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If you're saving for a big purchase — a vacation of a lifetime, your dream wedding, or a summer cottage — and you want to make some extra money, you may be thinking: side hustle.

Using your car to pick up passengers or deliver take-out, may not make your heart sing. Yet, like thousands of others, you may be looking for ways to turn your talents into a side business to help supplement your income.

It’s been said that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. So if you have a talent you love and can share with others, what better way to make some extra money? To get you started, here are some ideas of how to turn your talents into a side hustle.

Cook Up a Storm

The popularity of cooking shows and mouth-watering recipe posts on every social media platform shows how hungry people are for great food. Do you have a special talent for making Vietnamese, Moroccan, or other types of cuisine? Cook up some extra cash by hosting culinary classes. Either in person or online, individualized and group cooking classes are a potential way to celebrate your talents and make money.

Put Your Best Face Forward

While retail stores offer beauty consultations, not everyone wants to get a makeover in public — maybe that’s why trend-setting beauty and cosmetic influencers are all online? Turn your flair for beauty into a stunning side hustle by offering “how-to” demonstrations. You can teach skin care and make-up application tips, test new products, host unboxing videos, or take learners shopping in the real world for the products and tools they need. If you have a favourite brand, find out if they offer an affiliate program — you could even make money by recommending their products.

Teach a Language

Learning a new language is on many people’s bucket lists, and every learner is different. Not everyone can pick up a new language from an app or a website. Tutoring those who need in-person help might work for you if you are a native speaker or proficient in the language.

Make Music

A quick YouTube search turns up lots of videos on learning guitar, violin and other instruments, at all experience levels. But learners often want to ask questions or get personalized help. As a musician you can use your talent to provide the assistance they need to make beautiful music.

Get Crafty

Some of the most popular posts on Pinterest are crafts and hobbies. Are you a pro at painting or soap making? Why not teach others? You can do this one-on-one, or make it more social by bringing together a group of learners. If you’ve had success selling your goods online, teach tips on how to set up a successful Etsy store.

Get the Word Out

To start your side hustle you can meet with students in-person, but you can reach more customers over the internet. If you plan on sharing your talent via video, you’ll need a computer equipped with a camera, microphone and speakers, and a platform like Skype to host one-on-one video calls, Udemy.com or Lynda.com to create online courses, and a PayPal or a banking account to accept payments. Now you need to let the world know you’re open for business. Here are five low- and no-cost ways to get the word out.

  • Make Your (Web) Presence Known. A website is a must. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. There are website tools available such as WordPress and Weebly. If you need help creating your website, contact a local college that offers a graphic design program. Students who need practice could build your site for little or no money in exchange for featuring the work in their portfolios.
  • Get Social. Choose the channels that will best showcase your talents; for example, if you’re teaching music or cooking, posting videos on YouTube may work best. Paying to promote your paintings or beauty makeovers on Pinterest and Instagram might be most effective there.
  • Join Online Groups. There are online groups on Facebook, Reddit, and other sites for every interest you can think of. Get involved in groups related to your side hustle, commenting (nicely) on discussions and making helpful suggestions. Connecting with like-minded people in an authentic way can help highlight your skills and expertise.
  • Donate Your Services. Many charity events look for door prizes or have silent auctions to raise money. There are also groups such as senior’s homes, women’s shelters or after school groups for kids that are looking for fun and educational activities to offer their residents and participants. Donate your services in exchange for a mention on their website or newsletter — this way you can promote your side hustle while giving back to the community.
  • Ask for Testimonials. Have your clients told you how much they’ve enjoyed the services you’ve provided? Ask if you can feature them on your website! Testimonial videos and online reviews can be powerful marketing tools. If they tell you in person, make it easier for them by writing down the quote in an email and asking their permission to post it.

These are just a few examples of talents that can be transformed into successful side hustles. Think of your favourite hobby — if you love it, chances are others will too, and by following these simple steps you can start sharing it to earn extra cash.

You’re Not Alone

If starting a new business feels intimidating to you, remember: You don’t have to do it alone. To learn more about products and services designed to help you launch and manage your small business, check out these innovative new services from RBC for business registration and incorporation, free invoicing and accounting for your business, and business insights in one simple view.