15 July 2019 / social creativity From Work to Passion How to make your move with social media It seems like the term “side hustle” has only come into mainstream usage during the past several years, but it’s actually been around since the 1950s. Back then, it applied to both legitimate jobs and scams, like the salesman whose side hustle was decorating, or the shoe shine boy whose side hustle was illegal betting.These days, side hustles are having a renaissance of sorts, thanks in no small part to social media and the possibilities that our hyperconnected internet age brings. While the side hustle has been around for decades, it’s easier than ever before to earn a full time living from those passion projects. For some, that’s the dream. Others just want to earn a little extra money from doing what they love while holding a day job. Either way, the side hustle economy is blurring the boundaries between ‘work’ and ‘passion,’ asking us to re-define our relationship to how we earn money and the value we get from the experience.If you’ve always wanted to turn your hobby or passion project into a real business, perhaps one that takes the place of your day job, here are three tips you can start implementing today to work your way towards that goal. The best part is that you don’t need capital, connections, or a fancy degree. All you need is a smart strategy of using social media to your advantage.Cultivate real connectionsWhat does it even mean to make a connection on social media? Add to your list of friends? Reach out to someone in your industry for a potential business opportunity? It’s far too easy to ‘connect’ on social media, when making real connections is a process, not a single click. Sure, you can take the easy way out by simply advertising your side hustle with a paid banner ad, but will that really allow you to build a business? Unlikely. And that’s because word of mouth, building trust and playing the long game have always been and will always be the best strategies for amplifying a side hustle the smart way.If you’re looking for a social network that prioritizes connection over clicks, try uSync. It’s disrupting the social media landscape that most of us are getting tired of or jaded about. There you’ll find a whole range of tools to help you play that long game: creating text-and-image rich articles, direct messaging people you look up to, and joining Crowds based on everything from interest to cause to location.2. Find your tribeThey say that the fastest way to find meaning in what you do is to help others, which couldn’t be more true with scaling a successful side hustle. And there’s no way to really find and fine tune that meaning without being among people who are either in the same industry or are hungry for what you have to offer.Like making real connections, finding your tribe isn’t a one-time process. Phoning it in by simply joining a group, whether online or in person, just won’t cut it. You really have to hone in your listening skills to find ways you can edge your side hustle above the rest. Because let’s face it—no matter how unique you think your ideas and products are, your side hustle probably doesn’t stand out on just the merit of its concept. Executing on that concept on a consistent basis is another matter. If you’re able to not only find your tribe but engage with them, taking notes along the way, you’re way more likely to discover ways you can fill previously untapped needs and desires.3. Leverage social networking wiselyWe’ve all fallen prey to the power of the infinite scroll: to that inner voice that tells us to look at one more picture of our friend’s vacation, or one more funny video, or one more cringe-worthy comment on a news story. Let’s face it: social media is getting a bad reputation these days because it’s easy to point a finger at its negative capabilities and say that it’s the fault of the technology. And to a some extent, that’s true: if we are in an environment that feeds on our tendencies towards addictive or unfulfilling behavior, we will most likely give in. At the same time, social media has so much potential to impact our lives and goals in a positive, productive way that it would be a shame to overlook them.The most simple solution is to change the environment—or the platform—you are using. Have you ever gone on a social media detox and marveled at how much clearer your mind feels, at how much less stress you experience? While it may be impossible to wipe out social media from your life completely, what about switching the platform you’re on and use it wisely? Instead of thinking of social media as a form of mindless escapism, why not use it to promote your side hustle?If you’re tired of the social media sites you’re currently using, one option to try is uSync. You may not have heard of it yet but it’s a social network that’s not only gaining in popularity but disrupting the social media landscape. Rather than prompting you to spend time on the site simply to waste time or feed advertisers money, uSync is designed to help you spend time in a more meaningful way. Who knows, maybe that time you do end up spending will help you bridge the gap between work and passion.