in, organizing discs and closets, wine, cheese, anything, then start creating a hobby, Facebook and social media presence and content presence so that if you want to choose to move it into something more serious, you can.
If you want to learn more about how you can start this Side Hustle if you want to make it a proper business or just how to do know, like, trust and buy. I’m going to be doing free webinar series in two weeks time that you can sign up for and that will start to teach you and take you through this process of building know, like, trust and buy. It’s a great webinar series, and I encourage you to go to start signing up for it. Take care. Have a great week. I’m Lisa Linfield and this is Working Women’s Wealth.