How To Balance A 9-5 And Content Creation Side Hustle
Want to work a full time job and grow your content Creator or Influencer business on the side? Having a content creation side hustle won’t be without it’s challenges, but it’s totally doable if you have the right strategy, build the right skills and put in the work.
At Sidewalker Daily, we help Creators and Influencers grow and monetize their businesses. We also consult with brands on their Influencer marketing strategies, so we know a thing or two about what it takes in this industry to be successful. We work with Creators who all have different lifestyles and goals, so we’ve seen firsthand what works when you’re trying to balance it all. In this article, we’ll be sharing some helpful tips to help you balance your full time job and content creation side hustle.
9 Tips For Balancing A Full Time Job With Your Content Creation Side Hustle
We’ve learned a lot from our amazing Creator community and today we wanted to help you out too by sharing our best tips for working a full time job alongside a content Creation side hustle. Creating content can be one of the best side hustles in 2022, and can even help you generate some passive income.
Whether going full time with content is your goal or you’re someone who wants to do both for the foreseeable future, these tips will help you keep organized and motivated as you go!
1) Remember Your Why
The Influencer and Creator life tends to be glamorized. But sugarcoating it wouldn’t do you any favors, so we’re going to always keep it real with you. This industry can be a lot of fun, but if you have dreams and goals with your business (which we know you do), it’s going to take a lot. And it certainly won’t always seem easy!
When you throw in a 9-5 job on top of it, along with the other things you have going on in life, some overwhelming days are unavoidable. And when you feel overworked, coming home after work or waking up early to create content can be a little daunting. That’s the reason we think it’s so important for you to define your “why” and keep coming back to it frequently.
You can write it down, make a vision board (our Creator community loves doing this together!), or note it down in the way that works best for you, but you should have it on hand. This way you can return to it when you’re going through some tough time or busy days. When you’re in the middle of a crazy week it can be hard to remember why you’re putting in that work, so remembering your reason can be the boost of motivation you need to keep your momentum.
Even if you’re a part time content Creator, having specific goals and visions for your business is really important. Otherwise you won’t really know where you’re going, which means you won’t prioritize creating a schedule and a system to help you be successful.
2) Identify Peak Creative Hours
If you’re balancing a full-time job and a content creation side hustle, you’re putting a lot of energy into a lot of things. You’re not going to feel energetic and creative all the time — and that’s totally okay!
But that’s also why it’s super important that you identify your peak creative hours. When do you feel the most creative? Some people have certain times of the day or even days of the week where they feel a boost of energy. Figure out when that is for you, and make it a priority to create or work on your business on those days.
In conversations with some of our Creators in the community, it’s really common to hear them say that when they’re “in the creative swing of things,” they keep going with it because they don’t know when they’ll feel that way again.
If you have creative energy and feel like your work is flowing, this is a good time to get more done. That way when you’re too tired after working your 9-5 in the middle of the week, you won’t feel overwhelmed or force yourself to create something just to meet a deadline.
3) Dedicate Certain Times Of The Day To Tasks
If you’re one of those people who crave more structure and routine, you’re going to want to implement a system that works with your schedule. Even if you’ve always been a “go with the flow” type of worker, starting a content creation side hustle is no simple feat and this might be the time to get a little more structured in your daily planning.
Similar to the tip above, everyone has varying levels of energy throughout the day and knowing that about yourself can help you dedicate certain times of the day to do certain tasks.
For example, are you a morning person? Consider dedicating some of your mornings before you start your full time job to shooting content or taking care of things for your Influencer or Creator business. When you look ahead at your day or at your week, you can feel some comfort in knowing that you set aside the time to get done what you need to get done.
This also goes along with an understanding of your unique situation in your full time job. As a part time content Creator, you should ask yourself these questions like these:
- Do you actually need 8 hours to complete the work for your day?
- Do you have breaks at certain times?
- Is one part of the week busier than another?
Instead of waiting around until you have free time to check your business emails or film your weekly videos, thinking ahead and dedicating time will help you know exactly when the best time for that stuff is within your schedule.
This also helps you set boundaries with the rest of your life. We know that Creators and Influencers sometimes want to work on their business ALL the time because they’re so passionate. While we’re happy you love what you do, we definitely recommend putting aside time for work and time for fun (or time to rest; Creator burnout is very real!).
You’re going to have to be creative with your time—which often means missing out on things with friends and family because you need some time to create. Allocating time to certain parts of your life will help you keep things balanced and hold you accountable for getting your work done!
4) Hire Support To Help With Some Of Your Workload
If you’re in a position where you’re generating a full-time income, you might want to consider how you can use that to support your own business goals. Maybe you look into getting an assistant to manage some of your admin tasks that you can’t fully dedicate yourself to or that end up taking you way longer than normal because you dread doing them.
There are some parts of your business that you and only you can handle—like filming yourself—but it’s totally okay to ask for help for other tasks. This takes some things off your plate so you can dedicate your time to places where you’re needed more.
It can seem scary to start spending money on your Creator or Influencer business, but you have to take into account the value of what you’re getting. If hiring support allows you to take on a few more brand deals or create more content pieces that you monetize from, then the cost for that help is worth it.
And don’t forget, Influencers and Creators have so many tax write-offs they can use at the end of the tax year. So if you’re scared to outsource help, just know there are things you can do to offset some of those costs. We have a post about Influencer write-offs if that’s something you want to know more about.
5) Create A Productive Work Environment
Of course, a huge part of balancing everything is creating a work environment that makes you feel productive. Workspace wellness is a thing, and it’s important to create a work environment that allows you to comfortably get stuff done and remain as stress free as possible.
We all have areas in our homes and elsewhere that we feel more focused in and are excited to be for long periods of time. Your desk, your room; there are all kinds of psychological triggers that will help you work more effectively.
If you work from home all day for your full time job, chances are you’re not going to want to sit right back down and start sending out pitches to brands or taking care of administrative work on your business. You’re probably going to crave a change of scenery! Is there somewhere else in your home that you can set up a spot to get other stuff done?
Create a work setup that motivates you and that you can keep organized. This will make a world of a difference as you balance both of your jobs.
6) Acknowledge Sacrifice In Your Schedule
We mentioned a few tips ago that there are going to be times when your friends or family want to go out but you have things to do. If you have a full time job in addition to your content Creation business, it’s super helpful to acknowledge upfront that you’re going to have to make sacrifices.
No matter how productive you are, there’s only 24 hours in the day. And some of those should be spent sleeping!
Acknowledge that your time will be spent differently than you’re used to as you try to grow your business. Building something great takes time, and just keeping this in mind as you start your Creator journey and continue to grow it can help you stay motivated and protect your mental health.
7) Be Okay With Imperfection
You might not want to hear this, but you have to let go of perfection!
We’re not saying that you shouldn’t put a lot of thought and care into your business, but especially as a creative entrepreneur, perfectionism can really hold you back. If you’re at the point where you’re so concerned about every single post you make that it stops you from actually hitting publish, it’s time to reevaluate and let go of some of those nerves.
You are your biggest critic and most of the time people won’t even notice if you stuttered in a video or if you could have picked a slightly different photo to post. Remind yourself that you work a full-time job and that you need to get that post up today or you never will!
8) Treat Yourself As A Client
When you’re building a business that isn’t your main focus in life it’s hard because things always seem to come up and get in the way. Our number one tip for Creators and Influencers who want to take what they do to the next level is to start thinking of themselves as a business and give their own brand the same attention they’d give another. This mindset shift can really change everything!
Take yourself seriously, create the materials you need to look legit and professional (like an Influencer media kit!), and practice making tough business decisions. Learn how to say no to opportunities that take you away from your goals and give your business the attention it deserves.
In this case, that means allocating certain hours outside of your full time job to your Creator business. It means creating systems and plans that allow you to fit everything into your schedule. Take pride in yourself as a business owner—because you are one!
9) Create Systems To Organize Your Business
Speaking of creating systems, let’s talk about how you can do that to manage content creation alongside your full time job. If you want our opinion, you need to create systems around each and every aspect of your business. This goes for all Creators and Influencers, but you’ll find out that as someone who also has a full-time job, it could make or break your success.
One thing you’re really going to want systems for is pitching to brands. If this is one of the main ways you plan to generate income as a Creator, it’s really important that you have a strategy for finding and working through partnerships. We teach systems in our Pitching to Brands Mastercourse that help Creators efficiently pitch to brands. When it comes to working with brands, the truth is that you need to be pitching every week. In fact, we encourage our Creators to send out multiple pitches each week!
If you don’t have a system in place for:
- Finding brands to work with and finding the right contact information
- Reaching out to potential brand partners
- Following up with those potential brand partners
- Seeing through the negotiations and the actual content creation process
it’s going to get a little overwhelming. Not only do you risk sending bad pitches or not putting your best foot forward while communicating with brand partners, you risk not sending any pitches out at all.
It’s not sustainable to wake up every day, ask yourself what you’re going to post or create, and then manage to get it done. Get ahead of yourself by a few steps so you’re prepared when things inevitably get busy in your week. Whether you use a content calendar or an auto-scheduler, having a content planning system will really help you stay on track.
Working a full time job doesn’t just take up time, it takes up some of your energy too. With the right systems in place, you won’t have to put as much effort into thinking about what to do next. You’ll already have a general idea of how you want to spend your time communicating with others or creating your content. The key to posting consistently and securing brand deals is most definitely having a good strategy in place!
Working Full Time While Growing Your Content Creation Side Hustle
Sometimes the life of an Influencer or content Creator gets the rep of being all about taking pretty photos and posting them. But anyone in the industry will tell you that if you really want to grow your following and monetize your content, it’s a lot of work!
Don’t let that stop you from going after your content creation dreams while working your 9-5, though. Learning how to be a content Creator while working full time might take a bit of trial and error, but plenty of Creators have made it possible before you, and you can do it too! As a recap of this post, here are 9 tips for balancing a full time job with a content creation side hustle:
1) Remember your why so you can come back to it when things feel a little bit overwhelming.
2) Identify your peak creative hours and take advantage of the times you feel your best.
3) Allocate certain times of the day to certain tasks to hold yourself accountable and stay organized with everything you have to do.
4) Consider hiring support so you can dedicate more time to areas that are important to you.
5) Create a productive work environment so you can stay motivated and organized.
6) Acknowledge that you’ll have to make sacrifices to meet your goals.
7) Be okay with imperfection – not everything has to be perfect and worrying about this can really hold you back when you’re busy.
8) Treat yourself as a business and put the needs of your Creator journey first when you need to.
9) Create systems to organize your content creation and pitching strategies.
Despite what you might have heard, working a full time job and being a successful Creator or Influencer at the same time is totally possible! You just have to be willing to put in the work. We hope that these tips for balancing your 9-5 with your content creation side hustle help you out, but if you’re still feeling a little unsure about how to structure your business, book a call with one of our experts.
We’ll help you organize your content and pitching strategies so that these tasks don’t cause you overwhelm after you’re done with your 9-5! We want you to reach your goals and can help every step of the way!
Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments below.