3 Tips to Eke More Money Out of Your Side Hustle

by Maurie Backman | Published on Sept. 9, 2021

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Here's how to make your side gig even more lucrative.

There are plenty of good reasons to pick up a side hustle. Whether your goal is to pump more money into your savings account, buy a home, or take a fabulous vacation, earning extra cash buys you a world of possibilities. But the amount you start out making doesn't have to be the amount you earn forever. Here are a few ways to score more money with your second job.

1. Start a referral program

The more business you're able to drum up for your side hustle, the more money you stand to make. If you're not working a preset schedule or number of hours for your side venture, ask your existing clients to refer you to other people and offer a modest reward for doing so. That reward could easily pay for itself in time.

For example, say you've started a dog-walking, babysitting, tutoring, or web design business and more clients are your ticket to more money. You could offer your clients one free hour of services if they bring in someone new who books you within 30 days.

2. Lower your costs

You might also incur expenses in the course of doing your side job. If you can lower them, you'll increase your profits.

Say your side business involves making custom T-shirts or whipping up baked goods. Do some research to see if it's possible to spend less on the materials you need. You may find that buying certain items in bulk results in savings.

3. Raise your rates when the time is right

No one should be expected to work for the same wage forever. While it wouldn't be the savviest move on your part to raise your rates a few months after kicking off your side hustle, if you've been at it for a while, don't hesitate to ask for a modest increase.

Say you do freelance web development or content editing, and you've charged clients $32 an hour for the past year. At this point, you might easily get away with raising your fee to $33 or $34 an hour. That's not a huge jump, and your loyal clients may not mind paying a bit extra for the quality work you do.

That said, if you're going to raise your rates, the courteous thing to do is give your clients a heads-up. Send a note a month ahead of time letting them know that you're looking to increase your rates soon.

As a gesture of goodwill, it also wouldn't hurt to ask long-standing clients if they're okay with that change before moving forward. Some clients may push back, and at that point, you'll need to decide if asking for more money is worth potentially losing some business. On the other hand, you may find that other clients agree to a small rate hike without any issues at all. And a few might even offer to pay you more if you've been serving them well for a long time.

Your side hustle should be as financially rewarding as possible. Follow these tips to squeeze more money out of yours.

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