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Growing Your Side Gig

Starting a new side gig is an exciting time. We recently covered how to set up your side gig. If you haven't read it yet, it's a great primer to get you ready to grow your side gig below.


Disclaimer: This page contains information about our sponsors, as well as affiliate links, which support the group at no cost to you. These should be viewed as introductions rather than formal recommendations - please do your own due diligence before making decisions based on this page. We are not formal financial, legal, or otherwise licensed professionals, and you should consult these as appropriate.



Quick Links

Resources

Network, Network, Network

Collaborate with Others in Your Field

Have Marketing Materials Ready and Available

Engage After Contact

Provide Content to Drive to Your Profitable Line

Grow Your Brand

And... Go!




Resources

These companies can help you throughout all the different aspects of your side gig building journey. Please note that linked entities are affiliate partners or sponsors, which support the group at no cost to you, and sometimes provide you with perks.


Marketing/Branding


Email marketing: If you want to get into the nitty gritty of social media marketing and analytics, we've partnered with Constant Contact, which offers several different marketing tools to help. They can help you set up and manage your mailing list.


Business cards and marketing products: I made my business cards with Moo, and I get asked about them every time I hand them out. They are visually appealing and memorable, which is a great way to let your brand leave an impression after your networking connection. Use our referral link for 25% off your first purchase. You can also use them to make branded items like notebooks and water bottles for advertising purposes.


Course Creation, Meeting, or Webinar Resources


Webcam: Logitech C920x HD Pro Webcam

Microphone: Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Ring light: NEEWER Ring Light Kit

Note the differences in size and stability of different ring light options, as you might want a different model best on your setup, space, and situation. (For instance, we've found this one is not the most Roomba friendly.)

Green screen: Elgato Collapsible Backdrop

Capture card: Elgato External Capture Card

Kajabi helps you not only with content creation such as podcasts and course creation, but it can help you manage your coaching side gig.


Teachable can not only help you manage digital downloads for your content creation, but it can help you monetize them as your side gig grows. Teachable helps with content such as podcasts, ebooks, newsletters, and educational deliverables.


Zoom is a great tool for meetings for your side gig, recording content for your courses or webinars, and broadcasting onto other platforms. There are both free and paid versions (but if you think you're going to have longer meetings or events, get the paid version - it never looks great if you get cut off or have to ask to send another link because you've run out of free time).


Network, Network, Network


If your side gig is related to your physician career, this is an easier step as you have already built your professional network over the years. Either way, don't settle for the connections you already have. Surround yourself with other successful people in your chosen side gig, especially ones similar to your niche. Study them, learn from them, and network with their networks. You never know where your next gig might come from. Follow them on social media such as LinkedIn, and interact with their posts so that you can interact with their networks and establish a name and reputation amongst their followers as well. If you have somebody you'd love to connect with, look and see if you have any mutual connections who could introduce you. Go to relevant conferences or trade shows. Before you know it, you'll be surrounded by people passionate about similar things.


Collaborate with Others in Your Field

When you're first starting out, there's a tendency to worry that other people are going to steal your ideas or view others as competition (ahem, gunner in med school mentality). Most of the time, in the business world, collaboration will benefit both parties. When you find others that have synergistic missions, find ways to help each other out. If you're a speaker, network with other speakers so that if you can't do a speaking gig, you can refer them to someone else. If you're an expert witness, network with others so that when the lawyer you worked with asks if you happen to know an expert witness in another specialty, you can pass on the opportunity (and vice versa). If you have a podcast, have others on your podcast and appear on their podcasts. The pond is large, and you should believe that a rising tide lifts all boats.

Have Marketing Materials Ready and Available


While your website and social media are great digital resumes, you have to have a means of directing people to them, or a way to provide people who find you on your website or social media with a deeper understanding of what you do. Having some sort of marketing material on hand is critical, especially when first building up your side hustle (I always have a stack of business cards in my bag, just in case!). My business cards also have a QR code that links to my LinkedIn profile so people can interact with my material and learn more about me there. Have a media kit that tells people more about you and highlights the talking points you want them to see. Keep an updated CV on hand. Design your marketing materials with the same branding style you used to develop your logo and your website. This let's your potential client/customer make the mental connection.


Resource: I made my business cards with Moo, and I get asked about them every time I hand them out. They are visually appealing and memorable, which is a great way to let your brand leave an impression after your networking connection. Use our affiliate link for 25% off your first purchase.


Engage After Contact


Depending on your side gig (content creators, we're looking at you in particular here!), you may want to develop a mailing list in order to connect with your audience for long-term networking and stay top of mind when they think about your niche. It also gives your current audience the opportunity to share content with their network, allowing you to expand organically through word of mouth.


Managing a mailing list can be cumbersome and time consuming, so make sure you set a goal ahead of time. Once you start a frequency with which you email your mailing list, your audience will generally expect you to continue at that same volume of content.


Regardless of frequency, remember to keep your mailing list material on brand. It should link specifically to your side gig and what services or products you offer, and the vast majority of the content should be related to the reason that the person signed up to be on your list serve, or they'll be quick to hit the unsubscribe button. The more unique you can make your newsletter content, the more likely it is to drive engagement.


Resource: Constant Contact can help you set up and manage your mailing list.


Provide Content to Drive to Your Profitable Line


Providing free content that reinforces your brand's mission and values is another great way to market once you've gotten everything else set up. Yes, this includes private practices too! As mentioned above, sharing your wealth of knowledge sets you up as an expert in your field, which gets your word-of-mouth networking.

But you're starting a side gig to make more money. Why would you give your time away? While free content might not pay right away, you can reap the rewards down the line as you gain a larger audience to your side gig. Someone is a lot more likely to pay you well for a service they know you will do well. Providing a "sneak peek" of what you're capable of helps achieve this.


Content creation comes in so many different forms (some, like writing and podcasting, might end up spawning side gigs of their own over time that you monetize of it does well). You can easily start out by sharing short informational clips on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok and end up monetizing your side gig through developing courses for them. Course creation is a more extended form of content creation and one of the biggest interests we hear discussed on our communities that falls in this group. (Don't worry, we plan to cover course creation in more detail later.) For now, here are some tools and resources we or other members have used to get started creating visual content to engage potential clients.


Resources

Webcam: Logitech C920x HD Pro Webcam

Microphone: Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Ring light: NEEWER Ring Light Kit

Note the differences in size and stability of different ring light options, as you might want a different model best on your setup, space, and situation. (For instance, we've found this one is not the most Roomba friendly.)

Green screen: Elgato Collapsible Backdrop

Capture card: Elgato External Capture Card

Kajabi helps you not only with content creation such as podcasts and course creation, but it can help you manage your coaching side gig.

Teachable can not only help you manage digital downloads for your content creation, but it can help you monetize them as your side gig grows. Teachable helps with content such as podcasts, ebooks, newsletters, and educational deliverables.


Grow Your Brand and Increase the Chances People Find You Organically

Just as we talked about networking, you want to find other ways for people to find you. I started out with my writing career by submitting articles to places like Forbes and PBSNewsHour (articles linked). These opportunities brought me speaking engagements. I learned quickly that if I had an article that was going to be popular, I needed to give the reporter a social media handle or a website to link to so that people could find out more about me. Have those set up ahead of time so that you don't give up publicity. When I was on CNN, I made sure there was an action item (that was advocacy, not business, but the same concept - we had viewers go sign a petition to help physicians during the pandemic). Seek speaking engagements, do a TedTalk, guest blog for a prominent blog in your space - the opportunities are endless.

When somebody promotes you or publishes you, do your best to get the word out about that as well. Retweet their tweets, share the articles on LinkedIn, etc. This will reciprocate the favor that the publication did by including you, and will also help you build credibility as an expert in the field for others to know that people are featuring your work.


Don't worry too much about monetization of these things at first - your goal here is not to make a quick buck, it's to build your brand. The rest will follow.


Resource: Sign up for something like HARO to get opportunities to weigh in on media relevant to your side gig.



And.... Go!


These tips should get you started with building your brand and increasing awareness of your side gig. From there, be open to opportunities. Get out of your comfort zone and experiment with different techniques and take chances - if you fail, chances are nobody will even know in today's busy social media age. Allow yourself to pivot as you get feedback from others about what they like and don't like about your brand and what you're offering.


We're excited for you! Feel free to ask specific questions on our community at Physician Side Gigs!

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