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Side Hustles at Yale

Starting a business can be very rewarding. You get to be your own boss, skip the 9-to-5 grind, bring a business solution to fruition, and have career security. This has never been so relevant considering the current COVID pandemic’s impact on businesses.

Imagine having the ability to maximize the amount of money you make, without worrying about getting your shifts dropped, or completely laid off when economic uncertainty happens. You can’t start a full on business while studying, so instead, you should consider a side hustle. But what side hustles are worth considering?

The good news is that there are a ton of viable ideas for students. And with not much risk, since most businesses are operating remotely, which will keep overhead to a minimum for your future startup.

From becoming a social media influencer, to running an ecommerce website, the opportunities are endless. Let’s take a closer look at a few possible ventures while we grind through next year.

Social Media Influencer

This may seem like a fantasy for the budding college student entrepreneur, since most influencers on social media appear to have millions of followers. But the truth is, you can make serious money as a social media influencer with only a few thousand followers.

Brands like MAC Cosmetics, IKEA, Dove, and Dyson are all seeking influencers with small followings. For instance, nano-influencers are social media influencers with less than 5,000 followers. And brands want to work with them because they have very loyal fans.

Why? Engagement. The amount of followers you have no longer matters to brands. Brands now want to see powerful engagement rates before hiring influencers. Nano-influencers have the highest engagement rates among all influencers.

Ecommerce Store Entrepreneur

Ecommerce is hot right now, because physically going out to get products in-store is proving difficult during the current COVID pandemic.

But COVID aside, ecommerce was already a massive industry. Online retail sales are expected to hit over $6.5 trillion in sales by 2023. This estimate could be even higher now due to the need for more ecommerce during the pandemic.

It is actually pretty easy to create an ecommerce store with website building platforms. You can easily source products online and start selling them via your own ecommerce store within a week. And growth is definitely possible for ecommerce store entrepreneurs.

Freelance Writer for Hire

Freelance work is a powerful asset, especially during these times of professional uncertainty. Freelance writing is one of the top careers that you can easily start from home as a college student.

In university, you have gone through grueling editing and proofreading stages with your professors. Chances are, you have honed your skills as a writer and not even known it. This can prove useful for a profitable business idea.

First, get some of your writing out there. Just be sure your articles are optimized for online consumption. You may need to learn a bit about search engine optimization (SEO) designed for writers before getting your first paid gig.

Once you have a few writing examples ready, set up an UpWork and Fiverr account to land clients. You may even find setting up your own blog and website useful for landing clients, generating leads, and showcasing your work.

Business Consulting

Being college students, we’ve (hopefully) already learned a bit about a subject that we might wish to pursue in the future. Why wait? You can begin consulting from home now. Especially if you have skills like computer science, literature, marketing, or business development.

How do you start your home consulting business? Begin with LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a powerful tool for consultants. This is because you have access to business owners and company leadership.

You will want to opt-in for the paid LinkedIn membership in order to get full potential out of your efforts. Having a website and some real world examples can also serve useful before landing your first consulting client.

Social media can be impactful when starting a consulting business too. For instance, you can post actionable best practices that business leaders will find useful, and they be more than willing to contact you to learn more.

Consulting is actually pretty simple. “A consultant’s job is to consult. Nothing more, nothing less,” according to Entrepreneur Magazine. “It’s that simple. There’s no magic formula or secret that makes one consultant more successful than another one.”

Online Tutor for Kids

Remote learning is not going away anytime soon, thanks to the COVID pandemic. Even if schools open back up, many parents may be reluctant to send their children back to the classroom. This opens up an opportunity for a profitable side hustle for college students.

As an online tutor for kids, you can connect with students from anywhere in the U.S. via computer. And kids are now used to learning via the computer, since in-school learning had previously shut down once before.

All you need is a computer and a bit of marketing savvy to land a few students. How do you find students? Start in your community first. You can put tutor ads on craigslist in your city, as well as set up an Upwork account and list your tutoring prowess in Math, Science, Literature, and more.

Wrapping Up

The above profitable side hustle ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other ways to start a business from home during, or after, university. The above are among the easiest to get going. What does your future home business look like?


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