Hey everyone. Today, I am starting a new “Extra Income” series. If you would like to be featured, please send me an e-mail. To kick it off, I have Katie. Katie has a personal blog at More To Life, and she runs Katie Pelton Resumes.
Here is a small blurb from her resume business website:
“They say finding a job is all about “who you know”. While that is definitely an advantage, I like to think we have more control than that! My resume templates have even landed multiple jobs directly from mass-resume websites like Careerbuilder.
I take a personal approach with each client to get to know their skills and personality better via phone, e-mail and/or Skype. Although I have strong professional templates, you will not find cookie-cutter products here! Each person and each job is different and I reflect that with each resume, cover letter and thank you card.”
I was recently engaged and had a big wedding to pay for, in addition to a mountain of student loan debt.
I used to be a seasonal resume reviewer so I thought combining that experience with my journalism and marketing career would make a resume business a great freelance job. There was a hole in the market for affordable prices so I jumped right in!
I was very worried I wouldn’t be able to make ends meet without extra income. Being able to use the skills from both my schooling and career experience, in addition to being able to really help people seemed like a win-win. The flexibility to work from anywhere at anytime makes it a great fit for a schedule that already juggles a few jobs.
I build or revise resumes, cover letters, and professional thank-you notes. Additionally, I can build or revise your LinkedIn profile. Each of these services comes with a 30-minute consultation, done in person, by phone, e-mail, or Skype.
Each client leaves with both a PDF and doc version of the final copies so they are prepared to start applying to jobs right away.
I start with the format to make it clear and easy to read. After all, employers only spend 6 seconds per resume! Then I hold a session with my client to see if there are any additional skills or experience that could be relevant. Lastly, I sculpt the resume to align well with applicable job descriptions.
My price point. I would never pay an arm and a leg for someone to write my resume and I never expect my customers to either. I understand that the point of a successful resume is to earn money so Katie Pelton Resumes is a great resource for the frugal or price cautious.
Affordable pricing does not mean poor service though. I keep it very personal and customized. Loving this job makes it easy to provide excellent service.
Being a business owner is a lot more than just offering a service – you also have to be an accountant, marketing specialist, an HTML expert, and HR manager at minimum. I was surprised and humbled by how much I had to learn outside of the skills needed to make quality resumes and cover letters. If you’re not willing or able to learn, be ready to pay the money for experts to help you!
Don’t run before you can walk. Technology makes starting a business pretty easy and it’s exciting to go viral and become an overnight success.
However, if you bite off more than you can chew, your service will suffer and your business will quickly drown. I was able set up a website and establish my business model in one weekend but I have slowly allowed it to expand in the past year and I’m thankful I haven’t rushed it. Work hard and let your business develop naturally. Growing a business can be slow so be patient and enjoy the successes as you continue to grow.
Building a business online can be really inexpensive! Typically, you already have an Internet connection and a phone. Initially I bought my domain name, did my own website design, and got started in less than $20.
Since I am not incredibly savvy in HTML, I eventually hired help to move to self-hosting and create a professional website design that cost just over $300 total. I have purchased business cards and occasionally I spend money on marketing and advertising. I try to keep these costs low, so I can keep my prices low.
The most useful purchase I’ve made was the Ring It Up app for $30 that allows me to track my expenses and transactions. This certainly comes in handy as I manage the accounting side of the business.
Finding the best accomplishments and skills from each of my clients is so rewarding. A lot of times people don’t realize how capable they are and they sell themselves short on their resume and cover letter.
Being able to boost their confidence and send them away with strong potential for new and exciting job opportunities is really fun. Hearing that a client was able to get a great new job after using my services is the best part of the whole job!
I would love to grow my business enough to create an internship program. That way college kids get wonderful experience and I can learn to delegate!
Do you make extra income? What do you do?
As most of you know, I have had many side jobs (they are all a part of my business now and I am self-employed). I didn’t think my side jobs would eventually become my full-time job.
But these side jobs did become my full-time job, and I’ve never been happier.
My side hustles completely changed my life and when I think about how everything turned out, I can’t help but think about how lucky I am.
My life is completely different from what I thought it would be like just a few years ago.
In the beginning, I really wanted a side job after I received my undergraduate degrees (I had a break of around 8 months, I believe, before I started my MBA), and I also even thought about getting a side job while I was working full-time and taking MBA classes full-time. W did not think me starting a side job was the best idea though, because he thought that I really needed a break from everything.
He was right. I think taking a part-time offline job would have been too stressful.
So, instead of looking for a more “real” part-time job where I would physically go in every single day, I eventually expanded what I was doing online and looked for positions online. I knew that writing and offering other online services was something that I really enjoyed, so it felt more like a fun hobby.
I found many online jobs and everything just happened from there!
Even though I always had many side jobs, most of my friends do not make any sort of money on the side. It must be a personal finance blogger/reader thing! I’m not sure why this is. There are plenty of positives for having a side job.
I knew that if I only had my day job, then paying off my student loans would take a very long time. I can’t remember exactly (I try to push all student loan memories out of my mind!), but I believe my monthly payments would have been around $500 per month if I would have paid them just “normally.”
Paying $500 a month for like 10 years?
Hmmm… That was not something that I wanted.
I had and still have friends who pay the minimum payments (some are over $1,000 each month!) and don’t really try any harder to make any extra money to pay them off quicker. I didn’t want that to be me. I knew I could pay them off more quickly than the schedule.
I made a student loan payoff plan and paid off all of my student loans within one year after I graduated with my Finance MBA. Without my side jobs, I really do not think this would have been possible.
Yes, I could have paid extra each month, but not at the same magnitude.
Yes, we always had shelter and we never went without food, but we weren’t doing the greatest. We weren’t saving money and I was racking up student loans even though we were both working full-time.
With the amount of money that we were making and the level of expenses that we had, traveling just didn’t really seem possible. With side income, we were able to apply this extra money towards traveling. This was great because we didn’t feel horrible going on a vacation!
It was paid for by extra bonus money.
Making side income allowed us to save a good amount of money. We were able to be less reliant on each form of income because we were able to save over 50% of our income each month.
We were able to save a large emergency fund, save for repairs, save for retirement, save for vacation and so on.
One very large positive of having side income is that if something came up, we had a fairly large buffer in our cash flow each month so it didn’t seem like the end of the world.
This is significantly different to how it was before we made any amount in side income. If something broke, we definitely freaked out.
The only other way was to earn more.
Yes, we probably could have cut our expenses a little more, but not enough to where it would have really mattered. We’ve always been kind of frugal.
So, we knew that we had to make more money in order to actually make a change in our lives.
Why do you make extra money? Why do you not?
Would extra money change your life? How would an extra $500 each month change your life?
Last month, I published How To Become A Full-Time Freelancer Part 1 over on Diversified Finances. As I said last week, not everyone wants to become a freelancer. However, if you do, then continue reading!
Now that I have finally switched to full-time freelancing, I have received many e-mails from others asking how they too can be self-employed and freelance full-time.
This is a loaded question to answer, as there is no right answer for the steps that a person should take before they make the freelancing switch. Each person is different, but overall these tips are applicable to the average freelancer (including myself).
I have only been freelancing full-time for a little over one month, but I have been building it up for a couple of years and have been working on it for over 40 hours a week for quite some time.
I have learned a lot, but still have plenty more to learn.
When deciding whether to freelance full-time, there are many things that you should do and/or know about.
Don’t forget about your reputation.
As a freelancer, your reputation is very important. Many potential clients will ask others about you before they decide to use your services. Or they may look for reviews and testimonials. Always turn in work on time, listen to your client, provide high-quality work and so on.
Everything has the potential to affect your reputation. And, in the freelancing world, your reputation and portfolio is very important.
Provide great customer service.
No matter how small a customer is, you should be attempting to provide wonderful customer service. You don’t want to hurt your reputation by giving someone lower service than what you would normally provide.
Prepare for rejection.
As a freelancer, rejection happens. Someone may not want your services, your services may not fit what they are looking for, or they may not like your price. It’s life. This happens. You should not work yourself up and ruin other freelance work because you are dwelling over the past.
Being organized applies to many areas of owning a business. Be organized with your actual work and products, and also be organized with the financial side of your business. For example, you should not be intermingling business money and personal money.
Know your worth.
There will be times when clients will really low-ball you. How low are you willing to go? You need to know your worth and try not to take below that. If you normally charge $50 per article, should you also charge someone else only $10 an article?
Time is money after all. Know what the value to you is.
Be safe when dealing with customers.
If you are new to freelancing, then you may have not dealt with too many people who haven’t paid. However, as a freelancer, this does happen. You do all of the work and never get paid.
Know how to protect yourself. Provide contracts. However, contracts don’t always help you. Some prefer to receive 50% payments upfront, along with many other methods. Determine what works best for you.
Always keep some sort of notepad with you.
I always have my phone on me, and that is for multiple reasons. One reason is for whenever a new business idea or article idea pops in my head. This way I can type it into my phone quickly. I have well over 100 ideas in my notes on my phone.
You never know when your next genius idea will come to mind.
Is your plan to freelance full-time or to be your own boss? What tips do you have?