With the cost of living increasing on a daily basis, it’s become increasingly difficult to budget. To the deal with rising prices, a lot of people have turned to doing side hustles so they can earn extra money. According to Yahoo Finance’s post on side hustles, 46% of Brits earn a secondary income through a side hustle, with 6% planning to transition a side gig into their main source of income. Extra work offers greater earning potential, but it isn’t easy cash – rather, it gives people a chance to earn through their hobbies or passions.

One of the ways you can create some additional income is by selling products online, whether it is clothes that you’re not using anymore or things you’ve crafted for fun. Of course, there are dozens of small, boutique businesses around so you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. So, if you’re interested to learn more about how you can kickstart your sales, here are some tips to help you sell through social media:

Know your target market

You can’t sell anything without knowing who you’re selling to. Your potential customers use different social media platforms depending on their interests and have their own preferred price points. As the seller, you need to cater to their preferences. Our guide on “How to Start Selling Online” can help you determine the best platform to sell on and give additional tips on setting the right price. You need to build your audience before getting customers. The best way to know how you can grow is to study your competitors and what type of audience they target. From there, you can learn what works in their marketing strategies and understand what’s the best approach for your customers.

Tap into your personal networks

Social media has made it easier than ever to connect with people and audiences, making it a great platform to create networks. Some advice on building your network from LHH points out, everybody you know — former colleagues, suppliers, relatives, friends, and people in your community — are part of your network. Forming strong relationships with these connections will help you grow your network and open up potential opportunities. You don’t necessarily need them to buy your products, but they can boost your reach for free by following or sharing your business page on social media. They may also refer you to others who might be interested in your products. When networking, always be kind and provide engagement in return — like sharing their page too — so you can maintain a positive impression.

Create content with value

When it comes to social media marketing, it’s not just about posting about your items and hoping someone will come to buy them. As suggested by a feature on approaching content by Social Media Today, create call-to-actions in your campaigns by asking questions or discussing relevant trends to boost your reach. In addition, you can also collaborate with other similar businesses to drive more engagement and boost awareness by up to 123%. In the case of Cult Beauty, they ran a collaboration giveaway with Selfless by Hyram and managed to collect over 6,000 likes and 3,000 comments in just three days. Engagement is essential when it comes to selling online, so forming first-hand experiences with audiences is important to learn more about your customers — allowing you to create a niche for your products that fulfils their needs.

Stay consistent and relevant

Like many good habits, consistency is key to online success. You can only earn when you stay relevant, so setting a marketing schedule can help you build an audience and bring in customers. A study published in the Journal of Business Research on organic promotions found that having posts at different times of a day can garner high levels of engagement. It’s important to keep in mind that, depending on the platform you’ll be using, you may also need to change the format of your posts and how frequently you upload. You can also use social media statistics to learn about your current performance and optimise your content.