Last Updated on 10 October 2020 by Gertrude
The best side hustles are based on your skills, knowledge or resources you have.
Best sides hustles won’t eat into your freelancing time so it’ll take less time to learn and implement.
Side hustles are turning into the main gig if tackled right. Side hustles started by freelancers are started with the aim of making about 10 to 50k shillings a month.
You don’t have to begin a side hustle that pays you such small figures. You want your side-hustle to enable you to relax on chasing after clients or looking for 2-dollar jobs on Upwork. You’re creating a side-hustle empire.
Freelancers apply for jobs all the time. Instead of looking for jobs, you can create your own job. You will need to acquire a skill or you can start your side hustle with 100 Dollars/10k as in the book The $100 Startup.
I believe as a freelancer you need more than one income for living, because, well, living in Kenya is unbearable and only for the rich and famous.
Expenses like schools, mortgage/rent, entertainment, clothing, cars and living life on the fast lane can’t just work with one income!
Even two, so you need your main income (used for paying mortgage and fees), side hustle (food, transport and entertainment and the main business ( savings, emergencies and expanding of your business).
Seriously, when you have your income spread like this, you won’t cry of being broke or looking forward to an end month.
The key to having a side-hustle is balance/prioritising and following a passion – to save time, what can you offer as a service or product in your current business?
When thinking of beginning a side-hustle, think of bringing and creating value first – think of the end result first then the money follows.
Begin your side-hustle by asking, what field are you in? What’s missing as a service or product in my field and I can offer?
Do I have time for this side-hustle or will the job interfere with my current duties or my productivity?
The reason why many freelancers don’t think of beginning side-hustles is that, first, they are searching/hunting for clients daily.
Your plate is full and you can do with less work.
Some freelancers regard freelancing as a side-hustle, for earning extra income, on the side.
Some don’t even realise they can begin a service/product business besides their freelancing business.
So, to begin a side-hustle as a freelancer, you need to start from your passion. If you don’t work your passion, you’ll meander to no end and back.
So, ask yourself how will starting this side-hustle affect my schedule?
Do I need extra hours a day to learn or will I need to start the business right away?
Start a side-hustle that compliments your passion, you won’t see the side hustle as a job.
After all, you have a job and have tired evenings/nights. Who needs two or three jobs when they have a plateful.
How to Build a Side-Hustle That Makes You Rich as a Freelancer in Kenya
What’s your purpose?
Before I begin any business, this blog included I ask myself, what’s the purpose of running this business?
What am I aiming to achieve? To educate, build a legacy, earn extra income, impact?
Whatever your reason, starting a side-hustle may look like something of a waste of time because side hustles are started with money in mind.
I assure you, when you start with a purpose in mind, you won’t have to think about what your marketing message will be.
Starting your side-hustle with a purpose, you won’t have dull moments or when they arise as all entrepreneurs experience these turmoil times, you will remind yourself of your WHY.
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
They say begin any business with the end in mind. Begin with your end in mind.
Your end being, yearly profits you want your side hustle to produce.
Let your goals be measurable and actionable and write the amount you want each year – the exact amount.
Now, break the yearly earning goals into quarters, then monthly and weekly earnings until you arrive on your daily earnings.
Small steps make it easy and sound easy on paper rather than big goals which seem like a duty than an enjoyable business/journey.
Know some simple business terms
There is nothing as shaming as not knowing the industry’s standard terms.
What is your freelancing industry?
Do you know all the terms used in your industry?
The same applies to your side-hustle business.
Just because you’re a freelancer doesn’t mean you cannot create a business and become a business owner.
Most business owners are accidental, you’re not. Freelancers are bosses. Some business terms include:
Simply called gross income. Everything, in total.
What you spend your money, do you spend money on luxury goods? Spending equals expense.
Surplus, the overflow your business gets after expenses are paid.
A difference e.g your hear terms like profit margins, I call it a ratio between expense and revenue.
Don’t overcomplicate business terms, use the simplest understandable definitions.
Set your side hustle goals
What is your side hustle goal? In terms of the revenue you want and what you’re aiming for as a business owner?
Like purpose when you define your business goals, you help save time on dealing with time-wasting activities.
Start by researching/determine your market
Don’t begin a side hustle without knowing who you will sell your products or services to. If there is a market, how big is the market and what’s missing in the market?
Where does the market you want to cater to reside? What are the pain points you want to solve? Will you invent/innovate a product?
How much is your market’s disposable income or are you going to sell impulse products?
Does your market know about the existence of the product or service you want to introduce or are you going to teach them?
Determining your market makes it easier to determine your marketing message.
Have a website
A website gives you an outlet for expression of yourself as a business person and as a brand.
I talk about branding daily these days.
Branding is simple, determine what you want people to say about you behind you when you’re gone. A website helps you to build a brand.
Your customers interact with you on your website because you’re available.
When customers begin a search for unique products/services, they start from Google search.
You want your business to be optimised for Google search.
Don’t just appear on Google page one, have directions and contacts.
Answer questions in your contents about your products and services. Make yourself available for your customers through your website.
Establish a brand
As with a website, establishing a brand helps you sell your unique selling proposition.
You want to stand out among other side-hustlers. Your side hustle story is different and you want that difference to stand out.
Begin with your logo and build a logo story. Let your business story speak of your brand. A brand is about consistency.
If you are on social media answering questions about your products and services, let it be the same for your website. Don’t ghost your customers.
Have a purpose, vision and mission.
What’s your business name
Before beginning this blog, I racked my brain for hours to determine what the name would be.
I said I wanted to review everything Kenyan, from jobs, politics name it.
And I did for years as a hobby blog.
When choosing a business name, let the name spell your niche.
Keep the scalability in mind, I never knew I’d talk about making money online in Kenya exclusively and escape the newsworthy site I wanted to create.
Also, let your name be memorable, I thought KenyaReview is memorable, at least at the time. Isn’t it? Let your name stand out.
There are procedures for choosing your name for your side-hustle, read the article.
Related article: Choosing a Name Brand for Your Freelance Business in Kenya, The Easy Way
Are you going to sell anything? If so, what?
Most side-hustles sell something. What are you going to sell?
A service or a product? You’re a freelancer use your skills to determine what’s missing in your industry then sell what you found as missing as a service/product.
You can develop a product or use dropshipping or print on demand to create unique products for your brands.
Related article: Building a Print on Demand Business in Kenya
What’s Dropshipping? How to Make Money Selling China Products in Kenya
Begin from a passion
I said it and will keep saying, I build all my businesses from a passion. I cannot start with money in my mind.
I loved to scribble letters and my thoughts from a young age. I scored everything in writing in primary, high school and uni.
Creative writing is in my DNA. My dad though a doctor loved writing.
Plus, I love anything creative no wonder I started a pillow business. I design and sell pillows for a living and write for a living.
Wouldn’t you love to begin a side-hustle from something you’re passionate about and already know?
Businesses started with your knowledge saves you time.
In the future when running your business becomes a bit hectic because of the daily demands of life, you want to enjoy running your side-hustle.
Passion drives determination and determination drives results and results in riches.
Why a Side-Hustle is All YOU Need to Be a Millionaire Freelancer in Kenya
Why do I need a side hustle despite your busy schedule, I can hear you asking me.
You need a side hustle as a freelancer because you want to be self-reliant. You don’t want to depend on your clients for life.
You can not rely on one income no matter how much you earn.
Even if you earn 1M or more online per month freelancing, you need more.
A client can die, lose their company or in my case, get tax evasion charges and lose everything in a weekend.
As a freelancer, relying on one income is a thing they did in the 1900s when Kenya didn’t exist or it did but under another name.
You need money for entertainment. I need entertainment money meaning relying on one income is a fatal mistake.
Kids need their fees paid, money for travelling, which we do all the time.
I remember times when I’d spend money to the last cent. We have moments like these too. Not that you’re a bad money manager, you need a side hustle when you have no savings in the bank.
Related Articles on Investing as a Freelancer:
Learn The Signs of a Bad Money Manager
What Broke Taught Me ABout Money as a Kenyan Freelancer
I need the side hustle for food/eating out and fuel the car(s).
Side hustles help you step away from your busy freelancing lifestyle
A side hustle helps you to understand that you have a life to live outside your freelancing lifestyle.
A freelancing lifestyle is a time consumed with work, completing tasks, and a myriad of other challenges.
You need a side hustle to have money in the bank because it feels great to have money in the bank.
I need the side hustle just for the sake of having a side hustle.
Side hustles are good for the workaholics especially when the end-goal is not to really side-hustle.
A side hustle helps freelancers ditch their clients.
You’re a self-employed boss who is employed by clients. Without the clients there won’t be freelancing jobs.
I love side hustles because working is in my DNA. I joke I don’t have a social life, which is true. I’d rather be doing something to keep my mind business with work.
I love side hustles because they give me the power to grow something and I love growing things into empires.
I love side hustles because side hustles create destinies and give one some sense of financial freedom.
People have a lot of reasons to start side hustles which differs from one person to another.
Why do you want to begin a side-hustle? Do you have a goal for what you want to achieve in your side hustle as a freelancer?
It’s very important to have many sources of income so that when one fails, your life doesn’t suffer. You know every business owner suffers losses all the time in their business lives.
Tips for Running a Successful Side-Hustle as a Freelancer in Kenya
Find a passion
Side hustles are called passion projects.
Projects you start from doing what you love with the skills, knowledge and abilities you have.
You only learn along the way.
For example, my blog is a passion project. No one taught me how to write, I learnt how to write blog posts as I kept on reading more blog posts.
You can find a passion for what you are doing in your job/business and build a side hustle from it.
Don’t get limited or tunnel vision.
Ask yourself the question I ask myself all the time, if I am to get asked what would you love to do a decade from now?
Do you see yourself working in this side hustle? Life’s too short to do what you don’t love.
Find a niche
No matter how passionate you’re about a side hustle, find a niche.
A niche is found from narrowing down.
Then asking, after narrowing down my topic, is there a market for my products or services?
I chose to blog on making money online for Kenyans, there are a million and one topics under Google about making money online topics ranging from online businesses, creating e-commerce businesses, freelancing, working from home, investing, saving, insurance.
The topics are endless under the niche of making money online/working online/freelancing.
Now, from the broad topics, choose one, talk about it, I chose to talk about freelancing/working from home and e-commerce businesses.
See, those sub-niches/genres still have a lot of readership/viewership in Kenya.
Your niche/sub-niche makes you a guru. A niche can be broad, narrow it down ensuring there’s still a market.
A market is 1,000 people hyping and engaging with you with the content you create. A market is when the 1,000 bring in more 1,000 to create a million. So, don’t worry about the million, get the 1,000 ”hypers” first.
Related Article: How to Choose a Profitable Niche/Market as a Freelancer
Dedicate time and energy to actually see the side hustle create an income
No matter how much passion and niche your side hustle is, you must have the dedication to see it succeed.
I couldn’t see the success of my pillow business or Airbnb business without working in them, without putting in the effort.
Effort means, improve, listen to your customers, keep on improving your customer experience by being there for your customers, introduce products to customers one at a time.
Keep learning and never giving up.
Grow your side hustle
Don’t get stuck in earning 100k from your side hustle you forget to grow it.
There’s a reason for you to start your side hustle, from filling a market need, to showcasing your creative side.
Growing your side hustle means you are creating an income for yourself and others.
There’s a reason this is a side hustle, so have fun
A side hustle isn’t meant to create pressure in your already overstretched routine as a freelancer. You want to have a fun side hustle.
You’re a busy boss alright, delegate duties to others and work your freelancing job full time.
Don’t forget to always learn more about your niche or passion
Keep on learning.
This is my life’s mantra, to keep on being curious, stretching myself beyond to make life interesting. I hate dull moments. Learning helps you grow yourself and your business.
100+ Side Hustle Ideas for Kenyan Freelancers to Earn 1M/Month
The following are the selected side-hustle ideas for Kenyan freelancers to begin without much effort and they include the following:
Up-selling your creativity or charge more for your services. Are you charging your worth as a freelancer in Kenya? What services do you offer and how can make more money?
Childcare, I thought of starting a daycare business in 2012 but decided I don’t like kids noises and drama. I created an article: Tips for Running a Daycare Business in Kenya and Become Successful
Grocery delivery, start a grocery delivery business, help shop and send groceries to families. Learn How to Begin a Grocery Delivery Business in Kenya
Airbnb, do you live in a spacious house? Rent it out to others and earn some side hustle money. If you want to build an Airbnb side-hustle empire, read: How to Earn 1M/Month With Airbnb in Kenya
Consulting on anything, building a freelancing business/brand
Coaching, if you are a career coach, I have 15 side hustles you can do as a career coach in Kenya.
Blog Building, businesses need a content marketing strategy to bring their product/service to the world.
Advertisement, do you have a large social media following? Help market other brands.
Selling household goods
Offer Airbnb experiences
Sell printables/digital downloads
Make videos for companies
Sell photos or take photos on monumental sites.
Become a handyman e.g cart pusher, puller. electrician, plumber
Become a digital painter
Assist in video editing, production
Learn a trade
Start a car-wash.
Fruit vending business
Start a retail business like a roadside shop
Keep chickens and sell eggs and the chickens themselves
Be a farmer offer services on hydroponics, aquaponics, help build greenhouses
Make shaggy mats
Sew pillows and or start a sewing business
Start a crafts business
Build business websites for freelancers and other small business owners
Teach a class online about freelancing or anything you love
Become a Virtual Assistant
Start writing e-books and publishing them on Amazon, books can be about anything under the sun
Make money flipping second-hand hot selling items, including electronics. Collect old electronics from other freelancers
Transcribe messages for clients, transcribing is a hot business for freelancers.
Become an animator /illustrator
Take, edit and sell your photos about your travels or nature to stock photography websites like Shutterstock or your own website.
Sell stock videos too, people are looking for short 30 second videos they can use for their video intro on YouTube or Tiktok and other video sharing websites.
Begin a proofreading business. If you hate meeting badly spelt words or books, begin a proofreading business.
Become a Pinterest VA, this is where you help blog owners or those who use Pinterest to gain more viewership with Pinterest on their websites.
Social Media Manager, what social media do you know a lot about you can help business owners manage and gain traffic or increase their revenue? Is it Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin or Facebook or YouTube?
You must use the said social media and prove you can help increase traffic by showing hacks for Facebook growth. Begin your business from one social media and grow to the rest.
Become an SEO Consultant, businesses want to rank on Google. But, not all businesses can be on Google’s page 1, right? Help businesses increase their organic traffic by using the power of keyword research, determining user intent and creating value with their product/service. Google looks for value-ridden content these days.
Affiliate marketing. Like Print on Demand or Dropshipping, you don’t hold inventory for the business. You work is to search for an amazing product in a particular niche and recommend to clients.
You have to create content to make more money but you can do affiliate marketing on Pinterest or Instagram without a blog.
Invest your earnings. How did Warren Buffet become rich? He invested. Search for ideas you believe will take off in the next 5 years or a change that will make Kenya great again, now learn about it and invest in it.
You have to be business savvy, be ready to make a few mistakes if not a million before seeing results. Keep on keeping on.
Get into real estate. Real estate is known to make millionaires and billionaires fast, don’t do it the old-fashion way. You can begin by renting out your rental house, talk with your landlord to begin an Airbnb from their house.
Or network with those in the real estate, ask them what hurdles they encounter in selling or renting.
Now, partner with them. If, for instance, it was getting tenants, strike a deal on paper, if I bring a tenant, I get a cut. Like what a broker does.
Help real estate owners advertise their houses. A lot of houses don’t have tenants in Kenya, help landlords get tenants or buyers fast. Learn how to use video to bring in tenants.
Best Side Hustles Books to Read as a Freelancer
The top 10 best books to read on side-hustle as a freelancer in Kenya that will change how you freelance include the following:
1. Side Hustle Millionaire: How to Build a Side Business That Creates Financial Freedom by Tony Whatley
2. Money on the Side: a little book on side hustles and tips for saving money by Heather Ledbetter
3. Freelance to Freedom: the roadmap for creating a side business to achieve financial, time and life freedom by Vincent Pugliese
4. The Side Hustle Path: 10 Proven ways to make money outside of your day job by Nick Loper
5. Side Hustle: A beginner’s handbook on effective ways to earn extra income on the side by Eric Scott
6. The Freelancers Bible: Everything you need to know to have the career of your dreams by Sara Horowitz
7. The Side Hustle: How to turn your spare time into $1000 a month or more.
And side hustle books from the man who talks about side hustles are my most favourite and I have read
8. Side Hustle: From idea to income in 27 days by Chris Guillebeau
9. 100 Side Hustles: Unexpected Idea for Making Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job
10. The $100 Startup
11. The Money Tree: a story about finding the fortune in your own backyard
NOTE: There are a million and one side-hustles to start in each category/industry in the world. I have made the most popular categories for you but the list keeps on growing. Some of these side-hustles have complete guides to help you get started.
Resources for Those Who Aren’t Freelancers But Want Side-Hustles in Kenya
50 Superior Ways How to Make Money (On the Side) in Kenya
Side Hustles for Career Coaches
Side Hustles for Writers
Side Hustles for Airbnb Hosts in Kenya
My Pillow Side Hustle That Created a $1000 Profit in 3 Months
My Airbnb Side Business That Creates a 1M/Month Without Advertising
Kindly Note: This post was originally published in 14th June 2018 and has been updated by Gertie to remove references to search tips that were no longer functional and add a few tips that weren’t included in the original list.
Which of the side hustles in the article, will you as a Kenyan freelancer begin in 2020 or 2021 so that you can make money fast on the side?