I’ve leveraged my skills, experience and interests into supplemental income. Here are six ways you can, too.
I once delivered a talk on book publishing when one attendee raised her hand. “So I can quit my job when I get a book deal?”
Outward reaction: Great question!
Internal reaction: Hahahahahaha.
I’ve written more than 25 books, which were all published with traditional publishers. However, my author income stream is erratic and often just a trickle. I recently received a royalty check for 57 cents.
If I were living off book money, I wouldn’t be teaching publishing workshops to supplement my income. I wouldn’t be picking up freelance articles and part-time consulting gigs. But I am. This is what living the freelance dream looks like. It’s hard and unpredictable but I wouldn’t trade it for all the tasty FT positions in the world.
So that brings me to you. How can you leverage your skills, experience and interests into supplemental income? Here are a few avenues to pursue if you’re looking to shake things up and make some extra cash.
Teaching. If you have specific knowledge and expertise that other people want, seek out opportunities to lead seminars or workshops, or even tutor or coach one-on-one. I’ve been teaching publishing classes since 2009, and it’s been a consistent income generator. Seek out outlets where you can teach or consider putting together your own event.
Public speaking. Are you a dynamic, compelling personality? Do you have a unique message? Look beyond TED Talks for a paid appearance at a conference or for a corporation. Research lecture agents who can find lucrative gigs for you.
Content expert. If you have expertise in a particular area or industry, pitch trade publications or websites to become a regular paid contributor.
Social media. Are you a social media maven? Send a proposal to some of your favorite businesses to take over their social networking and blogging functions. Many businesses can’t afford to allocate funds for a full-time social media manager, so this can be a win-win.
Consulting. Think about clients past and present and how you could assist them with a new project that they haven’t even identified yet. Could you streamline operations, train employees, create a new web portal?
Now for something completely different. There’s no shame in your game if you just want to pick up a gig walking dogs or bartending. It can be a smart strategy to do something that lines your pockets without sapping your creative or professional energy.