Finding extra income: 2023 side hustle trends to know today

Summary/Overview

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Key takeaways

Where to begin

Want to become your own boss? With so many digital tools at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever for aspiring solopreneurs to start a side hustle.

Using search volume data, we found the most popular side hustles worldwide and in the States. We also surveyed aspiring and established entrepreneurs to learn why these people took the plunge and what challenges they faced. Learn more about their top marketing strategies and other helpful advice as we reveal our findings.

Looking for inspiration

Which countries have the most aspiring entrepreneurs, and what are their side hustles? To find out, we reviewed search volume data for 52 side hustle-related terms in 48 countries. Let’s see what the competition is like out there.

Given the state of the economy, many people are looking for side hustle ideas to earn additional income. Interest in remote work is also on the rise, and it’s possible to run money-making side hustles from your couch — or your car.

Uber driving ranked as the most popular side hustle worldwide, followed by selling products on Amazon, being a TikTok influencer, and developing apps.

The Land Down Under had the most aspiring entrepreneurs looking to make extra cash, as Australians were the most interested in starting a side hustle. Aussie entrepreneurs were most interested in driving for Uber, developing apps, and owning a small business.

The U.S. had the second-most amount of people chasing side hustles. Americans were most interested in Uber driving, selling on Amazon, and being a YouTube influencer.

Narrowing the data further, we found that Idaho, North Carolina, and Massachusetts had the highest number of side hustle-related searches per 100,000 residents, meaning peopleAmericans in these states were the most interested in finding extra income streams. Meanwhile, Oakland, CA; Fort Worth, TX; and Long Beach, CA, were the most interested cities.

We also discovered that states expressed different side hustle interests, including social media management, freelance photography, and pet sitting.

Getting started

Next, we’ll explore the most common motivations for side hustling and shed light on the struggles and marketing strategies of new entrepreneurs in the U.S..

Many respondents said they took on a side hustle to establish multiple streams of income (59%), gain financial security (56%), or supplement their primary salary (40%). Over half of the aspiring entrepreneurs we surveyed (55%) wanted to be solopreneurs, meaning their business would be just them. Starting and running things alone can have its perks but also comes with challenges.

According to respondents, a lack of capital (44%) was the biggest barrier to launching a side hustle, followed closely by a lack of time and uncertainty about the business plan. Some respondents also struggled with market competition, building a customer base, and unsuccessful marketing efforts.

Despite challenges with unsuccessful efforts, people with side hustles recognized the importance of marketing. The most commonly used marketing strategies included Instagram (42%), Facebook (31%), and YouTube (25%). However, entrepreneurs most desired brand partnerships (30%) to set them apart. A great example of success in brand partnerships is Instagram influencer Achieng Agutu, who made $1 million from brand deals in her first year as a solopreneur.

Interestingly, more people wanted to use TikTok than were currently using it to market their products or services (29% versus 19%, respectively). This finding suggests new entrepreneurs likely need help learning TikTok video marketing strategies.

Tips from the side hustling veterans

Aspiring solopreneurs don’t have to figure everything out on their own. Starting a side hustle like an online business can be daunting, but learning from those who have done it before can help new solopreneurs find solutions for their biggest challenges.

On average, the veteran entrepreneurs we surveyed had started three different businesses, with an average failure rate of just 10%. They knew how to make the hustle pay off and were happy to share their top strategies with us.

For solopreneurs struggling with a lack of capital, experienced entrepreneurs said minimizing expenses is the best solution. Less money going out means more cash in your bank account to draw on and invest in your business.

As for time management issues, the veterans most often recommended setting priorities (67%) and creating a schedule (61%) to keep your business on track. Over one-quarter also suggested automating processes to save time.

To combat unsuccessful marketing efforts, 70% of experienced entrepreneurs explained that defining your target audience is key. Over half (58%) also said it’s helpful to increase your social media presence, creating and publishing content tailored to your consumers. Another 45% said content marketing was a top strategy for new business owners, and 40% suggested posting on TikTok. However, only 14% of aspiring entrepreneurs reported using content marketing, and just 19% marketed on TikTok, illustrating the need for them to increase their efforts in these areas.

New entrepreneurs can incorporate all of this advice by using a free content scheduler to spend less, save time, and boost social media marketing. Social media schedulers and other online tools can help you easily and quickly create eye-catching content that’s valuable to your target audience. You can then set it and forget it, letting the scheduler automatically drop your posts across multiple platforms throughout the year.

Mentors are invaluable sources of guidance and insight, and the same is true for entrepreneurship. Start here with the advice our experienced entrepreneurs would give to up-and-coming solopreneurs.

The entrepreneurs who’ve been there and done that recognize how daunting a side hustle can be at the beginning, but they advocate for sticking with it, believing in your talents, and letting your passion lead your strategy.

Moving forward

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who wants to earn some extra cash, get out of the office, or chase your passions, it’s possible to become your own boss. With dedication and the right digital tools, you can make your side hustle a success. Build your strategy, define your brand, and put yourself out there—because there’s an audience waiting for what you have to offer.

Methodology

For this study, we examined Google Trends search volume for 52 side hustle-related terms in 48 different countries; each term was translated into the dominant language of each country. We also surveyed 457 aspiring entrepreneurs and 516 veteran entrepreneurs.

Fair use statement

You’re welcome to share any of our above findings for any non-commercial purpose, but we kindly ask that you link to this study when doing so.

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