10 Aug How to Take Your Passion Project to the Next Level
So you’ve been dreaming and scheming, and you’ve figured out what you want your passion project/side hustle to be. Now it’s time to get that project off the ground — legally, visually, communicationally, etc. So get ready to work your ass off. Your business is going to be so worth it.
Register your business.
Unless you’re starting a law business, this might be your least favorite part of getting your project from passion to full-time (or maybe you’ll discover you love this stuff! If you end up back in law school, don’t blame us). Check out your state’s registration instructions, fill out the paperwork, and make sure the name you want is available. (At some point, you may need to get a business coach and lawyer. That will help you stay on top of things and free up your time to focus on your business.)
Secure your domain.
Now that you know your business name is available, you need to get a domain name so people can find you easily online. If your basic dot com name is taken, you have a few options.
Publish a website.
What should your priorities be? First, visuals. Your site needs to look clean and awesome. There are too many awesome sites out there for you to compete if you have a blah look. Second, copy (i.e. text). Tell your story. Be clear about what you’re offering. Third, make it easy to find stuff on your site. Look at a few other sites and ask yourself what drives you crazy and what you love about their navigation. Take notes.
Start creating regularly scheduled content for your website.
Yay content marketing (example: this blog)! Posting regularly on your site provides great content for social media posts; it boosts the likelihood your site will be found when people Google related questions; and if you post something really useful or interesting or educational, you’re giving people a reason to keep coming back to your site.
You’re going to need some help getting the word out about your business, and your first steps to doing that include creating a list of bloggers, journalists and social media influencers who reach your potential customers. If you’re building an app that allows people to order framed prints of their photos, for example, add some photography blogs to your media list. You can use your network for this step, but you’ll also just have to do some good old-fashioned internet research.
Curate a spreadsheet.
Organize. Organize. Organize. This spreadsheet is going to be your best friend when you’ve come up with eight different story ideas and sent them to eight different publications and now can’t remember where you pitched which story. Which leads us to those pitches…
Come up with story ideas.
First think about how your product fits into the lives of the people who are going to pay for it. Then tailor your ideas for each publication. For a site that makes listicles, pitch your product or service as one of the top five of whatever category. For an Instagram influencer who loves putting Boomerangs in their stories, pitch a Boomerang-friendly narrative showcasing your product.
Craft a press release and start pitching.
Now put those ideas into words (a headline, few paragraphs about the awesome things your business is starting, some basic details about what your brand is all about, and contact info). Send the release to your new media contacts. Congrats! You’ve just launched your PR strategy. Level up!